Interiorssneak peeks

A Modern Family Farmhouse in New York State

by Amy Azzarito

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Dana McClure and her husband Chris Lanier split their time between two places – a loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a small farm in Olivebridge, New York. Today, we’re peeking into their home in Olivebridge. Like many creative couples, Dana and Chris wear many hats. Dana is a visual artist with a focus on printmaking, collage and textiles. She freelances for a range of clients as a graphic designer and Chris is a chef, grower and food stylist. With the birth of their son just seven months ago, the couple decided to try to simplify their life and leave more room for doing the things they love the most. To that end, Dana just ended her 10-year stint teaching at Parsons so that the couple could embark on their first joint venture – Ravenwood. They’ve started by hosting a series of dinner parties in Brooklyn and in Upstate New York that showcase their homegrown and homemade products. Before settling into this Olivebridge farm, the couple had spent years renting cabins in the Woodstock/Phoenicia area. Their weekend visits turned into full season visits and soon they were looking at real estate “just for fun.” After a few years of leisurely looking, they honed in on what they were really after – something within two hours of the city and a house that didn’t need too much work. When they found a house on a 4-acre cow pasture down a windy road, they began turning their dream of having a small produce farm into a reality. Today, they grow food on about one acre of land and raise chickens and turkeys, and it’s just the beginning! –Amy

Photography by  Bob Martus

Image above: “Our 10-year-old frenchie Mackenzie has claimed every couch we’ve ever had to be her own,” says Dana. “We were hoping once we moved upstate she’d be basking out in the sun and coming along on hikes in the woods. But a city dog at heart, this is where she prefers to be. Our living room is probably where we spend the most time as it’s attached to our open kitchen where we entertain often. The artwork on the walls is a mixture of my own monoprints and collages with some beautiful work by my friend and colleague Simona Prives. Until we can get a fancy couch one day, I try to dress up our nondescript one with a rotation of textiles and my own hand-printed pillows to keep the room changing from season to season. This space gets a ton of light with south-facing windows that stretch from floor to ceiling, so it’s the room most filled with plants – a fiddle leaf fig, a ‘white Christmas’ hosta and a ficus tree. Art, design and cookbooks are usually piled high on our coffee table and end table (both street salvaged in Brooklyn). The Eames lounge chair was a much anticipated gift to my husband for his 40th.”

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Image above: “The open shelving system in our dining space is something I sketched out for Chris and he figured out how to build it. This process is sort of how most projects get done in our space. I’m a strategic thinker who likes to pre-visualize everything to a fault and Chris is more of a ‘let’s get to work and start making’ kind of person. After many years in restaurants and collecting props for photo shoots, we’ve gathered a lot of ‘stuff’ that gets used pretty regularly so we thought it best to keep everything accessible. (Now that we have a little one, we may need to rethink those bottom two shelves). Our dining table was bought as a discounted display table in a Cobble Hill boutique years ago. We custom-made the benches to fit.”

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See more of this Olivebridge, NY home after the jump!

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Image above: “When we first moved into this house (built in 1977), we agreed that the first thing that had to go was the wall dividing the kitchen and living space. It took us three years before knocking it down, but what a difference it made! We built a kitchen island where the wall used to be and created a facade with individually stained strips of wood lattice. Beneath the floor that our kitchen stools are sitting on, we designed a hidden trapdoor that opens with a car hood spring and provides access to our basement storage. One of the few house renovations we avoided doing ourselves was tiling. Surprisingly, it was pretty difficult to get someone upstate to tile an entire wall for us. The woven rug by our kitchen sink was brought back from a trip to Jordan.”

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Image above: “Dark wood cabinets above our kitchen sink and stove were also one of the first things we tore down from the original kitchen. In their place, we hung a simple reclaimed wood shelf at eye level that’s stocked with olive oils, spices, herbs and other everyday items for easy access while cooking. Chris has an extensive collection of Misono Japanese knives which are his favorite along with a few sentimental madeline trays and antique chocolate molds gifted from our good friend Chef Gabe Thompson.”

