Our Country Home Spring 2018

In this year’s spring issue of Our Country Home you’ll fi nd tips and inspiration on all aspects of home occupancy, from cleaning to planting, from furnishing to buying—including how the new tax laws may affect home buying choices and your tax forms. It’s all topped off with a tour through a truly spectacular barn renovation that combines the best of old and new. While deep-cleaning my own house this winter, it occurred to me that an exhaustive look at spring cleaning was about due. Barbara Winfield has put together a comprehensive list that covers all the bases from supplies to services. As for the yard: Want to get a jump on this year’s vegetable garden? Short of funds for plants? Starting the garden from seeds is traditional (and cheaper), but with our short growing season, it can be challenging too. Joe Cooke’s “Seed Starting 101” will help get you started too. Looking for some extraordinary furniture? You’ll get some ideas from reading about local fine furniture maker Bo Stevens, who gathers branches to inspire his work in marquetry. Amazingly, he’s mostly self-taught; hard to believe when you look at his work in “Bo Stevens, DIY mastery in marquetry.” Annemarie Schuetz has taken a look at housing and taxes with reference to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year and concludes that at this point—unlike death and taxes—there’s nothing certain about it. In “Housing and taxes,” she’ll help you start to hack your way through the thickets, and find out how the recent law change may affect not only your taxes and deductions, but the local housing market. Spoiler alert: it’s complicated. Our feature house this issue is extraordinary not only for its beauty, but for its intelligence: it’s a renovated 1880s barn that Fernando Zorrilla, CEO of Cloud9 Smarthome, and his wife Rachel have transformed into a marvel of energy efficiency, great room flow and open space. It combines rustic charm, local materials and finishes and technological sophistication. It’ll all give you plenty to mull over as you prepare your house for the coming year.

 — Ramona Jan

Section editor

 

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