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Interiorssneak peeks

A Kingston Home for A Creative Couple

by Grace Bonney

The allure of the Catskills is well-documented and has caused scores of people looking for peace and quiet to settle in the surrounding hills, valleys and in the mountains themselves. Two of those people are Tracy and Jamie Kennard. Tracy, a small business strategy consultant, and Jamie, a graphic designer, bought a home in Kingston, NY 10 years ago after falling in love with the area on vacation. Along with their Boston terrier-mixes, Ocho and Bea, Tracy and Jamie have fallen even deeper in love with the area and their 1870s Quarryman’s cottage. They adore the area so much that this year they decided to open a business in town, Brunette wine bar, that would keep them upstate as full-time as possible to connect the couple to their community in a more meaningful way.

When it came to looking for houses, Tracy and Jamie had a short list of requirements (front porch, back patio, trees and a “patch” of grass) because they were only considering spending time upstate on the weekends. “At a time when it felt like everyone we knew was spending weekends in the Hamptons, the Catskills seemed attainable,” Tracy says. The last house they saw on their first day of house-hunting became theirs, and while it came with a broken chimney and a past-its-prime furnace, they were hooked: “Chalk it up to the allure of the Catskills.”

Tracy and Jamie have spent the last 10 years decorating their space with a wide range of pieces they’ve picked up or found at a great discount. “I can probably count on one hand the number of items in our house that were purchased in a traditional store,” Tracy says. “Most everything is scavenged, or leftovers from previous owners.” Those worn-in pieces go perfectly with Tracy and Jamie’s idea of decorating. “I think it’s important for the house to feel comfortable for us and those who visit. That means not having too many precious things around that people are afraid to touch. I’m a firm believer in using the things I own. Nothing sits behind a case waiting to be used.”

What started as a weekend getaway has now become a beautiful home for Tracy, Jamie and their pets. The slower pace and relaxed lifestyle upstate isn’t just a respite from busy city life, it’s a new way of thinking that’s allowed the couple to imagine new paths for themselves. “I’m not sure if I would have come to the same endpoint if I were still spending my weekends in the city,” Tracy says. That sense of finding space, time and quiet to dream up new ways of living is a common thread among people living in the Catskills, and I’m so thrilled to share this very special peek inside their lovely home. Thanks so much to Tracy, Jamie, Ocho and Bea for welcoming us into their house. You can check out Brunette bar here online and follow them both on Instagram here, here and here. xo, grace

Photography by Emily Hirsch & Erick Steinberg of Heidi’s Bridge

SOURCE LIST

Kitchen
Cream mini dutch oven – Le Creuset (Martha Stewart edition, “Before you laugh, know that it has an amazing pale baby blue enamel interior.”)
Boston terrier statue – similar at Milne Antiques – In addition to her own BT (Mona) Rebekah, the owner, always has amazing vintage BT ephemera
Floors – VCT tile painted with Valspar Latex Satin Porch & Floor in Dark Kettle Black
Walls: Behr Premium Plus Interior Satin Enamel in Heavenly Light

Dining area
Arne Jacobsen series 7 chairs
Old pharmaceutical shipping container in corner
Art – ISAYYES from LAND
Art – Screenprint – Caroline Hwang
Vase – Andrew Molleur Studio
Sheepskins – IKEA
Floors: Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor paint in Grey Pearl
Walls: Behr Premium Plus Interior Satin Enamel in Heavenly Light

Living room
Takeshi Nii folding rocking chair (with custom leather seat)
Sofa – Jennifer Leather (our mission was to find an inexpensive sofabed that was also comfortable and could withstand the dirty fingers of toddlers, spilled wine, milk and the occasional dog or two).
Walnut chair – tag sale find that we reupholstered with vintage wool blanket
Vintage bakers rack
Sheepskins – IKEA
Coffee table – We bought this from the original owners. Not sure if it’s repro or not. The nailheads are square, but the patina seems kind of new
Floors: Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor paint in Grey Pearl

Master Bedroom 
Everything is vintage or found, with the exception of dress and bag on hooks.
Dress – Lauren Moffatt
Handbag – Céline trio crossbody
Cream dishes with gold rims (on blue dresser) – Lorena Barrezueta, Brooklyn

Upstairs Nook
Rocking chair – made from a kit by Jamie’s great-uncle, probably in the 70s
Cashmere throw – M.PATMOS
Floors: Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor paint in Grey Pearl
Walls: Ralph Lauren Interior Latex paint in Tackroom White

Guest Bedroom 1 
Cabinet – vintage JP Coats spool chest
Walls: Ralph Lauren Interior Latex paint in Tackroom White
Floors: Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor paint in Grey Pearl

Guest Bedroom 2 
Blanket – vintage Hudson Bay – found at Jamie’s parents’ house
Walls: Ralph Lauren Interior Latex paint in Tackroom White
Floors: Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor paint in Grey Pearl

