The New York Times
HOUSE TOUR: Kinderhook, N.Y.
By: Bethany Lyttle
Photos: Nathaniel Brooks
WHAT Three-bedroom house on nearly four acres.
WHERE Kinderhook, N.Y., in Columbia County, about 130 miles from Midtown Manhattan.
WHO Matthew Malin, 42, and Andrew Goetz, 48, partners in life and in Malin+Goetz, their New York-based skin care company, talk about life in the house, which dates back to the early 1800s and which they purchased last March.
MR. MALIN It takes willpower to do nothing. And apparently we lacked that. In the six years or so since starting our business, we’d worked nonstop. And finally we had to acknowledge that unless we obligated ourselves to be out of town, we’d never slow down. So we started our house hunt.
MR. GOETZ We knew we wanted a historic but affordable home. And we knew we didn’t want a big renovation. After all, the whole point was to relax. So this place won us over immediately. It had huge floor-to-ceiling windows, 10-foot ceilings and glowing light that just poured in. Old farmhouses can be quite dark inside, but this was open and bright and ... ‘ahhhh.’
MR. MALIN And it appealed to our love of architecture. Everywhere, there was gracious millwork and on the front was a pretty porch. Plus, the home’s lines were simple enough that we could decorate with midcentury pieces but still retain a sense of tradition.
MR. GOETZ Don’t get the idea we spend our weekends decorating, though.
MR. MALIN We don’t. In December we were snowed in and we couldn’t have been happier. We read books — and actually finished them. We napped. We cooked and went for runs. It was perfect.
MR. GOETZ And we socialized too. I don’t want to say that Kinderhook is a Norman Rockwell painting, but you go to somebody’s house for dinner, and everyone, whether they’re weekenders or people who live there year round, is together. Of course, there are adjustments to being here, too — caring for the lawn, for example. You might think, well how hard can it be to find someone to mow a lawn? But you start getting quotes, and it’s like, are you a gardener or an attorney? Some serious searching is required. In our case, we got lucky, though. Our yard is cared for by a guy who was one of the original tasters for the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. So the lawn gets mowed as we discuss cheese and wine. Come on. What could be better than that?