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Image above: “Our most cherished creation yet is this little man named Parker. His room is a playful mix of wood and color with gifted toys, recycled furniture and imaginative artwork. I repurposed this old wooden IKEA dresser with masking tape and white paint to brighten it up a bit for his changing table. The owl screen print by artist Mike Fuchs was bought during a trip to Austin, Texas. Stacked wooden crates are used for quick access to baby toiletries. His button-down cable knit sweater was purchased at our favorite consignment shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, The Flying Squirrel.”

8dana Image above: “One wall of the nursery is lined with wood to break up the white-walled space. This baby quilt from Ivie Baby and gifted Artecnica mobile (designed by Clara von Zweigbergk) set the color palette for Parker’s room and inspired me to hang one of my Curiosities prints above his crib.”

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Image above: “I use this room to research, brainstorm, experiment and execute projects – from mixed media collages, to hand-printed textiles.”

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Image above: “Our bedroom is the only room in our house without white walls. Meant to be a cozy retreat of sorts, the walls and textiles are deep, rich neutral hues with some bright pops of color. I made our window coverings out of the linens we used as tablecloths for our wedding. The rug was bought at an antique fair upstate and the hand-stitched bed quilt at a street fair in NYC. The walls are painted ‘Hale Navy’ by Benjamin Moore. Our dresser top is a place for me to play around with vignettes of seasonal flowers, books and art prints. The framed print shown is from my Time Stands Still series.”

 

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Image above: “I sort of took over the bedroom closet with this vanity that leaves my husband about a foot’s worth of space for his clothes (whoops). A girl’s gotta have a room of her own and I guess this little one is mine. It’s a place for me to sit down with a glass of wine after work and post-bath to decompress before bed. Just about everything in this space is a family heirloom that surrounds me with childhood memories – my great aunt’s Dorothy Draper dresser and gold framed mirror, and my late grandmother’s jewelry boxes and display trays. I even keep my grandmother’s Chantilly Lace that I never wear but the smell brings me back to being six years old and playing dress-up in her bedroom.”

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Image above: “Our main bathroom continues the use of white and black, salvaged woods, industrial metals, slate and lots of greenery. We built the shelves and towel drying rack out of old wood and plumbing pipe (similar to the unit in our kitchen). The items on the shelf are all trinkets we’ve collected over the years that spark warm memories and the print to the right is by one of my favorite printmakers, Bryan Nash Gill.”

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Image above: “Olive oil soaps and our favorite bathroom toiletries are placed in collected vintage vessels over the bathroom sink. We made the bathroom counter out of a chunk of old growth pine.”

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Image above: “In the winter, the wood stove is burning and in the summer the doors are kept wide open. What a difference from Brooklyn – to create against a constantly revolving backdrop of the seasons changing. As a new mom, I’m feeling really grateful these days to have this special place to raise my son and the best of both worlds to introduce him to.”

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Image above: “These pillows were printed in my studio as a limited edition run using repurposed screens from my Line Series Monoprints. As with much of my work, I try to embrace the random, chance-based applications of ink on paper and fabric – which make printmaking a fascinating medium to work within. The results explore unlimited variations in form, color, texture and transparency.

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Image above: “My studio space is where I wish I could spend all of my time. Needing a place to work upstate, we turned a two-car garage into an insulated art and design workspace with one wall of glass, cement floors and a wood burning stove.”

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Image above: “This sun-kissed spot on our front porch has become my own little private oasis when the weather is nice. Right outside the baby’s window, I spent a lot of time here during his first few summer months, writing and sketching while listening for him to wake.”

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Comments

  • Thanks for sharing such a pleasant home. The nursery is so happy without being too baby-ish (if that makes any sense) and I love the bathroom. We’re renovating a bath now and revamping an old dresser that I’ve had for years as the vanity. Question — did you treat the bathroom vanity with mariner’s shellac or some other coating?

  • Thanks Jennifer! Hi Nicole – the bathroom vanity was painted with just a hi-gloss interior varnish. But my husband painted our kitchen cabinets with a hi-gloss from http://www.finepaintsofeurope.com/ – this paint is like nail lacquer and lasts forever – a little pricey but a really nice stuff. Hope that helps and good luck renovating!

