Above An array of junk-shop loot— mirrors, taxidermied

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Above An array of junk-shop loot— mirrors, taxidermied
T
ony Stamolis often jokes that he and his wife,
Sarah Gray Miller, run a nonprofit bed-and-breakfast.
All things considered, the man has a point. Every
Friday night, the couple’s late-19th-century Italianate
in the sleepy village of Athens, New York, erupts
into a raging party. Two, three, or six friends might hop
a train from Manhattan at the last minute. Neighbors
swing by for a drink. And before you know it, a quiet
dinner becomes a boisterous bash.
Country Living’s editor-in-chief may have imported
her warm, bighearted style of entertaining—where the
bar’s always stocked, the music plays loud, and the
mayonnaise is full-fat—from her native Natchez,
Mississippi, but it suits this Northeastern climate just
fine. “Any given weekend, we’ll burn through two
pounds of coffee, easy,” says Stamolis, a photographer.
Guests repay the hospitality in numerous ways.
“If you can call these people guests,” Miller adds. “They
have a real sense of ownership. It’s basically a commune, but with much better cheese.” After a few bourbons, a group may start hanging art on a wall or
rearranging items on a table. One evening last fall,
Miller and a pair of cohorts—an architect and a carpenter, as it happens—began chatting about her fantasy
kitchen. Today, an antique hardware-store cabinet
takes the place of built-ins, and modern appliances
(refrigerator drawers, a dishwasher) are discreetly
embedded in the island. While (continued on page 88)
Above An array of junk-shop loot—
mirrors, taxidermied birds, a horse bit—
fills one living-room wall.
Left Miller scored the gray damask chair,
which once belonged to New York City
mayor Michael Bloomberg, at a benefit.
The rococo-revival sofa wears Marimekko’s
Tuuli print. The white lamp claims far
humbler Ikea origins.
84 . c ou n t ry li vi ng.co m . octob e r 2 013

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