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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


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

Dennis Wedlick does it again.  You’ve seen the “star house” up in Malden Bridge.  Now he’s introduced the prototype of his Hudson Passive Project.  It’s an energy efficient home over in Claverack that relies on design rather than technology to heat and cool it.

And look at the design.

I’m sure the air tight insulation and air filtration systems will excite the efficiency geeks among us, but I’m more interested in the look of the place.  It’s a modern take on a barn, with a stone exterior, timber frame, and pops of burgundy.

The shape of these beams reminds me of the hull of a boat.

Wedlick homes often incorporate dramatic rooflines and/or nontraditional footprints – be it curved walls, a Y-shaped house or a six-pointed star-shaped house (see Abramovic).

I’m loving the walls of pine and glass.  And those Eames dowel leg chairs.

This entry is perfect.

Oh, and it’s for sale for $595,000 if you’re interested in coming up for a real tour.

More pics here and here.

NY Times article here.

Dennis Wedlick website here.  Hudson Passive Project here.

Photos: Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times

Not too far from us lies the town of East Chatham.  Blink and you’ve driven through it.  But drive through it you must to get to and from the Taconic, to pick up your mail, or to grab a bottle of Pinot Noir from East Chatham Wines.

This week, the NYTimes opened the door to filmmaker Courtney Hunt and husband Donald Harwood’s new (old) Greek Revival home in East Chatham, where we find a light-filled sanctuary.  Courtney is a bit of a local celebrity here, having written and directed the independent film and critical darling Frozen River. She earned an Academy award nomination for the original screenplay, and Melissa Leo earned her first of two Academy award nominations for best actress (did you catch her profanity-laced acceptance speech at this year’s awards?  She was great in The Fighter).

Hunt is currently developing a project for Focus Features and contemplating the big event up here in these parts: no, not another awards season.  Mud season.

The light.

The floors.

Understated elegance.

A kitchen suited to both cookie-baking and screenplay-writing.  I recommend doing them simultaneously.

Grass and glass.

All photos here.  Short article here.

Photos by Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

“It takes willpower to do nothing.”  So says Matthew Malin, half of the skincare duo (in business and life) Malin + Goetz.   Last week, the NY Times did a tour of the 1800’s Kinderhook farmhouse Andrew Goetz and Matthew Malin purchased in March.

I like that they don’t “spend their weekends decorating.”  They read, nap, and have dinner at the neighbors’.

I remember accidentally discovering their Chelsea shop years ago.  I think they had just opened.  I bought some moisturizer for me and shaving cream for Anuj.   There was a big, friendly bulldog at the shop door accepting compliments and scratches from everyone who entered.

I love the packaging of their products.   All white with simple, brightly colored lettering.

Btw, I think we share a lawn caretaker with Malin and Goetz.  And yes, the quotes can be jaw dropping.

Read the story here.

See the full tour here.

All photos Nathaniel Brooks for the NYTimes.

This house tour makes two design*sponge posts in one week.  I love this “Madmen in the Country” approach to design in nearby Ghent, and was pretty excited to discover the owner is someone I’ve had bookmarked for over a year now.  You see, Teng, along with a few other crafty folks in the blogosphere, have come up with a way to elevate the rather bland, inelegant IKEA Rast to a piece of chic modern furniture.   So I ripped them off and did my own IKEA hack of the Rast this year.

To the house tour.

Gray walls and white trim?  Check.

Sputnik chandelier?  Been thinking about it.  Now confirmed a brilliant move in the country.

Stacks of books atop old peeling painted furniture?  Check.  Now I just need the kitschy art.  (Though Anuj would never allow it).

Ikea hack bedside table?  Check.  Dwell sheets?  Someday.

Many of the funky-cool items in Eric and partner Joe’s home (including the “Bring It On” print above) were found at Hudson Supermarket, a treasure trove of a store that sells everything from Louis XV chairs upholstered in burlap sacks to $30,000 Buddha statues.  Then there’s the little cafe tucked away in the back serving possibly the best Mexican food in the Hudson Valley.  Visit.

More pics of Eric Teng’s Ghent home here.

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