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Deirdre’s World

Transforming a builder’s special into a fancy farm



Deirdre Arutunian and daughter Emma Farrell cool off on the front steps of Farrell Farm with pooches Howie, Luna, and Hunter.

Ken Arutunian

Deirdre Arutunian wasn’t house hunting when she came to Mt. Kisco ten years ago; she and her family had simply driven to Westchester from their home on Long Island for an afternoon of go-karting and took a wrong turn. “We ended up in Bedford, driving all those back roads and fell in love,” says the interior designer. “We came back the next day, found a real estate agent, and looked at 60 different houses. This was the last one.” She and her former husband, Bradley Farrell, fell for the rural setting and the unimpeded view of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The house itself—a “builder’s special,” according to Arutunian—was just a foundation for what they would later create.

At first, they simply enrolled daughters Emma and Ellis in the local school, added a fresh coat of paint to the interior walls, and settled in. But, Arutunian, an equestrian who learned to ride in her native Virginia, quickly got to work outdoors where she wanted to create a little farm with a big view. She painted the existing yellow barn red, added a riding ring and a chicken coop, and over time brought in a horse, pony, chickens, sheep, goats, alpacas, and three dogs.

Indoors, she filled the house with country French and English furnishings. Alas, she was waiting for an “aha” moment that would send her in a unique décor direction, and a family trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming provided exactly the inspiration she was looking for. “We fell in love with the old wood and the beams and the architecture, and we wanted to recreate it—not so American but rather with a French twist,” she recalls.    

After their return, Farrell set about locating vintage wood to incorporate into their home décor. He ended up purchasing a Civil War-era barn and a c. 1700s carriage house from upstate New York that were dismantled and brought to the newly christened Farrell Farm for installation. “Bradley meticulously designed the wood placement and worked closely with our contractor, Bob Torre, to determine exactly how each piece of wood would be installed,”  Arutunian says. The repurposed barn flooring and beams now accent the ceilings and walls throughout the first floor in historically inspired patterns. 

Arutunian says that bringing in the barn wood was like opening a Pandora’s box; everything else then needed to be changed to work with the new rustic vibe. She replaced the shiny marble entry floor with brick and stained the blonde floors a darker shade. On the walls, she decided to take a risk by hanging elegant wallpaper. “What I wanted to do, I couldn’t find online,” she says regarding her desire to mix vintage barn wood with fancy wallpaper, French décor, and crystals. “People weren’t doing this. So, I had to wing it.” She also updated the exterior, installing rustic beams above the windows, adding new shutters, painting the brick and clapboard white, and adding lush landscaping.  

The new parking court directs visitors to the terraced-brick front entrance. Indoors, the two-story foyer is adorned with imported tapestries and hand-painted silhouettes of dogs.  On the left is the parlor. “I wanted it to be very ‘Marie Antoinette,’” she says of the room dominated by an oversized portrait of an unknown blonde woman—a piece Arutunian found in an antiques store—above a French daybed.

A vintage, stuffed peacock sits on a pedestal in the corner, a crystal chandelier hangs overhead, and a viola (daughter Emma plays) casually sits in a Pierre Frey-upholstered Louis XVI chair.  Arutunian’s office is at the back of the parlor. From her command post, the multi-tasking mother of two can survey the swimming pool, the farm, and the reservation beyond.

The game room is to the right, and straight ahead is the great room, replete with an eclectic mix of rustic wood trim, English country furnishings, and modern lighting from Lunabella. “I went looking for pieces, and as I found them, I brought them home and made them fit,” she says, pointing out her favorite finds. “I found the stained glass door at United House Wrecking in Stamford and these hand-painted panels in an antiques shop in Hudson,” she continues as she enters the adjacent dining room.

The final stage of the home renovation was the conversion of an attached garage into Arutunian’s dream kitchen, anchored by 150-year-old Hemlock floors and topped with reproduction crystal pendant lamps. “I didn’t want a showroom kitchen. I wanted an all-furniture kitchen—no built-ins.”

She sourced a table from Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola’s old house in Bedford, the imported tiles from Exquisite Surface, and the range from La Cornue, but the avid cook notes that while her upscale furnishings might give the impression that the décor is fragile and precious, it’s not like that at all. “My kids can go in any room, take their friends in there, and put their feet up on everything. 

They go to the barn, they jump on the horse, and come in the kitchen with muddy boots. It’s a farm—a fancy farm. Actually a friend described the style as ‘rustic Liberace,’ and I’m good with that.”    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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December 2018

The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

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Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
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Sunday, December 9th at 3:00 PM. Open to all ages. Come to watch several short silent comedies at this fun event hosted by renowned silent film accompanist and historian Ben Model. Ben Model...

Cost: Free

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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price with Museum admission: Free

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Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah , NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555

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Cost: Free

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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James Lancel McElhinney, journal-artist, author, Yale alumnus and  Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient will unfold the epic story of painted books, from the Age of Exploration to the digital era. He...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Laurie McGavin Bachmann
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
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149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Ayurveda advocates seasonal detoxing to strengthen your immune system and help your body function at its best. Weather shifts can wreak havoc on your entire system. “Spring-summer-fall-winter...

Cost: Free

Where:
North Castle Public Library
19 Wippoorwill Rd E
Yellow Monkey Village
Armonk, NY  10589
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Sponsor: Dr. Kaushik's Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic
Telephone: 914-875-9088
Contact Name: Dr. Kaushik
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Join Us for Botanical Jewelry Making - Great Holiday Gift! Tuesday, December 11th 6:30pm to 8:30pm Create your own wearable succulent art. These botanical bracelets make beautiful and...

Cost: $100

Where:
Kahlo
65 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: KAHLO
Telephone: 917-604-5596
Contact Name: Tami McCarthy
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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You'll have fun welcoming winter when you cut out your very own snowflakes using model clay and cookie cutters! Materials will be provided.  Ages: 6-12 Registration required - call 914-864-0130...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Bedford Chamber Concert Series continues its 2018-19 season, featuring an all-Vivaldi holiday program. Anthony Newman and the Bedford Chamber Ensemble will perform “The...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Music Committee
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Sign up for this community workshop to get important year-end info.  www.martinhouseworkspace.com/event-listings

Cost: no charge

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Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Attend 1, 2 or all 3 of this three part series giving you to the tools to help find you the right job!  Session 1-How to Nail that Job–Thursday, November 29th–5:30-6:45 pm Session 2–Resume...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Mario Tacca – Music Director Mary Mancini Tacca – Artistic Director/Manager OUR MISSION STATEMENT: To have fun and gather with friends! To make great music together! To...

Cost: $33.00

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Taormina Restaurant
59 Hudson Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
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Telephone: 914-737-8872
Contact Name: Mary Mancini
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Please join us Friday, December 14, 2018 at 7pm for our annual concert of joyful Christmas music at the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, NY.  Performers include Internationally Acclaimed...

Cost: $17

Where:
Church of the Assumption
131 Union Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
View map »


Sponsor: Church of the Assumption
Telephone: 914-737-2071
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Join us as the Traveling Lantern Theater brings a beloved classic Christmas story to life - The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge or: "A Christmas Carol". Light refreshments will be...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8041
Website »

More information

This a cappella vocal quartet brings their exquisitely blended voices to the Music Room in Sing Thee Nowell, a program of sacred Christmas music spanning seven centuries. The Rosen House,...

Cost: $25, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

This a cappella vocal quartet brings their exquisitely blended voices to the Music Room in Sing Thee Nowell, a program of sacred Christmas music spanning seven centuries. The Rosen House,...

Cost: $25, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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