Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tiny Victorian Cottage

The most magical things in life are the ones that spring up where you least expect to find them. As is the case for Sandra Foster, turning old Catskills hunting cabin into a enchanted, tiny Victorian cottage, while sharing space with a 1971 mobile home, two aged trucks, a pen full of chickens and a hand-lettered sign advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs, $2 a Dozen” - was a unique challenge. Sandra turned this old, dilapidated hunting cabin into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted, using vintage columns, flooring and wavy glass windows, and doing the carpentry herself.

Across a stream and up a steep hill is Ms. Foster’s Victorian cottage. “My refuge,” Sandra calls it. It may not have a bathroom or a kitchen, but it is a dream of Victoriana: stacks of Limoges china with tiny rosebud patterns; chandeliers dripping crystal and billows of tissue-paper garlands she makes herself.

This is a very special sort-of dream house: the Victorian Sandra has wanted since she was a teen on Long Island and her middle-class family lost their home. Her cottage is a retreat that is as soul-satisfying as it was when she first imagined it.

This cottage is only accessible via a stone crossing over a stream. 
Before the renovation, the cabin was originally a 9-by-10-foot box, with a porch roof supported
by white willow tree trunks.

This makes me want to daydream the day away.
“My refuge,” she calls it.

 With lavender blush and white petunias in a window box with
 lace curtains, it is clean as a summer cloud.

This is all the more impressive because Sandra renovated the 9-by-14-foot cottage, herself. The cost of renovating and furnishing it: $3,000. The cottage looks as though it's stepped out of the enchanted forest from my favorite childhood fairytale and came to life. Absolutely gorgeous.

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