A Federal-Style Brick Beauty in the Hudson Valley

Share It

To Steven Rummer and Steven Malone, the most interesting part of renovating an old house has been the discovery of its past and the lives of previous owners. When they took up the old carpets in the living room of their Staatsburg, NY home dating back to the year 1900, they uncovered a scar from a wall that was removed to create a grand stair foyer. And, upon replacing the lightswitch plates in one of the bedrooms, they found pink polka-dot wallpaper instead of the anticipated painted drywall. Though it’s impossible to know when any of the countless changes were made to the home, the pair find it comforting to know theirs is a house that has been lived in, and grown with each owner over time. As they make their own mark on the 1,900-square-foot Federal-style property after two years of ownership, Rummer and Malone find themselves able to exercise the crafting talents passed down through generations of woodworking and quilting forebears. Handmade items they’ve created themselves, with their families, or inherited are among the most treasured items in the space.

The previous owners of 40 years left the house in great condition, so Rummer and Malone only needed to make cosmetic updates to suit their decidedly modern viewpoint. However, in older homes where the walls aren’t quite square, even relatively simple tasks like scraping, patching, and priming ceilings tend to take longer than expected. The resulting decor is a mix of old and new, vintage and handmade, and high- and low-end pieces. A warm, eclectic style highlights architectural details while toning down their formality so that family and friends can feel comfortable and relaxed during their visits. The pure white walls downstairs provide a bright, clean background for warm neutrals and pops of color in textiles and flowers from the garden. When planning out the bedrooms upstairs, the duo went with warmer tones of green, blue, and grey, maintaining a neutral and natural aesthetic. The guest rooms are decked out with comfortable beds, fine linens, accessible side tables, vintage luggage racks for suitcases and bags, and convenient plugs. As for the art, most pieces have been found on antiquing jaunts in the Hudson Valley. The couple love looking at the walls in their bedroom and remembering each place they found something that spoke to them.

When they toured the house for the first time, Rummer and Malone were enchanted by photos of the home’s original family playing badminton in the front yard and sitting on the front porch steps about 100 years ago. Even though the porch is long gone and the maple seedlings are now giant trees, they felt attached to the history of the house. As part of a small group of stewards throughout its life, the pair intend to see the home through its next chapter while making their own history here for many years to come. —Annie

Photography by Julie Holder

  1. Rebekah says:

    Every single lamp decision in that house is A++, seriously. The one in the green guest room gave me chest pain it’s so perfect.

  2. Amymadeline says:

    So beautiful, clean, collected and homey. I love all the quilts! And the amazing walnut bar cabinet. A tour I will save, visit again, and share.

  3. Claudia says:

    I can’t decide what’s more beautiful, Augie or the sideboard.

  4. The concrete lamp made by Rummer is really striking. The vintage rocks glasses are stunning! Wow!!! They have some really great pieces here.

  5. Margot says:

    Seriously beautiful. Such exquisite eye for detail. Those lamps, artworks, rugs, quilts and that sideboard! Not to mention the gorgeous dog.

  6. Ashley says:

    Someone pleeeeease tell me what the green is in the guest bedroom. I want to steal it!

    1. StevenR says:

      The green in the bedroom is Martha Stewart for Home Depot’s Spring Melt. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments!

  7. Kristen says:

    Your home is so lovely. It is crisp and yet so inviting. I love the yellow lamp and all of the rugs. It’s interesting and cohesive. Also wondering where the moon art piece is from?

  8. Deborah Taylor says:

    Congratulations to you both….is a beautiful home!! The dog is too! I hope you all will be very happy there for many years to come.

  9. STEVENR says:

    Thank you Kristen! The Moon Chart print is from Agent Gallery in Chicago. They have a shop on Etsy where you can order.

  10. Millie says:

    Your home is so beautifully curated. Everything is tasteful. Bravo, gentlemen.

  11. emily says:

    so taken with all the lovely quilts used in modern ways throughout the house…such a way to make modern design look cozy. i especially love them rolled up in that box in the hallway…such a fun idea for guests!

  12. Reba says:

    This house is designed just beautifully. I love all of the layering of the rugs! I’m dying to know where the rugs in the living room came from, especially the darker one (black?) with the white triangles. Adore.

  13. STEVENR says:

    Thank you Reba! The living room rug is the Arrohead Rug by Nate Berkus for Target purchased a couple of years ago when we first bought the house.

  14. Linda says:

    I love your paint color choices. Besides the green, is it possible to tell us what brand and color names you used?

  15. judy wilson says:

    Thanks for sharing the furniture from this old home that Rummer and Malone found. I also like how this piano looks next to the staircase. I’ve been looking for a timeless piece like a federal style piano, so I would be lucky to find something like this for my home.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.