Interiors

A Federal-Style Brick Beauty in the Hudson Valley

by Annie Werbler

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

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A piano inherited from the previous homeowners greets guests in the Staatsburg, New York living room of Steven Rummer and Steven Malone. They often make music here with visiting friends and family members, despite the instrument needing a good tuning!
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Rummer, who comes from a long line of furniture craftsmen, made a coffee table from a local piece of black walnut he bought at a sawmill in Ghent, NY, with hairpin legs Malone found antiquing. The pair of mid-century chairs were recovered by Malone's mother in plush mustard upholstery.
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The couple collect vintage letters of their initials, such as this gold-rimmed "R" in the living room window. Artisan Dennis Smith designed the shapely mirror hanging beside the front door.
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An elegant mix of old and new area rugs protect the floor from Augie's paws. The antique sewing box completes Malone’s favorite crafting corner.
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Detail of the handmade coffee table. The Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White wallcolor provides a soft, warm background to the room.
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Steven Malone, Steven Rummer, and Siberian Husky Augie enjoy hydrangeas from the home's garden.
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Soon after they moved in, Rummer made this concrete table lamp using a parking cone as a mold and a simple lamp kit from the hardware store.
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The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa suits the home's airy modern decor, while its mottled texture hides wear from the resident dog.
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Rummer’s dad Bob gave the family a challenge a few Thanksgivings ago - come home with a project to accomplish in his newly-finished woodshop over the weekend. The homeowner designed the sideboard for this exact spot, and built it with his father's help using black walnut wood from his grandparents' old farm.
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Vintage Culver “Valencia” pattern rocks glasses sit atop the sideboard built by Rummer and his father. The furniture stamp speaks to a long legacy of craftsmanship, which includes well-known furniture maker Johan Michael Rummer (1747-1812). The hand in the shield is the town crest of Handschuhsheim, Germany, the family's ancestral home dating back to 1614.
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In the home's dining room, a vintage table and chair set from the grandmother of photographer Julie Holder.
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Vintage wooden folding chairs picked up at a flea market come in handy when entertaining larger groups of friends, family, and neighbors.
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Malone recently picked up the vintage blue enamel pitcher at an antiques market in London and had to buy a bigger suitcase just to get it home!
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The mid-century table has traveled to just about every place the pair have lived, including Rummer’s college apartment when they first met.
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A framed Calder poster rests on a vintage sewing table used for extra serving space in the dining room.
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In the hall at the top of the stairs, a vintage metal basket holds quilts made by Malone’s grandmothers. Friends use them during outdoor movie screenings on cooler evenings. All of the home's light switches were replaced with pushbutton models from Classic Accents.
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All of the art in the home's master bedroom was found antiquing around the Hudson Valley, and its inhabitants enjoy looking at the walls and remembering each place a treasure was found. Above the bed hangs a woodblock print from 1965 called “The Lighthouse” by Mel Silverman, and to its left is a 1948 lithograph of “Late Fall Practice” by Jim Anderegg.
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Malone and Rummer layer rugs to warm up spaces throughout the house, and also to protect the floors from dog claws.
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Most days, Augie can be found curled up like a fox at the end of the master bed.
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In the green guest bedroom, a folded orange quilt was hand-pieced by Malone and hand-quilted by his mother, Guelda.
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The pig pillow is from a quilt made by Malone's great-great grandmother, cut out by his grandmother when the quilt wasn’t usable anymore, and recently sewn together by him and his mother. On the wall, a 1945 zoning map of Poughkeepsie adds another historical note and some more bright color to the room.
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"The thing we love most about our home is filling it with family and friends." - Steven Malone and Steven Rummer. Quilt by Malone's grandmother with a note to her grandson.
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The metal frame in the grey guest bedroom once belonged to Malone’s grandparents. His mother rescued it from a barn on the family farm. The quilt was hand-pieced by Malone himself using the "What A Bunch of Squares" pattern by Denyse Schmidt.
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The property's hydrangeas continue to surprise the newest homeowners with their range of brilliant colors.
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The federal-style brick home from 1900 with a mature landscape that Malone and Rummer continue to cultivate.
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Looking toward the front yard's century-old maple trees.
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The home's floorplan, with a cutting from one of 36 types of hydrangeas in the established flower beds.

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Comments

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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