A Year at Clove Brook Farm with Christopher Spitzmiller

For over 20 years, designer Christopher Spitzmiller has been renowned for his one-of-a-kind lamps of timeless appeal and luxurious quality.  But the master ceramicist also has a deep passion for gardening and entertaining.  Christopher is known to his friends and Instagram fans as the ultimate weekend farmer who raises his own chickens, grows his own flowers, and makes his own jam, cider, and honey.

Released this month, Christopher’s first book, A Year at Clove Brook Farm, treats readers to a full year of life at his idyllic but always-active country retreat.  Christopher discovered the 1830s Greek Revival home 16 years ago when visiting friends in Millbrook, New York, and he knew instinctively that the run-down property could be transformed into something very special. “From that very moment, the house, farm, and adjacent rolling countryside have inspired my dreams, helped me set goals, and perhaps most importantly, nourished my drive to accomplish it all,” Christopher says in the book’s introduction.

A Year at Clove Brook Farm: Gardening, Tending Flocks, Keeping Bees, Collecting Antiques, and Entertaining Friends by Christopher Spitzmiller ©Rizzoli New York, 2021. Written with Clinton Smith and Foreword by Martha Stewart

Organized into four seasonal sections, A Year at Clove Brook Farm begins in the Spring with the chilly quiet of March before the farm bursts into the bloom of lilacs and apple blossoms. Christopher takes us behind-the-scenes in the dovecote with his Indian fantail pigeons, he hosts an Easter lunch with a table laden with daffodils and his prettiest plates, and he shares his recipe for freshly harvested rhubarb pie. Summer brings hydrangeas and dahlias; readying the chickens for the Dutchess County Fair, honey-gathering, and planting bulbs. Christopher shares his ultimate fall feast of Thanksgiving with all the stops pulled, and winter closes the book with inspired holiday decorating, a holiday buffet to celebrate the bounty of the farm, and uniquely wrapped gifts to treasure.

Christopher restored the nineteenth century home at Clove Brook Farm to perfection. He enlisted interior designer Harry Heissmann who had worked with the legendary Albert Hadley. Hadley was Christopher’s mentor, and A Year at Clove Brook Farm is dedicated to him.
Wallpaper by Cole & Sons graces the foyer. A gilt tole dog’s head was once owned by Mario Buatta, who was a dear friend of Christopher’s. A framed watercolor of Albert Hadley’s former barn in Maine was painted by Mark Hampton.
Christopher’s collection of 18th and 19th century dog portraits was formerly owned by Mario Buatta. As an homage, he arranged them in a manner similar to how they were displayed in his iconic living room, complete with replicas of Mario’s signature blue bows. The portraits of the left are of Christopher’s ancestors, Hosea and Harriet Goodell.
Christopher collects new and vintage jewel-toned hyacinth forcers. The Woodstock, Aiolos, Fondant, and Aida hyacinth varieties produce a heady fragrance.
Guests congregate on the terrace and in the dovecote garden and wander up to the pool house. A few venture into the chicken coops!
The dovecote and garden in late August, surrounded by dahlias and apple trees. Throughout the year, Christopher releases his doves into the wild. “I’ve always been fascinated by their remarkable homing instincts and their ability to fly back to their nests from wherever they’re released, no training required,” he says. Photo credit: Quentin Bacon

“I hope this book inspires you to try something new around your own home, whether it’s sow in a few fruit and vegetable seeds in a pot or welcoming friends over for a home-cooked dinner,” Christopher says. “Maybe you’ll even try some backyard homesteading with a few chickens. I firmly believe that each of us has a garden within us, and it’s our own job to tend to it, nurture it, and let it flourish.”

A Year at Clove Brook Farm is available for purchase via Amazon where it is a #1 Best Seller. This is such a delightful book, and Christopher simply could not be more gracious and charming. After poring over each page, I am dreaming of country life! To see Clove Brook Farm decorated for Christmas, please click here, and you can follow Christopher on Instagram @christopherspitzmiller.

Photography by Gemma & Andrew Ingalls, unless otherwise noted. Courtesy of Rizzoli.


  1. Oh my gosh Andrea, thank you! I had overlooked this book but clearly I need it! Such beauty takes my breath away! ??

  2. I’ve been to Clove Brook Farm a couple of times and first met Christopher at the C Z Guest auction. He is truly a gentleman and the farm is delightful.

  3. I never would have thought of purple for outdoor furniture, but I absolutely love this combination with the Ikat print pillows.

  4. I LOVE the Wallpaper by Cole & Sons. I looked on their website but can’t find it. What is the name of it and where can I buy it? Thank you!


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