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Interiorssneak peeks

A Thoughtfully Refined & Restored Treasure in the Berkshires

by Kelli Kehler

In the idyllic Berkshires in western Massachusetts, far from the noise and buzzing energy of New York City, sits a home that’s lined with lilac trees on the entire front and side of the house, where they’ve grown for over 100 years. In the springtime the home fills with the scent of lilac flowers — in other seasons, it’s the smell of nearby pine trees, a welcome accompaniment in the winter when enveloped by the warmth of the fireplace.

These are some of ‘s favorite things about her family’s Berkshires home, an escape from the city where she keeps a busy schedule as an and her husband works as a . The couple, along with their 8-year-old daughter, English Setter puppy Mose, and cat Roxanne, split their time between both locations — a routine they’re grateful for three years later after the massive renovation that was required of this combined structure. “It is actually two houses that were combined — originally a 1900s farmhouse and in the 1930s the owners combined with a 1856 Greek Revival schoolhouse owned by the Westinghouse family,” Lyndsey explains.

And the 5,000-square-foot residence stayed lovingly rooted in the same family for years, after which it changed hands to Lyndsey and her family — a special transaction that they took to heart. “Our house was in the same family for four generations and we were the first people to own the house that were not family members,” Lyndsey shares. “It felt as if we were inheriting an amazing property and we completely felt like we fell into this incredible opportunity. The house actually never went on the market, but we were introduced to the owners by our agent, who had known them for many years. After a nine-month courtship, over many scotches, the owner — who is in his eighties — decided that we were the right fit for the house.”

With the trust bestowed upon Lyndsey and her family to continue on the home’s lifespan, they hired a general contractor to carry out the renovation; an eight-month process to move-in ready. Lyndsey utilized her event planning skills to anticipate setbacks, and her interior design prowess helped her stay ahead of their various craftsmen’s timelines by ordering materials efficiently and consistently. “When I saw this house, I knew it was a massive project that I wanted to take on,” she recalls. “Most of the rooms had not been renovated since the 1930s, with the exception of a kitchen and bathroom remodels in the 1970s. We were drawn to the details of the house, they have a slight deco feeling to them, which I love. I wanted to honor the original details and design of the house, while infusing modern touches and bringing it back to life.”

Though she kept the project running smoothly, Lyndsey didn’t feel tethered to a timeline like she’s accustomed to in her professional life. Never one to rush her decorating process to simply fill a space, she’s still finishing each room bit by bit, sourcing items as they reveal themselves to her in antique shops from the Berkshires to Hudson and Connecticut — the powerful effect of the treasured home for which she’s now caretaker. “I’m a minimalist, never over-design, nor want my house to feel cluttered or fussy,” Lyndsey says. “Every object is intentional and has a place, function, serves a purpose, or tells a story. I want all the things we bring into our home feel as if they belong there.” —

Photography by / @

Image above: The formal living room. Lyndsey shares, “I love old houses because of the quality of the craftsmanship. Things were made by hand and to me, that is visible when looking at the woodwork, plaster walls and hand carved built-ins, everything just feels cared for and sturdy. Take your time, don’t rush through the process. It’s difficult to want to check things off your endless list; but, I found that design decisions [made] slowly and thoughtfully become the most meaningful ones.”

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“I saw this vintage photo at Brimfield and immediately felt connected to it and knew it would look perfect in the house, as well as be a nod to our connection to the West coast,” Lyndsey shares. “The walls in the formal living room are the original plaster and I had them waxed to create a smooth finish.”

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In another corner of the living room, a favorite chair by De Le Espada, shelving designed and fabricated by , and a silver-plated vintage light rebuilt by RSD. “The entire house, every room, was covered in wallpaper. It took six weeks for our painter to remove all of the wallpaper that had been there since the 1930s. Once it was all removed, we realized that all the walls were untreated and in near perfect condition. I felt so guilty painting all of these stunning plaster walls and we decided to keep the formal living room walls as-is and not paint them. I had someone wax them to create a smooth, finished texture. I love them so much — every time I look at them it feels as if we have the original craftsmanship on display.”

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Lyndsey tells us, “This is our entry room and the main thoroughfare of the house. The front door leads into this room and it also has a fireplace. We spend a considerable amount of time here: sitting, reading, talking, and planning the day. The sofa is a vintage Chesterfield that I found in San Francisco, custom pillow from one of my favorite stores in the Berkshires (),  the vintage Poulson floor lamp was restored by our studio and Sycamore wood block side table also by RDS. The cat is our girl, Roxanne.”

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“The library is the cozy area of the house and I wanted it to feel authentic. We decided to sand all the wood paneled walls down to their original finish and leave [them] unpainted. The sofa is Cisco Home, the rug is from Frances Loom, table is vintage Lane, [and] the dog is our English Setter, Mose,” Lyndsey notes.

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A cozy place in the library to sit and reflect, no matter the season.

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“This is a little corner of the library and it feels entirely California Mission to me — the table is vintage and from Santa Barbara, the light was another restored beauty by our studio, and the rug I found at a vintage store in the Berkshires.”

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“Our kitchen was the most major part of the remodel, as it was brought down to the dirt floor and beams. We reconfigured the entire layout, installed all new wiring and electrical, designed the Chevron floors, custom cabinets, and built the island. The countertops are Carrara marble, the faucet is Lefroy Brooks, and the island butcher block countertop was custom by Brooklyn Butcher Block Co. We enlisted Nils from Brooklyn Butcher Blocks to create the largest butcher block he had ever made to become our island. It’s still one of my favorite pieces in the house.”

