Friday, June 25, 2010

A Petite Cabin in the Catskills

When thinking about tiny-ass apartments, what most often springs to mind is a place like the Hell's Kitchen studio I featured yesterday: small out of necessity, due to limited space in an urban area with high property rates. However, small homes can spring up even in the most wide-open and rural places. Take Sandra Foster, for example. Her teeny Victorian cabin in the Catskills Mountains was featured by the New York Times: Home and Garden section. Her home is special not just because it's a perfectly-pulled off example of shabby chic design, not just because it's a minuscule 9 feet by 14 feet with no kitchen, bathroom, heat, or plumbing, but because she doesn't share it with her husband. Her husband, Todd, lives in a 1971 trailer he calls the "Groove Tube" (because of its shag carpet and '70s aesthetic) on the same piece of land, but the Victorian is Sandra's place of refuge.
The couple used to live together, but then Sandra discovered that "much to my horror... Todd and I aren't completely alike," she says. "He is not a tidy man, he likes to collect things and stuff... Do I want to live with Todd up here? I would probably have to clean up after him."
When they discovered the run-down hunting cabin on their new property, Sandra took over. You have to go across a stream and up a hill to get there, but that wasn't a problem for her. (It did limit the size and weight of the furniture she could transport up there, though.) Sandra renovated the whole thing almost by herself for $3,000, turning it into her dream home. "My idea of houses is Victorian, cute, magazine-perfect, lots of white," she says -- and that's exactly what she got.
Even though I can find shabby chic too overwhelmingly girly, I like what Sandra's done here. Keeping the color scheme almost exclusively white with only hints of pink keep it from being too princessy. And looks so comfy, with all of the soft, draping white textiles on every conceivable surface. The glam accents like the chandeliers, mirror, and tabletop decor are also gorgeous. Finally, I can't get over the bookcase crammed into the vaulted ceiling, across from the loft bed. If there were any one design technique I'd steal from this place, it'd definitely be that bookcase. While I hope that if I get myself a husband sometime it'd be someone who didn't make me completely bonkers to live with, I still like the idea of having a space completely to myself. I'd definitely want my own "woman cave," if you will. I'd just have to come up with a better name for it, though.

Definitely NOT the "Groove Tube."
Via Jezebel and The New York Times: Home and Garden.


  1. I think "woman cave" is a great way to describe this. This is the kind of princessy hideout I dreamed about as a little girl. :)

  2. dude, that's hot...and probably the only way i could stand to live "with" a man. these people are onto something seriously brilliant, if you ask me. sign me up!

  3. I'm not big on shabby chic either but I agree with you about that bookcase--wish I could do that at my house. I think a lot of people think separate spaces are weird but my bf and I have been together for 15 years and we have separate apartments in the same building--and it works. Plus, when his gray bathtub and unvacuumed floor start irking me I just run up to my place. :-)

  4. As gorgeous as this is, and as much as I totally want a "woman cave" at some point in the future (and would probably call it something like that, haha), my practical side seriously wonders how a person could live without a kitchen.

    Also, hi! I've been following your blog (and enjoying it very much, I should add) for a few months and this is my first time commenting.

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