When it was built in 1875, this structure in upstate New York, with its original chunky pine floors and renovated waiting rooms, clamored with people heading to and from New York City, often with connected cars of bleating livestock. Now, almost a century and a half later, the former train station, published in this month's Elle Decor, is the breezy weekend home (and, let's be real, pseudo-gallery space) of collector Federico de Vera. Lathed in clean white paneling and outfitted with an eclectic caboodle of "weird" treasures—"religious icons, architectural fragments, Victorian memento mori, enamel insects, coral branches"—the ticket offices and station masters' apartments breathe again, alive with a, um, more cultivated kind of chaos.
"To me, the object has to be beautiful, and it has to be presented beautifully," de Vera tells ED. "When I display things, there are pairings that I know are going to work, but sometimes I think, What if I try it this way? Will it be interesting? I want to see if the objects talk."
It's a philosophy that perhaps explains why, in the entryway (↑), a 19th-century Chinese altar table holds dozens of gilt bronze candlesticks from Italy, France, and Italy or why, in the living room, a late 1800s iron rocking chair careens next to an early-20th-century Indian stool. "I love everything. That's why I have them. It's not decoration. My attachment to these objects is personal," he says, adding that, while he sells most objects he discovers, the portraits that shroud his 14-foot-high walls "are like family; I could not part with any of them."
Also in the entryway (↑): a circa-1810 French daybed "covered with a 19th-century Mughal silk bedspread" and a cabinet "containing religious relics" that was carved out of the original ticket window.
The dining room (↑) is another study in jumbling, with a 19th-century Shaker chair sidled up with a Louis XVI chair. The silver pendants are from Peru, while the table is 19th-century French. In the guest bedroom, on the other hand, is a Danish side table from the '50s, a small collection of parchment-covered suitcases, and an English Arts and Crafts desk and table.
There are many more photos and details over at Elle Decor, so do have a look.