Victorian Cottage in the Catskills

by Kent Griswold on June 25th, 2010. 32 Comments
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A New York Times Home and Garden article by Joyce Wadler shows off a tiny Victoria cottage in the Catskills.

Sandra Foster turned a Catskills hunting cabin into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted.

Ms. Foster has her own shabby-chic retreat. It may not have a bathroom or a kitchen, but it is a dream of Victoriana: stacks of Limoges china with tiny rosebud patterns; chandeliers dripping crystal; billows of tissue-paper garlands.

This is all the more impressive because she renovated the 9-by-14-foot cottage, an old hunting cabin, herself. The cost of renovating and furnishing it: $3,000.

The couple lives in an RV trailer near by called the “Groove Tube” and I have put a couple of pictures of it below. The article is very interesting so be sure and read it at the New York Times website.

Photo Credits: Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

Before the renovation, the cabin was originally a 9-by-10-foot box, with a porch roof supported by white willow tree trunks.

Groove Tube Trailer

32 Responses to “Victorian Cottage in the Catskills”

  1. Laurie says:

    What a darling cottage! Sandra, remodeling tiny cabins could very well be your calling.

  2. elisabeth says:

    What a sweet and romantic little retreat…sigh

  3. What a little treasure! I’m glad she was able to create her little piece of heaven.

  4. Check out the book shelves in the loft on the second picture. Neat stuff. I like the upgraded roof on the trailer. :D ~Alex

  5. Lovely..utterly lovely and practical… !!

  6. mr.spokanewash says:

    place looks like a nightmare covered up by propaganda… wouldn’t want that myself..

    especially in new york, to each their own… if i’m to have a short craphole such as this, it better be equipped with DSL to speak the least and heating/AC and plumbing, of course.

  7. alan says:

    Love it ! I would also like to add her as america’s top ten sexiest women of 2010

  8. Randy says:

    You know, I can appreciate all the hard work put in to remodeling this little Victorian cabin, but the monochromatic all-white theme just leaves me … blah. Joyce probably won’t appreciate this (and I apologize up front), but I like the “Groove Tube” better. :)

  9. Benjamin says:

    Way too feminine for me, of course, but nightmare? …Propaganda? Someone’s a little overboard here.

    Obviously the ladies like it and that probably means it’s a Mars – Venus issue.

    I really admire all the love and work she put into it. (I do hope she doesn’t light any candles though.)

  10. Cheryl says:

    Spokane is my birthplace so I don’t want all to think that I agree with above comment. It wouldn’t be practical for me but think it is cute. To each him or her own way. Go girl.

  11. Freth says:

    This lady did one heck of a beautiful renovation!!

    I know it isn’t for everyone … I probably wouldn’t live in it (but then I’m a guy) … but I can still appreciate all the great work she put into it … even to de-stressing, aging and antiquing the paintwork. Fantastic detail.

  12. alice says:

    What a light and airy contrast to the dark and cosy Groove Tube. I can imagine how wonderful it would be among all the whiteness on a gorgeous summer day. Alas, not for me, as I’d be hard-pressed to keep it clean, but a wonderful visual treat.

  13. Deek says:

    Now THAT is a cool looking little retreat!


  14. Gina says:

    I love it so much! What a wonderful lady!

  15. Thank you all for the comments and to Joyce wadler of the NY Times for showing interest in our lives.
    A few corrections though…No tarp is on the actual man cave, It was a baby buff orpington chick Joyce was shown, and I was a home improvements contractor for the first 3 years in Kerhonkson…not trying to start anything, but rather having a business that was needed to save us money on the home we just bought and both over 5 years put in $40k or more and endless hours of labor. I even purchased a wood lot and stone quarry to provide wall stone and much needed firewood for the house too.


    Thank you Todd aka

  16. Ducky says:

    “This is all the more impressive because she renovated the 9-by-14-foot cottage, an old hunting cabin, herself.”

    The above quote is one of the many sexist remarks in the article. The cottage is cute but I wish someone else had written about it.

    • alice h says:

      Just noticed this comment while checking out the newest one. There is nothing inherently sexist about this particular remark. It could as easily have been referring to the fact that someone other than a professional builder did the work or that just one person did it without a bunch of friends, relatives or paid help lending a hand. Could have been said of a man or a woman and is an achievement worthy of mention for anyone.

  17. di says:

    A gas fireplace would be great.

    Would you ever rent the little white house for a weekend?

  18. di says:

    I really like the white furniture covers and drapes – they’re quick to clean and change.

    You could use any kind of furniture – very smart idea!

  19. Alister says:

    Mold. All I can think of is mold. Unheated, in a moist forested environment. Tons of organics on which water and mold spores can land and grow into mold colonies. It’s pretty now. It won’t be so pretty, or health, when it starts becoming a petri dish.

  20. Sandi Allen says:

    Mold is controlible and I am sure she will heat it come winter. A radiator type that rolls around is recycled oil and very efficient.

    Perhaps the writer was simply impressed, but didn’t know how to put pen to paper. Some people gotta’ make “sompin outta nuttin” or they can’t get up in the morning.

    These are the facts…tools don’t know who is using them, it’s adorable and all hers so no one can take it away, and she, or he, would impress anyone with this charmer.

    Kudo’s to her and I will look for her book as soon as it comes out.

    Great Job!!

  21. Tonita says:

    I read the Tiny house blog almost every day. Sandy’s Tiny house is by far my all time favorite tiny home ever presented on a blog. I would take her home over a brand new Tumbleweed tiny home, or ANY builders brand new tiny home on wheels or not. Her blog oozes with talent, style, charm and enchantment. It inspires hundreds of people and has been in tons of magazines and on the Nate show as well. It is a center spread in a magazine I currently have on my coffee table. Have you seen the followers on her site? Many agree with me. I have never known of any other tiny home or cottage that has become as popular or well loved, as Sandy;s tiny home. While a few people on this blog don’t care for her style or the white decor, let me say that THOUSANDS do. This little cottage is a place of enchantment.

    I am having a tiny home built for me and like Sandy I will be decorating it in white.

    I want to thank her for creating such a wonderful tiny home that inspires SO many of us.

  22. marco says:


    I’m an italian architect…and this is the new goal to live better…little cozy and cheap (shubby chic..of course!).


  23. Joni goodnight says:

    I keep gong bk to this – amazing inside and out. I’m building cottage 16×26 and can’t imagine it being this cute

  24. Dawn says:

    I have a old fishing shack and I would love to do this to it HUMMMMMM how to come up with the ideas to make it look half as good at this one does

  25. Wonderful job! Your use of such a small space is amazing!

  26. Tommy says:

    Stunning, imagine retreating to this piece of heaven , so inspiring

  27. [...] like This Small House and The Tiny House Blog are devoted to promoting and photographing examples of this lifestyle. By definition a small house [...]

  28. [...] Dreamy little cottage. photo via [...]

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