family compound in delaware river gap

Another local getaway, another house I wish I could get my hands on. A few weekends ago, we rented a house in the Delaware River Gap, PA with a group of our friends to celebrate an upcoming birthday. From the listings we could tell the house was large and had a pool, which was really all we needed. But much to my delight, the house wasn’t just a house. It is a special one, built long ago and owned by the same family since the 1920’s.

Here are some pictures, though they don’t do it justice.

INTRO_DelawareRiverHouse copy

Like any old house that’s been added onto over the years, there are quirks. Especially in the zones where a 70’s/80’s renovation occurred. But while the house on its own is lovely and gracious as is, I can’t help but play “what would I do if this was mine.” Particularly from a space planning and room assignment perspective. Here’s the floorplan as it is now:


Here’s how I’d envision the floorplan and furniture placement:


1/Move the opening from the original house to the addition – Currently there are two entries from the original house to the kitchen addition. I’d remove the two and just have one large entry at the base of the stairs.


2/Renovate the kitchen and rework the steps- New cabinets, appliances and counters. Plus I’d simplify the stairs to the breakfast area level and push the island back into the room a bit.


3/Add back the formal dining with a “kids table” nook – With the wall now up, this room could revert back to a formal dining room with plenty of room for a spacious table. I’d put a little bistro sized table in the sweet little bay window nook. Can’t you imagine big family dinners with the official kids table (best seat in the house!)


4/Gut the half bath – It’s just so so bad. So bad. The 80’s threw up in here.


5/Utilize the paneled “hallway/sitting” space as a double living room – This is a tough space. It’s dark with all the paneling, which I don’t think I could bear to paint over or remove. Instead, I’d go super light and bright with all my furniture and accessories.


6/Invert the family room closet and enlarge the mud room – The mud room is such an afterthought right now. I’d remove the great room closet so that the space is larger and then do a long wall of storage and benches for pulling on boots and shoes.

7/Add pocket doors to the mudroom and laundry room – So simple, but removing the doors and using pocket doors instead would make the small spaces feel larger.


8/Update the mini bar and move the pool table into the great room – Now that the formal living and dining spaces are back, I’d make the great room the hang out space. Pool table goes in this room, I’d update the mini bar to an L shape, with a small bar on wheels. The room would have a large sectional by the fireplace with a large TV mounted. A card table would be beside the bar area and I’d add another window seat with cocktail tables to make a relaxing place to catch the game of pool or look down to the pool.


9/And on the exterior, I’d paint all the white vinyl siding grey so that it recesses into the environment more (and detracts from the vinyl)


Though I didn’t sketch out the upstairs floorplan, there are 4 bedrooms including a huge master suite with terrific views. There is currently 1 small bath that needs to be updated and a huge master bath, which I’d break into two baths so that there’d be three baths total upstairs.

The land and views on this property as you can see are outrageous. There’s an original barn under that vinyl siding and a huge guesthouse. The drive up is lined with lights and the pool has a small cabana with two bathrooms.


The fact is, I’d highly recommend this home just as it is if you’re in the New York metro area and in need of a getaway. It’s currently renting for $500/night and sleeps around 12 people! And it’s near Easton, which is a cute little college town, and the Delaware River (tubing!) And it’s only 2 hours from the city. This area has now become a prime weekend house search area for us!

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