1/24
Ocho and Bea nap in front of the wood-burning stove. Tracy says, "Our wood stove sits directly in front of the front door, so this is the first thing you see when you enter our house. And on a cold day, this is exactly the position you will find Ocho and Bea in, too. The stove sits on a huge slab of bluestone. Our house is surrounded by bluestone and the bluestone patio out back was one of the things we first fell in love with."
2/24
The dining room's hutch has a great back story. Tracy explains, "This hutch was the first thing we bought for the house. We bought it at an antique shop in High Falls that is no longer there. The owner didn’t want to sell it, but you know how sometimes you connect with someone and if they asked you to give them your shirt, you would? Maybe this was like that, because not only did we get to buy it, but the owner’s husband also delivered it to us. It was intended for the kitchen, but due to some poor measuring on our part, it lives in the only place it physically fits (notice how close it is to the beams!). It’s filled with random dishes and egg cups from Salvation Army, tag sales, and auctions."
3/24
The view from the dining area into the living room. The little box in the living room is one of Ocho's beds. Tracy says, "She loves it there because we usually hang out in the dining room and it allows her to keep a close eye on us."
4/24
The dining room is filled with a wide range of assorted bits and bobs. Pictured here: A bird’s nest Tracy and Jamie found in the yard sitting in an old porridge bowl, old bottles they found at Dead Horse Bay, a tile from Jamie and Tracy's trip to the southeast of Spain (used as a trivet) and charcoal in a vase made by Andrew Molleur, a local ceramicist." Tracy says, "I love his work - we just picked up a pair of his mugs last weekend."
5/24
The dining area includes Jamie and Tracy's "makeshift" dining table, which they inherited from the previous owners. Tracy explains, "It's one of my favorite things in the house. It's super rustic, so we balanced it out with pink Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs that were being thrown away at work. Our wine rack is surprisingly little for the owners of a wine bar, right? In the corner is an old shipping container for pharmaceuticals. The ISAYES piece is from LAND, a habilitation program for adult artists with developmental disabilities. We discovered them at the Outsider Art fair maybe eight years ago and have bought a couple pieces from them since then. I love everything about it - the sentiment and the colors, especially."
6/24
The living room is filled with a wealth of great tag sale finds, like the blue chair and the baker's rack in the corner. "The owners weren’t selling the rack," Tracy explains, "but rather, the items on it. Of course, the rack was the only thing I wanted, so they sold it to us for $40 with the caveat that we pick it up after the end of their sale. Five years later, we ended up meeting the original owners through a mutual friend. Upstate can be small like that. It’s part of the charm." The Takeshi Nii rocker was inherited from a friend and reupholstered in leather by an upholsterer in Long Island City. "We didn't learn it was a designer chair until we saw it appear in DWR many years later," Tracy says. "Now I think they go for $700!"
7/24
Tracy found the old shooting targets behind their house. "These were attached to plastic barrels," she says. "I’m always picking up junk and Jamie is always shaking his head at me. That said, framed, I think they’re pretty great. I like the stark geometric shapes against all the color and texture in this room. I tend to think of my style as pretty clean and minimal, but then I look at shelves like this and I wonder how a chartreuse porcelain horse head fits into that description."
8/24
Next to the sofa is a patch of exposed lathe. "I love how the previous owner never finished painting," Tracy says. "Maybe there was a piece of art there. Maybe they ran out of paint. Whatever the reason, I love the mystery. It helps give context to the house's history before us. The leather strap is a tool barbers used to use to sharpen their razor blades. We have a bad habit of just hanging things where old nails live, which is how it ended up on the wall. I love old, traditional needlepoint, but I’m not generally very precious about it. For this one, I swapped and re-stitched the G and D for Dog Bless our Home."
9/24
Ocho asleep in one of her many beds throughout the house. Tracy was collecting arrows for a work project and came across this collection at a tag sale for $5.
10/24
The bedroom: Jamie's nightstand was purchased at the old Fleischmanns Auction. "You used to be able to buy a piece of chocolate cake the size of your face for $2 and a table like this for $10. It was our Friday entertainment for years until they moved. We’ve been to the new collection, but it never felt the same as it did when it was in Fleischmanns." Tracy and Jamie's bed frame is a salvaged barn door made by the previous owners. "They were pretty happy to hear that we kept it intact," Tracy says.
11/24
The bedroom dresser stays organized with an old wooden cream cheese box, the type that Jamie and Tracy also use at their bar, Brunette. The rulers are part of Jamie’s ruler collection. Tracy loves the scalloping at the top of the bedroom mirror. "It's sweet, but also kind of weird, which describes my style pretty well."
12/24
An old school chair and vintage hooks provide extra storage for the bedroom, although Jamie and Tracy keep their clothing collection pretty minimal. Tracy says, "Other than winter coats and bathing suits, my wardrobe stays constant throughout the year. I wear this dress with tights when it gets cold, so it gets as much use during winter as it does in the summer."
13/24
"Look at this door," Tracy says of their bedroom closet. "The whole thing is raw and primitive and weird. It's a little dramatic for my style, somehow I can't bring myself to change it. I don’t know what you call that door hardware, but I love it - especially with the delicate glass knob."
14/24
"Have I mentioned I love weird needlepoints?" Tracy asks. "The I heart LO-VE you was in our neighbor’s free pile. It’s so strange, how can you not LO-VE it?"
15/24
The kitchen. On the far wall is a piece from LAND. Tracy explains, "The artist does pastels of food. These happen to be labeled variations on chocolate-covered, flavored marshmallows. He spelled marshmallows incorrectly throughout the piece, which makes it even more charming." The floors are inexpensive VCT tile that Jamie and Tracy painted with black porch paint. "I have three more of those mint-green wicker stools. They swivel, so generally a big hit with the under-10 crowd."
16/24
Tracy's colorful collection of pots, cups and bowls live on open shelves in the kitchen. The porcelain Boston terriers were gifts and the mini Holland shoe in pale yellow is "surprisingly handy for cherry pits or soft-boiled eggs," she says.
17/24
Directly at the top of the stairs is a small nook in between the two upstairs bedrooms. Jamie's uncle made this rocking chair from a kit. "I love how the scale in this room is so weird," Tracy says. "The back of the chair is unusually tall, the legs on that table look enormous, the ceilings are dramatically peaked, so if you’re normal height, you'll feel like a giant in this corner (for me, it’s just fine). And those mini eyelash windows..." The throw is from a client of Tracy's, M.PATMOS.
18/24
This is Jamie and Tracy's "favorite" guest room. "We call it the white room for no reason other than it has a white duvet. Super tiny. Just enough room for a bed and a place to hang your coat. I love the peaked roof. It makes you feel like you’re in your own little bungalow."
19/24
A detail from the "favorite" guest room. The bedside has a tiny arrangement of old dried strawflowers. "There used to be a U-Pick strawflower farm around the corner from here," Tracy says. "Stems were 10 cents each and one day, it just disappeared."
20/24
The second guest room features a classic Hudson Bay Blanket.
21/24
Tracy keeps a small work space in the second guest room. "It's an old pieced-together garden table and Eames shell chair. There are also an assortment of random things I like in front of my face when I’m working: half-finished needlepoints, a Kate Moss necklace, mementos from favorite restaurants (Saltie, The New French, Russ & Daughters), change rollers and a wrapper from Burrow in the prettiest of peaches," Tracy says.
22/24
A good view of the peaked roof in the second guest room.
23/24
The peaked room and a small corner with a fan for keeping cool in summer months.
24/24
Tracy and Jamie in their living room.

