Like any project, the restoration of Keren and Thomas Richter’s 1850s farmhouse in Pound Ridge, New York, has seen its share of unexpected turns and turns.
The pair, who own the interior design business White Arrow, discovered a run-down house in Brooklyn in late 2017. They decided to give it a fresh coat of paint and use it as a weekend escape from their primary Brooklyn abode. Both of those presumptions turned out to be false.
The Fantasy of a Cotswolds Country Home Meets Reality in Westchester
She recalls how she and her husband “would frequently drive up to northern Westchester on the weekends, and we were always so captivated by how it appeared like you were in the country even though you’re really only an hour away from the city.”
The couple immediately located their property, a three-story clapboard house developed over the course of a century and placed on five acres of land, after finally realising their ambition to purchase a home in the neighbourhood.
It might be a lovely house with some work. The Formica and linoleum flooring appear to date from the 1950s. Wild plants had taken over outside.
She said, “It was in estate condition.” We believed it would be the ideal opportunity to restore something and add our own own touch to it because we specialise in interior design.
They weren’t prepared for the bidding war that broke out because such a drawn-out process isn’t for everyone. Developers were interested in the property, according to Ms. Richter, since they could tear it down and erect two new homes on the lot.
In the end, they paid $818,000 for the property, which they say was made possible by a letter they sent outlining their renovation plans.
Their initial excitement became into dread when they began to look around the house. The ceilings were so low that Mr. Richter, a 6-foot-3-inch man, could not stand up in a number of the upstairs rooms. However, they had not taken into account the fact that the foundation beneath the 1950s-era portion of the house would need to be replaced.
Mr. Richter Claimed that this was not Based on a Sturdy Foundation.
This led to a structural engineer concluding that we needed to replace the foundation beneath this region since it was in fact sinking.
They also discovered that the plumbing and electrical systems needed to be totally replaced. Following was septic system breakdown. It quickly became clear that the renovation would be far more involved than a simple facelift.
Before starting work on their house in December 2018, the Richters collaborated with INCA, a Brooklyn-based architectural firm, and Robert Lord Building for a year. In the past, if it was warm enough, they would spend the night there.
“We got a Porta Potty, and our friends came up,” Mr. Richter said. We set up camp on the property with tents and a fireplace because the home was only a shell.
They recreated the outside of the home using photos taken in the early 1900s, including the front porch that had been destroyed more than a century earlier.
Both colonial American homes and English country estates would serve as inspiration for the design of the rooms.
Even though we live in northern Westchester, at first, “we were sort of kidding that we wanted [the house] to seem like a Cotswolds country cottage,” Ms. Richter said. However, the author asserts, “I think that’s the feeling.”
It was advantageous that they stumbled on a Craigslist ad for a used AGA stove produced in Britain, which ended up becoming the highlight of their kitchen. Thomas “flew out there and drove it back in a U-Haul,” according to Ms. Richter.
Mr. Richter remarked that “that was the best journey of my life.” Mr. Richter has never travelled cross-country in the United States because he was raised in Germany. This trip had a number of detours, which was “really fantastic.”
Regarding the lowering of social distance restrictions, she remarked, “We certainly think our friends from Brooklyn will be here a lot.” Thanks for reading The Fantasy of a Cotswolds Country Home Meets Reality in Westchester.