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Photo By Phil Mansfield

CLIENT:  Since this project was a design showhouse and fundraiser for Ulster County Habitat for Humanity, we were encouraged to let our creativity run wild. BUT…we also kept in mind the fact that this ca-1901 Queen Anne was home to a family, three generations living under one roof, that needed comfort and function.

ASSIGNMENT:  Worth Preserving partnered with Quittner to dream up “A Room of One’s Own,” an homage to the three spinsters for whom the house was originally built. We envisioned the women using the space for intellectual pursuits and quiet contemplation, away from the demands and expectations of the world.

Photo By Phill Mansfield

CHALLENGES:  Originally a small bedroom, the space had been converted into an insurance office and a kitchen at various points in its history. One original double-hung window remained (with broken sash cords) but the other window had been altered to accommodate a counter and cabinets. Layers of wall-to-wall carpet and other flooring had to go, along with a fluorescent ceiling light. The plaster was failing—obvious by sight but proven when one false stroke of a utility knife brought about 100 lbs. of ceiling down on top of Ben Davidson (he was ok!).

SCOPE:  While repairing the ceiling and pulling up the carpet, etc., to reveal gorgeous oak floors with their original finish intact, we explored the possibility of replacing the room’s existing closet with a reading alcove, a preservation question none of us took lightly. We decided the pros of gaining more usable space plus historic molding that could be recycled to trim out the altered window outweighed the cons. We restored the operability of the other (unaltered) window with brass sash chain that we also used to hang art from a new, eminently functional picture rail. We chose Audubon Russet, a glowing terra-cotta color by Benjamin Moore, one of the showhouse sponsors, for the walls and designed a decorative paint “cornice” to draw the eye upward and highlight the interesting shape of the room. Over a dozen local artists and makers contributed furnishings and accessories.

TEAM:  This project was such an extraordinary, not to mention fun(!), collaboration for a great cause.

Design:  Worth Preserving and Quittner
Carpentry, repairs and painting:  Ryan Virag
Decorative painting:  Katherine Moore
Research:  Marissa Marvelli
Artists, makers, growers:  Finding Form DesignAleman / MooreFirehouse Pottery Co.Jamie Lyn KaraDashing Star FarmClay Pond Studios, Eznic Karakashian, Beacon Candle CompanyHand to Mouth WeaversStudio TeppiMarieken CochiusRobin RiceBarbara BeebeBear Creek Farm
Materials: Benjamin MooreHouse of Antique HardwareFabricut

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