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Summer is here! That means feeling the sand between your toes, chomping on watermelon, and enjoying Vacation Home Rentals’ new summer blog series. Here you will find weekly interviews with home owners about their unique properties. This week I interviewed Angela. Her farmhouse in Medusa, New York (property #23478) is the perfect combination of modern, classic, and environmentally friendly.
Your house was inspired by a house in Salem, Ma; how did that happen?
Since our favorite writer is Nathaniel Hawthorne, we took an old photo of his house to our architect who did a design inspired by the side elevation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home in Salem, MA. The construction was completed last year.
Your farmhouse is environmentally friendly; what are some of the green features?
This is where we had a lot of fun. Firstly, the house is geothermic because it’s partly dug into a hillside. This encourages cool air to circulate in the warm months, and warm air in the cool months. We use gas to heat and cook which is more of a flexible fuel than oil. Also, the floor is certified forestry friendly, and the trim and shelving is all reused from found wood in the barn. The appliances have a high energy star rating (the refrigerator only costs $34 per year to run.) The windows are high efficiency and do an excellent job of keeping the home protected from the elements. A green built house requires a lot of research, and we dug right in.
While visiting the Full Moon Farm how can visitors spend their time?
There is no end of activities in the Mid Hudson Valley. We have vineyards, equestrian activities, Zagat rated dining, hiking, skiing, Howe Caverns, gardening clubs, live music festivals like Grey Fox, ballooning, swimming creeks, fishing holes –the list goes on! There’s something for everyone.
You have a reading room. What are some books that visitors can expect to find?
Our reading selection is eclectic but thorough. We have a range of books from best sellers and biographies to great literature. There are vintage children’s books and also some very good artist’s monographs that can all be read from the commodious chair by the window. There are also board games available for our guests to enjoy. Wifi and surround sound are located in the library so you can bring out your inner DJ.
What’s your favorite part about your rental?
We love our whole property. It is really our dream house. But our favorite part is probably the master bathroom. In the true spirit of sustainability, the counter top is a centuries-old wood plank found in the barn. We lightly sanded it, and coated it with a low VOC urethane to protect it from water. We mounted atop a marble basin nabbed on a trip to Turkey. Before we knew it, we had a vanity that cost nothing and had no carbon footprint.
We also adore our 1920’s claw foot soaking tub, also found in the barn. A little elbow grease cleaned it right up, and voila, we have a salvaged bathroom that is green AND beautiful.
What’s your advice to other home owners renting out their properties?
It’s very simple: keep it spotless and tasteful. If you aren’t a good cleaner, hire a professional. Nobody wants to sleep in a dirty house. Also, if you are stylistically challenged (you know who you are) bring in a low key designer to show you how to arrange your rooms for most appealing flow using what you already own. Don’t get defensive, they are trying to help you. Know when to ask for help in designing an appealing rental. Your youtube video of your property will show all, you can’t hide the imperfections, so make sure it looks it’s best before you film or photograph your home.
Pretty amazing house, right!? I’m partial to the vintage bath tub and the thick wood floors. What was your favorite part? See more photos at the rental page, or take a look at Angela’s site. Keep checking back all summer for more installments.