I love the holidays, every mad minute of the whole rushed, overhyped season. But even though I get a brief bout of the melancholies when it’s all over, it’s usually tinged with relief. The new, unsullied year stretches ahead like a fresh start — and that’s the idea behind some of the stories in this issue of Home. What better way to signal there’s a new, improved you than with, say, a new, improved living room?
Philosophers have pondered the wisdom of plunging into home refurbishment before the holiday bills have even arrived, but I think it’s the best time. I don’t ski, and I can’t garden in winter, so my attention turns to all the things indoors that need to be fixed up before spring arrives.
A change needn’t be a big one to have an impact — even a new throw for the sofa might do it. But if you’re up for something a bit more dramatic that needs expert assistance, then meet our artisans on page h16. They can help make your home a castle.
And that old clichÃ© brings us neatly to Lee Balter, whose condo is featured on page h34 — and is literally in a castle. He had the imagination (not to mention the moxie and the moolah) to rescue and restore Dick’s Castle, long a Garrison curiosity. I visited it once when it was uninhabitable, and even then it had a certain magic. Now, after Balter, his architect, and his designer have conspired to work their own alchemy, it’s a fantasy come to life.
Another unusual home is the Victorian on page h26. As the pared-down look of mid-century modern continues to gain in popularity, it’s almost a shock to see a house full of ornate furnishings from the middle of an earlier century — the Victorian era may have been buttoned-up in some ways, but it wasn’t noted for restraint in decor. It’s not an easy style to pull off, but these homeowners and their designer have done it with flair.
Finally, an apology to Victoria Coyne of Victoria Gardens in Rosendale, whose name we misspelled in the last issue of Home. Her nursery is lovely, and there’s a gift shop, too. Even though it’s the wrong season to plant, it’s certainly the season for planning and dreaming.
Happy New Year!