A One Room Schoolhouse from the 1800s Is Now an Incredibly Cute and Cozy Living Space

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Nestled in Hudson valley close to hikes, cute small towns and not far from the train into NYC.

Name: Justine Quart
Location: Elizaville, New York (Hudson Valley)
Type of home: Converted school house
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

The open space downstairs used to be the classroom, you can still see markings on the floor where desks used to be.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our home was a one-room schoolhouse from the 1800s (circa 1860) that served children in the surrounding Hudson Valley farming community. The head teacher used to live upstairs amongst the books! Some time ago it was converted into a living space and we’ve put the finishing touches on it as a petite space to share with friends, visitors, and a micro-shoot location for small local makers. We wanted to show appreciation for its unique past but still comfortable and not stuffy. We used to live in Brooklyn and designed the space with that in mind, but now we live full-time in a nearby Greek Revival farmhouse. Another project! Because we just can’t help falling in love with old homes.

Upstairs desk looking out to small yard; the sheepskin is from a nearby farm.

Both my (Justine’s) parents were teachers so ending up with a one-room schoolhouse seemed oddly appropriate. In terms of style — after working in television for a long time, I have become passionate for creating a sense of familiarity and a dash of surprise when you look around a home. There are little vintage treasures scattered throughout but we try to keep things cohesive and open with the palette of blush, indigo blues, and natural textures. It’s a playful mix but Scott makes sure it doesn’t feel too twee. We also wanted to keep some original details as strong elements in the house. So while the big wavy glass windows aren’t the most efficient, we’ll never replace them because the quality of the sun streaming through is too special. Plus there are etched student names into the glass from 100 years ago.

Small but tidy kitchen, painted farrow and ball railings for lowers and butcher block countertops.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vintage, eclectic, cozy, slightly twee

What is your favorite room and why? The bathroom! It’s small but packs a punch. We kept it a monotone blush (whoever said millennial pink was no longer fabulous is wrong in our book) and it includes a vintage clawfoot bathtub that’s perfect to soak in after a long hike in the woods or a stroll down the quaint main street in Hudson.

Vintage academic poster and stairs to loft.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We’re old house nerds who love to go to estate sales, peruse Facebook Marketplace, and visit barn sales for unique items. But we found this amazing huge German anatomical academic poster at The Antique Warehouse in nearby Hudson, New York. We loved the pink and faded tones plus anything with some patina and school-related history feels at home here. It definitely makes a statement!

Original wavy glass windows and a vintage enamel table from an estate sale score.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Be inspired by history, but don’t be married to it. Personally, we think it can look a bit contrived if you try to replicate an entire house in just one era. So that means we don’t stick exclusively to antique finds. We have our cherished items like the chipped enamel dining table, a travel trunk used as a stage prop in a Broadway show, and the vintage Turkish rug upstairs, but we also have a new Article plaid armchair. It reminded us of those awesome tweed suits from the ’60s and felt slightly academic. We tend to mix decades and go by feel — it’s a small space so an item really has to be special to find its way here.

Bed in upstairs loft where head teacher used to live amongst the books.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.