When actress and comedian Cecily Strong came across this house two hours from New York City, it felt like the opposite of the moment. “It was warm and comfortable, and I didn’t want to lose that,” she says. The pandemic had recently taken hold, and Cecily had friends who were already established upstate, so she decided to follow them for the time being and rent a place for herself and her dog, Lucy. And then what was supposed to be a temporary escape grew on her.
“There are farms and horse paddocks around, as well as many picturesque small towns,” says Cecily, one of the longest tenured female stars of Saturday Night Live. “I wanted a quiet home outside of the city that was close enough to commute, where I could invite family and friends and have more space to host them.”
The hideaway she found felt open to the scenery and filled with sunlight—it even had a garden that she could use to hone her burgeoning green thumb. There were other long-standing properties in the area, but this nearly 40-year-old one seemed like it didn’t need too much help getting spiffed up. “The house had a midcentury feel, and I didn’t want to work against that,” she says. It had a large deck and rows of windows that were perfectly fine, plus a brick fireplace in a large living room Cecily had no intention of changing. Sure, it didn’t exactly have a primary bedroom suite, and every inch could use fresh coats of paint, but Cecily didn’t see those details as dealbreakers. Neither did the team at Ammor Architecture, whom she hired to handle the renovation.