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“The tall blue cabinet is vintage French and was the inspiration for the entire room (it was moved from my apartment in NYC),” Lyndsey says. “It barely fit when we moved in — the movers got it in by only less than an inch!”

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The dining room is a sumptuous mix of materials and Lyndsey’s favorite room in the house. Beyond the vintage Drylund table, a monstrously heavy glass cabinet that the family bought off the previous owner because it is too heavy to move (and has been there over 100 years!). “I basically designed the entire room around that piece, mostly, because I had no other option,” Lyndsey teases.

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Lyndsey shares, “While we split our time between Berkshires and New York, we love the local community: the food and farms, music, art, and culture. I love being able to buy produce and meat from local farms that are within 20 miles of our house and go to restaurants who are serving actual farm-to-table meals from their own local farms. It’s also an amazing place to raise a child — the ability for our daughter to run in the backyard, play in her treehouse, and explore nature just by walking out the door is an incredible gift. The artist community allows us to engage with like-minded people and be removed from the ‘busy’ of NYC.”

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Elsewhere in the dining room, stunning wallpaper from sets an intriguing scene for a sideboard ready for serving cocktails.

I love the summer at our house – having our friends for dinner, making huge bonfires in the backyard, eating outside on our stone porch, and watching all of our kids run outside in the field and play in the stream – it’s idyllic.

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A guest room found at the end of a long hallway. “It gets southwestern exposure and I put our lemon tress in there throughout the winter (so they continue to produce fruit). I love the entire vibe of this room,” Lyndsey says.

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“This sofa is in the sitting room portion of this [guest] room and I had it upholstered in Faribault wool blankets, with more vintage Kilim pillows. The side table is Ochre. I purchased the Hollywood photo at Morrison Gallery in Soho, it’s one of my favorite pieces of art because we spend a considerable [amount of] time in Los Angeles and [it] reminds me of what I love about the city.”

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Also in the same hallway as the guest room, a tiny room for reading and daydreaming. “The cot, from Steven Alan Home, is in a tiny room tucked away down the guest hallway, that we call ‘the reading room.’ Because of its odd size (just 4 feet x 7 feet), the cot is the only piece of furniture that fits into the room and the door closes to become a hideout for my daughter.”

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Lastly, Lyndsey’s own hideout space. “I wanted to keep our bedroom [as] simple and unfussy as possible. The palette for the room was designed around the rug, which was a gift from my parents. They purchased this stunning early 19th-century carpet from a convent in Northwest Connecticut and gifted it to me when I first moved to New York.”

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Lyndsey Hamilton, who is thankful for her old Berkshires home. “I love old houses because of the quality of the craftsmanship. Things were made by hand and to me, that is visible when looking at the woodwork, plaster walls and hand carved built-ins, everything just feels cared for and sturdy.” Portrait by Jen Huang

SOURCE LIST

Entryway

Sofa – vintage Chesterfield
Custom pillow – Griffin
Vintage Poulson floor lamp – was restored by RDS
Sycamore wood block side table – RDS
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Slipper Satin”
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Old White”

Living Room

Console table – custom by Revolve Design Studio
Rug – ABC Carpet
French club chairs – vintage (Brimfield)
Sofa – Verellen
Coffee table – Jayson Home
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Old White”

Kitchen

Table – designed and fabricated by RDS
Sconces – vintage and restored by RDS
Chairs – Hay
Rug – Frances Loom
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Wevet”
Island paint – Benjamin Moore “Ashwood Moss”
Cabinets – Alaskan Husky

Dining Room

Wallpaper – Timorous Beasties “Thistle”
Table – vintage Drylund
Sideboard – antique
Chairs – Moller
Pendant light – George Nelson
Sconce lighting – antique

Main Bedroom

Bed – Luciano Bertoncini
Dresser – Egg Collective, Brooklyn
Sconces – Schoolhouse Electric
Side table – Ochre
Mirror – made from salvaged wood at RDS design studio in Northern California
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Skimming Stone”
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Wimborne White”

Guest Room

Bed – Luciano Bertoncini
Sconce – Schoolhouse Electric
Lamp – restored original by RDS
Side table – RDS
Side table – Ochre
Hollywood photo – Morrison Gallery, Soho
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Slipper Satin”
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Wimborne White”

Cot Room

Cot – Steven Alan Home
Pillows – made from vintage Kilim rugs found at Brimfield
Rug – Frances Loom
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Slipper Satin”
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Wimborne White”

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Comments

  • This home is stunnigly beautiful! As I looked through the photos, I can imagine rela and feeling quite cozy in each room. Simply idyllic.

  • That’s a picture of Mt. Shasta (mountain and town) you found at Brimfield.
    I’m guessing shot from around Shasta Brown Ranch, where I was married in 1990 (moved there in 6th grade in 1978).
    Let me know if you ever tire of it – it’s a great print!

  • The design is simply gorgeous throughout! I love the vintage touches and really meaningful pieces and accessories. The whole home seems purposeful and cozy!

  • The ‘vintage’ Lane coffee table is the same style I bought new in 1977. They also made some end tables that have the same type of top on them, both square and octagon with an enclosed lower portion. The simple design has really held up, although I left them all, along with my ex several years ago and don’t miss the latter.

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