Capitalizing on Downsizing
Moving into a smaller home can be a challenge. But a can-do attitude paired with a little creativity will make the transition a smooth one.
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Okie is known for his Colonial Revival style, symmetry and detailed woodwork—all of which are evident in the gatehouse. The structure boasts wainscoting, 10-foot ceilings, built-in elements and graceful archways. Graves was instantly enchanted. “I’ve always lived in older homes,” she says.
She, Will and Sadie occupy what is the building’s second story, but because of the bank barn setup, her entrance is flush with the driveway. (A horse’s stall on the first floor serves as a novel storage unit.)
Though full of historic charm, the gatehouse features all the modern conveniences, including central air, a laundry room, two updated, freshly painted bathrooms and a sparkling kitchen with granite countertops. “The owners are meticulous,” Graves says. “Being in the home business, it’s so nice to rent from owners who care.”
The kitchen’s pine table, purchased in Massachusetts, was once a computer table in her son’s previous bedroom. “I love the patina on this, but we weren’t sure where we would put it,” Graves says, brushing the table’s glossy surface. “My son said it would be perfect in the kitchen.” Three dining room chairs made of tiger maple surround the table. They are part of a 12-chair set that the Long Island native purchased at a Westhampton Beach antiques show. (She has six. Her ex has the others.)
Her old kitchen table, a French walnut piece that Graves has owned for 24 years, is now a work desk in the living room. “It’s fun that everything has a new purpose,” she says. In the vestibule, the green gingham-covered bench that once stood at the end of her bed provides the perfect place to pull on boots. “It was a gift from my dad,” Graves says. “I couldn’t part with it.” Across the hall, a bow-front chest-of-drawers holds scarves and linens.
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