David Krause didn’t intend to relocate to the country. He spent 15 years living in New York City, first as a student at Pratt Institute, then as a fashion designer, and, most recently, while cofounding vegan skin care company Alder New York. But when the pandemic hit, he decided to fulfill his chief creative officer duties from the historic Catskills home he’d recently purchased as a weekend getaway. It soon became his permanent abode.
“I didn’t realize how much I liked it until we got up here and I was like, Oh, I don’t miss the city at all,” David says of his quick acclimation to Freehold, New York, a small hamlet about two hours north of Manhattan. “I like being outside and having a garden. I have 14 chickens. I’m really doing the full country thing.”
But before David and his husband, Ayan Chatterjee, settled into their new rustic life, they had to address the complications that come with a 1830s house. “We thought it was inhabitable when we first bought it,” David remembers. “The bathrooms weren’t really functioning, and the roof was leaking. We literally had water coming through the ceiling and no hot water. It was a real mess.”
Once the bones of the building were fixed, the couple could focus on curating the tranquil aesthetic they’d originally planned for their vacation retreat. “The idea was that it was going to be super peaceful and serene and relaxing and a little bit Scandinavian,” he explains. “We have a really neutral palette. We painted all the floors black and most of the walls white. And we have lots of natural materials.”
David dedicated the dining room to his indoor plants and the beloved urn that he picked up at Martha Stewart’s tag sale. The ornate cast-iron vase inspired his now growing collection. “My husband says I have a problem, and he needs to have an intervention,” David jokes. “I’ve been buying them at auction. I have two gorgeous ones in the front and two flanking each side of the pool. I’m not going to stop. They have so much personality.” —Morgan Goldberg