Like so many renovation projects, the transformation of Keren and Thomas Richter’s 1850s farmhouse in Pound Ridge, N.Y., involved no shortage of surprises.
When the couple, partners in an interior design firm called White Arrow, found a rundown house in late 2017, they assumed they could refresh it with a cosmetic renovation, and that it would serve as a bucolic weekend escape from their primary home in Brooklyn. Both of those assumptions turned out to be wrong.
“We would often come up to northern Westchester on the weekends and drive around, and we were always so charmed by how it felt like you’re in the country, even though you’re really only an hour away from the city,” said Ms. Richter, 40, who appreciated the fieldstone walls, old homes and generous lots.
INCA as their architect of record and Robert Lord Construction, the Richters mapped out their renovation plans for a year before beginning construction in December 2018. When the weather was warm, they sometimes camped out there.
“We got a Porta Potty, and our friends came up,” Mr. Richter said. “We had a firepit and tents and camped on the land, because the house was a shell.”
To restore the exterior, they found photos of the house from the early 1900s and aimed to recreate what was there more than a hundred years earlier, including a front porch that had been removed.
Inside, they hoped to create rooms that recalled not only early American homes but also English country houses. “In the beginning, we were sort of joking that we wanted it to feel like a Cotswolds country home, even though we’re in northern Westchester,” Ms. Richter said. “But I do think, in some respects, that is the vibe.”
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