Lisa Przystup has thought a lot about home. Her home, yes, but also “home” in the broader sense of the word. In fact, she wrote a book on upstate interiors that came out today.
“Looking for a house is such an emotional thing,” she says. “It’s that same kind of fictitious precedent, like New Year’s Eve or buying a wedding dress.” Lisa and her husband, musician Jonathon Linaberry, saw 18 properties before finding their 1893 farmhouse in Delhi, New York. It was during the negotiation process, she says, “when the attachment really began.”
Four years later, “we’re in a real relationship with this house,” Lisa says. Though the home had seen numerous renovations by previous owners, there was still work to do to make it the couple’s own. Coming from a small, railroad-style Brooklyn apartment, Lisa and Jonathon craved simplicity and room to breathe—both mental and physical. They started by painting the floors and walls white (a design element Lisa had been dreaming about for more than 10 years), an initial choice that set the mood for the rest of the house. She describes the palette as “earth tones punctuated by other earth tones.”
Though the couple went full minimalism when first decorating, with time, they took to adding more warmth through layers and textures. “This is going to sound hippie-dippie, but you have to get to know your house,” says Lisa. After learning how they liked to live in the space, the pair changed furniture arrangements several times and still enjoy taking on home-improvement projects (just this past summer, Jonathon built a set of stairs, a fence, and planted a new garden). For Lisa and Jonathon, a design process that is continuously evolving alongside its inhabitants is the way to create an authentic, lived-in home.
A natural vintage-hunting devotee, Lisa understands that sourcing secondhand items requires patience. “I’ve been on a three-year-long quest to find a hyper-specific Shaker bed frame that I can’t afford,” jokes Lisa, an experienced Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay user. “It hasn’t found me yet, but I’m keeping the dream alive.” It’s that approach that’s noteworthy. The art of owning an old home involves taking care with the details—pushing back against capitalist obsessions with newness and convenience, favoring quality and meaning over quick solutions.
Jonathon’s childhood bed was found in a family member’s garage. “I was like, oh my god, we’re taking this,” says Lisa. The antique spindle frame fits perfectly in the guest room.