Even in a village with 400 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, this Carpenter Gothic house, in the manner of Andrew Jackson Davis, stands out. It's a favorite of the many walkers who stroll the leafy streets of Rhinebeck. Surrounded by maple trees and lawn on a corner lot, the clapboard house wears a fresh coat of white with crisp black window frames topped by a steep slate roof. A graceful front porch welcomes you, an eastward-facing side porch is the perfect place for breakfast, and a stone terrace in the back catches the long rays of late afternoon sun.
Step inside to a generous entry foyer furnished with a Moroccan rug and a long church bench, opposite three doorways. One leads to the library/tv room, one to the stairs to the second floor, and one to the bright living/dining area formed by two rooms that open to each other. The first has a bay window, the perfect place to curl up in a club chair and read with the light spilling over your shoulder. The second has sofas flanking a wood-burning fireplace, French doors to the side porch, and a high counter where everyone hangs out to talk to the cook. Both rooms have tables for dining and other activities. Throughout the house are antique and vintage finds that reflect and suit life in the country.
The kitchen is a delightful place to cook, well-laid out and well-equipped with dishwasher, microwave (tucked inside a pantry cupboard), Viking range, built-in refrigerator, and a complete array of small appliances, cookware, and bakeware. A hallway from the kitchen leads to the back door to the terrace, past a wood-lined powder room and a narrow flight of back stairs leading to the upper floor.
With its red walls, seagrass rug, and comfy seating, the library/tv room is an inviting space for lounging on the daybed to read or watch a movie, or for playing games or catching up on your laptop at the table by the window. (WiFi router, Apple TV, DVD player and 42' TV are located in this room.) The bookcase holds a library of novels, local guidebooks, and other books as well as a selection of two dozen DVDs. This room has two doors which can be closed, making it a private ground floor room as well as an ideal fourth bedroom.
The main staircase leading to the second floor features a graphic wool runner, subtle Venetian plaster walls, and a small chandelier brought back from Florence. At the top of the stairs, the bedroom to the right (the goldenrod room) has twin beds with upholstered headboards, the bedroom to the left (the cocoa room) has a full-size iron and brass bedstead. All beds come with European square and standard pillows as well as down comforters. Both rooms are comfortable and spacious for an old house, with good mattresses and lighting, and connect to a large bathroom furnished with antiques and a deep soaking tub with a handheld shower.
A small hall decorated with exotic botanical prints leads to an additional bathroom with tub and shower and to the back (robin's egg blue) bedroom with a queen-sized bed, chaise longue, and plentiful closet space. In late spring, the room fills with the perfume of the blossoming pink crabapple tree that arches close to its windows.
Because of its large windows, most with their original wavy glass, the house is filled with light throughout the year. Every room captures a different quality of light and has a different mood but all are designed with comfort in mind, accented by a measure of visual spark provided by art, antiques, and design. Further stimulation is just a few blocks away.
A short walk (4 blocks) brings you to the center of the village which has wonderful shops like Paper Trail, Oblong Books, Hammertown, and Sawkille and great restaurants like Gigi Trattoria and Le Petit Bistro. For a cheap and cheerful evening out, nothing beats a burger at Terrapin and a movie at Upstate Films, an independent movie house that has been a beloved local fixture for 40 years. The Rhinebeck Farmers' Market, voted best in the Hudson Valley, takes place every Sunday opposite the firehouse. One block west of the main intersection, up the hill, is Rhinebeck's Starr library and a recreation center which includes big and kiddie pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and playground. At the northern edge of town is the Rhinebeck fairgrounds which hosts events (antique fair, craft fair, wool festival, Dutchess County Fair...) yearround.The Rhinecliff train station, serviced by Amtrak, is right on the Hudson, only two miles from the center of Rhinebeck. Staying in the village means visiting is as easy as hopping a train and catching a cab. There's no need for a car unless you want to explore further afield.
Bard College with its Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center, Hessel Museum, and Olafur Eliasson installation (the first permanent one in the U.S.) is 20 minutes up the road. In summer, the Spiegeltent sets up camp in the trees, bringing in eclectic performers and cabaret acts. Further north is Olana, painter Frederick Church's house (not to be missed) and Hudson with its incredible concentration of antique shops.
East of Rhinebeck is the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies which offers dozens of classes and workshops. 20 minutes south of town are the Vanderbilt Mansion, sites associated with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (and an old-fashioned drive-in right across the road from the Presidential Library), the Culinary Institute of America (five restaurants), Vassar's Frances Lehmann Loeb Art Center and the Powerhouse Theater (summer only) and MetroNorth train service (last stop on the Hudson River Line.)
Nature enthusiasts can climb Burger Hill and follow the path of Poet's Walk, two local parks.Paddlers can put in at Tivoli Bays, a sheltered cove on the Hudson. Hikers and climbers may prefer the greater challenges offered by the Catskills, just half an hour west. Golf, horseback riding, and skiing are also close by.
For a village of only 2600 people, Rhinebeck has alot to offer as does the Hudson Valley. But we hope you'll feel so content in the house that you won't feel driven to leave and, if you do venture out, will always be happy to return.