Photographer Bill Abranowicz and location scout Andrea Raisfeld like a lot of things about their home in Bedford, New York, especially that it feels and looks very lived in. They purchased it 21 years ago and have been making changes ever since, following a master plan created by architect Holly Ross. “She’s a great problem solver,” says Bill.
The renovation included a new kitchen with cathedral ceilings inspired by a 13th-century Swedish church and a cork floor, which they chose with sustainable material in mind. “I was doing a photo shoot at an Edward Durell Stone house in Bedford Hills and noticed that it had cork floors, which gave us the idea,” says Bill.
The entire home is designed so they can be with their children and guests, not separate from them. “For us, entertaining is about good food and being casual,” says Andrea. “If there is an arrangement of flowers on the table, then I probably cut them from our yard.” Bill points out that no part of the house is a “no touch” zone. “Nothing is precious, and we’ve never been into provenance,” he says. Flea markets and antiques auctions are sources of many objects in their home. “I’m not afraid to dumpster-dive,” says Andrea.
The renovation also included the addition of a sleeping porch, which they use as their master bedroom from May through October. “We made it to December last year,” says Bill. “When it’s too cold to hold a book in our hands, we know it’s time to go inside.” The idea came from sleeping in a lanai when in Hawaii. “We realized we can do this at home,” says Andrea. Hearing owls and coyotes and feeling the wind at night has improved the couple’s connection with nature as well as their home. “For us, home is a nest in which to live and be creative,” says Andrea. “Our aesthetic is a bit happenstance, but this is a place of happiness.”