Say hello to Madcap Cottage, a historic, 1840s-era former schoolhouse smack in the center of New York’s charming, bucolic Catskill Mountains that John and I owned for nearly twenty years. Situated in the sleepy hamlet of Hobart, known as the “Book Village of the Catskills” thanks to its many second-hand bookshops, Madcap Cottage was the perfect escape for two—and, literally, only two (and a few pound-rescue pups, natch!).
We sold the house two years ago (too far to travel from North Carolina, our new home!), but we hear that the cozy cottage is back on the market…
Herewith, a few reminiscences of the “original” Madcap Cottage that John and I rescued in the early 2000s when it was really quite tumbledown….
John and I would step inside from the flower-filled, picket fence-wrapped gardens, and enter a charming, color-packed English country house-styled sanctuary: There was a tiny foyer; spacious, contemporary kitchen; living room-cum-dining room; spa bathroom; TV den; and master bedroom with half bath. It was a tiny footprint that truly packed a punch.
John and I loved to kick back in the cottage’s glorious gardens before relaxing in the Summer Pavilion, a detached former garage and now a screened-in porch with comfortable vintage rattan furnishings and party lanterns that swayed overhead in the cool breezes. We would take a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs overlooking the burbling Delaware River—more of a wide stream—and the nearby mountains and sip a cool glass of rosé.
The home was heaven.
Here’s a taste… To learn more about the cottage, purchase a copy of our book “Prints Charming: Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors with Prints & Patterns.”
The front of Madcap Cottage with its Farrow & Ball yellow-painted front door and striped awnings. We added the round window in the master bedroom. Note how lush the gardens were that we created.
The tiny foyer with lighting from Currey & Co. and floral wallpaper. We were probably the only folks in Hobart with lacquer-pink trimwork.
The kitchen. John and I raised the ceiling and crafted a space that was one part traditional and one part contemporary.
Here’s the kitchen “before” with my dad helping to run the construction! We couldn’t have done it without dear dad.
Another “during construction” image of the kitchen.
The vest pocket-sized living room.
The fretwork bookshelf in the living room now resides in the Madcap HQ in Thomasville, North Carolina.
The top of the stairs with the custom fretwork banister and round window.
The TV den hidden behind Madcap window treatments.
The master bedroom tucked beneath the eaves. Note the built-in cabinetry and shelves.
The half bath upstairs. The master bedroom was tucked next to the foyer downstairs.
The whimsical interior of the Summer Pavilion.
The gardens at Madcap Cottage just off the kitchen porch.
Another view of the verdant gardens. John and I ordered the allée of trees online and planted them when they looked like mere sticks!