A Norwegian couple crafts a contemporary cabin in Bovina, New York.
Originally from Norway, photographer Torkil Stavdal and nutritionist Jeanette Bronée brought a slice of their native Scandinavia to the Catskills when they collaborated with architect Kimberly Peck to design their dream home. “We wanted the feel of a New York loft and a modern house while also adapting the 'hygge' from the cabins we grew up with,” Bronee, a former interior decorator, says. The 1,945-square-foot residence blends rustic, industrial, and midcentury modern elements for a laid-back yet sophisticated look.
In Scandinavian regions, traditional cabins are painted black using a mixture of tar and linseed oil. Peck reproduced the look using corrugated metal—a lower-maintenance, more sustainable material. “We love that it is black, because it really reminds us of home,” Bronee says. The house has no windows on its front side, belying its light-flooded interior.
The house captures meadow views, thanks to three large sliding doors by Loewen that lead out to a big deck. “We wanted to hide the view from visitors until you get inside, so it would feel like a surprise when walking in,” Bronee says. “This also gives us the sense of being tucked in and cozy in the winter with a view of the meadow, and in the summer it feels like indoors and outdoors are connected. We live just as much on the deck as we do inside.”
The cabin’s basic structure was reclaimed from a barn built in 1840 and purchased from Heritage Barns out of Waco, Texas. The same company supplied the recycled wood that clads the walls, though the ceiling boards are new. “We stained them with a gray wash to match the tones of the post and beam, but with a more clean look,” Bronee explains. The concrete floors were polished and waxed for a sleek finish.
Most of the home’s furniture was purchased at Restoration Hardware, Circa Modern, or antique shops. “We both love the midcentury designs that we grew up with,” Bronee says. “We wanted furniture that was authentic to us and our personal styles while also fitting into a Catskills hideaway barn.”
In the dining area, Danish modern chairs purchased at Circa Modern are tucked into a wood table from Restoration Hardware. The kitchen cabinets, counters and sink are from Ikea with faucets from Danze. The backsplash tiles are from Heath Ceramics.
With its open-joisted, gabled ceiling, the upstairs bedroom is cozy but bright. Bedside tables from Kartell and Tizio Lamps from Artemide flank the bed, while a midcentury credenza, purchased at Old Soul Antiques sits beneath the window.
The total cost of the house was about $350,000, though the owners have since added a garage, outdoor bath and shower, and a yoga platform in the woods.