Justus Kempthorne and Inez Valk-Kempthorne, who fled Manhattan a while back, make a good team: He's a carpenter and cabinetmaker, she's a chef/caterer. When they refurbished an 1860s house in the northwestern Catskills town of Bloomville and opened Table on Ten, it was cause for celebration. Now, there are two rooms at the inn, and weekend visitors from NYC can stay overnight after a dinner at the café. Wood-fired pizza topped with feta and lemon-marinated fennel, anyone?
"The two upstairs bedrooms echo the atmosphere and aesthetic of the café," Inez says. "By staying with us, you become a de facto member of the community that congregates downstairs; venture down and enjoy the food (gathered from local farms, dairies and producers), join in a workshop, browse around the microshop, or just sit, drink coffee, read, or work at your laptop."
Above: The second floor bedroom features a handmade queen bed and north- and east-facing windows. All of the wood furniture was built by Justus.
Above: Pillows made from reclaimed grain sacks.
Above: A lesson in simplicity: a wall-mounted shelf serves as a small desk and a bit of greenery fills the room with life. The potted plant is a chinotto sour orange tree, chosen, says Inez, "because the blossoms have an amazing scent, floral and fresh. And as long as you keep the plant away from frost and pollinate it yourself with a little brush, it will bear lots of fruit."
Above: Lilacs and dogwood from the backyard.
Above: The walls are painted Farrow & Ball's Off-Black, a perfect backdrop for leafy plants.
Above: In the bath, original fixtures and fittings and a Meyer lemon plant add to the charmingly humble feel.
Above: A vintage bathtub painted slate gray.
Above: The stairwell leading to the attic bedroom.
Above: Under the eaves.
Above: The biggest of the two guest rooms fills the entire attic floor, with windows on all sides. Some look out on the life of the village, others at the hills. Curly willow branches are all the decoration the space needs. Inez says that they've since sprouted roots and will be planted in the yard. She notes that "willow roots excrete a lot of nutrients, so don't throw away the dirty water when you refresh the vase; use it on potted plants."
Above: The king-size bed is made from reclaimed wood.
Above: Vintage hangers.
Above: Apple blossoms and striped cotton curtains.
Above: Justus created the hand rail from a debarked sapling and simple industrial hardware.