Burdett House Bed & Breakfast

A Modern Victorian Experience in the Heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Located on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and close to many of the area's premier wineries and attractions, the Burdett
House offer's a refreshing and restful place to recharge or unwind.

Project: Upholstered Chair

It’s been over a year now that I’ve wanted to redo a dumpy old chair and make it beautiful and when we bought the new house we finally had the space to put a beautifully upholstered chair! Quite honestly we have the space for a dozen upholstered chairs but after my experience doing the first one I quickly learned that they are expensive!

Throughout my visits to yard sales, garage sales, reuse and salvage centers I promised myself that I would hold off on buying until the perfectly right priced chair presented itself.  I found this easy chair at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore in Corning, NY for the bargain price of $30.

Wingback Chair

Wingback Chair


I also quickly learned that finding the chair would be the easy part. I must admit that I fell victim to watching one to many HGTV shows that show how quick and simple it is to update the look of a room with upholstered furniture.  But they always fail to mention its hard to do on a budget!  I loved, LOVED a beautiful emerald blue green fabric swatch that came out of a fancy book at the design center… downside was I quickly learned I couldn't afford the $70 per yard price tag. So I took to the internet in search of something affordable and cool looking and while there is a lot of fabrics to be found on the internet, you never have a sense of the true color paired with the fact that once fabric is cut its rarely returnable!  Thankfully I got lucky, my colors matched perfectly…

This fabric took me about 24 solid searching hours over the course of a week to find and I ended up purchasing from Joann Fabrics.com because there was a coupon. The chair needed 7 yards of the medallion print and 2 yards of the red/gold diamond print…. I purchased ALL of my fabric for $130!  If I had gone with the $70 a yard fabric, it would have cost over $600 bucks! So you can see where costs add up.  My upholster charged about $375 to add padding to the inside and outside wings, make a new seat cushion and upholster the chair aaaaand it took her 5 months to complete.  Final cost was around $550, which if you looked online you could find a really nice chair at that price… just watch out for the shipping costs.  Or if you’re up for it… cause yourself a whole bunch of stress and time and create your very own custom chair!

Stencil Madness!

Today's we tackled our first ever stenciling project! This is a feature wall in one of our future guestrooms and we used Turkish Coffee by Bher and vintage gold metallic paint by Martha Stewart. Here is the stencil design we used...http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/products/lisboa-tile-stencil

We're so glad it came out just the way we wanted it... but be warned if you want to try it this will take a FULL day to complete!

Wall stencil

Wall stencil

Greeting From The Finger Lakes


As I mentioned in the previous post from New York City the Finger Lakes are 5 hours north west, a.k.a – waaaaaay upstate.  However after some internet digging I had convinced myself that we needed to at least check it out.  After all website after website mentioned the Finger Lakes as the “The Birthplace of the Farm to Table Movement” the land of “Over 300 Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries”, Farmer’s Markets galore, The fabulous Cheese Trail, Waterfalls, Natural Gorges and an artsy little town called Ithaca which is home to the prestigious Cornell University and Ithaca College.  So we rented a zipcar which zipped us up to the Finger Lakes in just four and a half hours and we were happily on the wine trail by 11AM. The first winery we visited was Americana Vineyards on the Cayuga Wine Trail, the tasting room, staff and wine were all delightful and it was here we obtained our guide/ map to the Finger Lakes wineries which we used to navigate  us through the wine trails for the rest of the weekend.

Now I forgot to mention that I’ve had a slight obsession with Bed & Breakfast type lodgings for a while now and that is where this blog really begins…

When researching where to stay (as this was a last minute weekend getaway trip) I came across a site called bedandbreakfast.com. As I was browsing options for the weekend I noticed a little link on the bottom to Inns and B&B’s for sale and clicked on the properties for sale in New York State then narrowed my search down to properties in the Finger Lakes.  One popped up in a little town called Lodi, it had beautiful views of Seneca Lake and was about a quarter of a mile from a winery.  I figured if we were in the area we should take a look at the property and daydream about owning a B&B in wine country… it would be fun!

After visiting the property we decided that it was not the right fit for us but one thing had been decided and that was that Seneca Lake was where I wanted to call home, it was love at first sight. The sights, sounds, people and peacefulness of the area was so magical that when we returned to NYC my focus shifted… I was on a mission to move to the Finger Lakes and start a new life in the beautiful New York countryside.

We Found "The One"!!

Burdett House - Exterior View

Burdett House - Exterior View

After our first trip to the Finger Lakes we were hooked.  There was something about the rawness, the farms, the farmers, the poverty, the wineries and the hope that if everyone supported each other then this area could really be something.  The area is in every sense of the word… REAL… it’s alive, it’s suffering, it’s hopeful, it’s changing, it’s scared and excited at the same time and I’m not sure why but I wanted to feel those things too.  I had become comfortable in New York City, I worked, I made money and then I would spend pretty much every dollar on creating a life I thought I wanted… drinks with friends, dinner at the newest spot in town, and going on fancy trips around the world.  I was missing that feeling of “realness”, the feeling of having a future, I was stuck.

After 4 subsequent trips back up north to look at various properties around Seneca Lake Dave and I settled our hearts around one house in a small village called Burdett.  When we first pulled up it looked like a dollhouse, a picture perfect 1880′s build Queen Anne Victorian, big enough to host all sorts of exciting future adventures! We went back and forth and up and down on whether this was really going to work and who knows for sure but we decided that this was a risk we were willing to take.

It took 4 months to officially become ours and as first time home owners the home buying process was definitely a learning experience as would be everything from that moment on!

The Weekend That Changed it All

As for all New York City residents there comes a time, a desire and a curiosity to leave the magical island of Manhattan in search for new adventures and opportunity to make sweet memories.  It seemed as if we had done and seen it all… from Pelhem Bay Park and City Island to Coney Island and Brighton Beach. We had biked seemingly every inch of the city then got a little braver and went further (with bikes in tow and metro north tickets in hand) to the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, the many wineries of the Hudson Valley and camping excursions to Taconic State Park in Delaware County and the Hamlet of Phoenicia in the Catskills… our desire to explore the great state of New York grew stronger.

It was a casual conversation with a co-worker about weekend festivities and where the bikes had taken us that spawned a response “God, you’ve been everywhere! Have you been to the Finger Lakes? Biking up there is amazing!”.  My response was…“No, where’s that? Soon after that conversation I of course put my best google skills to work finding that this Finger Lakes region could be found about 5 hours north west of NYC by car.  “Holy crap” I thought, “5 hours! I could fly out west in the time it would take to get there, what is in the Finger Lakes again that is worth me driving 5 hours one way?!?”

To be continued…