Paying Home-age

Interview with Tracey Belfatto

Tracey is a dear friend and fellow stylist/creator. When I see Tracey I automatically imagine that we’re in a pre-Raphaelite painting and I’m instantly home. Colors are richer, gardens greener, flowers more fragrant, naughtiness is always a possibility and beauty is painfully endless…I paid a visit and homage to Tracey and Rik’s (Tracey’s partner) Upstate NY house, studio, greenhouse and 61 acres. These two have always been a huge inspiration and partners in crime. I am forever grateful for their knowledge, talent and contributions.

TSF: How would you describe your style?
Tracey:  Well traveled, textured, natural, eclectic, modern, warm, earthy , rusty. Everything  has a story, and a long life. Sentimental essence, timeless .

TSF: What are your favorite styles or designs?
Tracey:  Simplicity, elegance, natural or unique proportion,comfort, craftsmanship, a melding of the modern and arcane.

TSF: I see you have little collections throughout your house, how do you decide what becomes a collection for you?
Tracey:  I love well worn things and  the feel and warmth of old wooden spoons, bowls, the history of cutting boards and old mortars and pestles. It’s a connection one might feel for an old cashmere sweater, a possession that’s existed forever.

TSF: What inspires you? Motivates you in design.
Tracey: History ,nature, light, giving new meaning to discarded or saved objects. I hate when things break. I create daily arrangements with things I find on my long walks . I blend, build and shuffle them so they keep going and changing flavor, like a soup one keeps on the stove and adds to making it richer.

TSF: You and Rik have done a lot work to your upstate house, what were your visions when you bought this place?
Tracey:  The place was so tiny and cozy, it was all about the outdoor space. We wanted to add a bright, glass room, where we would could cook and entertain more expansively.  We proceeded to build two-thirds more house onto the cabin, pretty much cache as cache can. We bought things, found most and revamped quite a bit of materials so progress was slow.  It was truly a hand-built process. We had the sliding glass doors before the room and designed around them. We are still searching for handles to fit them. We found thermal windows on the street in Harlem. Friends would spot things, mention it and we’d pick them up. All the butcher block was found on NYC streets. They were used in our NYC loft and reused again up here. Rik’s work studio and mine are both built with old sets and materials from our design business.  We  made a teepee in the woods, our old backdrops sewn together as its cover. When constructing the new room, we moved the back deck around to the guest bedroom side for a lovely private porch. Sounds easy but it took all summer. Renting the place for a few days here and there provided a bit of cash to continue.

TSF: You’re not afraid of color how do you decide what colors to use in your rooms?
Tracey:  I love to feel the sun in every room, seems all my NYC apts. were dark, so I always compensated with color and warmth. Being a painter and designer, it is constantly changing.

TSF: I love the DIY fireplace mantel headboard, how did that come about?
Tracey:  I have been dragging that mantle around forever. It came from an old brownstone in Murray hill. They knocked down the building and I salvaged  it. It has had many incarnations, and  will have many more. Almost any object d’ art is capable of infinite placements . Loss of possibility is a bit sad when things are set in stone, cemented.



Magical Shroom Queen


Free Swinging

Free Swinging

Rik ready for more renovation work- this time adding a whole half of a house on!

Rik ready for more renovation work- this time adding a whole half of a house on!



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Front Porch

Front Porch


Table Made by Tracey @ Trix Design

Table Made by Tracey @ Trix Design


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Main living room




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Kitchen/Great Room! The heart of the home. You can see through the window Tracey’s latest project – redoing her vintage Avalon trailer. Always the most amazing fresh foods from the greenhouse! Rik does a delicious pork loin on the grill and pie! Tracey made the MOST yummiest bread and shared the recipe! Lookout for that in the Parties, Delicables & Pretty Things section.

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Collections! Tracey loves to collect, even in the bathroom.






Rik does loves a piece of Art – both here by him – the painting was when Rik was restoring a brownstone and decided when he was doing test samples for the floor finish to make self portraits! The is a poster he made for his band – Circle X. Click here to hear about Circle X




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Separate Studio building where both Rik and Tracey have their own space.

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The great outdoors!! 61 private acres, an outhouse and greenhouse for Tracey’s eclectic tomatoes!

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