stephmodo: Real Life Home No.14 - a Converted Barn in Vermont

Real Life Home No.14 - a Converted Barn in Vermont

• 16 January 2012

What would you give to call this lane your driveway?  And how would your life change if you enjoyed this beautiful expanse each day of your life?  A view that some say is the best view in Vermont as it covers four mountain ranges in four different states.  I, for one, cannot imagine such a thing as I can see hundreds of homes from my living room window.  Perhaps that is what makes this "real life home" so precious to me.  That, and the lovely woman who calls this converted barn in Vermont, home sweet home. 

I only met Nadia a few months ago when she accompanied Aran and I to France for the workshop, to act as Aran's assistant.  She was a stranger to me at the beginning of the week, but a friend to me at the end.  Her heart is as welcoming as the home she shares with her husband, Kevin, and I'm so excited to share a slew of images with you today.

Imagine Nadia driving home from the local farmer's market with a big basket full of locally-grown produce (Nadia owns the best market basket!).  She walks inside, drops down her bags, checks on the kittens and sits down for a moment to enjoy that gorgeous view.  How could she not?  Oooh, but it's a bit chilly so perhaps a fire is in order.  Especially these days...

Now that the fire is crackling, it's time to unload those market bags and start thinking about dinner. 

{I'm loving that red stool peeking around the corner.  What a great way to mix "old" and "new".  Oh and that green armoire!}

Time to check on the fact, an egg or two would be delicious poached over one of those gorgeous garden tomatoes.

{Anyone else experiencing chicken coop envy?  And backdrop envy for that matter.  This setting is about as surreal as the driveway!}

{Love Nadia's signature felted wool jewelry collection.  She wore one of her favorites a few times in France and looked so beautiful.} 

Miss Nadia loves her reds and she'll take it any way she can...pretty apples, an iron chair, a stool, a pillow and paintings. 

Nadia has quite the menagerie...she's rescued several animals over the years--horses, ducks and chickens to name a few--and lovingly cares for them everyday.  This one clearly appreciates the view, as he should!

And those creamy, white dishes all stacked up on the shelf.  Simple yet so pretty. 

Aaah, and now the inspirational writer's shack settled down in the most exquisite of settings.  Something so many of us dream of, yes?  I died when she sent me this image.  My first thought was, `is this for real?'

So now I have chicken coop envy AND writer's shack envy :) 

Those who are lucky enough to stay with Nadia get to rest their pretty little heads on this sweetly adorned bed upstairs in the attic.  I know my kids would jump up and down with joy over the chance to slumber here.

"How are the horses doing?", Nadia wonders as she peeks out the window.


Nadia's own respite (I just realized we have the same chair from IKEA...who else has that uber versatile chair?!).  Vintage paintings, that awesome market bag I referenced earlier, and a collection of books about subjects she loves.  A tasteful, well-edited collection is always something I appreciate in others' spaces. 

I love what Nadia says about the antiques in her home, including the artwork on the wall here, "I love paintings and often buy them because I feel as if I cannot leave them behind; others I find in antique shops piled behind junk. I feel as if the pieces I have at the house have come to me with purpose.  I know that I am the curator of these things for a period in time and one day someone else will be."

It's only apropos to conclude today's tour with another pop of red and a painting of blueberries--a wild fruit that takes over the state in the Summertime.  When we lived in Boston we slipped away to visit my brother-in-law and his family as much as possible.  One such trip was during blueberry season and I"ll never forget the millions of blueberries lining the highway.  Oh how I wished we could just pull off the interstate and eat, eat, eat.  I have no doubt that Nadia enjoys these sweet, little treats all over these rolling, green hills.

She writes in appreciation for this home, "I love how bright the stars are at night, how the sunsets and sunrises take my breath away every time.  I love that I can take long walks in the forest, snow shoe for hours, pick apples, pears and berries from our yard and make fresh bouquets from acres of wild flowers.  I love the quietness of living in a secluded place and the noises that come from a big variety of birds and wild life- not to mention dogs barking, cats meowing duck quacking and horses galloping!".   Now that's what I call a "real life home" indeed.  Thank you for sharing your home with us Nadia~

You can catch up with Nadia and her life on 100 acres in Vermont over at her tranquil blog, La Porte  Rouge.  Again, that "red" comin' through :)

More lovely, well-edited spaces for your viewing pleasure:

Real Life Home No.13 - Dottie Angel's Mossy Shed
Real Life Home No. 12 - "Aunt Patty" (sophisticated mid-century)
Real Life Home No.11 - Rubyellen - (flea market finds with a French flair)
Real Life Home No.10 - Julie (elegant whites + reclaimed materials)
Real Life Home No. 9 - Petra (living in a tower w/kids)
Real Life Home No. 8 - Kayce (southern + sweet)
Real Life Home No. 7 - Sara (colorful + eclectic)
Real Life Home No. 6 - Amy (calming neutrals)
Real Life Home No. 5 - Lynne (whimsy + details)
Real Life Home No. 4 - Emily (whites + woods)
Real Life Home No. 3 - Kirsten (clean + textural)
Real Life Home No. 2 - Maria (white kitchen love)
Real Life Home No. 1 - Cherilee (mid-century modern)

images by Nadia Dole


  1. oh my gosh-amazing! I think I would be VERY happy there!

  2. Здравствуйте Stephanie!
    Дом вашей подруги необычен, я думаю, что она креативный человек. Я немного ее читала и поняла, что она живет там, где нет наших многоэтажных домов. И там очень красиво, воздух...

