This weekend, Jaithan and I were out and about in upstate New York taking in a bit of fall, doing some antiquing and, yes, starting the search for a modest house in the country. As much as we both love our little apartment in the city—check it out in this month's Domino—we'd definitely like more space to grow and expand our work. In just over three months of doing the blog, the response has been truly amazing! With added space, a garden, and perhaps even a studio, there could be so many more decorating opportunities to share, as well as restoration projects I think people would really enjoy. So given the times we live in, I know it's not going to be such a quick thing to find a house, especially because neither of us likes to settle! I hope you'll join us in the search.
The first house we saw was an 1869 Victorian with a beautiful fish scale roof. I loved its curb appeal—very stately and grand. The garden was in horrible shape, so the plantings would definitely need to be redone. I loved the double doors, but the windows aren't actually stained glass. At some point, they were painted on the inside and would definitely have to be scraped. I'd sand the whole house too, then repaint it white again with gray trim and black doors.
As soon as I walked in the house, I saw this incredibly beautiful staircase. That carpeting I'd rip out so fast.
Loved the attention to detail on the balusters. You can't even get that kind of craftsmanship these days!
Check out the sweeping curves leading from the second to the third floors. It reminds me of a New York City townhouse.
The ceilings were super high-—twelve feet, I think—and there were four fireplaces, all of them marble. Love the detail on the top too; it's almost looks like a crest.
Check out the beautiful, almost Celtic knot, inlaid floor.
I was doing a quick spin around the property and fell in love with this little rounded shutter window. This was on the staircase leading to the second floor.
And check this out too! It's the top of a large wrought iron urn buried in the ground. Talk about a restoration project! All in all, we thought this house was very pretty but a bit on the big side.
As soon as we pulled up to the second one, my jaw nearly dropped, I thought it was so beautiful. It's definitely the look I love—1920s classic colonial. This one was situated oddly on the lot, though. In the 40s, the house had been turned sideways and part of the property sold off.
When we walked in, the living room had a nice, simple fireplace, but the ceilings were a bit low.
The walls had pretty moldings and the floors were all covered in carpet. I'd definitely tear it out and refinish the hardwood underneath.
Here in the dining room, there was a pair of charming built-ins, perfect for storing china.
The staircase in this house was simple with pretty moldings and baseboards throughout.
Down in the basement, there was a beautiful, old soapstone sink I'd definitely restore and use in a modern laundry room.
Leaving the house, I noticed the monogram on the chimney. How chic is that? Though I loved the overall look of this one from the outside, it was situated oddly and the circulation made it feel cramped. On to the third and final one for the day!
From the curb, both Jaithan and I thought this colonial cottage had a lot of charm. Love the porch out front. I'd redo thole whole exterior in cedar shingles, then paint the trim a pretty white.
The Corinthian columns I thought were beautiful. They remind me of the candlesticks I found for my audition video.
When I first walked in, I knew this house had been well taken care of. I thought the staircase was quite pretty, and I loved all the different heights. The wood paneling had probably been put up in the 50s. That would come down right away!
Here's the view into the living room. It's a great size, and I love the symmetry, but talk about a before and after! I'd take down the curtains, tear up the carpet and give it a fresh coat of paint. Can't you just see a pair of English camelback sofas covered in nubby linen, a modern coffee table and a gorgeous mirror over the fireplace? In the bookscases, I'd do all linen-bound books with beautiful collections of mercury glass. I might even do a 1920s cystal chandelier to give the room some glamor. How pretty is that?
Here's the view looking back into the foyer. Check out the great architectural details! I always find the woodwork in these old homes so amazing.
The doors in this house were very pretty as well. All of them were hardwood with original glass knobs. Loved the wavy privacy glass on this bathroom door.
The tile inside was in great condition. The border around the mosaic floor was white and a beautiful jadeite green. This would be going nowhere!
The subway tiles were in great condition too and the built-in medicine cabinet I thought was amazing. Check out the molding around it! That I'd just strip and repaint.
Down in the basement was definitely the showstopper. It's the original stove of the house!
Inside, I also found the original knobs and in the broiler…
it even had the stove's original manual! This piece I'd definitely have fixed up and put right back in the kitchen upstairs.
And finally, here's Jaithan looking out at the backyard of the house which we both thought was quite pretty. Check out the little covered balcony off one of the bedrooms!
And so, we have our favorite from the weekend. What about you? And be sure to check back this week for a full report on all the great thrifting and antiquing we did along the way!