Pine Bush, New York
When Alexandra's family arrived in the Catskills in the early 1930's, they knew the land would one day be passed on from generation to generation. In 1971, her father built the home where her uncle Bob would spend most of his memorable years.
Can you tell readers about the history of the home?
My family came from Cuba in the 1930s and stumbled upon 120 acres of land in the Catskills. They bought the property, the lovely farmhouse, and the stable that sat on it. Their friends and family came to visit on weekends and it slowly turned into a family-run resort called the Jeronimo Resort and Conference Center. My grandfather, Armand, and grandmother, Dolores, ran it through the 80s before my father took over. This house was built in 1971 for my uncle Bob who was a NY city-based set designer. A unique individual and a self-ascribed curmudgeon, he rode around in a WWII jeep, never woke up before noon, and wore kilts with a tuxedo top to all formal events. The house was a party house for his friends from the city and stories abound 45 years later of long nights and early mornings.
In 2007, we sold the hotel to the preeminent buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. My uncle's home is the last property that my family owned. My husband, son, and I moved in on July 2016 with the expectation of renovating it and bringing it back it's original magic (which for my uncle would have include a healthy dos of cobwebs and candle-drippings...we left those out). We spent the Winter and Spring of 2016-2017 renovating the house. With a new baby and all of life's other nuances, we have been called back to the Dominican Republic where my husband is from.
Can you tell readers about the design of the home and what inspired you?
The inspiration is simple: be true to the spirit and vision of my uncle while making the house more warm, livable, and efficient. The front side of the house is covered in 35 individual windows. We replaced each one individually with double-pane glass to maintain the original style and insulate the house. This was quite a job for the contractor as not a single window was a perfect 2' x 2'! He had to hand-cut and measure each one. The house is made of solid red oak. We took off many of the outer boards and used them indoors for accents and wall pieces. We then painted the outside black to add a touch of modernity and make a bold statement. The rest of the home accents the old barn beams and stuccoed walls. We also put in new skylights to flood the house with natural light and to have the treetops as our ceiling!
What are your two favorite features about the home?
My first favorite feature is the upstairs bathroom. There is a huge tub that we re-tiled with white diamond shaped tiles. We then tiled the floors and half the walls with 1920s style black and white tiles. The result is a very bold design and the skylight bring in tons of light. My second favorite feature are the hand-pegged oak floor and blue flagstone floor in the sunken living room and kitchen. They give a beautiful look and tie the first floor together.
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agent: megan brenn-white / p: 917-622-4333 / Instagram