Name: Jenny McClary and Allie Leepson
Location: Wardsboro, Vermont
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
We bought our three-bedroom, Adirondack-style cabin in southern Vermont (smack in between Stratton and Mount Snow). We were impulsive with the buy, but it has turned out so well. The cabin was built in ’82 and sits on about 1.5 acres of land. The interiors are covered in knotty pine and feature unfinished stone flooring in the kitchen, front entryway, around the fireplace, and the sliding door to our wrap-around deck. We did nearly all of the renovations ourselves (painting, changing light fixtures, swapping out functional hardware, etc.). Our goal was to turn this traditional Vermont ski cabin into a well-designed space that’s more than just a place to take your snow boots off.
We had been talking about purchasing a home as a little escape for a few years and actually had been looking to buy in Joshua Tree all of last summer. We put down three different offers (all outbid by cash buyers). We got so tired of traveling back and forth from New York City to California that we went up to Vermont to chill out. We did look at three cabins (found on Redfin) while there to see if we would get as excited about a place there as we did in Joshua Tree. Turns out we did, and it was the best thing that happened to us. We put an offer down the next day.
This home had been on the market for a year, but we took our chances anyway. It ended up being in great condition—just needed some cosmetic renovations. We spent four and a half months renovating (which was so fun) then put it up on Airbnb. After living in a tiny, not “cute” Brooklyn apartment for so many years, having a nice, large space that was actually ours felt incredible. We are actually able to have our friends and family over and entertain, which we’ve never been able to do! One of the most unique parts of the home is the somewhat unfinished stone flooring in the entryway, kitchen, around the fireplace, and by the sliding door. In the winter we love hanging out in the living room by the fire and in the backyard in the summer.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-century modern with elements of the Southwest thrown in.
Favorite Element: The extra large windows in the living room, the knotty pine walls and ceiling, our vintage Preway fireplace that we had shipped from Long Beach, California—we always knew that no matter where our place was, we had to have a Preway. Let’s just say shipping a vintage fireplace across the country to a small town in Vermont wasn’t the easiest thing to do, ha!
What is your favorite room and why?: The living room/dining room—there are four huge windows and the space is so open. It’s a great place to hang out in.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? No electric baseboard heat in the bedrooms! We installed an energy-efficient ductless heater/AC in the living room which has been amazing but we would love to be able to heat/cool the rest of the house that way.
Is there anything that embarrasses you about your home? The wooden bear in the backyard holding a “welcome” sign left by the previous owners that we just haven’t gotten around to getting rid of!
What do friends say about your home when they visit? Everyone loves the living room with the windows and fireplace. Also our backyard! We have a really nice table/hang-out area and a fire pit.
Biggest Challenge: Finding enough time between guest stays to make sure projects get done. We’re lucky to be so busy with renters on Airbnb that sometimes we forget to block off time for us to get up there!
Proudest DIY: The whole thing (minus the floors)! We did every project ourselves including painting, deck staining, changing light fixtures, etc.—not to mention we only had the weekends to work since we were both in full-time jobs at the time. We taught ourselves everything.
Biggest Indulgence: Definitely the aforementioned vintage Preway fireplace.
Best Advice: Make sure the home has a clean inspection! Our place is in perfect condition structurally, our roof is totally fine, and even our kitchen had been upgraded recently. If you’re not up for a huge renovation then making sure everything is in good condition is key.
Ceiling light — Bellacor Craftmade Nova Gloss Black 16-Inch Three-Light
Barn door — Amazon
Pennant — BC Burnings
Vintage Preway fireplace — Urban Americana
Couch — Article
Coffee table — Allmodern
Rug — Rejuvenation
Media console/TV stand — Allmodern
End table — Allmodern
Firewood holder — Rejuvenation
Speaker — Marshall
Bed — CB2
Lighting — Nelson Saucer Pendant Lamp — Design Within Reach + Schoolhouse Electric sconces
Shelves — Urban Outfitters
Small quilt on shelf — Purchased at a local shop in Chimayo, NM
Vintage clock — Etsy
Cabinet knobs — build.com
Shower curtain — Target
Fire pit — AllModern
Picnic table — Amazon
Lanterns and lounge chairs — Target
Lighting — build.com
Thanks, Jenny and Allie!
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