Marina’s Upstate Escape

3 years ago by

We first introduced you to Marina Cortbawi with a peek into her style and Upper West Side home here in the city. Now, it’s time to share her humble abode in Narrowsburg, New York which she generously allowed us to occupy during our stay and it was absolutely perfect. Simple, welcoming, and pretty. Just how we like it! The best news is you can also stay there because they rent it on Airbnb! Anyone in the mood for an upstate getaway?



This is your home away from the city. Seeing how it’s an escape from the hustle and bustle, how did that influence its design?

The home was designed as a place to gather together with a lots of friends and family and enjoy space, light and fresh air. The exterior design also is very unique being a solid red brick house, which you don’t see much in upstate New York. There is a large blue painted barn next to the house, and it’s all set up high on a hill and overlooks the mountain landscape. The energy is incredible especially when watching a full moon and the sunset from the terrace.

My husband Ivo and his friend Olivier bought the house which sits on 10 acres of gorgeous land not far from the Delaware river after viewing many properties in the Catskills. There is a really nice community feeling in Narrowsburg too and this informs the design of the interior, because we want the home to be somewhere where anyone can pop by and we can be ready to entertain many people.

The design of the interiors is very much focused on oversized furniture, a mix of
antique and new modern minimal pieces for comfort to just allow people to enjoy the simple pleasures, such as a wood fire and a much needed afternoon nap on the mega sized sofa or in the hammock.

The floorplan is very open and easy to design around, it’s important that in any room you don’t feel closed in, after all we love the feeling of space when coming from the city. Ivo and Olivier are from The Netherlands, and I think this influences the design choices, it’s very much a minimalist style with very functional interiors.

This Dutch influence is where the name The Brom Dutcher came from, as well as a tie to the famous story of Rip Van Winkle, one of the early Dutch settlers in the Catskills.

Ivo has a hotel design background which is why the bathrooms and bedrooms are totally redone with luxurious bed linen, towels and fixtures. A good shower and a good bed are the basics but make such a difference to the experience.

Marina’s Upstate Escape



Marina’s Upstate Escape

All the pieces in your home feel so unique but all blend together so well to tell a larger story. Where did you source them?

We sourced them from local antique stores, friends who were selling pieces and a mix of brand new items. A local mill worker made the extra large dining table and the coffee bar for us from the most divine wood sourced in the area. The lighting is always one of the most important elements to set the ambience at night and this was sourced from everywhere including and Design Within Reach. A mix of high and low is a good balance!

What are three words you’d use to describe your home?




How do you want people to feel in your home?

Very relaxed and connected to nature and at complete ease. You can swim in the Delaware, go tubing and fishing, hiking or kayaking at the falls.

The farmers markets at Callicoon and Barryville are also so lovely, you can really enjoy the large kitchen and eat local produce, which is organic and fresh.

I think our house guests feel the same way as we do, that there is a special energy there that just makes you feel rejuvenated. We get such great reviews on Airbnb and from friends, it really does feel like a true home and there are so many thoughtful details.

What are your favorite times of year to use the house and why?

I love the summer because I love tubing on the rapids of the Delaware and outdoor dining on the terrace. The other time is Fall, especially for hiking in the spectacular foliage and enjoying roasted dinners at home or the mac and cheese at The Heron in Narrowsburg.

Marina’s Upstate Escape
Marina’s Upstate Escape


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