Country Modern

When the owners of hip Foster’s Homeware escape the city to their country home, one thing they don’t leave behind is their sense of style

During 22 years of Center City living, Ken Foster and Larry Lantz weren’t seeing many birds, so they never guessed they had a future as avian geeks. But that’s what they’ve become since setting up (weekend) house just north of Bucks County five years ago. Now a marked-up field guide to birds takes pride of place in their 1886 farmhouse, amid plenty of well-curated collections, playful woodland touches, and modern pieces plucked from their stylish soup-to-nuts Old City store, Foster’s Homeware. Furnishing the house felt surprisingly natural for a couple who deal in modern, streamlined design. First, it needed a major cosmetic makeover to undo the previous owners’ fussy, high-country Victorian aesthetic. Ken and Larry got to work peeling off flowery wallpaper borders, tearing down swaggy window treatments, and dismantling giant ceiling fans, to reveal the home’s original, simple lines. They chose paint colors that echo the views from every window — sky blue, muddy green and shades of brown. The first few winters, they spent Sundays scouting antique shops — and their own shop — for country and modern pieces that would blend. “We tried to stay true to the fact that this used to be a working farmhouse,” says Ken. “We have quilts on the beds, but they’re modern quilts.” The result is a parallel universe from their Old City loft — and a welcome escape from the bird-less life. “It’s a total unwind,” says Ken. “We get there Saturday night, and by the time the car’s unpacked, I’m relaxed. Everything goes away.”

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