Photography by Bess Piergrossi
I'm so excited to be introducing to you the story of Bess Piergrossi and her beautiful farmhouse! Her rustic style and eye for simplistic design speak for itself on her beautiful instagram account. And funny enough that is how I found her few months back and just fell so in love with it.
Read on to learn the story behind her stunning farmhouse, and her story. Without any further introduction, take a seat and enjoy!
I TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
My name is Bess, I live with my husband Mike on a small homestead in Southern Maine with an abundance of chickens, ducks, and geese, and of course our 3 cats. For my 9-5 I work in merchandising, but in my spare time we also grow/arrange specialty cut flowers from our flower fields in season. I like to call myself a “front yard florist”, as I grow mostly to enjoy the beauty in my gardens, but have fun arranging the abundances to share with the community. My husband is a grower, and I'm always involved in a creative project, so together we run a small farmstand called Hitchfoot Farm where we sell eggs, flowers, produce, natural dyed masks- you name it.
2 YOU LIVE IN A BEAUTIFUL FARMHOUSE, PLEASE TELL US THE STORY BEHIND IT...
Our farmhouse was built in 1740 and is one of the oldest homes in the area. It’s older than America, which is pretty mind blowing to think about. Our surrounding property has been farmed for generations, and we hope to carry that tradition forward. We found the home because I used to work as a dairy hand milking dairy cows in the morning and evenings before/after work, and this home is the original farmhouse to the dairy farm. We’ve traced the family lineage of the home back to the first settlers in the area. We often find old trinkets buried in the garden, or names/notes scribbled on the ceiling and doors from those who’ve come before us. It’s really neat to be so hands on with history.
3 WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PARTS OF THE HOUSE?
The kitchen- it’s full of energy. We spend 90% of our time in the kitchen- cooking, working, stacking wood, sitting by the wood stove, staring out the window at the cow pasture- we rarely leave the kitchen. It’s where we dance, it’s where we share about our days, it’s where we sit and relax with a cup of coffee- it really is our hub. With that said, I really love all rooms in our home *all 5*, as they each have a special purpose and function.
4 WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING PART TO DESIGN IN THE HOUSE?
This house has seen centuries of paint/wallpaper. The intention of our interior design was to strip it back to the basics. Striping floors and wallpaper, scraping painting, plastering walls, these have become daily activities that seem to have no end. It’s a big work in progress, and a fine balance to try to decide what to restore, and what to leave.
5 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
For as “colorless” as our home is, I’m really inspired by nature’s colors. I think that's why I love flowers so much, and painting. So to sum it up, flowers and art, I’d say. While something may seem “brown”, there's so many tones and accents of blue, orange, maroon, cream, yellow, that make up the whole canvas so to speak. I also am totally inspired by antiques- functional antiques. How something was once touched, loved, used, disregarded, fixed, mended, worn.
6 THREE THINGS YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO LIVE WITHOUT
1- Mike- He’s my better half, and the best partner I could ask for. We conquer all challenges together.
2- Flowers- especially homegrown/farm flowers. I try not to buy flowers in the off season, which creates so much pent up excitement for spring, I think I could explode.
3- Pets/Animals- Wow these three things really sum up my life quite quickly. Milking the cows was one of my greatest joys in life, and watching the ducks/geese waddle and follow me around the garden makes my world go round. And then after a long day in the yard, coming inside to snuggle with our three most affectionate, loving kitties is just the perfect night cap to a long day.
7 WHICH ARE YOUR GO-TO HOME DECOR PIECES WHEN DESIGNING YOUR HOME
All things antique. From a decor perspective,I rarely buy an item new. I also consider myself to be a minimalist at heart, so there’s a fine balance between decorating, and having the essentials. I love that limbo.
8 YOUR MOST RECENT PURCHASE?
I just bought an egg blower so I can blow out our enormous geese eggs and dye the shells with natural dyes. I can’t wait.
9 2020 WAS A DIFFICULT YEAR... WHAT ARE YOUR WISHES FOR 2021?
2020 was unbelievably difficult for me. Extremely challenging. My hardest yet. I’m still struggling with a lot of grief from 2020. I’m trying to stay hopeful in 2021, but it’s hard. First off, having those I love be vaccinated. Let’s just take that load off of everyone. Extra bonuses- an amazing flower crop, and new life on the farm.
Follow Bess on Instagram HERE