Greetings from India!  It’s been over six months since I last posted but I’ve been thinking about this little ole blog a ton.  We’re currently in Maharashtra finalizing the adoption of our son Bodhi, and should be home in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, I wanted to share this Elle Decor feature on J.Crew head menswear designer Frank Muytjens, who lives in a lovely 600 square-foot home in nearby Hillsdale, NY.  Though our family has just grown from 2 people to 3, we’ve been thinking about downsizing, and this house makes a good case for it.

Concrete counters: yes.

I love this living room.  It’s casual yet chic, vintage yet modern – kind of like J.Crew.

The other end of the living room.

More great styling in the bedroom. Check out the National Geographics under the fan.  My Nana recently offered us several boxes of old Nat. Geos. and Anuj said no.  Oh well.  Frank and I do have one thing in common: Ben Moore’s Edgecomb Gray, which covers his bedroom walls and just about ALL of ours.

The Elle Decor article with more images can be found here, and a brief J.Crew interview with Muytjens can be found here.

Photos: William Waldron for Elle Decor

You may be wondering where we’ve been for the past few months.  The “What’s Doing” sidebar hasn’t been updated since December.  I do know that and I’m sorry.  You see, we haven’t been upstate very much since the holidays.  We’ve been in the city – busily preparing for our new addition.

Yes, folks, Anuj and I are soon to become a family of three.  We are adopting a little boy from India.  I won’t say too much more because there are still many unknowns, but I can tell you that we’re thrilled, and that we hope he’ll be home by the summertime.  I’m dreaming of taking to him to the beach, to Tanglewood, to the farmer’s market…of showing him everything we love about our life upstate and helping him form his own special attachment to the area.

So you’ll forgive me if my mind isn’t currently here with the blog – it’s completely consumed with pediatricians and cribs and Parenting 101 books.  Wish us luck!

Young Brooklynites Matt and Esther Dockery do right by their 1815 Stuyvesant farmhouse in this recently completed reno.  Purchased in 2006, Matt and Esther’s dream of updating and opening up the space got derailed by the recession.  There was a period of 18 months where the house, stripped down to its core, sat unused because they couldn’t afford to heat it.

But they were not deterred; through friends, resourcefulness and a little patience, they held on to the property and eventually completed the renovation.  I think it was worth the wait.

To see before pictures read more about the renovation, click here.

Photo via NBO4 and

We’re here, just busy with, you know, life stuff.

We’re also in the middle of a mouse infestation.  In November and December, we came home a few Friday nights to a house full of mouse poop and hidden piles of lentils, nuts and other edible items.  They’re eating.  They’re nesting.  They’re running wild throughout our house and all over our furniture.  On our bed.  In our pantry.  There isn’t a room they haven’t touched.  At night, they scramble through the walls.

Apparently we’re not alone.  The guy we called to come help ‘remediate’ (we did trap five ourselves, but soon realized the scope of the situation was way beyond us) said this is the worst fall/early winter he and his colleagues have seen in 40 years.  40 years!  I think this piece from the NYTimes on the dearth of acorns probably has something to do with it.

We haven’t been up in the last two weeks to see how it’s going, but our guy told us that after 8 days of traps (he checks them daily), he’d got 27 mice.


These aren’t little brown field mice, either.  They’re good-sized, whitish/gray suckers.  The numbers have now decreased to only 1 every few days so we think it may be under control.  He’s put foam and steel wool in holes in the walls – we’ll see whether that keeps them from returning.

Anyone else being outnumbered by mice this year?

Enjoy your turkey!

Here’s a project I tackled this summer.

Turning a pair of these drab, stained chairs:

Into these shiny happy ones:

They’re not quite done – the back cushions need to be attached to the chair so they appear to float, rather than just sitting on the seat cushions – but I’m happy.

I made a misstep when I let the guy at the paint store convince me to try this ‘it’s not oil but it acts like oil’ product that was both the wrong color and finish.  So the project took longer than I expected.  I found a new paint guy and ended up with an oil-based, glossy black paint from Ben Moore.  While I love working with oil, I hate cleaning it up.  Also: there’s no poly or wax on top.  A lot of the blogs I read recommend it.  Maybe that’s because the blogs I read tend to use water-based paints and they chip easier.  I don’t know.

The fabric is Robert Allen, found at

What’s Doing in Columbia/Berkshire County

Find out what's going on in Columbia and Berkshire county:

Columbia county: CoCo To Do

Berkshire county: Rogovoy Report