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Friday, April 13, 2012

Farm 18, Sold

It wasn't that long ago that I rescued Kerry and Jamie from the mistake of their lives - when they were just about to buy a huge old house with lots of charm. As I educated them on the benefits of a perfect house, they were able to put away the calculator they were using to price out the 50 storm windows for the single pane glass and the cost of a new paint job on a monster old house like the one that was flirting with them.

Look, I unabashedly believe that old homes are cool, old homes have charms (I typically choose them for myself), but for the most part, my customers (and many who should be) have no business buying an old fixer upper. They don't have the time, the financial resources, or the requisite 'stress capacity' to deal with it. Nor do they have the expertise or wherewithal to tackle the unknown. In a way, it's foolish - these are busy city people, half who never owned a home and hence have no idea the effort a well-functioning home demands, let alone one that is in dire and constant need of tender loving care. Until we started offering our perfectly charming country houses the only choice in the marketplace was to 'fall for the wrong guy', fall for the romance of this old house - doubly dangerous in its heyday cause their wasn't a Catskill Farms offering a compelling alternative to consider.

Introducing, Farm 18. 3 bedrooms, 8 acres, lake rights, 2 bathrooms, full basement, outdoor shower, screened porch, wood burning fireplace, in-wall speakers throughout (including independent volume controls in the bathrooms for rock out shower sessions - R.O.S.S.), security systems, low heat alarms, ton of wrap-around porches, and the man-shed. And I'm probably forgetting another 1/2 of what are in these uber-efficient, ultra cool country retreats.

Our operating mantras - easy soft landings, drama-less construction processes, stamping your house with your impulses and ideas and inspirations and aspirations. We used to aim a lot higher than our abilities, but now we overshoot our high expectations all the time.

Especially on our Man Sheds. Our writing shacks. Our drunk tanks. Our pottery barns.

We like our cross buck 9 light barn doors for sure.

Enter forthwith, and take a look at the entire first floor, all 850 sq ft of glory where the living room dining room and kitchen merge effortlessly, but all retaining their personal space to call their own, so there is no unnecessary squabbling and identity-crises.

Lucas immediately went in for the built in chest right inside the front door. I mean, he went right for it - figured out it was there, figured out how to lift the lid and figured out how to get in. He didn't quite figure on how to get out when he shut the lid and I sat on it.

Listening to George Jones 16 greatest hits, after a few drinks and burgers with Bryan over at Cottage 34.

Standing in the dining room, with the screened porch to the right and the kitchen to the fore. We used a stained board and batten wainscoting treatment. Nice architectural radiator to the left.

I think most people can imagine themselves succeeding in this kitchen. I think it lends itself to some tawdry Hollywood-style sex scene. But seriously, this place is sharp and you got to hand it to James - the lines are symmetrical and aligned.

The woodburning fireplace with hand hewn beam.

Interesting light/chandelier in the dining room.

and the master bedroom is hot with a similar board and batten wainscotting, beams wrapped in salvaged wood and a nice soft color to soothe the frayed city edges.

Couple cool elements like this horizontal rail treatment connecting old barn beams...

And some built in bookshelves compliment the wood burning fireplace...

and another shot of the various stained hues of board and batten wainscoting...

And then the hot baths that speak for themselves - where the interior designers of Farm 18 took some risks that paid off handsomely... Black gloss walls, white tile, black grout and white toilets and sinks.

Going down the stairs, with natural light coming in from both directions...

And the first floor full bath with some amateur photo shop accenting the black on white.

And then Lucas thought is was high time to hit the road. I mean, we had a big day planned. We had to go visit the Morris girls at Farm 16, or the Morreale kids up the street at Cottage 36, or maybe we need to go get some pancakes at the Whistle Stop in Narrowsburg.

You know, the idea we aspired to with a glimpse of market insight back in 2003 - that there was a market for a wide variety of shapes and sizes of good looking country homes that work - that simple insight and a lot of single-mindedness and hard work, that simple insight is as true then as it is today.

Homes that work, homes that look good, houses that achieve that crowning glory of being a home. That's what we do - we build homes.

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