And believe it or not, they’re living happily ever after, proving that boho home décor blends with rustic, as well as historic. If you’re still not sure, check out this New Bedford, NY, carriage house owned and renovated by a Manhattan real estate executive.
The current owner stumbled upon this piece of prime real estate accidentally, while driving around looking for a friend’s place. He stopped to ask directions from a farmer on a tractor and realized almost immediately that the man’s 45-acre 1870 farm was a remarkable piece of intact history. The elderly Quaker owner’s grown children had no interest in running the place, so the two made a deal on the spot.
“I had $60 in my pocket, and I gave it to him as a deposit,” the real estate exec says. “It was insane. I had no idea how much I might be overpaying—there was no inspection or anything—but I knew it was perfect. And he could see it was my intention to restore the place, which was important to him.”
The new owner renovated the spacious carriage house for living quarters while he tackled the rest of the property, which includes a main house and eight outbuildings. Former Vogue editor Virginia Tupker worked with him to fashion relaxed boho interiors that blend seamlessly with rustic details like the stone walls in the sitting area above and the rough-hewn timbers in the living room below.
Tupker loves color and searched out a panoply of patterned textiles, many from India, to contrast with the stone and wood throughout.
A vintage marble slab on a mobile steel base makes for a formidable island in the rustic kitchen. Shelves were constructed of reclaimed wood found on the farm.
The dining room table is Swedish, and the vintage Liberty chairs are upholstered in assorted Liberty printed cottons. I love the urn full of tree branches, as well as the simple matchstick roll-up blinds.
The painted breakfront belonged to the current owner’s mother and holds pride of place in the entry. It’s topped with Spanish terra-cotta pots from the 1930s, brimming with lichen I’ve tried scrubbing off my own pots. Think I’ll let them be from here on in!
The headboard in the master bedroom is covered in a 19th-century Pakistani textile but in such a way that it was not damaged and can be removed without damage. The spread was made in Venice, and the antique nightstand, a nod to the original owners, was found in the basement of the house!
Another bedroom features a cozy sleeping nook I can already see myself in, curled up with a good book on a lazy afternoon. And there’s more of those simply wonderful matchstick roll-up blinds!
Twin beds in a guest room are dressed with spreads from Chelsea Textiles and topped with kantha quilts at the foot. The rug is a vintage Indian dhurrie.
The carriage house as seen from the garden, designed by Miranda Brooks. The property changed hands in 2007 and the new owner has yet to tackle renovation of the main house. But when that’s done the carriage house will become guest quarters. That’s one guest list I’m dying to get on.
You’ll never guess what was in all those outbuildings and the plans for what was found. So be sure to read Nancy Hass’ article about this fascinating property and continue your tour on Elle Décor.
PS: Yes, the former owner lives nearby and often stops in to visit. The current owner says he’s always welcome because “he’s family.”