An 1850s Country Cottage Transformed by Brooklyn’s Workstead, Yours for $549K

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    This cozy rural cottage has both 19th century bones and contemporary Brooklyn design bona fides on offer.

    If you are a design lover, the circa 1850s wood frame house on the market at 660 County Route 7 in Gallatin, N.Y., might look familiar. The little house, renovated twice by the founders of Brooklyn-based design firm Workstead, has popped up in many a publication and blog.

    Founded in Brooklyn in 2009, Workstead is known for their custom interiors, like the public spaces in the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, and their lighting collection. Co-founders Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith purchased the Gallatin house in 2011 as their weekend retreat.

    exterior cottage

    A modest house, likely once a worker’s cottage moved to this location from a nearby farm in the 1940s, it was showing the toll of alterations over the years. According to reports on the project in the New York Times and Remodelista, the house was covered with asbestos shingles and had a rickety little porch added to it. The couple removed those later layers, added a period sympathetic front door, installed new windows, removed linoleum to reveal original floorboards and transformed the interior with a liberal dose of white paint. The budget of around $30,000, according to the New York Times, didn’t extend to a complete redo. In the kitchen, the yellow laminate countertops and harvest gold appliances stayed while the existing cabinets were given paint and new pulls.

    The house was on the market for $375,000 in 2017, but instead of selling it, the couple undertook a more extensive reno after it became a full-time home.

    workstead interior

    The second overhaul got another lengthy feature in the New York Times this past summer. The plan at the time, the couple told the paper, was to turn the house into a full time residence for their growing family. After a few years of working on projects in Charleston, S.C., the couple was returning to New York. While the company base remained in Brooklyn, a new studio in Hudson opened in the spring of 2019.

    The most recent renovation tackled the all-important mechanicals — electrical, plumbing, heating. The modest footprint of the house was also expanded a bit with a small mudroom addition and the kitchen completely redone. Some of the white paint from the first reno disappeared under muted shades from Farrow & Ball.

    While the couple told the New York Times they saw the house as “growing with our needs” with plans for eventual additions, the transformed cottage is now on the market.

    exterior country cottage

    workstead interior

    The addition of a mudroom to the front entrance of the house provided a bit of bonus space for storage, laundry and a sink.

    workstead interior

    The original cottage would no doubt have had modest interior ornamentation. A few of those details apparently survived into the 21st century, including the wide-plank floorboards, which the couple restored throughout the house.

    workstead interior

    The brick fireplace is a new addition, but with a nod to the old, incorporating tumbled brick and a period mantel.

    workstead interior

    While the house doesn’t come complete with the stylish furnishings, some Workstead fixtures will remain, such as the Signal Globe above the dining table.

    workstead interior

    In the kitchen, the updated cabinetry sticks with traditional Shaker-style inspiration, but the yellow laminate and harvest gold appliances have given way to marble countertops and modern appliances like a Bosch dishwasher and Lacanche Cluny range. The Sub-Zero fridge is camouflaged with cabinetry.

    workstead interior

    Underneath the sloping ceilings of the second floor are the two bedrooms and one full bath in the house.

    workstead interior

    Two small bedrooms were combined in the most recent renovation to create the master, according to the New York Times. The ceiling was also opened up to expose some of the original framework.

    workstead interior

    The second bedroom is decked out as a nursery.

    workstead interior

    Only the half bath on the first floor is included in the photos but it shows a charming, and very petite, sink imported from England, according to the listing. The listing also notes the full bath had a complete renovation with all new fixtures and Workstead sconces.

    workstead country house

    The house is located on just under 4.5 acres of land, with the house situated near the roadway and a woody lot stretching behind it towards the Roeliff Jansen Kill, which runs picturesquely through the property. French doors off the kitchen lead to a small deck.

    There’s a shed for storage and plenty of open space for entertaining. If you want to head into town, it’s about a 10-minute drive to the slightly larger town of Pine Plains, with restaurants and The Stissing Center, a cultural arts center.

    A slightly longer drive, about half an hour, brings you to Hudson with its shops, restaurants and Amtrak service to the city.

    The house is listed for $549,000 by Liza Reiss of Elyse Harney Real Estate.

    workstead interior

    workstead interior

    workstead interior

    workstead country house

    workstead country house

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