When interior designer, developer, and TV personality Anthony Carrino set out to gut renovate a 1960s stone farmhouse on 3.9 acres in the Catskills, it was essential that the home was just as comfortable in the dead of winter as the heat of summer. Carrino and his wife wanted it to be a true four-season home—so thermal comfort and air quality were paramount.
Anthony Carrino is a well-known home improvement expert. “My wife and I love the Catskills,” he says. “We had one of our first dates up here and got married at the Stone House when it was finished. That was pretty special—and super motivating!”
For the Stone House Project (as Carrino calls it) to become the perfect, year-round mountain retreat, it needed to be able to accommodate plenty of family and friends in a cozy space that blurs the boundary between indoor and outdoor living. “So, the thinking behind the design was to bring nature in as much as possible,” says Carrino.
Carrino added a number of design elements throughout the home to reference the surrounding forest, including wainscoting, campy wallpaper applied to the ceilings, and handmade log furniture.
The home is entered through a firewood room that has the original stone walls. This transitional space pays tribute to the home’s mountain setting and leads into a mudroom and the main living area.
Carrino purchased the space completely gutted, and it took his expert vision to create a practical floor plan that reimagined the 3,100-square-foot home and accompanying 350-square-foot barn. In keeping with its woodsy location, the home is entered through the firewood room followed by the mudroom. This then leads to an open kitchen and dining space that has open sight lines to the living room and its massive vaulted ceilings.
Carrino installed vinyl plank flooring throughout the home—including in the kitchen—as it is 100% waterproof. “Being in the mountains, we didn’t want to have to worry about the floors taking a beating—and I have to say I am beyond impressed with them so far.”
To create the connection between the kitchen, dining space, and the living room, Carrino installed an 18-foot laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beam supported by what he describes as “some beefy posts.”
The house features wood stoves and two-foot-thick stone walls—one of the couple’s favorite architectural elements—which insulate. To keep the home comfortable seasonally, Carrino installed the Trane XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed system, an impressively efficient heating and cooling system that can be controlled remotely with the Trane ComfortLink™ ll XL1050 Smart Thermostat. Not only does it adjust to temperature levels with precision, but the 22 SEER rating (compared to the U.S. minimum standard of 13) means a higher level of comfort with lower monthly energy costs.
The living room originally had eight-foot ceilings, which Carrino demolished to create a double-height space. “Knowing there was no second floor over that portion of the home, I knew I wanted to maximize the height and anchor the room around the amazing stone chimney,” he says.
Carrino’s other favorite feature of the Trane system is the geofencing in the Trane Home app. Once he leaves a certain radius, the system switches to a preset schedule—meaning he never has to actively think about adjusting temperatures and energy use is kept at a minimum.
The Trane XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed unit is located to the rear of the home. In the basement, he installed the Trane CleanEffects Whole Home Air Cleaner, as part of his HVAC system. One of Carrino’s top tips for efficient heating and cooling is to make sure to change filters at least four times a year and to schedule regular service appointments to ensure the system is functioning as efficiently as possible.
Indoor air quality was another consideration for Carrino—and is a growing priority for many homeowners as more advanced building envelopes become less permeable, resulting in less air flow. In response, Carrino installed the Trane CleanEffects Whole Home Air Cleaner to reduce potential allergy attack triggers in the home (like dust mites or mildew) and create a healthier breathing environment.
“Trane is definitely on the more premium side when it comes to equipment,” says Carrino. “But spending a bit more upfront to me simply means I will be operating more efficiently over time, and this equipment is going to last longer than the other guy. So, it’s a win-win situation.”