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Comments

    • We searched and searched for the color, but cannot find the paint can anywhere! If we end up finding it, we’ll be sure to post it here.

  • What a beautiful home! Do you have any information on the wall color of the Master Bedroom? That pale green is absolutely classic and dreamy!

    • My best guess.. (I’m an interior designer working with paint for 25 yrs) Try..
      Sherwin Williams liveable green 6176
      Ben Moore’s historic line Hanock green HC-117
      Ben Moore HC-120
      gotta watch you dont go towards.. mint chocolate chip ice cream

  • A very beautiful home tour. We met Jamie and Tracy when a went to their wine bar some weekends ago, and their home like their wine bar is so tastefully decorated.

  • This is one of my favorite D*S posts! Much of what I see in interiors right now feels repetitive, but your home is the right amount of everything! Personal style wasn’t compromised for what’s “modern”, but it still feels incredibly classy and comfortable. Also, I am a huge thrift junkie too, and I love to see the way you used, re-used, and re-purposed old pieces and random finds. Lovely home!!!

  • Hei Designsponge

    Im working for Habitat Norway and was wondering if we could borrow the picture from the OSLO apartment with the white KILO table? And off course give you the credit. ?:)
    Hope to hear from you !

    – Benedikte

  • Absolutely stunning, Tracey and Jamie have such a great eye for detail, and for leaving original features intact or simply enhancing them. I love that closet door which doesn’t know what colour it wants to be. I can’t believe the house is the same age as our miner’s cottage – it has so much more original charm – ours has been destroyed in many places by owners with no clue, but we’re gradually revealing the features again and bringing it back to life. I hope one day it is as charming as this house.

  • Beautiful house! And the first photo with your two dogs really melts me. I wish my dogs got along that well…

  • This is amazing! I definitely have a fantasy of living in upstate/Hudson Valley New York. What a great piece – awesome photography Emily and Erick!

  • Who would throw away pink Arne Jacobsen Chairs?!? Lovely home and so glad the chairs got ‘saved’ :)

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