In the late 1940s, the one-and-a-half-story summer kitchen arm of an 1834 Westchester County, New York, farmhouse was sawed off and moved a few hundred yards away. That post-and-beam piece of the building grew into a rambling house in the 1950s, when two one-story additions were built. By the time the current owners bought it a few years ago, the three-bedroom was a dilapidated hodgepodge: “The roof leaked, there were snakes in the basement, and you had to go down a hatch to reach the laundry,” says Rick O’Leary, a designer charged with taking the house from ruin to revival.
Still, the buyers found a lot to like about the house. They were sold on its modest scale; it meant that almost every room had good light and views. They also loved the exposed beams and chestnut floors in the home’s 19th-century core. It felt like a classically built country house—exactly what they had hunted for.