When Brent Ridge, a doctor specializing in geriatrics at New York City’s Mount Sinai and the head of Martha Stewart’s health and wellness division, and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a New York Times best-selling writer, lost their jobs in the recession of 2008, they never could have imagined what life had in store for them. With nothing left to keep them in the city, they decamped upstate to a 220-year-old farmhouse in Sharon Springs, NY.
But it was taking in a herd of goats from a neighboring farmer who was losing his livelihood that set the wheels for what would become the Beekman 1802 brand into motion. Along with the man who would lovingly become known as Farmer John, Brent and Josh began making goat milk soaps from their newly acquired herd. Today, both online and at their brick-and-mortar Beekman 1802 Mercantile, the company sells an array of their proprietary skincare and bodycare products, as well as food, home items, and handicrafts produced by regional and local artisans.
Ten years later, and this small business has become a nationally recognized brand, but they’ve never lost homegrown roots—Josh and Brent refer to their customers as “Neighbors,” no matter where they live. “We began making goat milk based products from our farm,” says Brent. “One neighbor tried the product and noticed a difference in their eczema. They told another neighbor who noticed an improvement in their psoriasis. They told another neighbor who noticed an improvement in their rosacea. And that’s how the company grew—neighbor by neighbor by neighbor—into a leading skincare company for people with skin sensitivity issues.”
Both in their work and in their home, Brent and Josh strive for authenticity. So when it was time to redecorate their guest bedroom, their design choices had to feel right to the space. “This is a guest bedroom that we’ve always called ‘the farm room’ because it gets the morning sun, looks out towards the barn, and has a built-in alarm clock from the sounds that arise when Farmer John starts milking the goats each morning and the rooster starts crowing,” Brent says.
The space, like much of their 1802 farmhouse, mixes both modern comforts with historic charm, and the duo wanted furnishings, textiles, and other materials that feel meaningful to the home. Fortune (Chinoiserie), from our Patch NYC collection, fit the bill. “Many years ago, prior owners of the home had a connection with Cole & Sons (the British wallpaper company), and they created an original Chinoiserie pattern for the main hallways in the home. Though we love it, it is challenging to decorate around,” Brent explains. “We’ve long been fans of the design work of Patch NYC, and when we saw their unique twist on Chinoiserie, we knew immediately it would work to transition from the traditional look of the hallway into a more modern look in the bedroom.”
To complement the wallpaper, Brent and Josh selected our Wildflower (White) bedding. “Fortune is a strong pattern and it dominates the room. Many people would have thought a solid bed would have been the balance, but a solid bed actually felt like a total void in the center of the room,” says Brent of their decision to mix patterns. “Wildflower brought just enough visual interest and a marriage of color that doesn’t detract from the drama of the walls.”
“Don’t be afraid to go all the way. Start with more patterns than you think you might want and then edit if necessary.”- Brent Ridge on how to pattern-mix like a pro
The final room design is a celebration not only of pattern, but of old meeting new in a fresh, welcoming, and comfortable way. “In this room, we balanced the modern wallpaper and the modern twist on the glossy white carved wood bed frame by pairing them with antique milking stools and a Dutch-style painting over the fireplace, which also makes a visual connection to the view of the barn that is framed by one of the windows,” says Brent. “Even though our personal styles tend toward the more modern and minimal, that doesn’t always work well in the farmhouse, which has quite a lot of very traditional Georgian-Federal details... it’s always a fun journey to bring a room together.”
When not spending time with their goats and other four-legged residents, launching new products from their kitchen-island-turned-workspace, or redecorating their farmhouse, Brent and Josh add hygge to their lives by enjoying the simple pleasures of living on a 60-acre farm, like growing or raising all of their food right on their property. “We recently mowed a 1.5 mile path around the perimeter of the entire farm that passes through the pastures, by the ponds, and through the woods.” Brent says, “Now, when people come to visit, we can all bundle up and have a very socially distanced walkabout.”
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