  • absolutely LOVE the artistic What I Love Most About My Home Is…, and My Favorite Thing to Do at Home Is… They’re pleasing, stylish, elegant, and clearly done by an artist.
    Perhaps DS can do a post on the ten best of What I Love Most About My Home Is. :)

  • Aw, thanks Kim! Rin – the nursery wall is just some pine, stripped very thin and hung with spacers. We were trying to cover up walls that were pretty damaged by previous layers of wallpaper : ) Thank you Sally, took us 4 years living with Victorian wallpaper in the kitchen before we opened up the walls for a bigger space. And thanks so much to Georgia – those stills were fun to create!

  • Whoever did the photography and styling – kudos, they’re both beautiful! I’d love to see even more.

  • I love everything about this house. Especially the shelves in the kitchen and bathroom. And I just subscribed to the Ravenwood newsletter! Thank you for sharing.

  • Wow! Finally a modern home that looks lived in. Great materials & colors. Enjoy the little one–he’ll make it even more lived-in in no time flat :)

  • Hi Jill, Saugerties is beautiful. Congrats on your new home! Would love to meet you at one of our dinners next season. Be sure to sign up to the Ravenwood mailing list for updates. Your work is beautiful. Hope to cross paths upstate soon.

  • Your home and your work are gorgeous, Dana, thank you so much for sharing! I love your Curiosities Prints on your website, and the striped pillows are stunning!

  • What an inspirational post!! Thank you for sharing your home and also for being so straightforward about the need for a place like this. We have a country home not far from Olivebridge that we bought last year with an eye to retirement in 10-12 years. Nothing feeds my soul like actually feeling the seasons shifting right under my feet and before my eyes. We spend as much time as we possibly can there and so I understand how wonderful your place is for you and what a gift to raise your son there!

  • Thanks Leonie. Peggy – I’m appreciating our place upstate more and more now that I’m a mom. Funny how having a baby changes and emphasizes the meaning of the word ‘home’. I hope you make your retirement plan happen!

  • Dana, your home is beautiful and these images leave me so inspired! I am in love with the mixed wood finishes and they way they compliment rather than compete with each other. Do you recall the stain that was used on the IKEA piece you turned into the changing table? I am preparing to finish another pine piece from IKEA and love the color of this dresser. Thank you!

  • What a beautiful home. Makes my heart melt. Can you please share the brand of cot in your nursery? Such a gorgeous room xx

  • What a beautiful job! Your home is just lovely. I’m in the process of remodeling my kitchen and the ONLY thing I haven’t been able to decide on is the brackets for my kitchen shelving – until I saw yours! Where did you get those L-Brackets? They’re PERFECT for my project. Thanks so much!

  • Just checked in again on this post and saw some unanswered comments…

    Rachael – my husband had those L-Brackets made at a local shop upstate in Saugerties. We weren’t able to find them anywhere online.

    Ricci – the crib was a gift from my mother. It’s sold by many retails online – here’s one: http://www.wayfair.com/babyletto-Hudson-Convertible-Nursery-Set-MIR1193.html

    Kymberly – the dresser in our bedroom is from West Elm

    Becky – on the Ikea dresser that we painted, I used a non-toxic whey stain maid by Vermont Natural Coatings: http://www.vermontnaturalcoatings.com/our-products/polywhey-natural-furniture-finish/ (we’ve been using that on everything since the baby came into the picture)

  • I love the shelves. I’m not sure if you already answered the question, but do you have a list of materials used? I have seen lots of wood and pipe shelves and love them, but I haven’t seen any that don’t have the wood just sitting on top of the pipe.

  • Could you please settle an argument? How much did you spend creating the shelving units with the boards and pipes? I say that it can’t cost much, but I have a friend who swears this is a “high-end” project that will cost more than I could imagine and requires a lot of skill/practice to get it right. I hate asking such personal questions, but there is a lot riding on the answer.

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