As we dive head first into March (or is that tentatively tiptoe past the PTSD – it can go either way). I for one, am dreaming of the long awaited day when I can actually escape my house. Sadly, the #HoodCanalCottage is far behind schedule (and not just because it took me a month to find the perfect bathroom faucet. We also had to replace the roof!). For now, I have just have to bide my time daydreaming about bucolic rural destinations. Thankfully, this stunning cottage in upstate New York, restored and redesigned by General Assembly, is helping me do just that.
As a tried and true modern lover and (aspiring) minimalist, I never thought I would be attracted to the cottage chic trend, but I think after nearly a year of lockdown the idea of escapism has really taken hold. It helps that General Assembly dusted this 240+ year-old stone cottage with just the right amount of modern touches and the perfect level of restraint – transforming it into a contemporary retreat that balances both styles quite nicely. You feel like you might be staying in what was once grannie’s cottage, but she doesn’t live here anymore!
Located on 4.5 acres on the New York/Pennsylvania state line, the Callicoon property is the charming vacation home of a young family who share their time between Manhattan and upstate NY. The house was built in 1780 and was updated with a second structure in 1877! And here I thought This Old Victorian was old.
General Assembly was contracted to handle all aspects of this renovation project from interior architecture to interior design, furniture sourcing and styling – with the specific request to provide more bedroom space. By rearranging most of the existing floor plans and moving the stairs that connect the two levels, the studio was able to turn the home into a comfortable 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom respite from Manhattan’s hustle and bustle (and/or lock down).
As it often is the case when working on a historic site, the overall goal for this project was to honor the building’s history and expose its existing structure. General Assembly’s sensitive approach treated the renovation as another chapter in the building’s life. From the get go, the stone building was full of character and gave a lot of great elements to work with – from the thickness of the walls to the materials and the colors needed to balance the heavy stone, as well as the orientation of the natural light across the spaces.
Throughout the completed project, the new elements sit within the original stone shell – a clear line between what is new and old. With its visible smooth vs rough contrast, the original exposed header detail is a great example of how General Assembly made it a point to preserve and highlight what was already existing in the house. The staircase is also intentionally set off the stone wall to create another contrast of straight vs jagged and highlight the historic structure.
As you shift to the cottage’s upstairs living quarters the use of current materials come more into play. But cottage vibes are maintained with the wide plank hardwood floors and simple, clean-lined furnishing maintain the cottage feel.
A sweet bathroom uses natural materials and a floral wallpaper to add the cottage chic touch.
This project is giving me so many ideas to cozy up the Hood Canal Cottage. While I don’t have any 200 year old architectural elements to work with, it’s designs like these that remind that the right layers and perfectly chosen pieces can infuse a deep sense of style and personality into any type of space.
I hope you find as much inspiration in this home as I do! For even more home tours click here.
photography by mathew williams courtesy of general assembly