Welcome to The Woodhouse Lodge. It’s hard to describe exactly how this all came about, in some ways, this was decades in the making in others ways it happened very quickly. So lets back up to the end of March when we made an appointment with a real estate broker to very casually start looking at property in Upstate NY. Our realtor also happens to own a vintage store in Coxsackie NY that we have been coming to for years. I only mention it to underscore that we were super low key about the whole thing and completely not expecting to find anything so quickly but as luck would have it, we did.
As a lover of old houses, I had my sights set on a Victorian gem. After looking at a few beautiful old homes, one thing was crystal clear. The houses in our price range were WAY too small to run as a profitable BnB business. So at that point, our realtor said, “I know this is not what you are looking for but I’m gonna show you this cool old hotel. I’m not even sure it’s still for sale.” As soon as we pulled up in the driveway, J. and I were sure that this was the place. Our realtor was shocked because this 1962 lodge was a far cry from a grand old Victorian. As any vintage hunter will tell you, you have to buy it when you see it because the true gems don’t last forever. And that’s how we ended up buying Birmann’s Rainbow Lodge AKA The Woodhouse Lodge.
The lodge sits on a 3.5 acres lawn dotted with old pine and hemlock trees. The property is surrounded by 95 acres of forest on three sides and located in the lovely town of Greenville NY. We are in love with the building and the location. Here are a few more images of the exterior of the property. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but after two weeks of work, we are making progress.
Obviously, landscaping and painting the exterior are on the top of our list. Above is a view of the north wing. We have five rooms on one side and five rooms on the south wing.
The porch of the north side is also the entrance to the first floor of the lodge. On the right-hand side, you can see the front door that leads to the inside of the lodge. The first floor of the central A-frame will be open to our guests. It has some major charm including an oversized fireplace and a kitchen with a lot of potential. The first floor of the lodge needs a little updating, but we have already started, and of course, I have a few ideas (more about that later.)
Landscaping Ideas // The Woodhouse Lodge
In front of the wings, we need to do so planting, but I’m not exactly sure what. If any of you have experience with deer resistant gardening, I’m all ears. I’m thinking of using a lot of evergreens and probably rosemary because of it’s bug repellent qualities, but please fill me in! The biggest animal I’ve ever had to contend with in or Brooklyn garden is a squirrel.
Here’s a look at the south wing, we already started stacking stone under the deck to tidy up the edge of the porch. Eventually, the front of the porch will be covered by landscaping.
These are a few images that are inspiring me right now. I’m not exactly sure how or if they will end up being useful. In the image above, I love the way the posts and grasses create a modern looking but natural screen. I think this could be useful someplace on the property.
In front of the A-frame, I want to create a patio area using raised planters to define the space. If you follow me (@mepflug) or The Woodhouse Lodge(@thewoodhouselodge) on Instagram you probably saw the beginning of that project last weekend. I love the idea of creating a tailored looking kitchen herb garden in the planters. The mix of plants in this image looks natural but not overgrown. Because the plantings will be right in front of the lodge, it’s important that they feel considered.
So, here is my next question. I’m 90% sure we will paint the exterior of the lodge a dark color, but I’m having trouble picking the colors.
Here are a few colorways that I’m considering. Let me know what you think!
Paint Ideas // The Woodhouse Lodge
We will be using a solid stain to “paint” the exterior of the lodge but color wise. I’m torn between these three (very similar) options. I think I am leaning towards an off black -charcoal gray color similar to the blue-black option with black trim around the windows and possibly also the doors. I’m looking at a few Farrow and Ball colors, but I need suggestions. What color do you think the lodge wants to be? It is such a big decision I’d love to hear from you!
What an exciting project. It’s always FASCINATING to me to see what someone with talent can come up with. I am all over taht gray green color. It reminds me of the old salt box houses in New England. It would be a great neutral back drop for an exciting color on the doors!
Debra, I think a historic color like that would be really pretty on such a modern building. I always like mixing up the influences in a design.
I love the quiet of the gray-green, but thinking of the contrasting Foliage, flowers, plants you plAn along the fRont draws me to the deep gray-blue. Any plant color will look gorgeous agaInst this backdrop. I have no idea why all letters are full caps. Im reAlly not shouting at you. 🤷♀️
LOL! I think the all caps is just my site. The gray-green seems to be popular choice.
I thnk Gray green of black would be aweomse. i like the gray green because it’s not so harsh and has a bit of a weather look to it, so it won’t need to be painted as often.
