When musical theater composer Scott Frankel and architect Jim Joseph bought a weekend getaway in upstate New York, Frankel was happy to leave the details of the renovation effort to his partner, who heads Hottenroth + Joseph Architects, a firm that has made a name for itself with tasteful updates to historic properties. "All I said was that I didn't want it to feel like some sort of museum piece," he told Architectural Digest, which ran a feature on the place in its February issue. Built in the 1830s by the family of settlers that gave Livingston, N.Y. its name, the Greek Revival Forth House hadn't been updated much in the ensuing years, aside from a haphazard move of the kitchen from the basement to the ground floor, and the regrettable addition of a postmodern conservatory with pink and teal accents in the early '80s. The couple moved in in 2004, on the same day they closed the deal, displaying the kind of zeal they used to renovate the home into one with as commanding a presence as the manor that inspired Grey Gardens—which Frankel scored when it came to broadway—without, you know, all of the decay and gloom.
Deciding something had to be done about the previous set of changes inflicted upon the home, the pair turned the addition into a new kitchen, and made a commodious powder room out of the previous one. The rest of the house received a modest rejuvenation, including a new coat of paint and the addition of a host of antique pieces: in the living room (picture above) a chandelier dating back to 1850, plus a French Empire gilt-wood mirror on the mantlepiece flanked by a pair of George III demilune tables, and in the master bedroom (below), a New York Empire bed that nicely anchors the fanciful shade of green on the walls. Take a tour through the rest of the home, including one supremely enviable pantry, over at Architectural Digest.
· A Historic Hudson Valley Home [Architectural Digest]