At Home in the Hudson Valley with Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper

After years of urbane sophistication, living in New York, London and traveling the world, fashion designers Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper felt the calling for more – more time, more space, more nature and more joy. They found it in an 18th century Federal style farmhouse in the Hudson Valley that they have been renovating for the last fifteen years. Please join me and Susanna for a behind the scenes visit to Old Chatham, New York with this inspiring and creative couple.

As busy fashion industry mavens (the first married couple to be inducted into the CFDA ), Martin and Karen had international calendars filled with events and travel, but a visit to rural Columbia County sent them in search of a weekend place. They fell in love with B’ellow (Big + yellow), their moniker for their soon to be home, and two years later began their journey of bringing it sensitively into the 21st century.

home of Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper, via Quintessence-1They were just moving to London at the time for Martin’s new position as vice president and design director of Burberry. There they found additional inspiration in the centuries old architecture and haunts such as the Sir John Soane Museum, a favorite among design cognoscenti. Classic architectural details and gutsy millwork became the foil for fearless color choices and the backdrop for their personal collections.

detail from home of Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper, via Quintessence-1Throughout the renovation, their goal was deceptively simple – to reimagine their historic house into a home that both respected the past, the passage of time and light and their passion for entertaining.

Hudson Valley home of Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper, via Quintessence-1When they moved full time to B’ellow last year, they found themselves redefining their lives and savoring time with friends and family, often dining in their divinely sensuous black lacquered dining room, inspired by their travels to such memorable places as Lapérouse and Hotel Costes in Paris, the Wolesley in London and the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

Dining room in the home of Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper, via Quintessence-1Inveterate hosts, Martin and Karen had always used place cards to honor their guests and seat them effortlessly but finding interesting examples that met with their exacting design standards proved challenging and thus The Punctilious Mr. P’s Place Card Co. was born.

The Punctilious Mr. P's place cards via Quintessence-1

Incorporating imagery that they carefully curate, the cards are beautifully printed on cotton rag paper, with the option of complimentary digital calligraphy of guest names on the reverse. And while the company began with place cards, it has expanded to other printed products such as menu cards, buffet tags, calling cards and personalized note cards (my elegant Birds of India below). They can even send a single personalized note to your recipient of choice – so very handy for time sensitive notes or thank you’s, those with less than admirable penmanship, or who are traveling.

The Punctilious Mr. P's note cardsAnd in need of a stylish yet thoughtful hostess gift? There are Mr. P’s organic wellness candles, made with soy wax and scented with essential oils

Mr. P's organic candle in the Hudson Valley home of Martin and Karen Cooper via Quintessenceor their jams, lemon curd or chutney, handmade with all natural ingredients in small batches in the Hudson Valley. I have a feeling that this is just the beginning for Mr. P as Martin and Karen create more products that reflect their thoughtful country life and discriminating style.

The Punctilious Mr. P jam made in the Hudson Valley via Quintessenceall photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

So thank you Karen, Martin and Pax for the most delightful day and for bringing a little more joy into everyone’s homes!

17 thoughts on “At Home in the Hudson Valley with Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper

  1. This is a truly a wonderful home. The details are exquisite. The set dining table is beautiful. One would feel very special as a guest here. The place cards and stationary are just lovely. Thank you for letting us tour this amazing home.

  2. Fabulous home and really nice to hear them address bringing more joy to each other. Their paper items are wonderful too!

  3. I feel myself trending to minimalism until I watch a video like this where the beauty is in all of those wonderful decorative details! Also love how the formal is balanced – with the postcards tucked around the over mantel mirror. Just love all.

  4. Nothing does more to energize a gloomy rainy Monday than the vibrant colors and drama showcased in this stunning home. Thank you for bringing us joy!

  5. Speaking of joy, this intimate tour was joy personified!
    I adore this couple and their exquisite eye that spills into their products. New Years eve 2020, at my home, sparked engaging conversation with their place cards.

    Debra Phillips

  6. Black lacquer in the Hudson Valley? How delicious is this “farmhouse!”
    In addition to their divinely named new company, The Punctilious Mr. P’s Place Card Company.
    I’ll enjoy pretending that 2020 is behind us and THIS is a taste of the New Year to come.
    Thank you, Susanna and Stacey, for this treat. Merry, Merry, xB

    I THOUGHT when the camera started to roll that it MIGHT BE THEM!!!
    Sending to my BUDDY in LONDON who goes by PERIOD PORTRAITS on INSTAGRAM.

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