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Upstate Jane: Log Pillows — Weekend Home Chic and Faux Bois

Megan Oldenburger, aka Upstate Jane, is the owner of Dichotomy Interiors, an Interior Design and Style firm based in Woodstock, NY. She writes for Upstater about design, home furnishings, real estate and culture.

I love that my two places allow me to be a bi-polar designer. The place in the city is older and more traditional while the weekend place is super laid back and rustic modern. I get to divulge both sides of my split personality. I get to be a cocktail of one half Glamour Juice, one half Penelope Tree.

When I first moved in I needed some throw pillows for our then bland oatmeal tweedy sectional in Woodstock. I wanted color, but I also thought a log pillow would be appropriate. I don’t like a house full of kitsch but a few pieces can bring some humor. And I am one humorous lady. (Actually I was told by a casting director that she could never even picture me laughing.) I guess the joke was on her, when I totally laughed really hard later that night and she DIDN’T even HEAR IT!

My adorable husbo wanted to get me a log pillow for my bday from one of my favorite and lovely design accessory stores in Woodstock. Although we try to buy locally and to keep the economy pumping up here, he had to pass because they were just too expensive for our modest budget. I decided I should look myself- (being the thrifty, humorous, glamorous woman I am.)

I was surprised that many people make logs. Oh now…stop that…enough with your potty humor. Remember? I am glamorous.

Here is a great log pillow on Etsy, love the Hong Kong furbaby too- does it come with? Because I think that is illegal.
These are great pillows, one of my favorites from chicdesigndotcomon Etsy, running between $40-80 dollars a piece depending on size.

Sew Faux on Etsy has some really unique items, one of my favorites is this chair pad for $90.00. Brilliant!

This nice sweet log pillow is straight has a soft end on it for $50.00 from ooTreebirdoo Read the rest of this entry

Pre-Revolutionary Cottage in Millbrook, $385,000

Sweet, yes? This Millbrook cottage has the low ceilings that are common in houses this age, and I don’t love the kitchen, but there’s an undeniable charm to this house. I think it had a 1980s or early 90s update, judging from the cabinets and the solarium tacked on. Good stuff: 11 acres, a stream, original cooking hearth, nice fireplace, built-ins. If you can handle the low ceilings, this one screams country house. Taxes are not outrageous at $3,207 a year (I’ve seen way higher) $10,885 a year (listed as much lower on Trulia, for some reason) nd it’s got a nice combo of feeling really rural but being only minutes from the village of Millbrook and the MetroNorth. Stats on the jump.

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Changes at Upstater: New Partner Needed!

Hello, lovely and loyal Upstater readers. If you also obsessively leaf through upstate New York real estate listings, and can write, please drop me a line if you’d like to blog regularly for Upstater. My wonderful partner now has full-time job and a part-time gig, and no longer has time.

Of course, as you can see, we have no ads or listings yet, and thus no revenue, and thus no salary to offer. BUT…we are getting ready to launch a new site with those features, and will be able to offer the new writer a healthy portion of our proceeds once they exist. You’ll need to be at least a part-time Upstater. Feel free to pass on the plea!


Cold Spring Village Bungalow, $429,000

Both 8 B Street and 10 B Street are currently for sale, but 8 has a dearth of interior pictures that makes me nervous. Number 10, on the other hand, has some potential. Porch, renovated kitchen, nice stone detailing, fireplace, and a great spot: walking distance to downtown, parks and the river. It has only one bathroom, definitely a minus, and just a teeny weeny city lot. Anyone looking to relocate permanently? Stats on the jump.

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Pedigreed Victorian in Uptown Kingston for $395,000

There’s something bittersweet about seeing a home for sale that’s been in the same family for over one hundred years, such as this grand Kingston Victorian currently on the market. With any historic home, part of the appeal is buying a piece of history, but with this particular house, you’re also buying a century’s worth of one family’s heritage.

And what a heritage it is! According to the broker’s notes, this house belonged to Charles Grant Ellis, the foremost “Oriental Rug Scholar” of the twentieth century. Note the gorgeous rugs in every room as well as the antique-per-square footage ratio. To my taste, it’s just right. At least from these pics, the house doesn’t look bed-and-breakfast fusty or antique shop crammed. Rather, I get the sense that Aunt Edith brought over that chiffonier on the Queen Elizabeth, or that Cousin Fabian won that tapestry in a game of whist. And if only those rugs could talk.

