Two Artists Find Home In A Charm-Filled 1900 Farmhouse

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“I wish you could have seen the house a few years ago,” woodworker Kieran Kinsella tells me when I arrive to take pictures of his Rosendale, NY home, “back when everything was all fresh!” His feelings are ones that many have after living in a space for a long period of time, after the luster of newly-acquired furniture and fresh paint starts to wear off. I understand his sentiments — nobody knows better than I the insecurities homeowners encounter when welcoming guests for the first time — but I’m not sure that I share them. Looking around this light-filled hilltop farmhouse, it’s hard to imagine it looking any better than it does now. Sure, there are a few scuffs here and there; a few squeaking floorboards. But these are the sorts of timeworn patina that only come after a home has been truly lived in, something that in itself has incomparable beauty.

Kieran came to this 1900 home 17 years ago, when he and his wife Giselle Potter, a noted children’s book illustrator, vacated Brooklyn for greener (and decidedly more spacious) pastures. They fell in love with the surrounding area, the property’s expansive acreage, and the giant apple trees that filled its grounds. With an old chicken coop that would make for a fantastic at-home studio, it seemed the perfect package.

When the couple arrived, they had very few belongings — just some curbside finds and an old clawfoot tub that they managed to cart all the way with them from Brooklyn. “It was very sparse and Shaker-like,” Giselle notes. Over time, Kieran and Giselle accumulated more belongings, from hand-me-downs from Giselle’s grandmother to wooden furniture that Kieran crafted himself. The couple also welcomed two daughters, Pia (12) and Izzy (9), and a dog, making their family (and home) much more full.

Today, this fullness makes for a wonderfully rich and utterly charming home, a space that emanates warmth and love from every nook and cranny. Like a great pair of jeans, it is a space that gets better with age and use, perfect in its imperfection. “In the cold months we warm up by our wood stove, listen to records or sing along with Kieran on the ukelele,” Giselle says. “In the summer we spend a lot of time outside, us in the garden and the girls in their tree house or in the giant forsythia bush.” No matter what the season, this seems like a beautiful place to call home. —Max

  1. Kathryn says:

    Oh, what a lovely Monday morning gift! The home is so warm and welcoming and the furniture woodwork is beyond beautiful .Aside from the beautiful visuals, Max’s writing always seems to put me in a place where I feel I know the homeowners personally and am taking my own private tour. Thank you for taking me to that place.

  2. Rose says:

    Oh my gosh. This home tour just makes my heart sing. Love all of the handmade things and the idea of kids growing up here. What a magical place.

  3. Nancy says:

    How do you spell LOVE…. THIS HOME. I would love to live in this home. It looks comfortable, well appointed and there is nothing snobby whatsoever about it. It makes me feel that the folks who live here are very content with their place. Thanks for letting me peek inside.

  4. Thomas says:

    Hands down my favorite home featured on Design Sponge.

    I can’t get over how cool that molar stool is! Does Kieran have a single brother by any chance?

  5. Kate says:

    I agree with Nancy….this home just feels comfortable and loved. It’s also not overly styled, which is such a breath of fresh air compared to so many homes featured online these days!

  6. Naomi says:

    This home is so beautiful – I love the woodwork and the paintings and its wabi-sabi aesthetic. A favorite house tour. Every room is really inviting!

  7. Beautiful artistic family! I could live here very happily!! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Mary says:

    Beautiful artwork and furniture given room to breathe. I love it!

  9. oltyrrell says:

    beautiful….simple, artistic, and lovely. love that their art work and collections, and furniture all work so well with the aesthetic of the house itself. perfect. what a great home to raise a family in!

  10. Matoaka says:

    I grew up in the Rosendale, NY area! Love the houses there!

  11. Laura says:

    What a lovely bed in the master bedroom. And what a great house to be born in!

  12. Annie says:

    I am fond of rosedale and even more so knowing such beautiful interiors could live in the pretty exterior homes. What a peaceful place for your family!

  13. Tina says:

    We just bought a home five minutes from Rosendale, in High Falls, so hello neighbors.

  14. Frances says:

    I absolutely love the farm/ranch look. I love that it looks lived in and unassuming. I’m trying to redo my 3bedroom to look a bit more ranchy and this post is great for inspiration! Some similar ones everyone interested in the farmhouse look might be interested in http://www.nousdecor.com/blog/how-do-you-do-a-ranch-style-look-it-s-all-in-the-details-video

  15. Adrienne says:

    Lovely home!!! Thank you for sharing it with us! Love Kieran’s creations !!

  16. kate says:

    Gorgeous! The color in the bathroom is lovely. Can you share what it is? I’d appreciate it!

  17. Ann says:

    Adored ever bit of this home!

  18. Jen says:

    I remember when this house was first posted. Loved it then, love it now. It’s very peaceful-looking.

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