A Couple’s Tranquil Upstate 1870 Victorian Is a Work-From-Home Dream

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A dining room with floral wallpaper and a table in the center

Name: Kevin Moraczewski and partner, Monica
Location: Salem, New York
Type of home: 1870 Victorian
Size: 2,138 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My partner and I moved upstate from New York City with the option to work remotely. We spent a lot of time adorning the small Brooklyn rentals we shared for the past several years, and the prospect of having more space to stretch out and decorate was a real motivator for buying our first house.

With over four times the square footage of our NYC homes, we were ecstatic to have true carte blanche. After a tumultuous period of searching during the height of the pandemic, we landed on an 1870 Victorian with a view of the Green mountains of Vermont on the New York side.

As we are a couple with no children, a three-bedroom home allowed us to turn the spare bedrooms into offices (each one being their own little haven the other person doesn’t really disturb.) The two living rooms, dining room, screened-in porch, kitchen, and bathrooms we were able to build up together.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Tranquil upstate sanctuary

What is your favorite room and why? Admittedly, our favorite room is not a constant. Currently, it would have to be the big window room. The previous owners referred to it as the “family room.” Sometimes we playfully argue about what to call it. My partner has called it the reading room, friends have dubbed it “the salon.” Recently, we have bought over 50 plants, 40 of which reside in this room. The latest iteration (perhaps too obviously) is the green room.

One day we went to a local tag sale and scored a bunch of classic VHS tapes without owning a VCR. Thus the green room became an old media room with the newly acquired VHS player and tape deck. Waking up early and watching the sunrise through these floor-to-ceiling windows while listening to a cassette has become an unmatched ritual.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Do NOT feel like you need to adhere to certain rules or be afraid of getting too wacky and out there. It’s your home and your style should reflect that. If putting a blue wig on a set of mannequin legs makes you happy, then go for it!

Check out the local estate sales, consignment stores, and so on. Most new mass-produced furniture ends up in a landfill in a few years. Not to mention, upcycling antiques brings much more joy and warmth to your home. Also, older pieces were built to last! You can save quite a bit by decorating your home this way and will have a bigger budget for those small accent pieces that really make your house shine.

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