The New York home of artist Jennifer Lanne and her husband Dick Lanne is equal parts family retreat and backdrop to display their work. The house and Jen’s two studios are filled with her work, which she rotates in and out on a regular basis, while Dick’s hobby as a blacksmith has yielded practical and decorative additions to the space. These are layered in with finds from flea markets, antique shows and, occasionally, the side of the road, plus pillows and collections. The result is a home that would make a minimalist cringe but is a perfect setting for the things both of them love.
Who lives here: Jennifer (Jen) and Dick Lanne
Location: Ballston Spa, New York
Size: 1,300 square feet (121 square meters); 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Not that Jen immediately recognized that this was their dream home. When she saw it while house-hunting, her first thought was, “Please, don’t let it be that colonial house on the corner.” Built in 1782, it was certainly old enough to meet their requirements of nothing too modern, but otherwise it seemed to have nothing to recommend it. Despite the lackluster exterior, Jen took a peek through the windows and saw all of the original details in the flooring, molding and beams. As a bonus, there was a large barn on the property that would be perfect for her studio with space for Dick’s blacksmith shop. She was hooked.
Jen is working on a product line of tableware and soft goods for a major furniture company, which will also carry her original tarp paintings in spring 2015.
Old homes may have charm and character, but they also can require a lot of work. Before moving in, the Lannes replaced the foundation, roofing, septic and electrical systems, furnace and appliances. Fortunately for their budget, they were able to do everything but the septic and electrical work themselves.
A lot of the bottom boards in the barn and sills were rotting, so the Lannes had to cut out the bottom 4 to 5 feet of each wall; they added exposed beams made of reclaimed wood and used waist-high stonework in place of siding. This permanent fix will prevent more decomposition.