An Early 1900s Catskills Country House Fashioned with Antique Finds
Ron Sharkey | Accord, NY
The beauty of “antique” drew Ron Sharkey in from an early age. When his artist father brought home four old Dutch paintings of church interiors, he fell in love with each of their frames; an affection for English ironstone was born from summers spent on the Cape trolling auction houses and estate sales; and with a degree in Art Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Ron moved to the city where much of his time was spent “stalking the 28th Street markets.”
In the early 90s, after numerous visits to a friend’s home in Kerhonkson and the realization of “the Cape being too far to sneak off to for a weekend,” Ron began the search for his own Hudson River Valley getaway. In 1995, he found a secluded home overlooking the Rondout Creek, in Accord, NY, a pastoral hamlet dotted with fruit orchards and working farms.
“It’s a 4-room house, but with the enclosed screen porch, it can feel like five,” says Ron. “My favorite is the blue room. The original wallpaper is falling off—paper I would never have picked—but I’ve loaded the room with furniture—a farm table, chairs, a garden statue that came with the house, and an old zinc and copper bathtub.”
What doesn’t bedeck his home gets sold at his antique shop, Downtown Antiques in Accord, NY. The store, a curated assemblage of vintage finds and architectural salvage, is an ever-changing and growing collection of cupboards, dressers, benches, doors, gates, lamps, signs, paintings, mirrors and, of course, ironstone. New merchandise is picked, cleaned, fixed, and priced on a daily basis.
“‘I have to have it!’ happens when the right combination of lines, design, size, finish and price come together,” he says. “Sometimes it’s influenced by the fact that I have never seen an object before, sometimes it’s because I’ve only dreamt of owning something as perfect. A secret I have learned over the years is to simply ask ‘Is there anything else?’”