Eileen Fisher's home photo by Gentl & Hyers

Photo credit: Gentl & Hyers

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Fisher was adamant about having all the rooms open and compatible with one another. "I love nature, the river, sunsets, the Shakers—nothing stuffy or serious," she says.

The central meeting place is the large kitchen, which is sandwiched between the glass-enclosed dining room and the more formal living room. Fisher is pleased when visitors feel immediately comfortable and gather around the long dining table (which was inspired by a traditional quilting table), perch at the kitchen counter...