Sadly, the house doesn’t come furnished. However, it does come with eleven rooms, including a library, and more moldings than you care to count. It’s on a corner lot, in desirable Uptown Kingston, in an area with similarly impressive historic homes. The lot is rather small, though, and without off-street parking or the space for a garage. Oh, there is only 1.5 baths—-in a house with six bedrooms! I’m guessing, though, that the person who wins this one will appreciate the house’s greater charms and hopefully, keep it in the family for another one hundred years. Fabulous pics and stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Photos of Maplecrest, Post-Irene

When I asked some of the guys working on clean-up in hard-hit Maplecrest if I could take photos, they bristled at first and then thanked me for “at least asking.” Apparently, lots of tourists have been driving by post-Irene, rolling down their windows to point and shoot, and then driving away. Once I explained that the pics would appear on an Upstate-focused blog to show what damage has been done and how clean-up is coming along,  I was readily welcomed.

Most of these pictures are of County Rd 40, which connects pretty Maplecrest to nearby Hensonville.  Maplecrest’s town center on Rd 56, some of which escaped the storm,  boasts lovely nineteenth-century churches and homes. While small and sleepy, Maplecrest has a growing artistic community and is currently in the middle of converting its formerly bustling, now abandoned Catskills vacation colonies into an arts center.

If you’re a local, let us know how you feel Maplecrest is doing or what you think of all the media coverage. Helping? Hurting? Do you want journalists to move on or do you think sustained attention is a good thing for the Catskills, even if it’s thanks to Irene?

Where to Donate Clothes, Money and Food for Delaware County Residents

Things are still very bad up in Delaware County, and there are now some coordinated efforts to get help to folks. Our Margaretville correspondent, herself a victim of Irene, has passed on some info for those who want to donate money or goods.

· RP has volunteered to run a drop-off point. The address is: Powell Communications, 84 Wooster St. #603 in SoHo. Times: M-F, 9-6.

·  Cash donations can be made to the MARK Project. Their website is  and their phone number is 845.586.3500· General questions can be directed to Delaware County Emergency Services at607.746.9600

· Donations of clothing and non-perishable foods to help re-stock the food pantry and give to need families can be made at the Methodist Church located on Church Street next to the fire hall in Margaretville. Volunteers are needed there to help stack shelves, sift and organize clothing donations. Please don’t go to the firehall with these items. They are overwhelmed as it is.

· Catskill Mtn Family Table program is up and running. They will be getting surplus food donations from Methodist Church Site.

· Please go to the Tides Load of Hope page on Facebook and post that we need them to come to our area. This is a squeaky wheel effort. The places the squeaks the most will be most likely to get them to come. This would get a large semi with washers and dryers here for people to clean their clothes. If you are not on FB or who have friends who aren’t ask them to call Tide at 1-800.879.8433

· The Central NY Radio Group is holding an all-day radiothon to raise money for the Delaware County communities damaged by Irene. In the first hour, $3,000 has been raised. To contribute, call toll-free 1-888-432-1030 .

Map of Damaged and Washed-Out Roads in Upstate New York

Click here for a helpful, interactive crowd-sourced Google map of washouts and closures in Greene, Delaware, and Ulster Counties.

Turn-of-the-Century Tannersville “Cottage” for Sale for $380,000

I love when spacious, elegant houses are called “cottages” to indicate their second home status. Viva old money understatement! This 5 bedroom, 3 bath Tannersville “cottage,” found in the elegant Onteora Park neck of the woods, hardly counts as roughing it, though it does offer plenty of rustic and period touches. Real wood paneling, a stone fireplace, two clawfoot tubs, built-in bookshelves and established gardens complete the package. Plus, much of furniture is available as part of the asking price.

The house is located Route 23C,  between the Mountain Top Arboretum and Main Street, Tannersville, a pretty stretch of road. It hit the market in June, and the price hasn’t budged, but while the area is very desirable, I think this could come down a bit. And make sure they stick to that furniture offer!

Stats and more pics on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Classic White Farmhouse in Newburgh for $399,900

This  1840 farmhouse in Newburgh is an interesting anomaly. Most of Newburgh’s historical homes housing stock consists of urban Victorian gems or imposing riverfront mansions with a bit of Miss Havisham feel. A classic center hall colonial farmhouse, complete with rocking chair porch and an extra acre of land, seems like something you’d find farther up the river. The realtor claims it to be one the first farmhouses in Newburgh. Newburgh’s farms are long gone, but if you buy this house, you could indulge in your country squire fantasies and have a slightly-worse-than-Westchester commute to the city.

The house has been well-maintained and has some appealing features: wood burning fireplaces inside and out, that deep porch as well as a stone patio, a tin ceiling in the kitchen and a separate workshop out back. It’s also in the more desirable Marboro school district, and Marlboro itself is a cute little town. The house has been on the market for six months, and the seller has knocked the price down by $20,000 twice, so it looks like this one could go for even less than the price tag. Stats and more pics on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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