The Ancram A is a luxury midcentury cabin located in New York between the iconic Berkshires and the Hudson Valley farmlands. This cozy A-frame getaway recently underwent a full renovation while staying true to its original 1960s design roots and style. Here, Brooklyn-based owners Adam and Ariella Sperling discuss their journey of getting this property Airbnb-ready.
How did you approach the design of this home?
The A-frame was built by a father and son in the 1960s when the style was in its heyday. Through our neighbors, we came to understand that a 2012 renovation was done by a local jack-of-all-trades. What attracted us to this home is its commitment to midcentury design, from the interior brick floors to the exterior stone.
Although this is a cabin in the woods, we didn’t want any overt cabin-style objects. We wanted to stay true to the midcentury aesthetic by keeping the space clean and minimal. This is perhaps controversial, but we didn’t want any art on the walls. We love art, and in our personal home, almost all of our walls are covered. Here, we felt that keeping the walls bare allows the windows to be the focus.
What are some of your favorite design elements?
We obviously love the A-frame. The moment we saw this listing, we drove to go see it. We were initially looking in the Catskills and didn’t know much about the area. After falling in love with the house, we drove around during sunset, which really locked us in. We love all the farmland views.
We could tell the house was beautifully and carefully constructed. We loved the reclaimed wood walls, the brick floors and the exterior stone. We especially love all of the wood-burning stoves.
What was your process for furnishing the space?
The home was sold to us furnished, which sounds great, but we did have to get rid of a lot of pieces that we felt did not work with the space. That left us with some incredible design pieces. We’re true believers of the ethos that when people take care of nice things, nice things elevate an overall space.
What are your favorite pieces throughout?
We love the coffee table. We also love the dining table and the benches from West Elm — it’s so sturdy and feels indestructible. For outside, we found a local guy who builds picnic tables. We were able to give him our exact dimensions and ask for the benches to be unattached so they can also be used for the outdoor vintage fireplace we procured in New Haven.
How did you weave your personal style into the interior design?
This property was an exercise in minimalism for us. We wanted it to feel warm and inviting and only host what is necessary for a short stay. Our personal style is colorful and bright. But again, we wanted the space to feel calm and not distracting. We kept to a very neutral palette of whites, browns and woods. We did weave in some of our colorful style with accent pieces, like the blankets and pillows in the bedrooms.
What steps did you take to get this Airbnb property ready for renting?
We wanted the space to be as label-free as possible, so we bought jars, bottles and dispensers to fill with all of the toiletry essentials. We also want guests to feel good about the products in the home, so we only supply organic essentials. We did a soft opening where friends and family stayed here to give us feedback about our welcome packet, instructions and the overall space.
What ultimate feeling do you hope this space offers guests?
We hope guests feel at peace, rejuvenated and inspired. We want guests to feel free to live in the space and use everything. We also feel like there is something about the architecture that is so elemental that connects people to our home. There’s something magical about the strength and simplicity of an A-frame.