Leave the McMansions to run-of-the-mill rock stars. Indie musician Neko Case put her inimitable stamp on a historic Vermont farm, with quirky salvage, bold new finds, and more than a few heirloom seeds.
By the Piano
Neko Case does much of her composing in the kitchen, at an old piano she rescued from a nearby frat house. The alcove's mirrored tile, along with the white version covering the walls is by Artistic Tile. As for the border up top? Pratt & Larson custom-made that tile, dubbing the color "Neko red."
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An Anthropologie sofa, upholstered in Josef Frank fabric, and a Heywood-Wakefield coffee table furnish the living room, painted in Behr's Elm Bark.
With the exception of the late 1700's beams, Case started from scratch in the kitchen-transforming the space with custom cabinetry, counters of locally quarried Danby marble, and a refurbished 1950s stove. The floor tile is by Daltile; the stools came from Restoration Hardware.
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Everything in Case's breakfast room carries a backstory: The wainscoting was constructed from her kitchen's old cabinets; the slate panels hail from a schoolhouse; the flooring once made up a bowling lane and the Viva Terra furniture sports recycled yardsticks. Even Case's dog Liza started life in a shelter.
The musician characterizes her decorative mash-up as a "combination of science classroom, hunting lodge, and Art Nouveau battleship."
A wingback chair by AK-LH serves as both extra seating and a conversation starter in the dining room, where Case displays her collection of more than 500 albums. The walls wear Farrow & Ball's Brinjal.
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An Ikea duvet cover, Eileen Fisher's blanket and shams, and a needlepoint dog pillow from Urban Outfitters dress Case's upholstered bed. She purchased the wallpaper at UK firm Cole & Son when she played London. Case chose her bedroom's dramatic tufted headboard because "it feels like a couch."
The master bath's pale-blue tub by FTF Designs pops against charcoal Ann Sacks tiles. The large linoleum collage is by Bill Miller; the towel rack is a Restoration Hardware find.
Bright Idea: Display art against a tiled wall by suspending it, via wire, from Sheetrock above.
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The backyard garden yields enough heirloom edibles-tomatoes, broccoli, chard, cucumbers, and more-to supply Case's kitchen and a local restaurant.
In the Stable
Case-with her friend and contractor Nate Homchick-readies Norman, a Percheron-Andalusian cross, for a ride. She has four more upright pianos in this barn, among other rescued treaures-ranging from a pile of archery equipment to cast-off doors and windows to a bathtub. "I've been collecting this stuff from thrift stores and junk shops since I was 16, though it's now called hoarding, I guess," she says, wryly. "I try to get everything used."
See the rest of Case's home, including her library, her many collections, and her beautiful acreage »
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.