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From Farm To (Beautiful) Tables

and Sofas, Lighting, Mirrors, Accessories, Window Treatments... ... ...

Article by Don Seaman and Karen Arakelian

Photography by Chris Marksbury

Originally published in Wayne Lifestyle

For a history buff, it might come as a surprise that there’s a bit of White House history right here in Wayne. “But we already know about George Washington’s Headquarters at Dey Mansion” is what most of them would say. But this bit of history isn’t a presidential one - it’s a dairy one. Well, it was a dairy one. Now on the site that was once reportedly among the first self-sufficient dairy farms in the nation sits White House Living — one of the area’s premier interior design shops.

At the turn of the last century, New York City’s Sheffield Dairy owned many acres of land on Black Oak Ridge Road. The operation was entirely self-contained, everything from growing the feed for the cows down to pasteurization to delivery. There were even six small houses where the employees lived. It was an early example of a true “farm to table” operation, well before such a term ever existed.

Over time, the original farm ceased operations, and in 1978, Karen Arakelian opened Red Barn Furniture on the site, taking care to preserve the site’s history and integrity while repurposing the buildings for a new direction. 

Unfortunately, in 1988, the barn that housed the cows and the feed silo was lost to a fire, despite the efforts of the volunteer Wayne fire department who worked tirelessly in below-zero weather to save what still stands today. But in the over 100-year-old building that remains, you can still see the original beams and the hooks that kept the cows in place as they were milked. If you're lucky, Karen might even show you the original barn doors that she has stowed away.

Today, the building is the Wayne location for White House Living, a more casual, comfortable sister store to the more elegant White House Luxe in Fairfield. In Wayne, the focus is on lifestyle furnishings.  The renovated space is a unique showroom filled with a host of interior and exterior design ideas and furnishings. Karen admits that while the site’s history is an important influence, it’s not simply a throwback to rustic farm lifestyles — it’s not an antique shop. “I like to say that our space is a visual treat in itself but the best part is the relative treasure trove of unexpected finds you will discover inside.”

But while it’s not an antique store, it’s not just a furniture store, either. Karen has assembled a team of designers who excel in creating rooms you’d love to live in — even if it’s outside. It's an experience that can help guide you to design the best space for your home, inside and out.

“There’s nothing that’s ‘too big’ or ‘too small’ for our team to handle. We do everything from full-home redesigns to assisting with a cocktail table.” Karen says.

And who knows? If you ask nicely, Karen’s team might even be able to help you design your own dairy farm. After all, she probably has the original plans lying around in the back somewhere.

White House Living is at 867 Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne. Visit them online at

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