Just about an hour outside of New York City on the Silvermine River is the ultimate “haven of refuge” for those weary of city life — GrayBarns. The boutique property is owned by the Glazer family (Andy, Marsha, and their daughter, Nikki), who have carefully restored the former textile factory, honoring its history while bringing in modern amenities to best serve their guests. Woven throughout the property are intentional design elements that speak to the history and location. There’s an Inn, a Tavern, and a Mercantile, as well as a Millhouse, which we’re touring today!
The Glazers relied on the Millhouse’s unique architecture, keeping many of the original beams and bones while outfitting it with modern appliances and decor. Now, the space is a unique 4 bedroom, 3 bath residence. The Glazers are truly bringing hospitality back home — they live what they offer their guests. We had a recent chat to learn more:
Before we chat about the Millhouse, we’d love to know more about GrayBarns! Tell us a bit about the property.
What has always been interesting to us, and something we kept top of mind when restoring the property and interiors is the extensive history that is tied to both the area and the property itself. It dates all the way back to the 17th century, when the area was once popular as a village meeting place, and GrayBarns served as an artist outpost, and stagecoach stop.
Structurally, what is now GrayBarns began as a small textile factory at the turn of the 19th century. It became a speakeasy during the 1920s before legitimizing itself after the end of Prohibition. The property thrived throughout the 1960s as a classic country Inn, with visits from the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy and Lauren Bacall.
Present day, GrayBarns comprises an Inn, Tavern, Millhouse and Mercantile, offering our guests a full 360-brand experience right on property. What was originally the tavern, now houses the Inn and has been renovated back to its stately structure of classic influence, with ample porches and tall columns, situated on a bluff overlooking Guthrie pond. The Inn boasts six beautifully appointed king suites each featuring a spacious bedroom, living area, and full-size bath with soaking tub.
Across the street from the Inn, you will find our Mercantile, a newly renovated country store; a great spot to pop-over for coffee or shop the look with GrayGoods. The second floor of the Mercantile houses our Mercantile Apartments, three studio apartments available for long term stays ideal for a lingering residency or a country pied-a-terre.
The Tavern at GrayBarns now sits adjacent to Guthrie pond. New windows in the Bar Room and expansive Dining Room complete with original fireplace, make for incredible vantage point of the pond and a warm and intimate dining experience. Tavern also boasts a wine room, private dining room, kitchen garden and outdoor patio and courtyard . The culinary fare of elegant comfort food draws on seasonal ingredients and local farms and purveyors.
Tell us a bit about the renovation of Millhouse. How did you honor the architectural integrity while bringing it up to modern-day?
Using salvaged barn wood sourced from various mills throughout upstate Connecticut and New York, we kept the historical feel intact. The original post and beam structure was preserved at its core along with the original fireplace and the arch architectural details on the exterior.
We enhanced the spectacular views and vantage point with new floor to ceiling windows throughout the first floor. A central staircase made of steel treads and glass banisters gives the interior a modern update and amplifies the overall spaciousness. The wall sconces that are used throughout the Mill House as well as the Inn and Tavern are burlap and steel from Pergola in New Preston, CT. In the first floor master bedroom, vaulted ceilings are complemented with large Bleu Nature driftwood pendants.
Tucker Robbins rattan pendants made of fishing baskets hang over the custom kitchen island which serves as the main gathering place and integrates into the open living room where GrayGoods Kilim Pillows and wool throws are found interspersed with hide pillows brought back by Nikki on a trip to Argentina. One of a kind vintage finds can be found throughout. High-end finishes and appliances including Thermador range and Gaggenau refrigerator lend a hand for modern home cooking.
Adjacent to the main building is the Carriage House which was renovated into a guest quarters with studio apartment and downstairs office.
What are some of the key hospitality elements that make GrayBarns unique?
From the moment you arrive at GrayBarns there is an overwhelming feeling of slowing down. During your stay at the Inn you can enjoy room service on your private porch with tranquil water views, or lunch and dinner at the Tavern. Take one of our Priority bikes out for a leisurely ride, schedule an in-room massage, discover the Mercantile for coffee, ice cream and shop the look from GrayGoods. While visiting GrayBarns, we encourage our guests to unplug and enjoy this “haven of refuge”. The best part, you never have to leave the property.