  3. Now I definitely have to go to visit Nadia :-)

  4. It's amazing how "real lives" differ so much! This home is amazing.

  5. The snow! I miss the snow! Beautiful photos and what a gorgeous property. I especially love the stacked wood and snowy painting. Chapeau, Nadia! As an expat in Paris and former Vermonter, THIS is why I can't wait to return when the time comes!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous!! That view is unlike anything I've seen before from someone's driveway. The nicest part of this is that it sounds like Nadia truly appreciates all that she has. And she rescues animals to boot!! I think I want to be Nadia in my next life!! : )

    ~ Wendy

  7. this is one of the places i like to visit the most (obviously). not only is it surrounded by the most beautiful forest and wild flowers, but nadia's home has soul and character. she just has the touch. lovely to see her here!

  8. Oh my goodness, this is my favorite house tour yet!! Yes, I am a little biased because I'm picturing beautiful Nadia walking around it, but really the house and land itself are just gorgeous. I love how the objects in her house are obviously selected and arranged with purpose but it doesn't have that over styled look.

  9. Unbelievable. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. Wow, this is how I dream of living in another life...or maybe later in life. Simple, purposeful.

  11. You know I absolutely adore that sweet girl, and love visiting her blog. What a wonderful treat to see more of her beautiful home! I always imagine it would be such a peaceful serene place to visit - something I plan to do one of these days!
    Thanks for sharing Steph,

  12. If you just heard a loud thud, it was me falling off my chair. I LOVE her home (and her life). It is exactly the type of life I have been fantasizing about (sitting here in my San Diego - no seasons - life, such as it is....) Thank you for sharing this, Stephanie!

  13. Stephanie, I love love love your real life home tours so much, but this one takes the cake. Besides the gorgeous setting and backdrop that Vermont provides, it's Nadia's no fuss, simple and serene decorating style that has captured my heart. So amazing. I'll be adding her blog to my reader right away, and returning to drool over these images many times, I'm sure!

  14. loved this post. definitely a favorite in the real life home tours. may i ask what in the world these people do for a living? like you said in the post, a writer's many of us dream of. seriously, may seem like a strange question (or stupid...are they farmers) or for a strange purpose but would love to know how they came to live there an what they are doing there.....hoping i could one day make something like this happen for me and my fam. thank you for sharing.


  15. good pick steph! i lovermont and this home series. xo

  16. Oh my gosh - this might be my favorite home tour so far! It is absolutely breathtaking. Love it!

  17. Wow. How amazing to live in such a beautiful place! I can only dream of living on land like that!

  18. There is something very special about this home. The person residing in it, certainly, and the beauty she surrounds herself with. The story, too, of how she came to find it through a special connection with another blogger. Also, the story of how the two of you met through blogging! I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you.

  19. I love Nadia! So fun to see more of her home. It's such a dream!!!

    P.S. Love this series, btw.

  20. Stephanie, I just wanted to give you kudos again for your real homes editions. There are Architectural Digest home tours, and then, on the other edge: "nice" homes that one sees again and again; sure, they're "nice" but not full of magic & originality you've shown. I am sure sure what your process was, but you've done beautiful work editing and presenting this series. Well done!

  21. Wow, her home is INSANELY beautiful! I want to go to there! :)

  22. loving that sweet and simple jewelry branch idea

  23. how wonderful it was to wake up in the morning to this lovely post, Stephanie thank you so much for your kind words and your beautiful curating of my home you are very talented at what you do and i am so glad to call you a friend.

    I have been reading the comments and i feel as if tiny gifts have been left at my door step each time i read one of your lovely comments, thank you all so much.

    i do feel as if i am living a dream but it did not come without many sacrifices and fate. we were able to rent this because of a dear blogger friend Corine and her husband Joe gantz. Jo built this home after disassembling a barn on his property, i am in awe at the craftsmanship and vision of his work. It is easy to look at these pictures and think that somehow things must come very easy but that is not the case, we have gone without many things to be able to take care of animals and live here, Yet i would not trade all the things i left behind for risk of loosing all the great things i have today.

    thank you again, my heart has been filled with all your kind words!

  24. such a beautiful tribute to the home of such a beautiful person, Nadia! I was lucky enough to have paid her a visit her there and I want to just say, it is every bit as welcoming as you have laid out here! lovely post!!

  25. You had me at the driveway..... what a lovely home in a great series. Great luck that Stephanie and Nadia got to know one another. Both sound such special people.

  26. Such beautiful pictures!

    Since some comments are asking about the story behind the house, I thought I'd tell you a little more.

    As Nadia said above, my husband built this house when he was 23, barely a man and yet so willful already. He inherited a small amount of money and wanted to buy pristine land in Vermont. He picked the spot because of the amazing view and the beautiful forest and land (people are constantly coming up the very long driveway just to admire the view, which is I guess famous in some ways. )

    Originally he had not intended to build anything but there was humongous barn on the land that was falling apart, so he decided to take it down and sell the wood. But once he had the wood.. it's a little like the 'if you give a mouse a cookie' story.

    He drew plans and lived in a real Indian tippi on the land while he built. (okay, some nights he spent in a motel too and he commuted from New York to regain some sanity in between.) He chose each stone, each plank of wood by hand and fought the land, the weather and himself. It was really a labor of love. Or madness. Or both.

    But the house is only really coming to life now, through Nadia's grace and all her beautiful objects, and of course her menagerie. The most important thing is that she loves the house and the land and really appreciates it all.

    I had been friends with Nadia via blogging and one day I posted about the house. She told me she had fallen in love with it. This was meant to be, and happened all thanks to blogging! I knew she was the right person for the house and she knew the house was calling her.

    Voila, the story in a few words. Nadia will be writing the next chapters in the years to come :)

  27. what a fantastic story (above) to go along with such fantastic pictures. These make me so happy.

  28. I'm in love! What a beautiful place. It feels like a home with a soul. Just perfect;)


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