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Required Reading: Heading ‘Upstate’

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Required Reading: Heading ‘Upstate’

October 21, 2020

We’ve been enamored of writer Lisa Przystup’s singular design sense ever since we first featured her sparsely rustic Catskills farmhouse way back in 2017—painted wood floors, a brass kitchen backsplash, and an airy attic guest room included. Ever since—and especially these days—I’ve followed via her Instagram feed, @brass_tacks, for glimpses of upstate life and little-by-little adjustments to her place.

It was on Instagram that we first spotted Przystup’s new bookUpstate: Living Spaces with Space to Live, out this month from The Monacelli Press—and we were eager to get our hands on it. When our copies arrived, Julie and I leafed through at our respective houses, poring over Przystup’s own house and that of the book’s photographer, Sarah Elliott (@selliottphoto), which bookend the selections, plus 10 more from Ghent to Hudson, Ancram to Delhi.

Przystup and her husband made the move northward for more space after a decade in New York City, so it’s partly from personal experience that she writes in the book’s introduction, “A home upstate can mean just that: room. Room to breathe, room to spread out, and at its most literal, rooms (as in many)—acres of bedrooms, ambitious backyards, winding banister staircases that lead to second and third floors.”

Have a peek at just a few such spaces from the book—then order a copy for yourself.

the carefully composed, &#8\2\20;perfectly symmetrical&#8\2\2\1; ancram 12
Above: The carefully composed, “perfectly symmetrical” Ancram house of architect Mimi Madigan, with a clean-lined wood stove and an upright piano, made in Amsterdam.
elliott&#8\2\17;s own place in hillsdale, a \1790s greek revival farmhouse  13
Above: Elliott’s own place in Hillsdale, a 1790s Greek Revival farmhouse where she lives with her husband, Dan. Renovating it meant dealing with lead paint, followed by no fewer than four coats of new paint and restoring every window. Here, a living room with a sheepskin, wide-plank floors, and a vase by Clam Lab.
a sculptural lounge chair in don howell and ray camano&#8\2\17;s \1830s hou 14
Above: A sculptural lounge chair in Don Howell and Ray Camano’s 1830s house in Accord. (Note the plaster walls—they’re skimmed with “Don’s own recipe: rabbit-hide glue, slaked lime, pigment.”)
a freestanding sink in the hamden kitchen of photographers andrea gentl and mar 15
Above: A freestanding sink in the Hamden kitchen of photographers Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers, with hints of the couple’s bric-a-brac collections—the very bones of the place included. (The floors, for example, were sourced from a barn in Vermont.) Not pictured: Andrea’s “witchy apothecary,” jars of herbs and incense collected in their travels.
inside the bed and bath of sara and sohail zandi, just across the street from t 16
Above: Inside the bed and bath of Sara and Sohail Zandi, just across the street from their Bovina restaurant, Brushland Eating House.
in the craryville home of james coviello, antiques connoisseur and design direc 17
Above: In the Craryville home of James Coviello, antiques connoisseur and design director for Anna Sui, a “flock of cuckoo clocks—twenty dollars for a box full.”
autumn upstate, outside andrea gentl and martin hyers&#8\2\17; rebuilt hous 18
Above: Autumn upstate, outside Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers’ rebuilt house.
 upstate comes out october \27 and is available for pre order now via 19
Above: Upstate comes out October 27 and is available for pre-order now via Amazon (or look for it from your local bookshop).

More books to read this fall:

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Frequently asked questions

What is the Upstate region?

The Upstate region refers to the area of New York State that is situated above Westchester County and includes cities such as Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester.

What is the significance of the Upstate region?

The Upstate region is significant because of its natural beauty, rural charm, and rich history that includes the rise of the Erie Canal, abolitionist movements, and the Industrial Revolution.

What are some must-visit places in Upstate New York?

There are many amazing places to visit in Upstate New York, including Niagara Falls, Adirondack Mountains, Lake George, Finger Lakes region, and Saratoga Springs.

What is the best time to visit Upstate New York?

The best time to visit Upstate New York depends on what you're looking for. Summer is great for outdoor activities, fall is known for its stunning foliage, winter offers skiing and other winter sports, and spring is ideal for wine-tasting and exploring the great outdoors.

What are some popular events in Upstate New York?

Upstate New York is host to many popular events throughout the year, including the Saratoga Horse Racing season, the Lake George Winter Carnival, the Rochester Lilac Festival, and the Adirondack Balloon Festival.

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