For Marie Kohles, there’s nothing better than lying out in the sunshine on the shore of the 40-acre private lake behind her family’s log home in Jewett, tucked within Catskill Park. True lakehouses like this one—providing unrestricted access to the water as well as picturesque views, and located a convenient distance from New York City—are rare in the region.
But for the past eight years, this lakehouse—which also happens to be located in the heart of ski country—has provided a peaceful, cozy weekend retreat in every season for Kohles, her husband Joe, and their two sons, along with countless guests. With its unlimited lake access, easy proximity to both Windham and Hunter mountains, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, superb mountain views, and whimsical log cabin décor throughout, this lakeside home is a year-round Catskills haven.
However, the Kohleses recently moved to Pennsylvania, too far away to commute for weekends, and therefore must sell the house. “It’s heartbreaking to give it up,” admits Kohles, who recently retired from her career as a partner in a large accounting firm. “It’s literally quite magical. It’s really a year-round place because in the winter you have skiing close by and in the summer you have the lake, which is just beautiful. Plus, it’s peaceful and quiet. It’s been a real home away from home. I really missed it when I wasn’t there and always wanted to get back to it.”
The property is accessible from Conifer Lake Road West, which encircles Conifer Lake, named after the pinecone-producing trees that blanket the area and give the landscape a rich, green hue and a fresh scent in the warmer months. A long driveway leads to the house, letting visitors gently leave the world behind.
Built in 2004 on a slope, the Cape Cod-style house is supported by a steel frame and dressed in cedar logs. A deck with forest green railings and posts greets visitors and wraps around the house; the foundation level, emerging from the slope, becomes the ground level in the back. Interior details—the French doors, mezzanine railing, and cabinets—are painted forest green to accentuate the planed cedar-log walls and pine floors. A variety of rich colors was used to paint the wainscoting and trim—red, teal, and yellow—adding a bit of whimsy and charm, complementing the forest green accents, and offsetting the wooden interiors. The result is an atmosphere that’s at once luxurious and comforting, yet also playful.
To the right of the entryway is a kitchen filled with vintage appliances, including a 1950s Magic Chef range and refrigerator. The quaint, forest green island and antique-style cabinetry, along with the white farmhouse sink, add a touch of country charm. The dining area, contained within the same space, features a long farmhouse table.
Next to the dining area and stretching across the back of the main floor is a great room with a high, angled ceiling, anchored by a beautiful stone fireplace with a pine mantle. Dual sets of French doors in the family room open to the back deck. In the winter, says Kohles, the family would gather around the fireplace, while in the summer they would leave the French doors open all day long, wandering out to lounge on the deck, breathing in the mountain air.
A staircase leads up to an airy loft overlooking the family room and featuring a lunette window that lets in plenty of light. The loft includes built-in shelving space and a nook for a desk. The Kohleses outfitted the loft to create a kids’ hangout, but it’s such a versatile space that it could also make a fine game or party room, secondary family room, or additional sleeping area.
Kohles says one of her favorite parts of the house is the master bedroom’s corner nook, where she used to curl up in a chair with a book, opening up the large windows in spring to let in the scent of the lilacs growing below. The master bedroom suite is accessed from a short hallway that connects with the loft; it contains a large walk-in closet and a bathroom with a stone-tiled shower, his-and-hers sinks, and a clawfoot tub.
The ground-floor area of the house is designed to be a private spa. Accessible from a staircase as well as from the entryway, the area is yet another focal point, featuring 10-foot ceilings and walls made of cedar logs, a large sitting area, a separate bedroom with a tall window, a bathroom with a steam shower, two storage rooms, and an infrared sauna.
Sliding glass doors form one wall and open from the lower level to a patio, which features not only a hot tub but also a 65-foot-long, in-ground saline lap pool surrounded by flagstone. From the pool, a flight of natural slate steps ascends to a charming green gate in an antique-style stone wall that runs alongside the house. On the other side of the gate is a fire pit, sited beneath trees, which makes for an inviting gathering place on chilly evenings. Lush terrace gardens line the stone wall.
Although the house is nestled deeply into the woods, it’s also a mere 10-minute drive from popular ski destinations Windham and Hunter, which Kohles says has made it the ideal retreat. “The house is close to mountain resorts and bustling towns, but often we were content to stay at home and enjoy the house and the lake, which is always available for local homeowners,” she says. “This house is for anybody who wants access to skiing, nice restaurants, and entertainment, but also wants to be able to sit out on the back deck, have a glass of wine, and just watch the lake. That’s why it’s so perfect.”
Real Estate Details
223 Conifer Lake Road, Jewett, NY
Richard Vizzini, Real Estate Salesperson
845.389.7879 | [email protected]
Mary King, Associate Real Estate Broker
518.965.0600 | [email protected]
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty
The Jewett area is popular throughout the year for its proximity to skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, golf, hiking, concerts, and arts events. If you truly want to embrace the Catskills lifestyle, this is its epicenter. If part of your Catskills dream-life is to find a peaceful place with a connection to nature and a whimsical sensibility, then you need to pay a visit to this home on Conifer lake.
A winning combination of retro charm and modern luxury, this house is set on a glimmering private lake with impressive mountain views, and it contains a peace that is almost surreal. Just 10 minutes from both Windham or Hunter Mountain. This home is truly special, it’s a place where you can pamper yourself in a private spa to the music of birdsong—no New Age spa music necessary! Relax in the infrared sauna or soak in the spacious hot tub, enjoying the exceptional natural backdrop. The 60-foot heated saline pool is stunning and situated perfectly between the house and the lake. Your repose will be uninterrupted as there are no motors allowed on the lake; however, you can swim, fish, and kayak in the crystalline waters to your heart’s content. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, sanctuary, or place to entertain at the highest level, this home will accommodate all of your dreams, your friends, and your memory making.