A Handcrafted Home: The House Tour
Stones found by the brook on-property accent the pizza oven. Building it “felt like the right thing to do,” says Crabtree. “Food is the center of all our parties.” A step from the old house is now a hearth. The pizza peel was carved from maple wood by a sculptor friend, Michael O’Malley.
Elements of Style
Kelli Cain and Brian Crabtree opted for nine-foot-tall windows, then designed the rooms around them, so that a different aspect of the interiors can be viewed from the outside through each; the low leather couch keeps the vantage point clear. On the wall: an aged-brass desk lamp for reading.
Woven-cord lounge chair, by Carl Hansen, abchome.com.
The Miller lamp, in White Quartz With White Linen Shade, stoneandsawyer.com.
Chunky braided wool rug, rh.com.
Mina blanket, in Beige and White, forestryathome.com.
Sheepskin, by Green Shepherd Farm, luckydogorganic.com.
Cain took up ceramics three years ago when she “wanted to do something on her own that was physical, not computer-based.” Her table, built on reclaimed-wood beams, rests on casters, so it moves easily around her workshop. An elegant porcelain-enamel lamp (from Barn Light Electric) hangs overhead.
The kitchen highlights their handiwork—and resourcefulness. The gray slats are reclaimed wood from the barn’s old milk-house ceiling. The island is a butcher block that was salvaged from the house demolition, then milled, glued up, sanded, and oiled.
When the couple’s juicer broke, Cain made a new one for Crabtree’s birthday.
To Have and to Hold
Inspired by bone, Cain created these vases by playing with white and cream glazes. The nubby vessel is a meditation on textural contrasts.
To save space, Crabtree built an iron spiral stairway (from a kit on the Internet). The shelving is bracketed with iron pipes from a hardware store. They echo the railing and allow Cain to adjust the shelf height to accommodate her work.
Cain’s favorite corner of the house is the sun-drenched dining nook with a view of the orchard. The table was made “out of urgency” when friends were coming over and the couple still lived in the barn during the rebuild. Crabtree made the tabletop out of the original house’s wood floors, and the benches out of ash sourced from a local mill. Cain stitched up the linen pillowcases by hand. “Sewing is something I grew up with,” she says. “My mother was always making curtains and clothes.” Now Cain sews most of her own, too.
Style Meets Sustenance
Cain’s stoneware, shown here, consists of necessary tools for their daily routine, including coffee-brewing. The countertops are quartz composite from a local company. Cain learned how to fire the ceramic tiles herself to form the geometric backsplash.
Cain describes her ceramics as an attempt “to encapsulate my environment and archive my time here.” So the colors are subtle and earthy—browns, blacks, and grays, but also muted whites and silvery blues, a reflection of a wintry sky.
The sink, painted the green of native lichen, is from a local salvage yard; they placed it on a shelf and left the plumbing exposed “for both aesthetic and economic reasons.”
The concrete floors throughout the house look seamless, so they flow as one space. The ceiling is pine from a local lumberyard—which the couple planed and milled themselves. The floating shelf is carved out of sugar maple; like the pizza peel, it’s a gift from O’Malley, who also taught the couple how to plaster walls.
The tub, spotted at a local salvage yard, was missing claws, so the couple placed it on hemlock-wood blocks. “It warmed up the look and gave it a modern edge,” says Cain.
Crabtree stands by the pizza oven, which replaced an old fireplace.
The expansive stretch of reclaimed wood that divides the ceramics studio and the living room slides on a rail fashioned from an iron bar. “The design allows the southern exposure to brighten the rest of the house when it’s open, while giving us the option of a visual separation from work when it’s closed,” says Cain. The woodstove (a Morso 7110) is the couple’s main heating source. “We appreciate the routine of gathering around it at the end of every day.”
Luxe mohair throw, rh.com.