Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Putting Down Roots in a Ramsey Farmhouse

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Putting Down Roots in a Ramsey Farmhouse

Article excerpt

Debi Plasker was living with husband Jordan in a modern house in Montvale when she really wanted to be in a home with old roots.

When their adult children, ages 23 and 25, left the nest, the Plaskers decided it was time to dust off their dream.

The Ramapo High School sweethearts, in their early 50s, found what they wanted in a well-preserved Dutch colonial farmhouse built in 1935 in Ramsey.

"I wasn't ready to downsize to a condo. I was looking more for a farmhouse lifestyle because we're both very hands-on, handy people," said Debi, an artist who likes to create collage portraits from torn paper.

Home at last

The first time they followed the red gravel drive up to the stone- front house on Darlington Avenue in September, Debi felt that she was home at last. It was reminiscent of the Berkshires where the family would vacation when their children were young. "We both felt like we were back in the Berkshires. That would be her inspiration," Jordan recalled.

In Ramsey, she could find similar inspiration for her artwork where they can raise organic veggies in the greenhouse (and perhaps chickens, too) and host family gatherings at the built-in pool.

Although Jordan would have been happy staying in the Montvale house where they had raised their family, they had moved there largely with the goal of setting up a home office for Jordan's chiropractic business. When that didn't pan out, they stayed in the community for the kids, but they were still on a main road and in a 4,000-square-foot modern residence.

"We bought it for a home office, not because she loved it," said Jordan, a chiropractor for 28 years with offices in Montvale and Paramus. "Her heart never sang when she drove up to that house."

In contrast to the trendy, funky painted house in Montvale, Debi said this "house stands on its own in its beauty. The art comes in the art on the wall, not the painting of the walls," and the color from antiques and artwork.

"When I turned 50, this was my goal," she said. "There were so many roadblocks; this wouldn't have happened if I wasn't determined."

She explained that for years she had been on the hunt for the right house, which had to be from the early 1900s or older, with a stone interior or exterior, and able to accommodate an art studio. …

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