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Steady Gait



As their family nest, a grand old Victorian in Yorktown, began to empty, Kip and Julie Testwuide took an anniversary trip to Vermont where Kip surprised his wife with a visit to an Icelandic horse farm. He knew that Julie was an equine fan. In fact, they’d shared a quarter horse as newlyweds, and with their three children grown and moving on, he thought she might enjoy getting back in the saddle.

 As fate would have it, they both fell in love with Icelandics. The horses, sometimes erroneously referred to as ponies due to their relatively small size, are prized for their playful nature and steady tolt, so the Testwuides quickly determined that they would be the perfect choice for the couple’s return to riding. With the help of Bedford’s Nicki Esdorn of High Country Icelandics, they chose Fidla, a 13-year-old mare and brought her home to board at a Katonah stable. As Julie worked with Nicki on training Fidla, she found she loved riding on the local lanes, and soon the couple began looking for a horse property with direct access.

Not long after, a 1960s ranch house on the Bedford Riding Lanes became available. Set on nearly 11 acres alongside the Beaver Dam River, the house needed some updating and Julie’s creative touch, but thankfully, Fidla’s facilities were in move-in condition. The Testwuides hired architect David Graham to help them design a country lodge. “Kip works long hours in New York and loves to come home to the country where he can ride, fish, and watch birds,” explains Julie. “After many years vacationing in the Adirondacks, we have come to love the lodge style of architecture, so we asked David to help us create a home that would blend that rusticity with Bedford elegance.”

The first priority was to open up the house to the views of the property. “I wanted as many windows facing the horses, barn, and river as possible,” Julie continues. “We also wanted the walls to be neutral, so that the windows could simply frame the views.” While Graham began sketching, Julie, a salvager since her teenage years in Wisconsin, started scouring eBay and favorite salvage shops, like Amaghini Architectural and United House Wrecking, for doors, panels, moldings, and other architectural details to customize the interior.

A long-time fan of covered porches, Julie is developing a book of photographs that depict how people use and what they keep on those quintessentially American outdoor spaces. Not surprisingly, she was sure to include a few on the wish list she gave to David Graham, one of which now charmingly shelters the main entrance of the transformed two-story lodge. Inside, the foyer leads to Kip’s library and the kids’ bedroom hallway on the right.

Straight ahead is the living room overlooking the river. A vintage bar, salvaged from a shuttered Rhinebeck watering hole, stands ready to serve guests who love to settle in front of the stone fireplace. Opting to convert the dining room into a billiards room, the Testwuides reconfigured the old kitchen space to include a spacious fireside dining area.

When they’re not outside, Julie and Kip can often be found in the kitchen, where they both love to cook. She is a grill master, while he has perfected several wild fowl and game dishes. Just as there are at least a dozen different door styles in the house, the kitchen reflects Julie’s eclectic style, too, with sinks sourced from Architectural Antiques Exchange in Philadelphia, as well as appliance panels she re-fabricated from old furniture she found on eBay.

A staircase leads from the kitchen to a landing where a pair of vintage saloon doors swing open to Julie’s studio. A professional photographer, she left the corporate world years ago to work as a fine artist and hasn’t looked back. Her evocative work is displayed in the hallways and stairways with Adirondack and porch images featured most prominently. Sold in galleries and through juliearts.com, her work can be found in hotels, offices, and private collections throughout the country.

 A few steps beyond the studio is the master suite. A tiny sitting area is tucked into a gable along the arched hallway that leads to the bedroom, and dozens of framed family photos line the walls and tables. Chandeliers, imported carpets, mounted antlers, and antique furnishings have been artfully combined to create a delightfully unique escape. Julie’s most endearing touch is the private hideaway she created by custom fitting a second gable with the elements of an antique bed. The perfect cocoon for an afternoon nap, the nook can be closed off by simply pulling the drapes.

The transition to being horse farm owners has been swift and blissful for the Testwuides, although the learning curve has been steep. In fact, it has gone so well, that they recently acquired Filly, a new Icelandic sister for Fidla. “We could have continued to live in Yorktown and boarded the horses elsewhere, but we really wanted the whole lifestyle of living with the horses,” says Julie, who looks forward to her evening rides with Kip after dinner. “And, I love that I can share this passion I have with other women my age.  How wonderful to be able to send out an email to friends saying ‘meet me at my barn at 10:30,” and we’ll ride for an hour and then come back here for lunch’.”

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May 2018

Leaders: Photographer-naturalist Paula Sharp and Audubon expert Ryan MacLean. Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, NY, is designated an Important Bird Area with 180 recorded species of...

Cost: Parking fee $6 per vehicle

Where:
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
125 Phelps Way
Pleasantville, CT  10570
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Cynthia Ehlinger
Website »

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With tons of rides including Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Zero Gravity, Tornado, Super Slide, Rip Cord, plus Carnival Games and Food and so much more, the 43nd annual St. Patrick's Parish...

Where:
St. Patrick's Parish
Bedford, CT


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The Bruce Museum’s 33rd Annual Outdoor Crafts Festival runs rain or shine from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on the grounds of the Museum. Over 70 artisans, many new to the show, gather to share their...

Cost: $10 per person; Museum members and children under 5 free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
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Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Stamford EMS is offering a safety training class for those planning to become summer camp counselors and lifeguards. The skills learned in this course will teach participants to recognize cardiac...

Cost: $60.00

Where:
Stamford EMS
684 Long Ridge Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Stamford EMS
Telephone: 203-252-2193
Contact Name: Jessica Anderson
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

A community-based, family-oriented event with dance performances, professional dance instruction, bands, DJs, and social dancing for youths and adults.​ We are thrilled to continue our...

Where:
Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
1 First Stamford Place
Stamford, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

A community-based, family-oriented event with dance performances, professional dance instruction, bands, DJs, and social dancing for youths and adults.​ We are thrilled to continue our...

Where:
Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
1 First Stamford Place
Stamford, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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