Tara created another beautiful Christmas vignette for West Elm this past week, and they featured it on their blog a couple days ago. Check out the full post here!
Archives for 2015
If you’re reading this, you clearly own a computer or a smart phone. So you’ve probably already seen these beautiful photos of North Korean interiors that look like Wes Anderson could have designed them (and that look like perfect computer renderings). But just in case you missed them, check them all out!
And while you’re at it, check out this cafe that Wes Anderson actually did design earlier this year:
Every time I write one of these real estate features, I end up convincing myself we should buy the house I’m writing about and then I have trouble clicking the “Publish” button. Every time. This house was actually going to be the first ever featured, but I couldn’t bring myself to publish the post. Then the seller pulled the listing! Not because it sold, from what I can tell. They just pulled it. Who knows why. Maybe for the winter?
I’m seriously having second thoughts about posting it now. What if the seller changes their mind again? What if they can be convinced to sell? What if they’re just waiting until the week after the Super Bowl, or whenever they say is the best time of year to list your house for sale.
Oh well. It’s probably not meant for us. But it is meant for someone who wants 45 private lake-front acres near Woodstock with a beautiful historic house on it. I mean, just check out that dark facade, the perfect untouched kitchen, the wallpapers, the views! All for under $400k. I’m falling back in love.
Check us out today on Front + Main, the West Elm blog! It’s such an honor to be featured. A million thanks to Max, who’s the absolute best person to work with and best person in general.
You may not have realized, but you’re also getting yourself a little sneak peek into the job we’re currently working on! This is a small loft bedroom just above the kitchen, with its own staircase. When we started, it was painted white and medium gray with small old rafters and rafter ties exposed and unpainted (nice in theory but disjointed in reality); there were some low built-in cabinets along the wall to the left of where the bed is now, but the doors all stuck; the bed was flipped 180 degrees, with its head against the banister and its foot facing the beadboard-clad chimney with nothing on either side.
We took that strange layout and did some subtle tweaking so the room would look and function way better.
On either side of the chimney, we added matching built-ins to provide some extra storage and the sense of an extended headboard, since anything wider than a twin bed would have been wider than the chimney. Then we flipped the bed around, lowered it a few inches, made those cabinet doors work without sticking, and sprayed everything but the floor a nice super-light gray. Tara added the finishing touches courtesy of West Elm and made it look gorgeous. Now if we can just get a tree up there, we won’t want to leave till after Christmas!
We still haven’t gotten any snow yet in Old Chatham, where we’re currently working, but this cabin for sale in Roscoe looks like it’s already halfway to winter wonderland! What more do you need than a little board-and-batten and live-edge-wood-sided cabin in the middle of nowhere with a wood stove roaring inside? What more could you even expect for $99,000? What if you could get it for even less?!
Sure, I’d never heard of Roscoe. It is pretty far west. But it’s still within three hours from NYC. And only $99,000 for 52 acres!
Sometimes you walk into a space and are instantly able to see past the peeling paint and linoleum floors to the potential gorgeous future-room lying ahead. And sometimes, you walk into a bathroom that looks like this and you kind of want to cry.
Thank god for those ceilings, but can we take a moment to talk about the five (six?) different types of tile used in here? Actually, you’re right, let’s not. Just the thought is giving me flashbacks to the days of demo it took to get all that tile out of there. Percy was the one ripping it off the wall, but I did my fair share of lugging it out to the garage, and I can tell you that stuff was as heavy as it was hideous.
Way too many hours, three or four pizzas, a crazy craigslist delivery, a tiling nightmare, and one cracked vintage mirror (RIP) later…
Miracles do happen.
Thinking back, I have no idea how we did as much as we did in three weeks. Especially in London, where building materials go by different names and where we once spent eight hours driving around the city to make two pickups. Two.
But we did it! This two bedroom flat had decent bones and nice looking floors when we arrived, but that was about all. Lots of chunky black frames hung on the walls, and furniture pieces in bright greens, bright pinks, and rich purples filled most of the rooms. Unfortunately, we don’t have perfect before and after pairs. But we don’t have many photos at all, so you’ll get the idea!
Here are two opposite walls in the living room:
And the two main sections of the kitchen:
Clearly everything had to go! Tara flitted all over London, Hastings, Brighton, and Rye looking for cool vintage furniture, while I got to work demoing the mantle, kitchen shelves, and kitchen island (not pictured, but imagine a big chunky imposition); opening up a doorway; plastering like crazy; and then building some pieces: leaves for the existing kitchen table which I cut narrower, a console table for the living room, and a new open kitchen island made from amazing old cheese boards and half the salvaged marble from the old island, with the other half topping the console table.
Whew, that paragraph was as rambling and chaotic as this three-week job felt. Your reward for getting through it: after photos!
First, the same two opposite sides of the living room. Everything you see we either found at an antique shop or built! You can catch a glimpse of the console table in the second photo.
And now the kitchen, with the pink plaster we did and will love forever and ever:
Now one with the new faucet, which didn’t arrive until after we’d flown back home:
A detail of the split-top of the new island we built, half marble and half cheese board:
This was a tough one. Not just that we had to start on the North Fork of Long Island in January, getting slammed by snowstorm after snowstorm. Not just that we had to fight against a charmless beast built only about twelve years ago. But also that we must have worked as much in the last month and a half as we did in the first four months of the job. At least the house turned out beautifully!
Head on over to our projects page for more photos. And stay tuned for another blog post with even more photos, before and afters, less complaints and more details!
I’m hesitant about even posting this one. I know someone will snatch it up and then Tara and I will realize we made a huge mistake not buying it when we had the chance. So at least let us come over once in a while for dinner?
The address is 621 Eichybush Rd, Kinderhook NY, and it’s already surprisingly cool looking for a house ’round these parts at this price point. Especially a house with a nice looking outbuilding on three crisp acres. Plus you’re right near historic Kinderhook and only twenty minutes from Hudson.
Looking to buy an awesome place upstate? So are we! But we’re so picky and obsessive that we end up spending countless hours on Zillow with nothing to show for it except dozens of saved listings. We wish we had enough money to buy them all, but we don’t. That’s why we’ve decided to start featuring some of the amazing properties we find but aren’t quite ready or willing to buy for ourselves.
This first one speaks for itself: 66 County Route 25a, Stuyvesant NY. Also known as five acres with two houses perched atop beautiful Stuyvesant Falls!
The houses and grounds definitely need work, but the location can’t be beat. So buy it, love it, fix it up and make us proud. Then have us over for a dinner party!
If you think you might be interested in this place–or honestly, in any place upstate–get in touch with Linnea at Country Life Real Estate. She’s the best.