We first discovered Bess on Instagram, and immediately fell in love with her exquisite home. We were thrilled when she agreed to shoot some of our new collection in her space. Below, we chat with her about her upbringing, and the life she has created for herself.
First, can you tell us a little about yourself and where you call home?
My name is Bess Piergrossi, I live with my husband on a little farm in Eliot, Maine, where we grow cut flowers and raise ducks, geese, and chickens. Maine is an amazing place to live- we’re about ten minutes from the beach, close the mountains, about an hour away from two major cities, but my favorite thing about where we live is the pasture. I’m a sucker for a field. Especially one with cows.
It's not hard to see why you fell in love with your home and the surrounding landscape. Was farming a part of your upbringing or is it something you've begun to pursue in adulthood?
I never farmed growing up, and had absolutely no interest. I’d say my first introduction to farming was through food—my husband is a chef and we met in the restaurant business. Working in restaurants taught me so much about the importance of local farming. After a few years, we left Maine and moved to Vermont, to be closer to all these amazing farms we admired. I was able to work on a vegetable farm and immerse myself completely in farming culture, and from there I never looked back. When we moved back to Maine, I found a job on a flower farm in the mornings, and milked cows at night. Milking cows was my real dream. We were lucky enough to buy the original farmhouse on the dairy farm, built in 1740. The farmer has since retired and sold his heard, but there’s still 15 or so cows that graze the pasture in the backyard, and that is what truly makes my house feel like a home.
What does a typical day look like for you?
During the week, you’ll find me at my desk, with a coffee in hand and NPR playing in the background. Since the pandemic, my 9-5 job has been remote and I’m able to work from home, which I love. I’m a homebody, and don’t leave the house often. I spend my free time wandering around the flower fields, making bouquets, weeding the gardens, striping paint or sanding floors (always a project). My husband cooks an amazing meal for us every night, and then we end the night doing farm chores and getting the animals ready for bed. Keeping up the farm is a lot of hard work and maintenance, but it’s one of our greatest joys.
You have curated a truly idyllic home. How do you choose what to bring into your space?
I love items that have been previously loved and used (heavily) by other people. There’s an energy in these items that I’m just drawn to. Old can openers, old blankets, old books, old aprons- you name it. I also am drawn to things that are beautiful and functional. I think of myself as a minimalist, as I don’t own a lot of things. I strive to really adore everything that I do own, and also give new life to it. I love hand crafted items—paintings, pottery, hand sewn nightgowns. I’m totally in awe of things people make with their own hands.
Where in your home do you spend the most time?
The kitchen- the kitchen is the hub of our house. There’s always activity in the kitchen, even though it’s just the two of us. It’s the central room of the home, and has a woodstove for the winter, a view of the cows in the back pasture, and a large kitchen island that serves a million functions. It’s a space to gather, a space to do work, and a space to keep each other company. It also has a view into four other rooms in the home, and I just love also feeling so connected to the other areas of the house, all from one central location.
Can you share your secret behind your enviable vintage and antique collection?
The same tips as mentioned above—but it really is such an incredibly personal experience. I’ve purchased far too many antiques where the person I’m with says “why would you ever want that”, but there’s something about it that sings to me. Look for those things. Also—be patient. I often leave the antique stores empty handed, just being grateful for the opportunity to look around. It’s a long, beautiful, transformative process.
See more of Bess Piergrossi's work HERE
We are proud to stock the newly released book The Maine House which features Bess's beautiful home. Get your copy HERE