Liz & Adam's Eclectic Home With a Modern Sensibility (and a Treehouse!)

Liz & Adam's Eclectic Home With a Modern Sensibility (and a Treehouse!)

Emily Billings
Sep 8, 2015
(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Name: Adam Dunetz, Liz Karney, daughter Frida, and dogs Franks and Louie
Location: Northampton, MA
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5; Owned

When I first walked into Sticks and Bricks of Northampton Massachusetts, I immediately wondered what the owner’s home must look like. The shop was a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind-furniture made from old, under-used, and reclaimed materials. Liz Karney, half of the creative duo behind Sticks and Bricks, has a knack for finding, reimagining, and repurposing items into something entirely new. Her home has been restored in a manner that displays that talent beautifully.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Liz’s other half, Adam Dunetz, is the owner of two community cornerstone restaurants in Northampton: The Green Bean and The Roost. With its progressive social demographic and proximity to their families, Northampton was the perfect fit for the amazing husband and wife team of Adam and Liz to settle down with their businesses, their daughter, and their dogs.

Their home is a collaborative project by the family. In each room, elements fuse the rich history and character of the past with a modern sensibility. Prior to Liz and Adam buying the house, the building was a halfway house, rundown and in need of ambitious homeowners to undertake the project of renovating the space to be livable once again. Masterfully done to their aesthetic, the renovation considered each detail, both inside and out. In addition to the challenges inside, taming the backyard was a daunting task. Originally a gravel parking lot, the outdoor space has been reimagined into a dreamy continuation of the living space, with mature fruit trees, room to entertain, a lawn perfect for competitive croquet matches, and a tree house envied by all.

Together, this powerhouse couple has brought experimental and ever-changing new life into this Northampton home. Their creative drive and ability to reimagine and repurpose allow the space to constantly evolve to make room for new objects, making it a dynamic interior filled with unexpected works of art.

Downstairs floor plan
(Image credit: Emily Billings)
Upstairs floor plan
(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, evolving, experimental. I am always changing something.

Inspiration: All over! I am inspired by the unexpected, nature, textiles, and the visible passage of time.

Favorite Element: I love how our house flows out into the yard.

Biggest Challenge: The small entryway. Our house was originally a side-by-side duplex, and our entrance is original to one unit. It feels out of scale with the house, not to mention the steep staircase and lack of greeting space!

What Friends Say: I’d like to come stay in your guest room.

Biggest Embarrassment: The bathrooms! When we bought our house we renovated everything else and ran out of money. I thought we would get to them in a year….

Proudest DIY: The mason jar shelf. I basically wanted to copy my friend’s shelf, but we didn’t have room because of the refrigerator door, so I cut cubbies between the studs. It took an afternoon and changed the whole feel of the kitchen. It’s like a window/shrine to bulk goods..

Biggest Indulgence: Our Lee sofas. I can make a lot of different things, and our house is full of my experiments, but upholstery is a skill I have not mastered. I spent a while looking for a pair of vintage couches we could get redone but I ran out of patience.

Best Advice: Don’t get attached. Let your style change and make room for new objects that excite you.

Dream Sources: I’d love nothing more than a trailer, time, and a budget to shop all the hidden junk stores of rural America. Treasure hunting is the best.


(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Master bedroom: Benjamin Moore Whispering Peach
  • Frida’s room: Sherman Williams Cooled Blue
  • Upstairs floors: PPG industrial oil in Whiskers and Sharkskin
  • Living room: Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue
  • Game room: Benjamin Moore: Buena Vista Gold
  • Kitchen walls: Benjamin Moore Jute
  • Kitchen cabinets: Benjamin Moore Taos Taupe
  • Kitchen mason jar shelf: Sherman Williams Lively Yellow
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


(Image credit: Emily Billings)


(Image credit: Emily Billings)


(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Chairs: auction and tag sale finds
  • Bedding: Anthropology
  • Armoires: Sticks and Bricks
  • Headboard: Sticks and Bricks (made from scrap molding to let the light come through the window)
  • Grain sack pillows: made by Liz
  • Embroidery: Cara Taylor of Taylor Ceramics
  • Heart strand: made by Frida
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Spiral staircase: salvaged from a local house remodel
  • Muslin sail canopy: designed/created by Liz
  • Large outdoor dining table: The base is old kitchen equipment that a friend salvaged and passed along. Liz cut all the guts out, made it shorter, and used reclaimed mahogany decking for the top.
  • Treehouse: a collaborative design by Liz and her brother, Chris Karney, who also engineered the entire project.
  • Round windows in treehouse: Brimfield
  • Other windows: from Liz's large window stash
  • Body of treehouse: reclaimed decking from a job Chris Karney was working on.
  • Treehouse wall paneling: salvaged from an old farmhouse

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Thanks, Liz & Adam!

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