Two and a half years ago, Anmy Leuthold and her husband, Mick Breitenstein, decided to make the move from Brooklyn Heights to an old carriage house in Woodstock, New York. “It took me some time to get there mentally,” Leuthold admits. “I love the country and nature, but I have always been a city gal.” As Leuthold and Breitenstein worked on their carriage house, they also tackled the renovation of a barn on the property, where this year Leuthold decided to launch her own business designing textiles and scarves. The idea was born from designing a gift for her mother, the print designer Nhumy Leuthold. “I wanted to thank my mom for all she has given me with a small token of my love and gratitude,” Leuthold says. “My love for old books and vintage textiles/fabrics come from her parental guidance and gentle osmosis. It is with those sound building blocks that I have formed a fashion-forward design approach with a historic sensibility.” An area in the barn, seen above, has been converted to Leuthold’s studio. The sewed burlap curtains “hide the ugly Tyvek boards,” (they keep the moisture out — the barn rests on a hill, meaning parts are underground), and the 16th-century Spanish refectory table is on loan from her mother — it’s where she ate meals growing up. “I’ve never had my own office/studio before,” Leuthold says. “We call it ‘the Budio’ (Barn-Studio).”
“Our décor is pretty eclectic,” Leuthold says of the furnishings and family heirlooms that have been collected and handed down over time — all of which speak to personal and communal histories. “The bar on the left was part of an old Parisian opera box, and the coffee table used to be my toy chest when I was growing up. Now we keep our board games in it. The altar in the right bookshelf is an homage to some of our ancestors and was part of my upbringing,” Leuthold says of her maternal Vietnamese heritage.
The opposite side of the living room, part of the original footprint of the house, is shown here with a painting by the late painter Nonnie Moore over the fireplace. The chair was a street find with unsalvageable upholstery. Leuthold says, “I decided to try to reupholster it myself. The back of the chair was not too difficult, but I never figured out how to finish the seat, so I left the fabric draped. Maybe one day I’ll have a professional do it for me in one of the fabrics I design.” The church candelabra is 15th-century Italian. “We often use it in lieu of a Christmas tree. The closet on the right is my mini-office. I call it the ‘cloffice,’” Leuthold says.
A guest room was fashioned within the confines of an old outbuilding that was previously used as a pigsty and a chicken coop. “The project was not without challenges,” Leuthold says, “The barn and surrounding structures were built in 1864 by farmers, not architects.” The building had to be reframed, and Leuthold and Breitenstein used as much recycled material as possible to do so, including the wide boards on the back wall, a gift from a friend who milled them from fallen trees on his property. The bedding is a mix of vintage Hmong batik, natural indigo hemp fabric, and vintage French cotton linen.
The kitchen dining table is made from reclaimed barn wood from the 1800s, and the butcher block was found in an antiques store in Vermont — a gift from Leuthold to her husband. “The thing weighs 500 pounds,” she says. The art piece in the back corner of a child with a lollipop is painted on tin, and the hutch, used to store dishes, “probably gets the most use of anything in our house,” Leuthold says.
The master bedroom has a wicker music stand that holds memorabilia including Leuthold’s father Dolph Leuthold’s Leica film camera and Leuthold’s own first Pentax K1000. “It’s the camera my father taught me how to see with,” Leuthold says. The cotton linen curtains, she says, were woven by her great grandmother, and the nightstands consist of a repurposed antique café table on one side, and an antique porcelain stove on the other. The shelf over the bed was found in the barn, and the mirror on the left is an antique shaving caddy.
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