Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Devine Interlude

Here is a quick story on what I did on my summer vacation. Last Saturday found me up in the Catskill Mountains of New York in the small winter ski town of Windham, which I have been going to since I was a small lad.

Windham Mountain has an interesting history. Too many years ago, we're referring to the sixties, Windham Mountain was opened as a private ski resort by the Sheridan family. They were and are part of that old Irish Lace crowd that dominated the New York metropolitan area with lots of kids, relatives and neighbors. In its heyday the Windham Club was a virtual sea of freckled faces with blonde,redhead and blue eyed families. The mountain was full of old names like McDonnell, Murray, Skakel, Sullivan, Carey and too many to mention. It was a great time but it was only a short time. Today Windham is a great newly owned facility that is only a couple of hours from Manhattan and is experiencing a rebirth, thanks to some good cold winters and plenty of folks looking for a weekend place not so far away from the city. But I digress.

Not far away and across the mighty Hudson lies the very pretty town of Kinderhook. In Dutch, for which it's name comes from means, "Children's Corner." The goal of an hour's drive to Kinderhook was to meet and see Michael Devine, whose blog is linked to this site. Michael has opened a jewel of a home design store in Kinderhook and I for one sing its praises.

Saturday was a perfect afternoon for a day trip and after winding across the Hudson River Valley we arrived, children, parents, godfather and dog in Kinderhook. The town has some fantastic old homes to view and a quaint small village center where "Michael Devine Home," resides. Through the archway between store and office a young man stood who I assumed was the proprietor. I asked if he was Michael Devine and was affirmed with a hearty hello.

I introduced myself by my proper name and then mentioned that I might be better known as Homer. Michael immediately recognized what I was referring too and gave us all a hearty welcome and a tour of the store. I was also lucky enough to be given a tour of the beautiful garden behind the store/home and of the back shed turned summertime dining room covered in one of his newest fabrics. The place looked great! Aside from the store Michael has become well known for his hand-printed fabrics. His is the first boutique American company to be asked to show at the prestigious Maison & Object Editueres in Paris.

Let me say, I really liked the line of fabrics on display but loved some finished drapes hanging in the back yard over some wicker furniture. Imagine a cotton/linen white fabric with hand blocked chinoiserie pagodas done in a preppy blue. I can only assume they'll be hanging next summer in the finer summer homes around the country. Michael told me he's also got a contract to sell in Australia, hey Anna Spiro, famed for " Absolutely Beautiful Things," keep your eyes out,you'll love this, along with London and Paris of course.

We chatted about the blogosphere and the sites and friends we have come to know and where all this work might take us. I warned him, as he is relatively new to blogging, about what a beast it can become, with knowing nods from his partner Thomas Burak.
With a recommendation for lunch at "Pi" just down the street, which was wonderful, we left vowing to stay in touch. It was a great road trip to visit a very talented man.You can learn more at Michael's blog, "The Devine Life," here.

Thank you to "All The Best," for this photo.


Anna Spiro said...

I have already placed my first Michael Devine order. His fabrics are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Windham Mountain is the best! It actually makes me look forward to winter!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Oh how cool- I like when bloggers meet one another :-) Not to downsize either of you to just 'bloggers' but you must know what I mean!

The Devine Life said...

It was so great to meet you at last-- what a treat!

katiedid said...

What fun to meet! Glad you all had a nice visit. And it is wonderful that you have the family tradition off vacationing in a familiar place every year. My family did the same every summer with our cousins and they are some of my happiest memories.