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This house is an artistic getaway. No, it's not technically built on trees, but it is a tree house in the way it is perched in the trees. There are hammock chairs hanging inside, outside and in the loft, so sitting back and hammocking becomes an activity in itself. The living room's wall of windows looks out expansively onto views of trees and mountains. The open floor plan and high vaulted wooden ceiling of the living room, dining area and kitchen create a further feeling of expansiveness as the space flows right out to the large, high deck that sits amongst and above the surrounding trees. People end up feeling connected to the mountains as they cook and spend time both inside and out. Everything in the house has been updated with design, furnishings and art that have warmth and character. The hickory wood floors were selected from sustainable Amish forests. The imported wood and steel stairs give modernity and warmth to the living room. The walls are painted with colors chosen to keep the experience of being in the house interesting and inspiring. I've hung unusual art by local and other artists in each room.
The House: This house is perfectly situated near Hunter Mountain, Phoenicia and Woodstock. This gives it easy access to many activities, yet it is in a peaceful wooded area. The living room's vaulted ceiling and wall of windows give hours of sitting pleasure by the fire. This is a place where you will feel happy spending time. It feels so warm and expansive with its beautiful mountain views that often people say they don't want to leave. The bedrooms are cozy, quiet and artful, the kitchen and the bathrooms are modern and luxurious. The kitchen is a particularly satisfying place to cook and to spend time. It is modern with new stainless steel appliances and fully equipped with quality stainless steel cookware, lovely dishware and all needed cooking utensils, etc. Because the open floor plan opens the kitchen out to the dining area and living room, as you cook you can talk with your friends as they sit at the kitchen bar and look out the views of the mountains and the fireplace.
Activities: Have dinner and breakfast while looking out at the mountains from the large, high deck. Hike from the house up the mountains into the state park on trails with wonderful views that pass streams and waterfalls. Downhill ski minutes away at Hunter Mountain, Belleayre, or Windham Ski Resorts. Cross country ski right from the door.
Ride horses through the mountains at a stable minutes away. Swim, wade, or tube in one of the nearby creeks. Eat at one of the adorable nearby restaurants. Take a long bath in the jacuzzi tub in the spa-like over-sized bathroom. Relax in front of a fire while looking out of the living room's glass wall at the surrounding mountains. Spend an afternoon at the nearby spa getting massages and other treatments. These are some of the things people do when they stay here.
The house is a two-level house. The upper level is the rental level, which is part of what makes this feel so much a tree house. The lower level is sometimes occupied by Callie, the property caretaker and a lovely and incredibly nice and helpful woman. She is hardly around and guests who do see her always say the nicest things. The two levels are completely separate so it doesn't feel like anyone else is around.
Sustainable House: This is also a green house. In renovating and running this house I have used as many environmentally sustainable products as possible. The hickory floors were collected from sustainably run private forests rather than farm grown or collected from public lands. All cleaning and other products used are environmentally sustainable products.
The master bedroom has color, character and warmth - it even has a mantel and faux fireplace (think ambiance!). It leads directly into an en suite bathroom. The effect is both cozy and luxurious....moreless
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About the owner: I'm a psychologist and my wife is in in public relations. I have private practices in Brooklyn and Manhattan and I'm a research scientist at NYU, where I did much of my training. I grew up in Denver, thus the love for mountains. I grew up hiking, skiing and tubing in rivers and loved it all I had to keep doing it when I moved to New York. My wife grew up i a small town outside of Kansas City and she used to hop on a bus to get to the Colorado mountains. We met in NYC and we live in Brooklyn, which we adore. When we aren't up in the Catskills for the weekend we might be riding our bikes around Brooklyn.
Why the Owner Chose Hunter: I moved to NYC in 1993 and by 2001 was thinking that I still loved the city, so wanted to keep living in it, but also wanted to balance my time there with some time in nature. Since I grew up 15 minutes away from the mountains I wanted the mountains back in my life on a regular basis. I had been visiting a friend's place in the Catskills and found the mountains to be so sweet and charming. Different from the grand vistas of the Colorado mountains and just as beautiful in their own way. I loved the little towns in the Catskills - Hunter, Tannersville, Phoenicia, Woodstock - towns nestled in mountains are always special to me and I seem to find myself seeking them out wherever I travel in the world. Some of the ski areas, both downhill and cross country, reminded me of how ski areas in Colorado were when I was growing up - they have a rustic charm to them that feels in harmony with the mountains. I wanted to spend time swimming in creeks and hiking through the trees. And now I do!
The Unique Benefits at this Chalet: As I was looking for a place in the Catskills I kept coming upon houses that either felt very interior, in which case I would imagine myself wanting to go out to a cafe just to get outside (wait, that sounds like what I like to do in the city, not the mountains!) or they felt like just any house that could be anywhere. This house was the only one I saw that felt open - like a treehouse with so much glass looking out onto the deck and mountains - and therefore felt related to the trees and mountains around it. It felt a bit magical to me. I bought the property and had a great time slowly changing it to make it especially inspiring to me.