2.20.13 Home Rooms

Snowy house 790 xxx
photos by george billard
A bit more about our little homestead. We've put in a lot of work over the last 7 years, transforming a place that was decidedly ramshackle, with questionable bones, into our own private paradise. I found this cottage just at the time I met G, so a major undertaking I had thought would be a solo project turned out to be a challenge built for two. (Still thanking my lucky stars!) Why not buy something new and pristine, you ask? Well, money, for one thing. Plus I was looking for something in this area in order to be close to a good friend (who wound up selling his place, but that's another story) and this was well-situated and truly the best of the bunch I saw. And I just envisioned the possibilities, I guess. Remember, at the time I was single and it was intended to be a weekend place, so I didn't think I needed lots of space. But when Prince Charming entered, he immediately financed the construction of our pride and joy: the screened-in porch.
Porch 790 xxx
inside out
At 800-square-feet, it practically doubles the size of our home and makes entertaining on a larger scale possible for about half the year. A local guy built it to our specifications with reclaimed barn wood, cement brick floors and built-in banquettes (Economy Foam made the weatherproof cushions). The green tie-dyed cashmere hammock that hangs in the corner was bought at a deep discount from Saks Fifth Avenue. The metal chairs—now rusting to rather pleasing effect—are from the Sundance catalogue. The bronze hurricane lamps are from Aero. We found the overhead perforated metal lantern on a trip to Morocco and shipped it back. At night it casts magical patterns on the screens and ceiling.
Porch2 790 xxx
rock on
One exceptional feature of the screened-in porch is the rock—washed out a bit in this photo because of the direct sunlight. Our local terrain was formed by glaciers which left incredible rock formations and very, very rocky soil. Planting anything is a real workout and digging this monster up would have been prohibitive, so we decided to just work around it. Visitors love it; especially kids. The Adirondack chairs were made locally and the big round leather ottoman is also from our trip to Morocco.
Porch3 790 xxx
zen palace
No matter how hot it gets, the porch stays cool. There is storage under the banquettes where we keep bottled drinks all summer long. I also had two tall pantries added out here where I store jars, secondary kitchen accessories and some bulk food items. Doors open to the patio where the grill lives and into the back garden. In winter, the porch is where we leave our muddy boots and suit up for snowshoeing.
Kitchen nook 790 xxx
eat in
I don't have a good photo of the actual kitchen (will try to get that together for a separate post), but this is the little nook right off it where we frequently eat and hang out. Because the house is so small, I often rearrange the furniture, which is quite enjoyable for me. Right now, the dining table (which seats 8 but is very narrow) is in the main room and a little brown leather sofa is against the big window here. I really adore this arrangement, and I often sit and work here instead of in my office.
Cabinet 790 xxx
cabinet of curiosities
Against the other wall that you can't see in this nook is a beautiful glassfront cabinet, an antique from India that holds the bar as well as my beloved collection of copper cookware.
Bedroom 790 xxx
inner sanctum
The bedroom is just the bed (linen sheets, of course) and a couple of bureaus. And a huge flat-screen TV that I finally broke down and allowed. I keep it covered with a beautiful textile when not in use. (I pretend to hate it, but it's actually fabulous—almost like being at the drive-in!) The hanging lamp in the corner is a 60s piece from my childhood home.
Ganeshes 790 xxx
elephant walk
We also hung a quirky arrangement of this series of whimsical Ganesh paintings we found on our honeymoon in India. The elephant-headed deity is widely revered as the Remover of All Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.
Bureau 790 xxx
the dresser
As I believe I have mentioned, I don't like clutter, yet my home is filled with beautiful objects that are both functional and imbued with meaning. The two shagreen boxes and beaded Indonesian one on my mid-century dresser hold jewelry. The work of art on the left is a drawing by Michael Capotosto. The straw hat is Japanese, purchased at Barneys. The L hook is from Anthropologie.
Barn   summer 790 xxx
summer quarters
Another way our world expands a bit in the warm weather is with the little barn we converted into summer sleeping quarters. It's very inviting and always gets cool enough at night to need a duvet along with a mosquito net!
Barn1 790 xxx
rustic simplicity
It looks quite pristine here, but now it's gotten a bit cluttered up with free weights and a pull-up contraption. Can't say the gym idea has really caught on, especially in 10-degree weather. I also envisioned that I would be coming out here to write, but that hasn't happened much either. It's great for sleeping though!

I will take some pictures of my little office, as well as the actual kitchen, and finish the home tour soon...


So much fun seeing this! Thanks, t
Pettus, Theodore on February 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm —
Very satisfying to see all the lovely details! Thank you, Laura.
judy on February 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm —
it's perfect!
julie on February 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm —
How nice to see the transformation of the cottage. Everything is what I remembered, more added for comfort. I particularly enjoy seeing the changes made since I last walked through and had some of the delicious meals you and George create.
Vivian on February 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm —
You know how much I love interiors! It is looking fantastic, both inside and out. Cannot wait to visit you up there one day...
tanya on February 21, 2013 at 7:36 am —
Laura, Have the chipmonks and red squirrels left your screens alone? I have friends with a screen porch .....
Karen on February 21, 2013 at 8:02 am —
The chipmunks and squirrels have not disturbed the screens - but perhaps that's because we keep them well distracted with bird seed...or maybe the cat has something to do with it? We did have a bat in there one night...
laura on February 21, 2013 at 8:21 am —
the last few words of my reply disappeared! I meant to say their aluminum screens have holes chewed in them. Something I never knew chippies or squirrels did (they are well fed).. glad yours are intact! (lovely room)
Karen on February 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm —
love it--so beautiful and serene
nikki on February 21, 2013 at 11:40 am —
Laura, it is so YOU in every way... I remember when you purchased your cottage. Glad to see the transformation of your home sweet home. The porch is outstanding; a real complement to the rest of the house!
Jan on February 27, 2013 at 11:15 am —
Where the woodbine twineth, it twines beautifully for thee.
Roy on March 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm —