Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Size: 3 bedrooms, 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: We've lived in the house full-time for about 8 months, but it's been in my boyfriend's (Patrick's) family since his grandfather, Harry Cooke, bought it in 1924. He used the proceeds from selling an invention and turned it into a camp for underprivileged city kids.
Who else lives here? My boyfriend Patrick, his sons Harrison and Logan, and Emily, our summer farm apprentice.
After Hudson Valley Fiber Farmer Susan Gibbs, a former CBS News producer, and Patrick Manning started the first ever Yarn CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) on Martha's Vineyard, they expanded to Patrick's family farm in the Hudson Valley. The couple currently goes back and forth from the Vineyard to the Hudson Valley managing their flock of sheep and goats...
The Yarn CSA works like a fruit and vegetable CSA — investors purchase shares of the Fall or Spring shearing, which helps the farm purchase hay and feed for the animals and increase the size of their flock. We felt incredibly lucky to get a peek into the workings of a fiber farm located less than an hour from midtown New York...
One of the Spring babies on the
How many animals do you have?
100 sheep and angora goats, three dogs and one cat and a rabbit. Next year we'll be adding a herding dog to the mix.
How would you define your style?
I've never really thought of it as a style; I just buy things that I fall in love with. I can't stand clutter, so I try to have no more than one of two interesting pieces in each room. I also love mixing lovely old pieces with soft, comfortable new ones.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I am always inspired by the photographs of Amanda Soule's house that she posts on her blog. Amanda's house is full of light, color, beautiful old things and laughter. It's everything I want my home to be.
What is your favorite element of your home/farm?
I love everything about my kitchen. It's warm and cozy and it's the room we spend almost all our time in. There is a fantastic view of the creek, waterfalls and pond, and our kitchen garden. It's also the room with the most natural light.
What is the biggest challenge of your home/farm?
Our house was built in 1774, and, like all antique houses, it needs a lot of TLC. There is a list as long as my arm of projects that need getting to. Living in an old house means learning to find the charm in imperfection.
What do friends say about your home?
All our city friends comment on how peaceful and quiet our house is. We're only an hour from Midtown Manhattan but it feels like a different planet.
What is your home's biggest embarrassment?
The house is very much a work in progress. We really wanted to have it repainted before our big Spring Shearing Day Celebration in May but the weather was uncooperative. When the day of the event arrived, two side of the house were painted and two were not. It looked ridiculous but everyone was very kind about it. I also wish we had a few more bedrooms. I long to be able to invite my shareholders to come stay for a weekend but we just don't have the space.
What DIY project are you most proud of?
Logan's tree house — Patrick and a friend worked on it every weekend for months and it
is amazing. It has cedar shake shingles and a screen door, and a large tree branch grows through the center of the room.
What is your Biggest Indulgence, when furnishing your home or purchasing things for the farm?
Probably the insanely expensive taxidermied rooster I brought back from an antique shop in France. I love him madly and I've never had a moment of buyer's remorse about him.
When you see something wonderful that you love, buy it right then and there. I learned this lesson the hard way.
As for the farm, a Sand Creek Post and Beam barn is at the top of my wish list. Their website is my porn.
etsy is a constant source of inspiration to me. There are so many wonderful fine artists and inspired vintage sellers all in one place. I check the front page several times a day.
The U.K. edition of Country Living magazine is also a wonderful source of inspiration. My tastes fall right in line with their editors and keep all the back issues for when I needs new ideas.
Appliances: Wolf stove and ovens, Jenn Air Fridge (great for old houses with ceilings too low for Sub Zeros),Fisher & Paykel dish drawers.
Hardware and Cabinets: Plain & Fancy
Furniture: ABC Carpet and Home
Lighting: WAC Lighting
Rugs and Carpets: ABC Carpet and Home Garnet Hill
Window Treatments: We have none! With the small rooms and low ceilings I want as much light to come in as possible.
Beds: Rose Furniture in North Carolina
Artwork: Storyopolis in Los Angeles
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Flooring: Brazilian Hardwood