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Camp Griffin | Milkbottle

Camp Griffin

When she isn’t in the city juggling design projects, Kimberlee Hanson retreats to her weekend home, curiously named ‘Camp Griffin’ in Pittstown, NJ. Curiously because ‘camp’ inevitably conjures the image of a field dotted with tents, caravans or perhaps trailers and there’s not one temporary dwelling to be seen here. There is a rather smart barn with a verandah for outdoor dining complete with a crystal chandelier and nine foot long table and there’s a very swanky tool shed large enough to sleep in but no canvas. However, once you have hung out with Kimberlee, it becomes apparent that she never goes anywhere without an entourage of friends, assistants and would-be assistants and you understand the communal nature of the life she has very deliberately orchestrated. ‘Camp Griffin is for everyone to enjoy. For friends and family’, she explains. ‘I always make my kitchens open plan as I’m constantly entertaining’. The house originally belonged to her grandparents. Kimberlee had spent lots of happy times here as a child and decided to raise the money to buy it when they died. In 2003 she began to renovate the house which she describes as looking ‘very Brady Bunch’ with its shag carpeting, ‘avocado green’ bathroom suites, and faux-wood paneling. So out went the remnants of the 1970s and in came reclaimed barnwood floors from Atlanta, multi-coloured Italian tiles for the kitchen island, blue corbels found in a flea market, and tin ceilings from a local auction. The low ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms were torn down and the rafters exposed. Actually Kimberlee obviously has a thing for interesting ceilings; the most innovative being a patchwork of old doors that she has fitted together to clad the sloping part of the kitchen’s roof.

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Images: Matthew Williams via Taverne Agency

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