Wanda and Joan Flip this Gatehouse

This is Part 2 of our three part blog on designer, Wanda Furman, and Joan’s renovation of the Gatehouse at Hammertown Barn.  We got together again to talk about how the Gatehouse renovation came about.

Q: What made you decide to renovate the Gatehouse to begin with?

Joan: It all started last year.  Paula Redmond Real Estate has a satellite office in the Gatehouse.  Paula came to me several months ago and said they were going to downsize the Pine Plains office. So it got me thinking about what I might do with that space.  We’d used it a couple times for various events and I thought I might expand on that idea by having cooking classes or renting out the space for private dinners or other functions.  But in order to do that, I knew the Gatehouse needed some work…some re-thinking…a facelift.  I hadn’t paid attention to it for almost 10 years.

Q: So that’s when you decided to get in touch with Wanda?

Joan: Yes.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to let go of making all the decisions myself but Wanda knows everything I have in my store and I knew her sensibility of “editing” what we already had would work well in this situation.  So we talked and I asked her to come up with some thoughts on the project.  I also knew that I could work well with Wanda.

Wanda: We do have a good working relationship.

Joan: Some decorators can be intimidating…

Tim Jones of Stissing Design who was at the Barn with some clients had come into Joan’s office and overheard our conversation.  He and Wanda have worked together in the past.

Tim: That’s true.  I work with so many designers and decorators but I have to say there’s a level of comfort you get with Wanda that you don’t with other people.  She’s easy to work with yet still very professional.  And, I like her Canadian accent!

Wanda: Thanks Tim…Do I have an accent?  I always like working with Tim too.

After some reminiscing about their work history, Tim excused himself and got back to his customers.

Q: When you looked at the Gatehouse what were your first thoughts?

Wanda: The house has such great “bones”.  My main thought though was  I want to keep this a light…not a dark space…because it’s kind of small.

Joan: It needed some major editing.

Q: What did you see as the biggest problem to overcome?

Wanda: There were too many things going on…too many finishes and colors.  The design elements and textures were just going in too many directions.  All focus was lost.  It needed uniformity to make it feel more open yet connected.  The kitchen really seemed like it would be the biggest problem.  It was too dark with all the wood finishes so I knew I’d need to convince Joan to paint the wood cabinets in the kitchen and the trim.

Joan: And the lighting itself needed to be updated too.

Q: So, your major challenges would be ….

Joan: Editing

Wanda: Lighting and painting.

Q: How did you choose the colors?

Wanda: I really like the Farrow & Ball color palettes so we started with that.  I knew it needed to be something “earthy”.  We went with Mouse’s Back for the trim and Stoney Brown for the walls.

We emptied everything out of the kitchen cabinets!

Q: For the whole space?

Wanda: Yes.  Color is an great way to pull together a house.

Joan: Didn’t we start with something else and when we saw it on the wall we decided it was too dark and changed it.

Wanda: That’s right…we did.  I don’t remember what that color was…but it was definitely too dark.  We both thought so.

Joan: See…we both have the same aesthetic.  That’s why I knew we could do this together…

Stay tuned for Part 3…the big reveal!

1 Comment

  • Joan DeGregorio says:

    Joan, I love reading this. It is nice to now how greatness happens! Very interesting….. and
    informative. Can’t wait for #3.


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