this old house. meet makers sam & casey.
Casey DZIERLENGA and Sam MOYER live in idyllic natural splendor in a “real wreck” of an old house in the hudson valley along with a growing animal family to drain their already limited resources. They also write a blog junque on the road as “one of the only ways they can stop from completely going ’round the bend” while living in a home under continual construction. but primarily they make beautiful furniture, as you will soon see. our resident new york-based photographer ilenia martini took a trip out to visit her friends in the salt point home they purchased in the summer of 2011 and have been working on nonstop ever since. we’re going to have a look at their old home in progress, and their respective furniture making businesses, which they both continue to grow and expand on both coasts.
The house has been an interesting (and sometimes overwhelming) project for the couple and they are moving slowly with it, trying to make design decisions that take into account the spectrum of the seasons in the Hudson river valley. So far, they’ve had a blast peeling back the layers of the house and getting at its bones, finding that Sometimes the fundamental elements of a room are so elegant it’s hard to believe anyone ever covered them up — “The plaster and lathe specifically come to mind, (which we’ve liberated from sometimes as many as 4 layers of wallpaper.) We’re really working hard to find ways to preserve those sorts of elements while making the house more energy efficient and livable.”
Sam and casey are both big collectors, so they’ve been gradually filling the house with relics found ‘junque-ing’ around the Hudson Valley. and Living in their house while working on it has also drawn casey’s attention to the importance of attractive storage solutions, so she’s got a whole slew of armoire and Shelving designs brewing so she can find ways to close things away and give her senses a break from clutter at the end of the day. and While furniture is definitely where casey’s heart is, the swings she’s been designing have been generating a lot of interest lately, too.
Sam got his start making furniture at George school where artist and designer, carter Sio continues to run a first rate furniture program. After college, he went to work for the New Jersey barn company and other preservationists. In the process Sam learned that traditional wood building and traditional furniture are similar disciplines at a different scale and While there, started making furniture for himself and for friends and family from extra material — before long he was getting commissions. While living and building his business in Los Angeles Sam restored his first house (an ongoing project) with his great friend, Alex Robinson — a 1909 transitional Victorian in the historic Angeleno heights neighborhood of los angeles.
Casey has a degree in film, and actually worked in set design for many years, but left the film world to apprentice for a sculptor, before finally taking a job working with Sam and learning to work with wood specifically. she says, “I guess you could say that Craigslist introduced us. We worked together for a couple of years before becoming romantically involved. Sam jokes that he lost his best employee when we started dating.” After a few years of working together, casey branched off and started my her own company, dzierlenga. “I guess we’re both just a little too headstrong to work within the confines of one company. Also, from an artistic standpoint, it’s nice to be able to follow your own whim and see an idea through wherever it takes you.”
you can find casey & sam’s furniture in a variety of places, including Kaufmann mercantile; Culture and commerce project warren street, Hudson, new york; and the Platform experiment York street, Highland park, in Los Angeles. they are also members of the los angeles box collective, a select group of professional Los Angeles-based furniture makers, committed to environmentally conscious design and production.
• all photos by ilenia martini.