Look Inside a Kennett Square Farmhouse That Combines East Coast Chic With Equestrian Decor

A California family makes traditional East Coast style feel fresh and new.

kennett square farmhouse

Take a look inside this Kennett Square farmhouse, updated for a California family. Photograph by Jason Varney

Competitive horseback riding took one Los Angeles-based family around the world. But when they found themselves frequently returning to Radnor to train and compete, they decided it made sense to have a Pennsylvania country home of their own.

They bought a mid-1800s farmhouse in Kennett Square and recruited Rittenhouse interior designer Ashli Mizell to give it a makeover.

“They wanted it to have an equestrian vibe and nod to the history of the East Coast,” the designer says. In this long, narrow living room, age posed an obstacle: Four built-in radiators made the already constricted layout even more challenging to modernize. Mizell knew she was going to have to go custom. “We designed all the furniture and had it built locally,” she says. “We were able to get exactly what we wanted and needed.”


Wool-and-cashmere window treatments feature leather straps that are reminiscent of reins, an understated nod to the family pastime.


The designer used luxurious materials in subtle ways. One example: She decorated the gray wool sateen sofa with two silk Hermès pillows, to “inject glamour” without going over-the-top.


In designing and fabricating the room’s furniture, like the large ottoman covered in cowhide, Mizell integrated a variety of fabrics — flannel, tweed, silk, suede — to create an eclectic aesthetic. A bold vintage Serapi rug unifies the colors and textures of the space.


It was important to both the designer and the owners that the home feel fresh but also authentic to suburban Pennsylvania, so Mizell maintained the wood-burning fireplace and the antique mirror above it. “The history is far more interesting than something new,” she says.

Published as “Back in the Saddle” in the February 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.