We miss being in other people's houses. Sure, we miss the lingering dinners, the spangly cocktails, the late-night living room dance parties, the first-awake early coffees with visiting far-flung beloveds...we miss the people, dearly and deeply. But. We also just miss being in other people's houses.

You can learn so much from an effortless afternoon basking in the light through someone else’s west-facing windows, from finding the perfect spot to tuck the found wildflower or turkey feather, a host’s talisman, or from hearing how the music makes its way—just so—the sound escaping around ancient casements to fly up and out like so many sparks from the chimney when you step out to admire the moon. You can learn so much from being in other people’s houses. And we miss it.

Luckily, beautiful genius, flower forager, and writer Lisa Przystup is here for us in our time of need. Her new book "Upstate" is an invitation into the varied and gorgeous interiors of homes dotting the rolling green hills and tucked-away farmsteads in the wilds above and beyond Manhattan—right when we needed it most. 

We spoke with Lisa from her perfectly imperfect 1893 farmhouse in the Catskills—in which nothing is exactly straight, everything is beautifully whitewashed, and where we cannot wait to invite ourselves for a long rambling visit sometime hopefully sooner rather than later—to talk about tuning your clock to the natural world, finding glamour where you can, and how, if you can’t be in someone else’s house, being fully present in your own is pretty damn great too.


Lisa wears the Wilma Pullover and Sierra Beanie





You moved full-time to your home in upstate New York in the early spring of this year. What has it been like to fully experience the changing of the seasons there? Did anything surprise you?

It's crazy how much closer and connected we are to nature up here. I've found myself noticing every small imperceptible shift that comes with the changing seasons. Like knowing summer is here because of the fireflies and grasshoppers or that summer is ending because of the cicadas or that fall is coming because the goldenrod is blooming and the snakes are having babies and the monarchs are everywhere or knowing spring is coming because the birds are back and the peepers are chorusing even though it's still 40 degrees out.


How does your sense of personal style interact with your sense of home-style? Are they distinct or in sync, or are they in conversation?

My personal style is pretty low-key (jeans/t-shirt etc.) so it was never really too far off from my at home style. Though I will say that there was a certain degree of excitement that came with getting dressed for the day to head into work when we lived in the city that is definitely missing from waking up and commuting to my dining room table to work. I'd love to say that I make an effort to change things up but that just wouldn't be true. "Changing things up" when working from home means changing out of sweats to the same pair of jeans I've been wearing for weeks (and sometimes not even that). If I'm feeling ambitious I'll throw on some mascara. That's a really high glamour day though.


As the collective focus-shift of the last year has made us all into homebodies (some reluctantly, some exultant, most somewhere in between), what small shifts can people make to feel more authentically "at home" in their space?

I think it's different for everyone because, well, everyone is different. What makes one person feel "at home" can be wildly different from what makes another feel the same way. The reality is that I feel like we're all our truest most authentic selves when we're at home just by default—no one is watching and we're free to be ourselves in a way we are not when we're out and about. That being said, good smells (candles, incense); soft textures (blankets, pillows); and nice lighting (I am forever on a quest for the right lightbulb) are what make me feel happy at home.




Lisa wears the Sophie Crop



Lisa wears the Wilma Pullover







Home-lust is so real. We love feeling inspired by dream-inhabiting the gorgeous spaces of others... but it's an easy teeter from inspiration to covetousness. How do you reconcile appreciate and aspiration with acquisitiveness?

Oh man. SUCH a good question and one that I grapple with on the regular. Writing a book about homes requires you to visit beautiful space after beautiful space, which can leave one feeling a little covetous. Honestly, I don't know—I'm not sure I have an answer to that. I guess to me the reality is that if you're aspiring to create a home that's inspired by another space you kind of find yourself in the position of looking to acquire things to fulfill that reality. I think the trick is to focus less on replicating a space exactly and instead focus on a mood you want to channel or even something as small as a textile you like. When I see a home that inspires me I can appreciate what they might have created knowing there's no way I'm ever going to afford those designer pieces—instead I take note of the design and lines of the pieces I'm drawn to and I troll Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or yard sales to try to find something that checks the same aesthetic box but that fits in the budget that I have to work with. Patience is key. I've been searching for a Shaker bedframe I can afford for years now.



Follow Lisa on Instagram here. Her new book "Upstate", with photos by Sarah Elliot, can be found here






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