Hardly an area one would consider for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this Chic Shack is the perfect hideaway for an artist or writer. A secluded courtyard compound that includes a home and guesthouse!
Situated on one of the prettiest streets in Taos, this sweet spot is sheltered by courtyard walls and the old cottonwoods that line the avenue.
Behind an antique gate, an enchanting property sits empty now, waiting for its next owner and occupant to fill it with life and love.
Built during the 40’s, this charming home was renovated first by Bonnie and Josh Bryant (the Founder of the late, great Taos Film Festival) during the early years of the New Millenium, and was most recently occupied by Stacey Huddleston, a long-time Taos resident and artist who came here three decades ago to make art and raise her daughter. A single mother from New Orleans, Stacey lived in a series of rentals, making each one a temporary refuge, filling them with art and beauty and leaving each more lovely than when she first moved in.
Her Bohemian joie de vivre and nomadic soul rejected putting down permanent roots until she discovered this rambling adobe on Burch Street almost a decade ago.
Stacey is an old friend, someone I have worked with and for, and a person of enormous energy and creativity despite health challenges and the challenges of raising a child alone. She’s a prolific and talented artist who works in many mediums and until recently, these empty rooms were filled with art, antiques, objects of interest and beauty and her incredible joyful spirit.
There were parties and gatherings, the sound of children playing, laughter, tears, meals shared and the consoling of friends who suffered break-ups and loss; the house was alive, it contained life and supported life.
Looking at these photographs of empty rooms, I’m reminded that a house is not a home until it is filled with the things one loves and the sounds and scents of a life in progress.
Art was made here – Stacey added a sunny addition onto her Master Bedroom because she paints at night, way into the morning hours. It would be a great study for a writer with its views out into the shady garden.
Her exquisite ceramic vessels decorated a high shelf in the kitchen, her paintings covered every inch of wall space that wasn’t filled with antique Trustero’s and furniture inherited or acquired over time. A talented decorator (Stacey redid her parents New Orleans home a few years ago, including overseeing major renovations), the house was a gorgeous display of New Orleans’ decidedly French flavour juxtaposed with Taos character. A mix very few can pull off, but one Stacey managed with aplomb!
The guest casita attached to the main house served as a place for far-flung friends and family members to land and catch their breath. Some stayed a week, some moved in for months. Stacey’s odd hours and solitary pursuits continued uninterrupted; for such a seemingly small home, several people can co-exist here without disturbing one another, or even seeing each other, for days!
This gracious 2,300 sq. ft home, complete with kiva fireplaces, vigas, beams, latillas, carved corbels, classic hand crafted southwestern woodwork, and center courtyard evokes the Taos of days gone by but stainless appliances, granite countertops, and copper accents in the kitchen, along with updated baths and 2 extra large skylights added to provide an abundance of natural light in the living areas, place it firmly in the present.
A kiva fireplace is the focal point of the living room which opens onto the dining room. The aforementioned studio/ sunroom is an added bonus.
Guests will enjoy the fully equipped 2BR/1BA 700 sq. ft. guesthouse with full kitchen, W/D hookups, living room with a kiva fireplace and a covered portal overlooking the delightful backyard. Moss rocks line raised beds, the roses Stacey planted line the courtyard, and a high latilla fence surrounds all to provide a stunning, private setting for outdoor entertaining or just being quiet with Nature.
This home’s multifaceted spaces and the fabulous location, within a short walk of historic Taos Plaza, is as good as it gets!
A couple of years ago, Stacey found the property of her dreams; in the country, complete with ponds and wild life, she could not resist the call to live further out-of-town, closer to the Earth. An avid gardener, she has become a bee keeper since moving and while the Burch Street house stands empty, waiting for its next owner to bring it back to life, her new home buzzes with not only the sound of the bees but with her indomitable joyful spirit!
I’ll be doing a post on Stacey and her new home soon, but meanwhile enjoy her art reproduced here, much of it created in this house, in the corner of the studio (pictured above) late at night, while the world slept and the quiet darkness enveloped this charming, peaceful compound.
For more information (and many more photographs) about this very Chic Shack, please contact listing agent, Diane Enright at Berkshire Hathaway.
Diane Enright can be reached via her site linked below.
All photographs of the Burch Street house c/o Diane Enright and Stacey Huddleston.