They Traded Southern California for Upstate New York (and a Barn)


Davy Newkirk and Robbie Rivers have been joyful residing in Los Angeles for quite a few a long time, until finally the pandemic transformed every little thing. “We ended up residing in an spot that grew to become extreme with criminal offense,” Mr. Newkirk claimed, “and we just required to get out.”

At the exact time, Mr. Newkirk, who is in his 40s and performs as a superstar hairstylist — his consumers incorporate Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Robert Downey Jr. — observed his perform coming to a standstill. With Mr. Rivers, a marketing consultant in his 30s, doing work from residence, they had few reasons to continue being in the town.

For some time, the pair experienced toyed with the plan of obtaining a tiny next property in the Northeast, immediately after getting to be enamored with the Hamptons. In the early months of the pandemic, having said that, they devised a extra drastic strategy: They would market their household in Los Angeles and move to the East Coastline comprehensive time.

As they commenced searching at homes for the duration of the white-hot market of 2020, while, they recognized that the Hamptons was out of access. Not only have been charges extraordinarily significant, but even lackluster attributes ended up remaining snapped up by keen consumers.

Conscious that communities about the Catskill Mountains have been viewing a resourceful resurgence, they resolved to glance upstate instead. “We ended up like, ‘Let’s just go to the Hudson Valley for 10 days” to glimpse at residences, Mr. Newkirk reported, “even though we experienced never ever been there.”

As the few toured numerous houses each and every working day, it didn’t consider very long to see that the true estate industry upstate was practically as frenzied as it was in the Hamptons. “I advised Robbie, ‘I don’t want to overpay to combat with a New Yorker above a farmhouse that isn’t actually value something and demands all this do the job completed to it,’” Mr. Newkirk claimed.

Just as they had been having all set to give up, a buddy sent them a listing for a 2,800-sq.-foot brick bungalow crafted in 1967 on the outskirts of Kingston. It was in serious have to have of updating and did not have finished floors in lots of rooms, but it did have a barn, a grassy 1.5-acre great deal and a look at to the Hudson River. There were being also a handful of original aspects they appreciated, including pecky cypress wooden paneling in some rooms and floral wallpaper in the dining area.

“I walked in and stated, ‘This is the house,’” Mr. Newkirk said. They offered the comprehensive inquiring value of $349,000 and closed that November.

Then Mr. Newkirk turned to Kishani Perera, a close buddy and the inside designer who experienced worked on the couple’s household in Los Angeles. Ms. Perera wasn’t well prepared to get on a aircraft in the course of the pandemic, so they all produced designs to collaborate remotely: Mr. Newkirk would be the eyes and ears on the floor, dependable for directing contractors, and Ms. Perera would deliver advice by way of e-mail, textual content and each day movie phone calls.

“We needed it to experience like a midcentury cabin, but with very elevated parts punctuated with substantial-close designer things, for a very little little bit of glam,” Ms. Perera mentioned.

Or, as Mr. Newkirk place it: “I desired it to be very common New York — simply because I adore classic New York, and this is the very first New York property that I’ve owned — but also very luxe.”

1 of the greatest changes they produced was incorporating four pairs of French doors along the again of the property, opening to a new 1,000-square-foot deck. “It’s this lovely view, but the house had these tiny, horizontal windows, so you could not even see it,” Mr. Newkirk reported. “Now, from every home, you glimpse out the doorways and it’s like a postcard.”

They gutted and rebuilt the kitchen area with straightforward elements, together with Shaker-design cupboards, a backsplash of sq. white tiles with black grout, and Carrara marble counters. They refreshed the loos with more white tile and white marble. And they place down engineered oak flooring in a smoky grey coloration where there experienced been subfloor or outdated carpet.

They retained the initial doorways, but ebonized them for contrast versus the freshly painted pale-grey partitions. Mr. Newkirk and Mr. Rivers also spent weeks sanding and refinishing the pecky cypress paneling by themselves, to get rid of its orange hue. And they informed each individual contractor who established foot in the house that the dining area wallpaper wanted to be protected.

To furnish their new house, they installed a combine of items from their house in Los Angeles, several of which Mr. Newkirk had observed although traveling for function recently purchased pieces accepted by Ms. Perera, such as a coveted classic Togo settee and ottoman from Ligne Roset for the sitting area and presents from Mr. Newkirk’s consumers, which include a vintage lamp from the actress Rebecca Romijn and an artwork by Mr. Downey.

The pair moved in as soon as the kitchen was total, in early 2021, and lived via the rest of design as supply-chain disruptions and price hikes hampered the renovation. By the time the task was finish that September, they had blown as a result of their anticipated price range of $150,000, and put in a full of about $400,000.

Now that Mr. Newkirk’s operate has picked up once again in Los Angeles, he and Mr. Rivers not too long ago acquired a new dwelling there — but this time, a next residence. The household in Kingston continues to be their main dwelling, Mr. Newkirk reported.

“We adore this residence. It’s so relaxed, and absolutely everyone who will come in excess of is just blown absent,” he mentioned. “Coming from L.A., it’s just a breath of refreshing air.”

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