A Skincare Creator’s Rescued 1830s House in the Catskills, Filled with Plants

“We began our search for an upstate home in late 2019 the way everybody does it,” says David Krause: “by scrolling through Realtor and Zillow while bored and dreaming of a country getaway.”

The couple’s search yielded an 1830s house in Freehold, NY, but it was all but completely defunct, with no hot water, nonfunctioning bathrooms, and leaks in the roof. Still, squinting a little, David—founder of the vegan, all-genders skincare line Alder New York—and his husband, Ayan Chatterjee, a producer for MSNBC, could see its potential. “There wasn’t a lot of inventory at the time, but I fell in love with this house, with its mountain views and wrap-around porch and original features,” David says.

Taking the full-scale renovation into their own hands, the duo restored the house’s stateliness and gave the interiors rustic yet design-forward appeal. The results were so good, in fact, they abandoned plans to use the house as a weekend escape from the city and moved in full time.

Have a look around.

the house, returned to its original glory, has a wrap around porch and sits on  14
Above: The house, returned to its original glory, has a wrap-around porch and sits on a hilltop in the town of Freehold.

The list of changes made (so far)? “We renovated the kitchen and the bathrooms, added a laundry room, mudroom, and the den with a wood-burning stove,” says David. “We also replaced the roof with a metal standing seam roof (we weren’t planning on this; needing a new roof was one of the surprises of fixing up an old home!), took off the aluminum siding, and restored the wood siding underneath. We also updated electrical and added split-system AC and heating. And we added a pool (this is our favorite addition).”

the entry, like the rest of the house, has painted wood floors—a custom  15
Above: The entry, like the rest of the house, has painted wood floors—a custom color “picked to match some of the floors that were painted black by the previous owner.”