I also think it would allow the natural greens and other shades to work together beautifully.
Ariel, i think you are on to something. do you have any specific paint colors you like?
My vote’s for the blue-black. I think it’s dramatic, but not so harsh as the deep black, and foliage colors absolutely pop against blue-black. I feel like that’ll be missing with the grey-green.
P.S. Sorry about the caps– I can’t figure out how to turn them off!
I totally agree the true black is a little too harsh. plants always look amazing on dark tones.
What a cool project! I love the shape of the building. I’m a fan of both the grey-Green and the blue-black, with a slight preference for the latter. for deer resistant plants, we’ve had good luck with most herbs – including lavender, rosemary, and creeping thyme – ceanothus (the blue flowering one is beautiful), and ornamental grasses like blue fescue. I’m excited to follow along!
Hi, Katie. Thanks so much for the awesome recommendations. I love that herbs seem to be so deer & bug repellent. Now that I finally have a garden that gets full sun I can grow them. I’m plant shopping this weekend your suggestions are going to the top of my list 🙂
Congratulations!! SUch an exciting project!! I vote for the blue-gray exterior. We stayed In a barN upstate painted that color and it looked so loveLy at all hours of the day. They had blue lights arOund the edge if the roof and it looked really magical at evening/nighttime.
Susan, i love the idea of blue lights. what a cool addition. I’m thinking a blue/off back exterior will really pretty too.
BEautiful pLace! There’s a gorgeous charcoal grey with green undertones by Benjamin Moore called Kendall Charcoal, try that. Its NEIGHBORING color, Amherst Gray, is also beAutiful and just a bit lighter. Apologies if this is all caps, not sure why…
I’m totally checking Kendall Charcoal it out. thanks for the hot tip : )
I’m thinking this lodge wants to be BLUE-Black. Such a mysterious color, VACILLATING between two deep hues and leaning towards one or the other depending on time of day, mood or season. I’D be willing to land a hand in the painting/Sewing/Cooking renovation process if IT’LL Get me out of the 90-Plus heat I’m currently poaching in. This is so exciting! And, for what it’s worth, I LOVE the FACT that this is not a victorian. Look at that magical A-frame, studded with facets of glass, glinting like diamonds in the sun!
Ah thanks, Monika! be careful what help you offer I might just take up on it. I think the off black kinda charcoal is where I’m leaning color wise… we shall see.
This place is stunning! I just love when old hotels/motels are given a second life, and this one looks like a gem 🙂 I can’t wait to see what all you do to it. And who knows, upstate NY is on my bucket list, maybe I’ll come see it in person someday!
Thanks for the kind words Amy! You gotta come visit : )
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oh, holy smokes! your lodge is to die for, SERIOUSLY. I am 100% behind the Gray-Green option–it’s Blackish without being so stark. IN the summer, Greenery looks amazing against it, and in the winter, Snow (I’m assuming there will be snow) Won’t look as harsh or visually high-contrasty (that’s a thing, right?). I cannot wait to see what y’all do with this amazing space. I’m gonna have to step away from the computer now to keep myself from looking for a lodge to buy myself. Must. Stay. Strong.
LOL! thanks, Laurie. I like the idea of the gay green too!
Best wishes to you and J. I’m looking forward to a stay at your lodge! What a gReat opporTunity. I know you two will make it great. Jean
Thanks so much jean… more updates to come soon : )
CAN’T WAIT to see how you transform the place.
Just stumbled on your blog via Little Green Notebook and my jaw dropped. I grew up in the area and know ‘The rainbow’ well! So excited to have found your blog and to watch as you renovate this place.
OMG! what a small world! you gotta come for a visit once we are up an running!
This is going to be a fantastic project. I can’t wait to see it all unfold. I vote blue black. I like the idea of something that is not quite black. It’s modern and still doesn’t get lost in the woods.
thanks I totally agree : )
DO you have a Go-To Dark Grey Green. Love the look. Thank you.
I do it’s Farrow and Ball Light blue no. 22 is a lovely gray-green. It’s not a dark color though… not sure what kind of gray-green your looking for : )
I always go to Farrow and Ball colors for dark shades. I often have them color matched in a less expensive brand if I need a lot. The only thing to know is that the formula for F&B colors is pretty complex so the colors don’t always match exactly. You you just need a gallon or two I’d go with F&B. Hope that helps!