An old mill’s fourth floor was remodeled to become this relaxing attic retreat

Vintage relaxing attic retreat seen in 1968
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Back in the late sixties, the most private room in Kathryne Hays’ 300-year-old remodeled mill in Roxbury, Connecticut, was the fourth-floor attic that she fixed up as a personal retreat and studio.

In that open space with the high vaulted ceilings, she wanted a change of pace from the preponderance of old woods in the rest of the house, so she turned to black-and-white printed fabric.

The stripe that covers the walls and ceiling between the exposed posts and beams in this relaxing attic retreat formed a sharply linear background for what Miss Hays fondly described as “curlicues.”

Those curvy patterns appeared on the daybed covers and hangings, the Thonet chairs, and even the mirror frame sculptured of lead drippings by Don Case.

Hays, whose city life included a New York apartment and a job as a fashion editor at Vogue, had worked painstakingly to create an environment that would “delight the senses and comfort the spirit.”

An insatiable collector who rummaged with equal enthusiasm through the stocks of serious antiquarians and the scruffiest junk shops, Hays said, “It’s design that’s important to me, not use or origin or monetary value.”

In 1968, when this photo was published, she said that she felt the house would have fulfilled her intentions if it turned out to be above all else “a place where you feel loved.”

Vintage relaxing attic retreat seen in 1968
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