Read the full article on for the inspiring story about The Saint James Kingston located in Kingston, New York. 

By Maxwell Tielman: 

"I had never met Julian Lesser and Philippe Trinh, a New York City-based artist/designer couple, when I stayed at their house for the first time. Their home, dubbed “The Saint James,” doubles as a weekend retreat for travelers and, last winter, I had the pleasure of staying there with a few friends. Located in the middle of Kingston, New York, a charming Hudson Valley town seemingly ripped from the pages of a Normal Rockwell book, the cozy house is filled with a mixture of modern and vintage finds, rustic charm, and quiet decadence. From its lavishly appointed sitting room, outfitted in stylish hood chairs and antique pieces, to the organic vegetable garden in the back, I got the sense that transforming this house had been quite an undertaking—a labor of love and countless years of work.

It wasn’t until Philippe invited my boyfriend and I back to The Saint James for a celebratory cocktail after we, too, had become Kingston residents, that the truth behind their renovation finally came to light. To our surprise, the magic-power couple had only closed on the 1890s Victorian mere months before our stay. During just this brief period, Julian and Philippe had taken the home from a sad state of disrepair—a ragged, un-landscaped exterior, and an interior broken and desecrated by years of vandals, squatters, and weather—to a state of near-completion. For anybody who has taken on a home renovation of their own, the transformation—often wrought by the couple’s own four hands—is downright vexing. While the home is still being tweaked and updated, albeit at a slightly slower pace these days, what was once a dilapidated house amongst the area’s more stately homes is now a neighborhood gem. For more photos (before shots included!) and Julian and Philippe’s design notes, continue after the jump! —Max

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