Antiques and Heirlooms Befit a 1778 Vermont Home

Artist and ceramicist Laura Zindel and her husband, Thor, fell in love with their dream house on line. The only problem: They lived 3,000 miles away in San Francisco. Nevertheless, they were in love with the historic 1778 house that they flew to Guilford, Vermont, to begin the lengthy process of its own owners. The previous owner had saved it from demolition in the 1970s, rebuilding it room by room on the weekends, also was not about to let it go to just anyone. “The construction was in great shape, but purchasing an older house is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge,” Laura says. “Start at one end, and from the time you are done, you return to the beginning and start over.”

The grand house has become part of their loved ones. “And just like a individual, we try to not judge its own defects and enjoy it for what it is,” says Laura. The first step in renovating the new member of their household was installing all-new electrical wiring, done by Thor, who’s skilled as an electrician, among many other trades. After that, they set about making the the majority of the home’s individuality.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Laura and Thorsten Zindel, and their son, Wulff
Location: Guilford, Vermont
Size: 3,500 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 1 bath
That’s interesting: This house sat to a 100-acre object of property.

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A porch in the back of the house is the family’s favorite spot. Located just off the kitchen, the porch overlooks a large, manicured backyard. Thor reclaimed the home ceiling boards to reconstruct the porch’s flooring.

A big wood plank paired with black seats is decorated for the holidays using Laura’s ceramics, mercury glass and natural elements.

Pendant lighting: Ikea; framed artwork: Rick Jones

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Is a royal-blue Amish-made hutch from Millbrook Farms Woodworks in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. It retains an array of original ceramics, made in house by Laura and her staff and decorated with art that ranges from birds to sea creatures.

Some of the jars and bottles were made using antique molds Laura has found. “My housewares are motivated by the Victorian cabinets of curiosity as well as the Arts and Crafts movement,” she says.

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The formal entrance to the house was built sometime in the 1800s, as was all the house outside of the kitchen.

A sensed cent rug complements the bold blue paint in the hallway entrance. “I adore dark, saturated colours, which is a bit of a problem since our house doesn’t get a lot of light,” says Laura. “The blue in the hallway I believed was a great updated look for the house but was historically on stage.”

Paint: Naval 6244, Sherwin-Williams

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A collection of portrait paintings by artist Nina Friday lines the stairway. The railing is the perfect spot for a holiday garland.

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The master bedroom has gold elements to match the ebony furniture. Portraits of the men and women who lived in the house hang on every side of the mattress.

The wide pine floors, painted brown, and wallpapered walls are original to the house.

Cabinets: Coqo Floral Curtains, Natural, Anthropologie

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This woodland-inspired bedding, including rabbits was part of an exclusive lineup by Patch NYC for Goal.

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At the home office, painted brown trim is paired with apple-green wallpaper decorated in an English hunt club theme. A vintage globe sits on a long weathered teak desk.

Background: Lady of the Manor, Yukari Sweeney, Anthropologie

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Among the two guest bedrooms upstairs has a neutral and green palette accented with pops of red. This vintage bamboo vanity chair, handed down to Laura from her aunt, was sanded a candy red.

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The second guest bedroom has a much softer, more feminine palette, with painted white floors and pale pink trimming. A large, folksy felted area rug pulls the colours of this room together.

Paint: Quaint Peche 6330, Sherwin-Williams

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A big antique cupboard, purchased at A Candle In The Night in Brattleboro, Vermont, displays Laura’s mother’s Depression-era quilt group.

Laura’s mother inspires her personal style the most. “She loved to collect antiques and had collections of everything from china to quilts,” Laura says. “I’ve inherited many of her treasures and also have them in our property. After we moved to Vermont from San Francisco, she explained that my style could change, and I didn’t believe her. But I discovered that if you reside in an old house, it has a voice that cannot be denied.”

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A classic bureau stands out against white walls and floors, providing storage and a lovely vignette in the guest bedroom.

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Another bit of artwork original to the house, a Victorian sampler, hangs above a nightstand that showcases additional vintage finds, such as a milk glass hobnail lamp perched atop an old whiskey box which once belonged to Laura’s father.

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The rustic bed frame was created by Moose River Lake & Lodge Store in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The chenille bedding is vintage.

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A group of antique silver mercury glass ornaments hangs in the front windows to the holidays.

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The formal entrance to the home is lit by an industrial window lighting first to the house.

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“My 1778 home only feels great inside,” says Laura. “The whole house is made out of ancient wood, floor to ceiling. Maybe that’s something to do with it, or simply lots of joyful ghosts.”

A house this old includes some quirks of the past; for example, a little door used only for attracting coffins in and out. The house also offers an “Indian window” in the pantry, used for arrow strikes.

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The family’s lawn can be home to well-cared-for pet hens.

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Guilford is a little town near the historic town of Brattleboro. Laura’s new working studio, gallery and storefront, found here, is set in a thriving arts community.

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Despite all of the treasures within, Laura (shown here) still says, “The most significant part house is my loved ones.”

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Copyright h o m e s t a y b e i j i n g 2 0 0 8 2019