Patterned Simplicity: A Handcrafted Rhinecliff Farmhouse | Home Improvement | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Pin It
Favorite

Patterned Simplicity: A Handcrafted Rhinecliff Farmhouse 

Page 2 of 2

The vast scope of the project she'd undertaken quickly became evident. That's when Quatrefoil, a construction and design firm specializing in restoration, stepped in. Based in Staatsburg, New York architect Kathryn Whitman and master contractor Mike Whitman worked closely with Von Stoddard to reimagine the traditional farmhouse within a modern aesthetic.

The team began with the kitchen. Entered through a west-facing mudroom, the space was gutted and the doors and layout were reconfigured. The Quatrefoil team rebuilt the room to include counter-to-ceiling windows and installed stainless steel appliances and open shelving. Expansive granite countertops complete the kitchen's minimalist interior, contrasting the original rough-hewn ceiling beams.

click to enlarge Von Stoddard expanded the home’s original staircase and added an antique newel post from Zaborski’s Emporium in Kingston. The team painted the entire staircase black. The wall behind displays two generations of black-and-white photos—memories of her own childhood intermixed with her son’s first years. - DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • Von Stoddard expanded the home’s original staircase and added an antique newel post from Zaborski’s Emporium in Kingston. The team painted the entire staircase black. The wall behind displays two generations of black-and-white photos—memories of her own childhood intermixed with her son’s first years.

The home's living, dining, and bedrooms all underwent a similar gut renovation. Previous owners had expanded the living area by moving the western wall eight feet out, but hadn't extended the home's foundation, causing the second floor to sag. Quatrefoil repaired the foundation, tore out an ornate fireplace, and then enlarged and rebuilt the home's original staircase. Upstairs, one bedroom features original wide plank pine wood floors. By removing a wall of closets and adding windows, a second bedroom was considerably lightened and partially divided into an office and guest room. One upstairs bathroom includes a soaking tub and steam shower; another had a ceiling removed and a skylight added to the pitched roof. Both are lined with a combination of Italian composite tile floors and white Mexican tile walls.

After remodeling the original farmhouse structure, Quatrefoil built a three story, 16-foot-by-20-foot addition along the home's eastern edge. On the ground floor the dining area was doubled in size and an airy space with a wall of French doors now serves as the home's main lounge. Upstairs, a south-facing master bedroom has a walk-in closet and another full bathroom finished in white marble tile. (A basement TV room rounds out the addition.) Outside, a bluestone patio overlooks the pond abounding with Koi fish and snapping turtles.

click to enlarge Lars Von Stoddard playing with Legos. - DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • Lars Von Stoddard playing with Legos.

Handmade and at Home

Over the three-year project, Quatrefoil became extended family to Von Stoddard. Not only was the team of expert craftspeople and contractors helping her raise her roof and walls, they lent a hand in raising her son as well. "It was great for Lars," Von Stoddard explains. "The construction crew gave him a little tool belt and a Quatrefoil shirt. They showed him how to use a drill and a hammer, and if they had to go to the hardware store, they'd take him along. He saw them pour the foundation; he knows how every system works—he even knows where the septic tank is."

click to enlarge Von Stoddard in the studio at her screen printing press. Between caring for her young son and the tasks of daily life, she has little time to waste. She sketches and draws designs at night and then “cranks out” the designs during the day. “Someone asked me ‘When are you most creative?’ I’m like, ‘Whenever I have time.’ - DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • Von Stoddard in the studio at her screen printing press. Between caring for her young son and the tasks of daily life, she has little time to waste. She sketches and draws designs at night and then “cranks out” the designs during the day. “Someone asked me ‘When are you most creative?’ I’m like, ‘Whenever I have time.’

In her free moments, Von Stoddard's mind often wandered back to her own creative work. "For a couple of years, I was really just raising my son and sketching and thinking, but I didn't really have a way to make anything." She wanted to get her hands dirty again and turned her attention to an abandoned barn at the edge of her property. "It was this little ugly thing that was supposed to get torn down," she remembers. "I took the construction guys down there one day and asked, 'Hey guys, can you fix this up?'" The skilled Quatrefoil team transformed the dilapidated building into an airy, light-filled studio space with two floors. From there, Von Stoddard found her way back to her creative work through touch and intuition.

This autumn, as her son goes off to first grade, Von Stoddard is launching the winter line of Doonyaya—her unique collection of pillows, napkins, and tea towels made of linen and printed with her simple, evocative designs. The downstairs of her studio, now outfitted with a sewing table, screen printing press, and kiln, serves as a production area for her homeware company. Upstairs in her design studio, Von Stoddard has space to paint and sketch. Just as when she was a child, she works in her converted barn recreating the patterns she sees around her, pairing everything down to its essence. "In retrospect, I can see this is exactly what I do and exactly what I am—I Xerox stuff and I cut it up and then I put them back together. I love to have my hands in design."

click to enlarge A collection of Von Stoddard’s current line of pillow designs. “Overall, I am inspired by patterns. I see patterns everywhere; I organize the world in patterns visually. Not just of nature, but really whatever I’m surrounded by.” - DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • A collection of Von Stoddard’s current line of pillow designs. “Overall, I am inspired by patterns. I see patterns everywhere; I organize the world in patterns visually. Not just of nature, but really whatever I’m surrounded by.”
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Virtual Studio Tour with Erica Rosenfeld, glass & mixed media artist @

Virtual Studio Tour with Erica Rosenfeld, glass & mixed media artist

Tue., July 14, 3-4 p.m. — Cost $10 per visit, July 14th, 3pm. Join Rockland Center for the...

View all of today's events

Chronogram on Instagram

Latest in Home & Garden