Several years ago, the opportunity arrived to purchase the little house and grounds which intersected the L-shaped property of what is now known as, The House at Rooster Ridge. After the purchase we eagerly began to discover what would lead us to the renovation of this over-100-year-old building. Our first indication of the potential for this little structure was hidden behind a tiny door. Under the carpeted and narrow staircase which led to the second floor was a sheet rock wall and in it a small painted door, approximately 18″ tall by 15″ wide. As we peered behind the door, we found the first clue to the depth of the possibility of how amazingly quaint this little structure could become!
When the little door was opened we found a small space which had previously been used as a storage area for a vacuum cleaner. With flashlights in our hands the initial discovery was made—and the rest, as they say, is history! The floor of this tiny space was dusty and dingy—and constructed of very worn wide plank flooring. Peering inside and now with the assistance of light fully illuminating the floor we realized, what we were seeing between the several small separations between the planks, which lay side-by-side, was the stone-walled basement. This meant only one thing to us—as self-proclaimed-forensic-building-historians—that we were looking at the original flooring of this building!
The first action we took (excitedly, hurriedly) was to rip out the door and sheet rock wall which had been built to create this storage space. As the sheet rock was removed we also made our second wonderful discovery—the staircase was solid old wood. As we continued our inspection and through the enthusiastic discussions which followed, we came to understand that this wide plank floor ran beneath the existing and relatively new strip-oak flooring. This was the moment when we fully realized the little treasure we had found! And to think this precious gem was sitting right next door for—oh, over a hundred years!
One of the design themes at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is the intention to create vignettes, small illustrated stories which are told in a visual language. The small and precious space, beneath the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge, is one of those tales.
Due to the small stature of this space the inspiration for this design-story unfolded as I pondered who would comfortably fill this space. I allowed my thoughts to meander, to carry me loftily to a lovely vision and as I did so, I imagined a young child sitting in this little room beneath the stairs. I watched an imagined tea-party with a brown furry bear and later, a quiet and special space to look upon a picture book.
And so it became, The Small & Precious Space—Beneath the Stairs. A table was added and upon it was placed a charming rooster lamp—complete with an amusing fabric shade depicting roosters and farm scenes and finished with a cheerful red pom-pom trim. The underside of the stairs were exposed by removing the angled wall—adding interesting geometric shapes and dimension then painted a warm vintage barn red.
A shelf followed—the top could hold little books and the shelf was adorned with wooden pegs to hang a little sweater or bag. During a recent antique excursion a French Iron Painters’ Chair was found and brought to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge adding the finishing touch. On the shelf hangs a Vintage Wreath Form, which was used to create fresh wreaths of greens and flowers, now the form awaits—to be filled at a moments notice should an announcement of a tea-party occur!
The Small & Precious Space—Beneath the Stairs came to be—as structured thoughts were invited to float away—leaving a small and precious space—within our thoughts, for a day-dream vision to arrive. We offer to you the same invitation, let go of what it is you actually see and welcome the ability to dream and design in your cottage!
At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we are fans! The options are endless—the mixing of patterns, colors, sizes—and the multitude of choices of how to display—independently or with the creation of interesting groupings are endless!
The texture is vibrant with the combination of the dimensional pressed patterns of the tin and the surface texture created by peeling and cracking of the original paint. The aging of each tin creates an original work, as no two are alike!
The possibilities are endless—using the same pattern in various colors, intermixing patters of the same color—we get dizzy just thinking of all the ways these pieces can be used.
The plan at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is to have the Vintage Tin art go down the entire stairway of The Cottage! Time to discover more!
We are considering making one-of-a-kind sets available for purchase—any interest? We have many ideas and color combinations in mind! Contact us!
Vintage Tin—in the original historic form or Vintage Tin Art—which has been recently enhanced—is nothing short of artwork!
This is one of those times I absolutely wish I had an incredibly talented and professional photographer available to me—bringing with them their artistry, knowledge, experience—and, all of those great lights and cool lenses… to fully demonstrate—sometimes…it’s about the drama!
Exposing the peaked roof on the second floor of The House at Rooster Ridge created an architecturally dramatic essence from the naturally stunning angles, pitch and height of the space. The drama, in this case, was a good thing and we did what we could to embrace it, enhance it and build upon it.
