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Sarah Greenman: What do you love about your community?
Mimi Kauffman: Halfway is the nicest community of people we've ever known, and we've lived in a lot of places. People here take time. You can't go shopping. You can't be a spectator. I can't be as expansive in an urban space as I can here. In the city, you're so busy being busy that you can forget who you are. You have to have space to let your thoughts come through.
Eric Kauffman: Halfway is a great place. And I love everything about our house.
SG: What drew you to this home?
MK: I helped a friend move here in 1988. Eric and I returned every once in a while with our trailer for vacations. We came back in 1998 after having lived in Mexico for a while. We arrived on July 5 and were moved in by mid-August. We looked at a lot of places, but they all had acreage. We wanted something manageable.
The foyer is a large, open space with passageways on four sides. A set of French doors leads to the porch, a doorway opens to the office, an open breezeway leads to the living room and a staircase goes to a family room and two small bedrooms.
MK: I like "outs." I don't like to feel trapped. It's nice to know that at any moment, I can be out the door and on my way.
A home office/music room lies just off the foyer and provides space for the couple's many instruments. Eric plays guitar, trombone, cello and a host of other instruments. He also sings and plays in a local band called The Halfwits. Mimi is also a gifted musician and plays mandolin and guitar.
SG: What did you do to make the home yours?
MK: Paint. The entire house was covered in a soul-sucking white. I had to get rid of it.
SG: Where is your favorite place to shop for home goods?
MK: I'm a hunter-gatherer. I can't give you sources for the things in my home, because they're one of a kind or I can't remember!
The kitchen is an explosion of color. Periwinkle walls and lime-green trim are just the beginning of this eye-popping space. Mimi and Eric are both fantastic chefs and wanted a kitchen that inspired their culinary projects.
MK: Would you believe that there are 21 different paint colors in my house? It's a lot, I know, but it all seems to work. I learned to appreciate food in Thailand, and I learned to appreciate color in Mexico.
A cool, simple blue master bedroom on the second floor tempers the high energy of the kitchen below. A traditional wooden bed frame is flanked by two low-profile side tables; those pieces are the only furniture items in the room. A large east-facing window overlooks the side yard.
A narrow hall leads to a tiny bathroom, typical in size for a house this age, and a second bedroom, which Mimi uses as her studio. Although there are four different colors of trim and two different wall colors in the photo above, it all seems to work.
SG: What is your favorite spot in the house?
EK: Everywhere. Seriously, I love every spot in this house.
MK: Every part! I'm comfortable everywhere. But if I had to choose, I'd say my studio. My room has that special quality — when I go in there, I know I'm going to love what I'm doing, whether it's yoga or art or whatever.
Mimi also considers her studio a sacred space for meditation and yoga. A Buddha painted on fabric oversees an altar of meaningful objects. A stained glass floral motif hangs in the window and diffuses the evening light.
SG: What was your biggest design dilemma?
MK: The house had no garage or outdoor storage, which is tough for a place that gets snow all winter. We had to build a detached garage at the back of the property.
EK: We can't get the car in it right now. But it's a good place for bikes and all our extra stuff.