At Home With: Irene Ziegler 

Actress, writer, producer

It started on e-Bay. Isn't it crazy? We knew we wanted a timber-frame house, but everything we looked at was too precious or new or suburban-looking and we wanted something primitive. So I just went on e-Bay and put in "old barn," and then after I sifted out the tchotchkes, we found this guy who was selling an old post and beam barn. So then we found a guy who takes barns apart and puts them back together, and they took it apart post by beam by peg. We had a barn raising, literally, except we did it with cranes instead of men who could get squashed, and it was still dangerous enough.

The house is just a theater of mood lighting the way they've got things hidden in the beams, so we'll have a play in there someday and I won't have to bring in any [stage lights]. We just both love that baronial look of huge stone and antique wood and elaborate marble. That juxtaposition of the elegant with the primitive I think is a great look — with an emphasis on the primitive, because we drag a lot of mud in the house.

So now we wake up to the sounds of wild turkeys, and we hear things involuntarily expiring in the marsh. When the American bald eagles fly overhead, I still stand in the yard and — [shouts] raaaa! — like a kid.

If you're lucky, your life's dream is something that you work on every day, it doesn't end. And this is a project that for as long as we're mobile, is going to be a focus for us.


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