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before and afterDIY

Before & After: An Old Stone Storybook House in Woodstock, NY

by Annie Werbler

and Gene Gironda love working on home DIY projects together, which is what they do after spending working weeks apart. Linda, the Creative Director of famed New York City establishment , enjoys days off upstate in Woodstock, NY with her husband Gene, a carpenter and the chief renovator of their 1940s stone storybook house. When they first found the property a year and a half ago, they thought it would just need a good cleaning. But as often happens when old walls are opened up, more work quickly presented itself. The couple decided to overhaul the main living space, creating an open floor plan in which to entertain groups of friends. Gene took time off from work and concentrated on the house for almost a year, with Linda pitching in her skills on weekends. She and Gene spent an entire vacation mocking up several designs for the living room fireplace wall clad in over 100 painstakingly hand-stained pine boards.

Many other projects contributed to the final product, including the unearthing of a charming Dutch door that the couple had admired from outside, but that had been buried in sheetrock inside the kitchen. In the downstairs bedroom, they exposed a stone wall  once marking the home’s exterior before a 1970s renovation  that had been covered up when that room was added on. A stone mason built the house and laid paths and steps around the grounds, including toward a which Linda and Gene fixed up for overnight travelers. They’ve been so glad for the opportunity to restore his original handiwork, while creating a rustic home for themselves  one now full of their own personal style. —

Photography by

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Stone walls, a black chandelier, and stained glass pieces lend an old world charm to the home's dining room.
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Looking toward the dining room from the living area, the open-concept floor plan maximizes natural light throughout the first floor.
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Linda mocked up several designs for the clad fireplace wall, adding a working insert for even more coziness.
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The highlight of the living room is the DIY wood wall which features over 100 hand-stained pieces of wood.
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The renovation included extending a kitchen bar area into the living room for greater flexibility in entertaining options.
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The bar incorporates seating, lighting, and an open view into the revamped kitchen so the homeowners can hang out with guests while preparing meals.
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Butcher block countertops and shelves add warmth to the room paved in fresh white tiles.
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A Dutch door uncovered in the renovation is one of Linda and Gene's favorite features in the entire home.
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The sparkling new kitchen also opens into the dining room.
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In the remodeled bathroom, the original stone wall maintains pride of place, perfectly complementing a new custom-made vanity by FoxDen Decor. The new heated floor is a welcome modern luxury.
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The bathroom's quirky bunny wallpaper from Anthropologie adds a sense of whimsy to the rustic space.
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In the first-floor bedroom, Linda and Gene lost a closet to make way for a grand bathroom, set apart by a simple rolling barn-style door.
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The home's original stone masonry exterior wall had been partially covered in a 70s addition.
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The renovated storybook on the property is filled with quirky handmade and collected decor.

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