Mainstay in Good Housekeeping
- Good Housekeeping, June 2001
The charm of country, comfort, coziness, and a sense of history - that's what you'll find in the nineteenth century guest house at the end of this garden path.
A former owner knocked down a wall in the two-room kitchen to create one huge space. Now, a long, fruit-laden table is flanked by a floral, slip-covered couch (glimpsed above) - all signs that this is a gathering place as a well as a work space. "Everything happens in this room," Main says, "and I love the feeling that many others have baked and cooked and gathered here with family for years before me."
Breakfast with the Windsors
Country china lies within easy reach in an early nineteenth century Irish pine hutch. At breakfast, guests are greeted by the Mainstay's own garden roses, on a pine table surrounded by Windsor chairs.
Kitchen Change of Pace
This island of hand painted tile is where the owner's children and grandchildren pull up tall stools to sit and talk. Another modern detail, the industrial-look overhead lighting, ads a different century to the mix.
Cream-colored beadboard gives a hand crafted look to the ceilings and walls of the Kitchen. To get more storage space, Main converted a bedroom dresser into a cooking island. She painted it, attached a yard-sale map board to the top and glued on the Spanish-inspired tiles. The drawers are full of kitchen utensils.
Small touches, such as the white Moroccan-style stool and hand painted fruit design, make even the kitchen area eye-catching.
Here Comes the Sun
"This is a great bedroom to wake up in," says owner Elizabeth Main. Sunlight floods through the windows decorated with Main's signature floral chintz curtains, and the crisp white pillows and linens invite you to linger for a few minutes more. Like all of the Inn's beds, this romantic, century-old rought-iron beauty was purchased at Alice's Antiques in New York City.
Room in Bloom
Once a sun porch, this bright guest room is walled by windows on three sides. The cheerful chintz of the curtains and table cloth softens the look of the French bed and bare wood floors.
Up in the Attic
In the top-floor family suite, the eaves were sponged with the same sunny yellow paint as the walls the emphasize the slant of the ceiling period. The adjoining, airy bathroom leads to another guest room with a king-sized bed and country quilt.
The Garden Path
The Inn's garden is bordered by a hand made rustic fence and arbor.
Even without a roaring fire, the sitting room feels cozy. The owner hand painted the leafy vine around the doorway.
Wide-open doors, fresh linens, boughs of fragrant roses, and sturdy pine tables - simple pleasures like these beckon guests to the Mainstay bed and breakfast in the bustling village of Southampton New York. Built as a small, family-owned country store in 1850, the structure was expanded into a seventeen-room bed-and-breakfast over the years, but it still maintains a serene, country charm thanks to the loving touches of its current owner Elizabeth Main. "I wanted to personalize each room so that people would feel comfortable and easy here," says Main, who bought the Mainstay in 1992. To that end, she stripped down the tables and repolished them, scouted antique stores and yard sales to hand-pick treasures and sewed chintz curtains for each guest room. The result? "It's not perfect here, but it's definitely interesting." And that's what makes it feel like home.