Artist Ayumi Horie’s Old Country Church and House

by hookedonhouses on March 27, 2012

When the ceramic artist Ayumi Horie told me about the old country church in Cottekill, New York, that she has been living and working in for the past ten years, I was totally enchanted. I love a classic white church with stained glass windows, so it does my heart good to see this one so well preserved and cared for. She’s now selling the property, which includes both a connected house and art studio, for $349,000.

The Cottekill church was built in 1898 and once served as a place of worship for both Methodists and the Dutch Reformed. Here’s how it looked on an old black and white postcard, circa 1915:

You can see it hasn’t changed all that much in a hundred years!

Behind the original church building is a 2-bedroom house connected by a breezeway, as well as a 400 square-foot working art studio currently used as the site for Ayumi Horie Pottery.

Ayumi hosts studio sales and annual craft sales in the church. “Ideally,” she says, the new owner “will continue to use the space to create art and support the growing arts community.”

Here’s a photo taken inside the church during one of her pottery sales:

The entrance to the house, which is attached to the back of the church building:

It wasn’t an easy decision to sell the property, but she’s moving to be closer to family. She says, “I’ve had the church for ten years and have loved every minute of it, from the beginning renovations when I would find caches of walnuts in the walls and bats in the belfry to the spiffed up sanctuary it is now.”

The kitchen has maple cabinets and stainless-steel countertops…

And a wood-burning stove in the corner to keep things cozy.

The bathroom has hand-planed cherry counters and a copper sink:

I love the transom windows in the house:

The art studio includes an 8 x 10 kiln room, as well as an office and half bath.

You can watch Ayumi work in videos she’s posted on her site. I especially like the one called “You Know, You Got to Let It Grow.” It’s kind of mesmerizing to see the pottery take shape.

Cottekill is in the Hudson Valley, about 2 hours from New York City. Here’s an aerial view of the church and surrounding area taken in the 1930s–much of which is wooded now:

The front of the church at dusk, after a snowfall:

Beautiful! Thanks to Ayumi for telling me about it.

For more photos and information, visit the Cottekill Church website and the real estate listing by Laura Prince of Westwood Metes & Bounds. You can also learn more about Ayumi, who was named Ceramic Artist of the Year, at Ayumi Horie Pottery.

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Becky @ Farmgirl Paints March 27, 2012 at 7:49 am

How dreamy was that? The art studio alone had me at hello. Beautiful property and piece of history. I’d love to live in an old church. Too cool!

Mary Kate March 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

I’ve always been enthralled with the idea of living in an old church. to be surrounded by all of that would be just too lovely for words.

Luciane at March 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

How charming! Can you imagine living a place like that? I’d feel constantly inspired…

Have a great day, Julia!


Luciane at

Jane March 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

Beautiful home! I too have found caches of walnuts in my house — glad I am not the only one. I loved the copper sink! And of course, love looking at the old photos and comparing them to the current property!

Judy March 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

This is the thing of dreams!

Debbie England March 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

Love it! Especially the Japanese influences and the tansu in the kitchen/dining area. As a collector of Japanese antique tansu I seldom see them so it is always special when they show up!

Christyne Butler March 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

Oh, the writing I could get done there! Beautiful and inspiring — fingers crossed she gets a buyer who will treasure all that amazing space!

Molly @thewaffler March 27, 2012 at 8:20 am

Just lovely!

Middle Sister March 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

While at Mass on Sunday I briefly tuned out and designed how the interior of the church would be my home. I had a brief sketch in my mind…then SNAP-back to reality.

hookedonhouses March 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

Love it! :)

Karena March 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

You can see this would be a difficult property to leave. It is so unique and beautiful. I do know that new owner will admire and appreciate its beauty.

I hope you will come and see the feature I have on an amazing sculptor.

Art by Karena
The 2012 Artist Series

Janice Mahon March 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

Just so charming. I love her antique furnishings and lots and lots of bookcases. Her choice of muted colors leaves one feeling serene. Great kitchen also! No stainless steel appliances, just good old period appliances that work. Thanks for posting.

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

I love that last shot…it really seems to glow! A lucky person to live there!

Mayra March 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

Cozy up w/ a nice cup of hot chocolate…wonder if people would come in to buy my stick figure and finger painting masterpieces….LOL!!!

hookedonhouses March 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

You never know until you try! Ha. :)

Sarah @ housecrazy March 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

It is absolutely STUNNING! I love everything about it – Ayumi’s decorating style is right up my alley! And I love that the church was left largely in tact and true to its history. What a wonderful space! I just feel happy and peaceful from looking at the photos.

Mrs. Pear Tree March 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

So lovely – I kept forgetting it was a church! I love the idea of living in a church, but think I would find it … weird. I’ll just keep appreciating what others are doing with it 😉

Amy @ The Button Casa March 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

This is so charming, I just love it. I could absolutely picture myself in a place like that.

Michele March 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Oh, WOW. That’s the only word I can form right now. And the price is incredible (I live in Northern VA, where you can’t get a decent townhouse for that price.)

Talia March 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Love! This is absolutely charming!

Kim March 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

What a charming church. Makes me happy to see this place restored and loved. I hope the next owners will take good care of this church like Ayumi Hories has.

Karen March 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Beautiful and inspiring. I too hope the next owners will take good care of this church like Ayumi Hories has.

chris March 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

how beautiful & how serene this must be to live in! :) chris

Susan March 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

What a wonderfully restored church and an equally wonderful little place to live!

Amy March 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Beautiful! Looks just like the church we got married in in Stony Point, NY!

Destiny March 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm


Wade Watson March 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Back in the ’70s I visited a fascinating converted church in the Ross/Henderson area of Dallas owned by an acclaimed artist named John Ashley Bellamy. He called it “Moon Mansion” and rented space around the place to a variety of artists, including a poet friend of mine. Bellamy painted rather large scale realistic figure paintings and used the main auditorium as his gallery. They lined the high walls from floor to ceiling. One painting depicted a curly haired karate practitioner, but the face looked exactly like me. Bellamy said the painting looked more like me than the model did. It was a magical tour and got to return the following Christmastime for a great party.

Jodi from New Jersey March 28, 2012 at 12:23 am

I have a thing for churches, too . I love when you’re in an old one and the floor creaks just right. I swear I feel the soul of everyone that’s ever been there. The designs are so simple and peaceful, too.

E. George March 28, 2012 at 4:32 am

Hi Julia – HOW LOVELY thank you for sharing. I like the idea of living in a converted church seems very charming. I watched a church conversion in Ireland a while back it turned out beautiful they did it in a way (lots of timber) that you could convert it back to church easily. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS you would have loved the stained glass in this church (love stained glass).

Jane March 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

Imagine a bone chillingly cold winter night and coming home to that lovely home, full of such resonance and beauty. It would beckon like a warm meal or good conversation with friends and family after a hard day.

Just the sight of that converted church ,inside and out, is a thrill. I’m so glad the owner kept the feel of so much of the original, stained glass and all.

Marcia March 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

I’m in love! That space really calls my name, and seems the perfect space for creativity to flow. Thank you for that great story….makes me want to go find the town!

Mindi March 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

Because it was a church I’m wondering if there’s a cemetary on the property. How unique and lovely.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... March 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I’ve always wanted to live in a cave house or church house.

Christina from Dallas March 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm

So quaint! Absolutely lovely! Do people stop by for a sermon? Lol

Richella at Imparting Grace March 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

What an enchanting place! And it sounds like a good deal, too–not a bad price for such a beautiful property.

I LOVE old churches. This one is so lovely; I’m glad that it hasn’t been torn down!

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