Home > Inspiration > I’m a Little Bit Country

I’m a Little Bit Country

At the tender age of 14, I met a much older Russian man in the wilds of the Catskill Mountains who filled the long, sultry afternoons of my summer with passionate music and beautiful dance.

 (Got your attention?)

Wish I could tell you it was my Lolita summer. It wasn’t. I’ve never had any kind of Lolita-esque experience but I’m not complaining – that being statutory rape and all. No, I was just studying at a ballet camp run by a respectable gentleman named Ivan Rabovsky. I don’t remember exactly where the camp was, or even what Mr. Rabovsky’s dance credentials were (other than being Russian of course).  All I know is  he worked our butts off that July and by the end of the session I managed to get myself up en pointe.  I also fell hard for the unruly, unspoiled world of the Catskill Mountains.

Many summers later, I’ve consummated my love affair both with these mountains and with Russians. I married one (a Russian, not a mountain…obviously), and two years ago became the happy mistress of a little farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Greene County, NY. This is me on closing day, staring at the mountains out back and pinching myself that this sweet little farmhouse was actually ours.

I spun into high gear those first few weeks in a frenzy to get everything JUST RIGHT. I had a very specific vision for this house – it would be a mix of country styles that reflected both my and my husband’s passions. Think classic American farmhouse meets Carl Larsson meets Russian dacha.  We were a flurry of productivity and thanks to IKEA and the hard work of my husband’s buddies (free paint and carpentry in exchange for vodka and permission to hunt mushrooms on our property – which Russian men take extremely seriously, do not come become them and their gribs), we got the little house in great shape. Depending on the season, we ski or swim or grill or just sit around looking at the stars and listening to the roar of the creek coming down off the mountain behind us. We are blessed to have this refuge.

Whether you lead a country lifestyle full-time, part-time, or only in your dreams – these books will provide many hours of inspiration and enjoyment. They certainly did for me.

Baltic Homes by Solvi Dos Santos

 Influential Country Styles by Judith Miller

Shades of Country by Chippy Irvine

 Modern Country by Nancy Ingram

 The Russian House by Ella Krasner et al.

 Catskills Country Style by Steve Gross

 Creating the Look: Swedish Style by Katrin Cargill

 An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams

(I’m too lazy to hyperlink every picture. Sorry, it’s late and I’m long overdue at home. Bad Blogger, bad. If you can’t find these books on Amazon, I promise you can find them on Amazon UK.)

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  1. August 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    okay, how relaxing does that sound? Lucky girl you are

    • ssmirnov
      August 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm

      Our door is always open to tweeps, especially ones with whom we have to redeem ourselves post-dinner debacle 😉

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