The first item to be addressed were the two support beams which ran across the pitched ceiling. We relied upon the artistry of our wood craftsman who created panel insets on the beams and finished them with classic crown molding. The talented craftsmanship was further elaborated with the richness of Mahogany, our favorite wood.
To intensify the impact of the height of the ceiling, lighting was added along the top (inside) of the beams creating a glowing illumination.
In the same finishing style we built a mahogany triangle base, to suspend the majestic Americana Fan. We discovered this from one of our favorite resources, Barn Light Electric. As luck would have it, the blades were available in mahogany and we selected an Antique Brass finish. The impressive scale of this fan usually results in a sigh, as the span is an impressive six feet!
Another one of the beautifully dramatic elements is the 1930’s Antique Art Deco glass lamp which is gracefully suspended from the ceiling on long brass chains. The soft lavender—blue glass emits a sultry lilac light while simultaneously displaying a lovely contrast created from the etched white flowers when illuminated.
The acquisition of what we consider to be a piece of art is the pre-1900’s stained glass window. The glass brings continuous joy as we observe the variances of colors—depending on the light from outside.
Sometimes, it’s best not to “Save the drama for your Mama” and relish the drama created in the magnificence of design, color and varying elements!
The farm table in The House at Rooster Ridge is richly illuminated with a trio of lights—creating a visually interesting balance to this long rectangular room! The two lights placed on the outside end of the trio are composed of a unique pairing—designed at Rooster Ridge!
We began with two vintage brass and copper ship lights. Commonly referred to as a “fox lights” these lights were positioned several feet above the working deck area and were only used during loading and unloading operations. The beauty of the beehive design, the rich color and sheen of the copper and brass is wonderful! The lights have a latched glass lens which once protected the internal electrical components from salt and sea creating an industrial feel.
Rather than hanging the “fox lights” directly to the ceiling by suspending them from a chain or a using a pole extension an unusual pairing was made with a Vintage Iron Pulley. A theme was loosely interpreted by connecting the two with heavy rope, a standard in the world of ships and remaining authentic to the original use of a pulley! A natural fit for a unique pairing!
With our ever present desire to remain vigilant to the attention to details two additional nuances were addressed. With a cheeky irony, the hooks attached to the ceiling to hold the lights are mermaid hooks! The other detail is the wire we used, we researched vintage style wiring and selected a gold cloth-covered braided wire. We agree with the adage; the whole is the sum of the parts, we believe it is the attention to the smallest of details that creates an overwhelming design.
We love signs, all kinds of signs…homemade, neon, vintage and new retro signs. Signs can say so much, evoke a mood, make a statement, add humor and in doing so add to the personality of a home or a place of business.
At a casual party or a get-together with friends, quick and easy signs create a theme and serve a function.
Often when the host and/or hostess are busy tending to guests a well placed sign can answer a simple question regarding what is being served or the kind of ingredients used, in that way, always tending to their guests.
“How do you like your coffee?” signs.
This vintage Kendall Motor Oil sign hangs in the kitchen of the House at Rooster Ridge.
The new retro Washroom sign points guests to the right direction when required!
We love the sentiment of the Gather sign (Sundance Catalog) while the subtle color-on-color positioning of the Eat subliminally makes a suggestion to those who enter the kitchen. (Wall color: Benjamin Moore-Raisin Torte)
This antique glass Exit sign was spotted lying on a shelf in a NYC store, purchased years ago—finally our vision of having it lit and installed has come to fruition with the renovation. A brass ring was forged to hold the glass to enable mounting to the wall. A small light fixture was in-wall mounted to create an authentic exit sign! Perhaps this should be illuminated as a cue for guests to depart…it’s late and so many dishes to do…
Guests in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge are greeted by a welcoming sign— Hotel.
The “boys” bathroom in The House at Rooster Ridge has an appropriate race theme in honor of our resident race car driver!
The pendant which serves as general lighting to the bathroom has a wonderful vintage look! (Magnolia Pendant in Historic Nickel – Barn Light Electric)
When in doubt at Rooster Ridge, we encourage you to Read the Signs! Add some signage to your own cottage and let the reading begin!