Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Buy The Cow When You Can Buy The Barn. MY favorite NY Times Story this past week

I can't stop thinking about this story from the New York Times  written by Penelope Green and Photographed by Tony Cenicola. There are more details in the story so after you see this click on HERE

Esther Dormer and Lisa Dagnal, patron and decorator, have turned Ms. Dormer's Bulger, Pa., farm into a series of atmospheric lounges for family and friends. Pictured, a "fire element" in a field is a gas hearth that can be switched on or off, like lighting a grill. It's big enough to sprawl upon.

A cement sink in one of the greenhouses was made by Mr. Frey.
The Amish barn has a 24-foot-long table made from salvaged wood, and vinyl upholstery so the mice don't snack on the sofas.
A view house on a hilltop. There are five on the property, all designed by Helena van Vliet, an architect.
In the lower barn, wheelbarrows have been gussied-up with silver and dark-brown paint. They turn into ice buckets for parties.
In the lower barn, Ms. Dagnal made a light fixture from a restaurant pot rack and glass bells she found at Roost Home Furnishings.

In a bathroom, iron chairs found at an estate sale are upholstered in a mink coat Ms. Dagnal bought at a thrift store. This room used to be a laundry room, but as Ms. Dormer pointed out, "Who wants to do laundry on the weekend?"

The upper barn has hosted as many as 300 guests. The reproduction signal light is from Restoration Hardware. The pool table top was made from hammered, studded aluminum. The pool table is about 50 years old. The chandelier hanging from a chain was painted gold by Ms. Dagnal and Maggie Dormer.

When the Dormers bought the farm 11 years ago, its 150 rolling acres were covered in trash — old televisions, farm equipment, cans and bottles — which the family spent their first weekends harvesting.

A greenhouse is used for morning tea. The planters at left and right were made from ironwork that came from a mosque in Pittsburgh that was torn down; Ms. Dormer and Ms. Dagnal found them at a local salvage company. The iron gate came from an estate sale. The wooden scrolls came from a flea market in France.

In the living room, Ms. Dagnal made a terrarium-like coffee table from a cement fountain base and a slice of acrylic. The floor had to be reinforced so it wouldn’t cave in. Ms. Dormer used to keep many animals at the Farm: goats, llamas, horses, two pot-bellied pigs, a donkey and chickens. The animals have been given to nearby farms, all except the chickens, which were wiped out by a hawk family a few years ago. The photograph on the wall is a portrait of one of the chickens.

The front porch of the farmhouse. The mirror was bought at One Kings Lane, the flash sale Web site.
A sofa was made from windfalls in the woods, and built on site. It overlooks a bend in a stream. Its curtains and pillows a

In a tool shed, Ms. Dagnal made an installation from old wood, rope and chains. Ms. Dagnal has made this sculpture over and over again, because Mr. Frey and other Farm workers like to sneak off with its elements. Simba, who is a six-year-old half-mastiff, half-boxer, in mid-nap.


  1. well, now there is drool on my keyboard. thank you for sharing!!! xoxo shelli

  2. Uh - mazing. I'm with a 'la mode - drooling on the keyboard.

  3. Amazing images! Very inspirational!! The coffee table is fantastic. xx

  4. HI Suze -- Love your blog! I am not sure if you remember me but I am married to Zack Herlick, and we were at your place in NY when the Spotlight gang was meeting out there. In any case, I would love to connect with you and tell you what I am working on. It is in the fashion/retail/technology space and I think you will like it. And I would love your two cents on it! Please email me. Thanks!
    Diane Zoi

  5. i want all of it, including simba.

  6. it was a barn, but now it has a bathroom with a chandelier over the tub. Nice :)