An 1865 Airbnb Farmhouse Tucked Away in Bovina, NY
Townsend Rd | Bovina, NY
For city dwellers Sam Smith and Matt Cochran, deciding to purchase an 1865 four-bedroom renovated farmhouse in Bovina, NY felt less like a choice than fate. “Once we got there and walked around, we immediately knew,” says Sam, Senior Vice President of Digital at CBS EcoMedia. “We couldn’t stop thinking about it — it just pulled us in,” adds Matt, a published author and freelance writer. Any weekend the property isn’t rented on Airbnb is where you’ll find Sam and Matt enjoying idyllic country respites from their busy Manhattan life.
Set on a gorgeous winding road, one of the main draws of the farmhouse is the complete seclusion that being hidden away on 20 acres affords; you need only walk outside to find yourself in your own private Catskills paradise. The two have added their own unique touches to a comfortable and peaceful space that traveling guests will love making themselves at home in, be it soaking in the scenery from a clawfoot tub or extended covered porch, cooking up a feast in an undeniably authentic kitchen, or exploring the surrounding nature, which includes a private spring-fed pond and acres of wilderness. Their home is one you can’t help but enter slowly, studying each and every detail, from the sheer height of cathedral ceilings, to the way light falls through the windows at different times of day, to the array of antique furnishings scattered about the many rooms.
“One thing that really jumped out at us was the kitchen,” says Sam, noting how the farmhouse’s previous owner had dismantled a Victorian barn to build out an extension to an already jaw-dropping space. The result is a charmingly unconventional aesthetic, inside and out, boasting an entire wall of recovered stained glass windows that really sets the house apart. While the distinctive design of the house and the isolated acreage held serious appeal, both were delighted to discover how vibrant and richly creative the community was in this pocket of Delaware County. “So much of it is people inviting each other over, throwing bonfires, grilling,” says Sam. “It feels in a lot of ways more like home to us than the city.”
- Location: Bovina, NY
3 Wood Burning Stoves
Outside Dining Area
Stream-fed, Swimmable Pond
The juxtaposition of new and old elements is evident in the kitchen, which features both an antique ice box for storage, as well as a brand new Smeg refrigerator for keeping groceries cold.
The kitchen is equipped with an Aga, a speciality European stove that allows for a venture into non-traditional cooking. Sam and Matt love using it and over the past two seasons have seen guests use it to host Thanksgiving dinners. The stove is left on all the time, doubling as a heating source for the house.
While the house is pristinely maintained and freshly painted, Sam and Matt stayed away from making sweeping changes after they bought it and instead honored it by enhancing what was already there with thoughtful touches. “It’s the perfect combination of modern and rustic,” says Sam.
Much of the furniture was acquired from local designer Sean Scherer’s antique shop, Kabinett & Kammer. The living room has a projector and big screen for movie nights, as well as plenty of board games to choose from, and a guitar for the musically inclined.
The house sleeps ten guests comfortably, whether in one of the four bedrooms, on any of the plush couches, or air mattresses available for additional guests. In the future, Sam and Matt want to add private cabins to accommodate even more people. “That way, even when guests are staying in the house, we can stay in the cabins,” laughs Sam.
Originally a homeschool classroom, the master bedroom is now an inviting suite, featuring a wood burning stove and floor to ceiling windows that offer sweeping views of the landscape.
Floors in the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms all have radiant heat, a cozy bonus during a stay in winter.
Future plans for the vast surrounding land include developing an artist residence, “a collaborative creative space, something that would allow artists to come up and develop projects that they’re working on,” explains Matt, who recently shot a short horror film in Bovina with the help of local filmmakers and actors.
“Two acres of the property are covered with berry brambles. During the summer, it’s amazing to walk around the path — there’s blackberries and raspberries — you go up there with a bowl and pick as much as you want,” says Sam. Guests can also swim out to the dock in the middle of the acre-sized, spring-fed pond in summer, while others may enjoy fishing for their dinner.
While the farmhouse has a way of inviting you to stick around, a quick 10-minute drive leads right to Bovina Center, home to its “oldest and only general store,” Russell’s. Be sure to stop in for a breakfast sandwich or to pick up any essentials before continuing on to Andes for more heavy-duty perusing at Kabinett & Kammer, Clementine Vintage Clothing, and Stephanie Charlene’s Ceramic Studio & Shop. Visit The Tap Room at Wayside Cider to sip on Dry Town, one of their signature creations made with crab apples. For a different type of refreshment, there’s Tay Tea in nearby Delhi, a self-described “combination tea atelier, showroom and community gathering space.” For an afternoon treat, head to Blue Bee Cafe for a slice of homemade pie and hot apple cider. Dinner at Brushland Eating House should not be missed for an intimate dining experience, but in the case you do, over in Bloomville, Table on Ten serves up a creative menu sourced from local Catskills farmers and growers. Ski enthusiasts are just half an hour away from two popular nearby resorts, Belleayre Mountain and Plattekill Mountain, the latter of which offers tubing for those traveling with kids.
Blue Bee Cafe, Brushland Eating House, Russell’s, Table on Ten
Clementine Vintage Clothing, Kabinett & Kammer, Stephanie Charlene’s Ceramic Studio & Shop, Tay Tea
Belleayre Mountain, Plattekill Mountain, Hobart Book Village