photographs by Brittany Ambridge styling by Elaina Sullivan interior design by Sacha Dunn
—cofounder of Common Good, an eco-friendly cleaning-supply company—keeps it casual for the holidays by drawing from her natural surroundings.
Pops of festive color make for effortless holiday decor in the living room of Sacha Dunn’s weekend retreat.
New and vintage furnishings mingle throughout the family’s home, including a plaid blanket a friend brought back from Scotland and a side table found at a yard sale in the Catskills.
offer a family-friendly
The wood-burning stove heats the house during the colder months; Levine built the hearth using bricks salvaged from a friend’s barn in Germantown, New York.
a simple plan
Dunn and Levine—the cofounders of Common Good, a Brooklyn-based line of eco-friendly cleaning products—aren’t just concerned about the environment; they’re handy, too. Dunn, a former prop stylist, can paint a beat-up chest of drawers in an hour flat, and Levine likes to frame out rooms in his spare time. To lend a sense of airiness to the cottage’s petite spaces, Dunn chose a pale color scheme—primarily white, gray, and blue—and the couple set about painting walls, floors, cupboards, chairs, and sideboards. The result is a soft, soothing palette, brightened by the occasional cranberry-red accent.
The family prefers to keep holiday decorating low-key and focused on traditions, especially as their children grow older. “We have a mix of precious ornaments that we’ve collected over the years,” Dunn explains, “including new things the kids have made.” Each year, they lead a family adventure into the snowy woods to select their holiday tree—and to gather materials for making wreaths and garlands from their endless outdoor resources. “It’s all part of the fun,” Dunn says.
Dunn and Levine bought these Eames wire chairs at a Brooklyn stoop sale for $20 each.
Built-in cabinets hide the television, with logs for the wood-burning stove stored beneath for easy access.
room to spare
The home has two bedrooms upstairs, as well as a detached 200-square-foot cabin that was built in the 1970s. Though originally imagined as an artist’s studio, it often doubles as a guesthouse; with windows on all four sides, the small space is flooded with morning light.
Open overhead space provides for functional, attractive storage.
getting in the diy spirit
How Dunn makes vintage furnishings her own.
“Our house is small, so the most important thing is to find pieces that fit,” Dunn says. “We look for good shapes that we can repaint or slipcover.”
stir it up
“Mix updated older stuff with new pieces of furniture,” Dunn suggests. The balance keeps a home from leaning too far toward a country aesthetic.
know your resources
“The yard sales in Columbia County are great, but I also look on 1stdibs, eBay, and Craigslist for pieces I really want,” says Dunn. When she does venture out to local sales, she finds that holiday weekends offer the best spoils.
The couple's children, Max and Sadie, lounge on the bed in the guest cabin.