I Love Lamp: Hand Painted Signage

Since it’s a nice crossroads of our look and a good price, we’ve been hand painting all of our signage out here at the inn. We’re going about it in a pretty old fashioned way too:

Step 1. Print an outlined and life-sized version of the wording.

Step 2. Flip it over and trace the back with charcoal.

Step 3. Place the paper charcoal side down on the sign and rub so that a faint outline remains on the sign, then paint over it!

Step 4. Wipe down any remaining charcoal once and paint dries and voila!

We used the same method yesterday for painting the room numbers.

The door handles and lights are on alternating sides, so I knew I wanted the numbers to be in the middle to give the building a uniform look.

I thought about painting big numbers right in the middle of the doors but decided that might awkwardly take over. So I decided to paint them centered on the door frame instead. Actual numbers (like 1, 2, 3, 4) would look weeny on that 4″ trim and be hard for guests arriving at night to see, so I decided to use the font I made for our logo and spell out the numbers instead.

And I love it!

There was one hitch: we have a mechanicals/laundry room in the middle of the strip. “Laundry” wouldn’t be hard to paint but it sure would be boring.  So we went with this instead:

Cracks me up!

I know this means that everyone and their mother are going to open that door. I can’t decide if it’s funniest to just leave it as an immensely boring laundry room or to take it further– label the washing machine “time machine”, the dryer “teleportation device”… You’ll have to come for a visit and see for yourself!

(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)

So Close

Yesterday Steven and I were in Lowe’s buying lightbulbs and gravel and lord knows what else– there’s always something else!– and we were totally that miserable couple you see in stores like that. We are both SO. OVER. buying things for this hotel. And want oh so desperately to just open already!

We had friends come by on the 4th and it was so much fun–

And encouraging too– it’s so great to see people enjoying themselves on the property. And to learn from what they need and suggest. But it gave us a taste of what it will be like when this place is full of guests and oh my gosh WE WANT MORE. We just want to do this already!

So why aren’t we open yet? Because we’re waiting on our final permits from New York State and the bureaucratic backlog is staaaaaaaaaggering. We’re such a small operation it’s hard for us to be a priority, but being this small and missing so much of what would be our busy season means… well, it means that sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at night.

Before this I never understood why new restaurants and such couldn’t give you a hard opening date but I get it now. And the fact that the State can’t give me a hard date drives me absolutely bananas because because this is a reservation based business!

Every day I’m asked, “Are you open yet?” Sometimes I laugh about it. Sometimes I explain the situation in detail and list all the silver linings. Other times I think I might just break out into hives right then and there from the anxiety.

It reminds me of this website I came across for pregnant women who are constantly asked, “Have you had that baby yet?”

So that’s where we’re at. No, we’re not open yet. Yes, it’s a huge fucking bummer. But yes, one day this will all just be a funny story to tell. (Knock on wood!) At the very least–apparently I’m in more of a silver linings than a hives mood–it’s BEAUTIFUL out here. And there’s nothing like the epic scale and force of nature to put things in perspective for you.

Here’s to seeing you all up here sooner rather than later!

Spruceton Inn on Design*Sponge!

Today my fan-girl dreams came true: Design*Sponge is featuring the Spruceton Inn!

They call it a “soothing and enlivening escape. Taking cues from the motel’s existing structure, the Spruceton Inn is an endlessly charming and delightfully unfussy retreat, both beautiful and refreshingly simple“.

!!!!!!!!!!! [That's my computer version of pure excitement.]

A few weeks ago, Maxwell Tielman came by to shoot the place and I’ve been looking forward to seeing how he captured it ever since. Needless to say I’m pleased as all heck!

A week or so after that, he wrote to say that they’d like to expand upon the piece and include an interview about the process of renovating etc which I was more than happy to oblige. Lemme say, it was REALLY hard to not write a novella in response– it’s been quite the journey so far.

You can check the whole thing here. And if you aren’t an avid reader of Design*Sponge yet, you should be! Like I’ve said before, I think they do a really wonderful job of being MUCH more than a website of pretty photos.

Thank you Max and everyone at Design*Sponge for the coverage!

Platonic Rural Dating, aka Instagram in the Country

I just wanted to take a moment to write a quick public love letter to Instagram because, well, I LOVE IT.

I love posting photos, looking at other people’s photos, going down strange hashtag rabbit holes. I love having this record of moments. I love being able to show people who aren’t up here what the heck we’ve been up to in the Catskills.

And most surprisingly, I love that Instagram has given me new friends.

Out here it can be hard to meet people. 5 miles down a dead end country road we’re not exactly going to run into a lot of folks. So we meet ‘em the modern way: online!

Yea, Instagram can be kinda like a platonic rural dating site. You get a snapshot of someone’s life, you message back and forth a few times, you figure out you have common interests and then you hang out and BAM! Cyber friends become real friends.

For all the hell we give technology for sometimes isolating us, at least it gives us new people to ignore as we check our phones!


I Love Lamp: Room Sneak Peek

Guys, it’s been BANANAS. So, yet again, I’m just gonna show you a little sneak peek of something at the Inn. Here’s the breakfast nook in one of the Kitchenette rooms:

Steven, my in-house carpenter (when and how did that happen by the way…?!) built the table from barn wood and pre-made legs. He’s also the master painter behind the art. We’ve had a good laugh several times about how he’s making hotel art nowadays… Perhaps the classiest hotel art around!

I Love Lamp: Painting the Motel Exterior

I have been aching to paint the motel exterior since the day we bought this place and now, with the interior work practically done and warm weather, its finally TIME!

The day before yesterday we bought a boatload (ok, a Subaru-load) of paint and taped everything off.

I worked section by section, rolling over the old red then using a brush to get in the ten thousand nooks and crannies. OH MY GOD THE TEDIUM of that second step. And I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit how physically taxing it was. I’m sore.

Meanwhile, Steven was hard at work acetone-ing then painting the north side of the motel where we’re going to have a small patio area.

And guys, that ladder is REALLY TALL. After we finished, beers in hand checking out our handiwork, we both admitted how nervous we were about it. But look! So worth it!

Next up are the doors which will be a glossy version of the same blue and all the window trim in white. Plus the five million other things we have to do before opening…!

As tiring as all this painting was, it’s crazy pleasing to have such an obvious, visible result of my labor. So much of the other work that goes in to opening this place happens in notebooks and computer documents (or in my brain at 2 in the morning). I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning, looking out the window and seeing this progress.

(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)


I Love Lamp: Spruceton Inn Sneak Peek!

We got the beds delivered for the inn the other day so I immediately set up a room! Obviously I’ve been making décor plans/purchases throughout our renovation, but I’ve been reluctant to buy too much in bulk for all the rooms until I could see things together in person. Being able to actually fluff and drag and move things around is infinitely helpful.

It’s kind of silly but having BEDS in the rooms has made it feel all the more real. Next step: guests! We’ve gotten our first batch of reservations so we’re on our way. Book your room for July 1st on here. Or enter this Brooklyn Based giveway and win a two night stay AND other great stuff like a $25 bar tab and brunch at the Pheonicia Diner and free tubing!

(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)