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A Skincare Creator’s Rescued 1830s House in the Catskills, Filled with Plants

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A Skincare Creator’s Rescued 1830s House in the Catskills, Filled with Plants

June 23, 2023

“We began our search for an upstate home in late 2019 the way everybody does it,” says David Krause: “by scrolling through Realtor and Zillow while bored and dreaming of a country getaway.”

The couple’s search yielded an 1830s house in Freehold, NY, but it was all but completely defunct, with no hot water, nonfunctioning bathrooms, and leaks in the roof. Still, squinting a little, David—founder of the vegan, all-genders skincare line Alder New York—and his husband, Ayan Chatterjee, a producer for MSNBC, could see its potential. “There wasn’t a lot of inventory at the time, but I fell in love with this house, with its mountain views and wrap-around porch and original features,” David says.

Taking the full-scale renovation into their own hands, the duo restored the house’s stateliness and gave the interiors rustic yet design-forward appeal. The results were so good, in fact, they abandoned plans to use the house as a weekend escape from the city and moved in full time.

Have a look around.

the house, returned to its original glory, has a wrap around porch and sits on  17
Above: The house, returned to its original glory, has a wrap-around porch and sits on a hilltop in the town of Freehold.

The list of changes made (so far)? “We renovated the kitchen and the bathrooms, added a laundry room, mudroom, and the den with a wood-burning stove,” says David. “We also replaced the roof with a metal standing seam roof (we weren’t planning on this; needing a new roof was one of the surprises of fixing up an old home!), took off the aluminum siding, and restored the wood siding underneath. We also updated electrical and added split-system AC and heating. And we added a pool (this is our favorite addition).”

the entry, like the rest of the house, has painted wood floors—a custom  18
Above: The entry, like the rest of the house, has painted wood floors—a custom color “picked to match some of the floors that were painted black by the previous owner.”
&#8\2\20;we lean a little scandi and minimal but also love early american f 19
Above: “We lean a little Scandi and minimal but also love early American furniture and antiques,” David says of their shared design perspective. “We love working with natural, patinated materials. Our style is eclectic, but we always want it to feel calming and peaceful. We also love to have friends stay with us so we’re always thinking about creating a feeling of being at a cozy getaway.”

Outside, “we have an ever-growing vegetable garden that provides us with much of our produce throughout the summer and fall,” David says. “I like to grow varieties that you can’t find in supermarkets: Parisian market carrots, ground cherries, and blue tomatoes. I also have a cut flower garden that provides beautiful blooms for the house.”

the dining room is almost overgrown with greenery, a result of david&#8\2\1 20
Above: The dining room is almost overgrown with greenery, a result of David’s green thumb. “I love planting and flowers and gardening and chickens and animals,” he says. “Our dining room is where my collections of house plants and cut flowers from my garden most often end up. We tend to hang out in the living room or, if the weather is right, outside by the pool or on the porch, so the dining room ends up a little unused. But it’s a great space—perfect for showcasing the plants I love and the flowers I’ve grown.”
the kitchen got a full scale overhaul. &#8\2\20;the beams were revealed whe 21
Above: The kitchen got a full-scale overhaul. “The beams were revealed when we removed what was a very unremarkable white ceiling,” says David. “They are original to the house, and some still have bark on them.” The cabinets are from Form Kitchens.
a favorite detail? the repurposed island. &#8\2\20;it was a concierge desk  22
Above: A favorite detail? The repurposed island. “It was a concierge desk from a hotel in Cooperstown, NY,” says David. “It was one of the first things we bought for the kitchen, and since we loved it, we basically renovated the kitchen around the island.”

“The countertops and backsplash are a leathered quartzite,” David adds. “It’s very textured, and we love how tactile it is. It feels like a traditional soapstone that could have been found in the house originally, but the textured, leathered finish and the veining gives it a more contemporary sensibility.”

&#8\2\20;when we opened it all up, we also discovered that there used to be 23
Above: “When we opened it all up, we also discovered that there used to be a flight of stairs, like a captain’s stairway, that went from the kitchen up to one of the back bedrooms,” reports David. Now, simple white shelving shows off antique finds.
the couple paneled the refrigerator with panels from form kitchens to match. 24
Above: The couple paneled the refrigerator with panels from Form Kitchens to match.
the couple&#8\2\17;s pup, levi, approves of the redone living area, with a  25
Above: The couple’s pup, Levi, approves of the redone living area, with a black-painted floor and a leather sling chair by Slowood Studios for Hawkins. Eagle-eyed readers will note the rug here is different than in the previous photo: The couple has since replaced it with a checkerboard patterned carpet tile by Flor.
&#8\2\20;this space was originally an unfinished shed for storage, but we w 26
Above: “This space was originally an unfinished shed for storage, but we wanted to create another cozy space,” says David. Now it’s a snug den with a wood-burning stove.
a redone bath hews to the palette of black, white, and neutrals. &#8\2\20;t 27
Above: A redone bath hews to the palette of black, white, and neutrals. “The folding camp stool is from Finch in Hudson,” says David. “We have quite a few pieces from them—and we like to shop many of the incredible shops nearby like A.therien in Cairo and Gardenheir in Windham.”
the main bedroom. &#8\2\20;we found the flags at the bottom of a pile of fa 28
Above: The main bedroom. “We found the flags at the bottom of a pile of fabrics at an antiques market,” says David. “We love that they date back to the era of when the house was built in the mid-1800s; some of the flags aren’t even in use anymore.” The walls here, and throughout, are painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White.
levi checks out a guest room. 29
Above: Levi checks out a guest room.

“Overall, the renovations ended up being much more extensive than originally expected,” reports David. And like most old homes, it’s a work in progress: “We’re always changing things around.”

For more Upstate renovations, might we suggest:

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Frequently asked questions

What is the location of the Alder New York House in Catskills?

The Alder New York House is located in the Catskills region.

What type of renovation was done to the Alder New York House?

The Alder New York House underwent a historic renovation.

Who completed the renovation of the Alder New York House?

The renovation of the Alder New York House was completed by Alder New York.

What is the design aesthetic of the renovated Alder New York House?

The design aesthetic of the renovated Alder New York House is modern yet cozy.

How would you describe the interior design style of the Alder New York House?

The interior design style of the Alder New York House is a mix of contemporary and rustic elements.

Is the Alder New York House available for rental?

Yes, the Alder New York House is available for rental.

Can I book a stay at the Alder New York House?

Yes, you can book a stay at the Alder New York House through their website.

Are pets allowed at the Alder New York House?

Yes, the Alder New York House is pet-friendly.

How many bedrooms are there in the Alder New York House?

The Alder New York House has multiple bedrooms, providing ample accommodation.

Is Wi-Fi available at the Alder New York House?

Yes, Wi-Fi is available at the Alder New York House.

Product summary  

farrow and ball all white paint color 1
Paint

All White

£5.50 GBP from Farrow & Ball

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