Category Archives: Renovation Inspiration

Greek Revival Flat Roofs

I found this renovation of a 1840’s Greek Revival in Salt Point, New York interesting – They added a series of flat roofed additions to the north side of the house – copying flat roofed additions in the area.

“We looked at examples of the Greek Revival style throughout the area to get ideas on how to approach the design of the new additions. Flat roofs were common on Greek Revival structures, often appearing in the front of the building,” notes Murray. via

Heaven is closing its Bovina location

I have been enamored of Heaven On Main St since it appeared in the NYTIMES (and full disclosure Bovina is a stone throw away from our *nameless* hamlet – it is so close we share the same school district).

I finally made it to ‘Heaven on Main Street’ last summer on a brunch double-date with my younger sister Nina and our boyfriends . I got iced coffee and the french toast (below). I must admit that the boyfriends were not that impressed with the ‘meat-substitute’ menu – but I swooned over the creamy pale walls and polished wooden counters with all the bakery delights laid out. It was truly like walking into a daydream of ‘if i owned a bakery shop in the country’….

Anyways I thought I would post some images from their equally lovely website designed by Steve Castro. I hope some other charming business will take their place (our depressed area needs all the businesses it can get!) .

my own photo

Greek Revival Inverted Porches

From this angle you can see how the enclosed porch has a separate roof and is a bump-out addition (with flared craftsman walls dating it to 1900-1930) that extends off of the original inverted porch.

I am a big fan of removing the enclosed porch addition to restore the classic lines to the structure- but that step will only make sense after we have more space – i.e once we renovate the back – because right now we are actually using the enclosed porch as a summer guest room.

Below are a couple other examples of the inverted Greek Revival porches. I have actually found it quite hard to find pictures of inverted porches that still remain open – I think in the Catskills with our relatively cool summers and cold winters – the porches were probably simply enclosed or walled off so they could be used year round.

An example of a surviving inverted porch in the next town over- see how similar this house is to ours except this house has the classic 3 windows/ two windows and entry door in the front pediment wing instead or our 2 windows/2windows layout

I stole this image from an area real estate listing (sorry it is so small) – this too has the inverted porch – the smaller wing is more similar to ours – although it also features the fancy entry door on the facing gable

This is actually a photo of a house in our town from the turn of the century – (I have been scanning photos for our history center as a pet project of mine and also because I can glean so many local architectural details from the looking at old photos). You can see how although the layout is flipped , this house is very similar to the house above – notice also how the house has what appears to be board and batten siding a Gothic Revival detail- very interesting.

Splish Splash I Got a New Bath… tub

Forgive my silly title I had a hard time coming up with one

The tub arrived safely in New York!

Look at all the other free stuff I got – SCORE!

A view of my parents Farm from the tub’s (temporary) new home

Whew. What a week I had! I don’t know if any of you are like me – but when I have guests over (or decide to throw my boyfriend a 28th birthday party to thank him the work he has done here) I make lists. I make tons and tons of lists and I try to accomplish months of projects in a week – needless to say I had us getting up early and quitting at 10:30pm quite often last week. I employed the help of all my sisters, parents and my ever patient boyfriend. My family and friends have a term for my ambitious (and dare we say slightly fearsome) behavior before I have guests over – they call it ‘hostess mode’. I turn into a drill sergeant – intent on finishing everything I can think of. For some reason I decided to prep and oil paint 10 pieces of furniture – and take down a tree – and make hammock stands, and mow all the lawn visible – and recover and refinish almost every table in the house… I am officially insane. Ok let’s rewind. Take a breath :) I will post more of that later but I just found my camera card with my pictures from last week so now I am going to tell you about my new tub.

Do you remember when Joan from ‘For The Love Of A House’ offered me an antique claw foot tub? Well we were trying to coordinate a good time to meet up – she and her husband Dan live about 5 hours away in New Hampshire (we live in the western Catskills) and so picking up the tub became a road trip. I truly feel really very lucky that my parents were ready and willing to help out and lend their car to the effort – that my boyfriend not only was up for a 10+ hour car trip with my parents but also said he ‘enjoyed it’ afterwards – AND of course that Joan and Dan were so friendly and generous to give us the tub in the first place. It really did feel like an adventure – and now we have this gorgeous tub to show for it. I can not wait until we have the bathroom ready for it to go in (now it is in my one of my parent’s barn waiting for the day that it can shine). AND do you see what else I got for FREE? I got two oval mirrored bathroom cabinets (so cute!) I got 3 light fixtures, TWO pedestal sinks and matching towel racks and hooks. It was like a walk into a renovator’s heaven. Oh! And I got a gift basket and dog treats for Bighead and Zoe (our dogs) – they were so happy to have them!

AND speaking of heaven – my goodness Joan and Dan’s house is so spectacular. For a house nut like me it felt like a VIP experience getting a tour through the finished product after seeing and reading about the renovation process online. It seriously felt like a house in a movie – the driveway is lined with beautiful old trees, and the house sits looking towards a rolling hill edged with a white fence. The house itself is filled with so much light – the windows are really large for an old house. The rooms are painted this unbelievable color which made the light sparkle throughout. Joan and Dan kept all the original windows which won major points with my preservationist-minded family. Joan’s taste is so lovely she has made the house so welcoming and warm, and even though it is filled with beautiful antiques and the effect is really modern. I can’t wait until she posts pictures of her finished rooms for you guys to see.

As for sharing photos,– Joan encouraged me to share more – I guess It is hard for me to show everyone really HOW messy everything is here – how dirty and well unfinished it is – but she told me that she enjoys seeing the ‘nitty gritty’ and that I shouldn’t be afraid to let you guys in on how overwhelming it is. It was so nice to talk to another home blogger and hear encouragement – I try to be a private person on this blog keeping it from overlapping with my other online presences – but I think it will be more rewarding to open up a bit – So hopefully you will enjoy seeing the ‘unfinished’ parts of our house.

It is funny I have met a lot of food bloggers through my sister (and part-time business partner) but I had never met another renovation blogger – and I was just amazed that we spoke the same enthusiastic house loving language. It was just such a great experience – but I think mostly because Joan and Dan we just such nice and funny people – after driving for 5 + hours we must have seemed particularly frazzled but they really put us at ease and made us feel welcome. So a big THANK YOU to Joan, Dan and Ella!

p.s- If you haven’t already go check out Joan’s lovely blog For The Love Of A House