Alyse Archer Coite: Tour a Stately Georgian House Upstate New York

Photo of author
Written By Jim J Neal

Francesco LagneseAlyse Archer-Coite knows design. This is evident in her work as an editor at several independent magazines and digital art titles, as well as as a former programming director at Brooklyn’s urbanism incubator A/D/O. She now leads research at Apple.
She didn’t know what full-time moving from Brooklyn to Poughquag (New York), two hours north of Manhattan would mean beyond the obvious appeal of space and fresh air. Archer-Coite recalls her early days in her 1770 Georgian home, with its hipped roofline, elegant red brick, and a foot of snow the day after she got the keys. “When the snow stopped, it was obvious that I didn’t have any shovels.” It was a quick introduction to country life,” she says, laughing now but with a sarcastic air that suggests the story is not funny in retrospect.

Archer-Coite’s grandmother passed on the vase to Archer-Coite. The vintage table is surrounded by Louie Isaaman Jones chairs. The handwoven jute rug, which is from India, is surrounded by Louie Isaaman-Jones chairs. They decided to run together after their car was stuck in the garage. Her neighbors offered to help her plow her driveway. They struck up a long-lasting friendship and had a great conversation about the house.
“I was like, “Oh, my God…Is that the beginning of my Grey Gardens?”
Archer-Coite is known for her ability to make genuine connections. This gift seems to have been inherited from Gloria, her mother who lives about an hour north of Albany. Gloria encouraged Archer-Coite, a former student of hers, to think about the anchoring advantages of owning a country home away from the bustle of the city. It was difficult to leave the familiar warmth of family connections and for an older house that would require a lot of effort and time, however. Archer-Coite says that buyer’s remorse quickly set in. “I was like, “Oh, my God, I’m just one person and I’m moving away from home.” “Is this the beginning to my Grey Gardens?”

Alyse ArcherCoite in Toteme with her mother Gloria and Pip in the sitting area. A friend reminded ArcherCoite that she had traveled to some of the most important cities in the world on business. She suggested that the house be a place where she could have quality time with her friends and not just the quick meals and drinks that are common in the city. Archer-Coite was prompted to question her views on family and community by that conversation. The house made it more complicated. “I was compelled to ask, “Who are your people?” Is there a tribe? Who would you like to host? Archer-Coite: “Who’s coming? She adds that it was more nutritious to have close friends make the trip and agree to spend a weekend together. The city is like a sugar high.

Farrow & Ball painted the guest beds in Duck Green and they were covered in Jeanette Farrier’s John Derian blankets. Form Atelier’s Moroccan rug is used under the beds. Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White and Ash Grey wall colors are also by Farrow & Ball. Hiroshi and Robbie Lawrence took the photographs. The house has a four-over-four layout and central staircase that are typical of Georgian homes. It was originally built by the Noxon family as a tavern several years before the American Revolution. Later, it became a Noxon homestead. It passed through generations of Noxon descendants, and was eventually purchased by a couple to fix it up. The couple found Archer-Coite to be their steward in 2020. They felt that Archer-Coite would preserve the house’s “weirdness” and not smoothen its edges.
Weekends spent with friends at the house are “more nutritious.” It’s a sugar high.
Archer-Coite’s “nutritious” interactions are the ultimate goal. Her urbane and relaxed decorating is a kind of mise en place. To counter the house’s symmetry, and to complement its original details she used layered furniture and lighting with a mix midcentury and modernist sensibilities along with period-appropriate antiques or decorative objects. For example, you might find a metal chair with a Surrealist style on a section red-pine floor. A sleek Vitsoe shelving system is located in the second-level library, just feet from a vintage floor lamp with a wooden base and a thrifted floorlamp.

The 1980s glass cocktail table in the sitting room is flanked with vintage club chairs and Pierre Paulin’s Ligne Roset sofa. Alvar Aalto made the stool, while the vintage wooden table lamp and Achille Castiglioni/Pio Manzu pendant are from Flos. Joshua Woods took the photograph. Francesco Lagnese She says that it is obvious that the house was old, but that the accessories and furniture didn’t need to be emphasized. “And if it’s not obvious, a mouse can be a reminder.”
Archer-Coite also has a collection of contemporary photography that includes work by Joshua Woods and Shaniqwa Jarvis. This helps to cut through any potential for preciousness. She doesn’t collect with an aesthetic goal, but she does seek out pieces that bring joy to her, even though she may not always know where they will end up. She laughs and says, “I have moved the Shaniqwa Jarvis photo of a swimmer into every room in my house.” It now resides in her home office. She reports that it is a good feeling to have someone at her side while she works.

Styled by Bebe Hopworth
This story first appeared in the May 2022 issue ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE

Did you miss our previous article…