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Going to Town

Authentic, private, and connected on Catoonah



Hulya Kolabas

Ross and Valerie Schneiderman are familiar faces around Ridgefield. Ross can be found sharing tennis scores with patrons behind the counter of his bakery, Ross’ Bread, and Valerie leading a class of meditating yogis at the Yoga Shala in Branchville. 

Though baking and yoga may be their most recent vocations, Val and Ross have deep roots in athletics. Ross boasts a 35-year career producing sports television, covering major events including NCAA Final Fours, Super Bowls, and World Series. He is currently a senior producer with the Tennis Channel. Valerie competed as a rhythmic gymnast in the 1984 Olympic Games, where the couple first met. Years later, reconnecting in Seoul, Korea, during the 1988 Games, the two found love from a friendship and shared passions.

After nearly 15 years in Ridgefield and raising two sons Zach, 21, and Will, 20, the Schneidermans began their search for an empty-nester abode. With close ties to the town, choosing a historic colonial on Catoonah Street seemed only fitting. Set practically in the backyard of St. Mary Church, the quaint blue residence boasts two centuries of history in its walls. Built in 1780, the structure was originally located a quarter-mile away on Abbott Avenue before being resettled on its current foundation a century later.

“There’s an interesting balance between honoring the house that is here and making it livable in 2013,” says Valerie. The Schneidermans found downsizing a challenge. Their previous home on Silver Spring Road was double the size of this 1,600-square-foot colonial, and little of their old furniture would fit in the vintage house. So Valerie browsed local merchants, from the Keeler Tavern sale to Olley Court, to furnish the smaller space.

Renovations were required, but the couple sought to maintain anything that could be salvaged from the home’s historic roots. The shingled siding, wide crown molding, and a colorful stained-glass window from an original exterior wall were all maintained throughout the remodel. A dozen original windows were also saved or moved to fit within the new additions. “I like the imperfection in things,” Valerie says of the home’s heritage. “Even the teeny-tiny, crooked stairs.”

History was found in hidden places as well. While uncovering the original flooring on the second level, Ross and Valerie discovered WWII-era newspapers used to level and insulate former layers of linoleum.

When it came to structural and mechanical changes, Ross and Valerie chose a contractor with local ties and experience with smaller spaces. “We were concerned about perhaps having a builder come in and make a grand house. We didn’t want a grand house,” says Valerie. Contractor Nick Borrell had experience renovating older structures on Lake Waccabuc, and his design aesthetic appealed to the Schneidermans. Embracing the couple’s vision to build modern additions that remained authentic to the house, Borrell began with the fundamentals—like wiring. The old structure contained sockets that smoked from modern-day gadgets. It also lacked built-in lighting and storage space. 

Two closets were constructed near the front door, with white vertical paneling to match that found in the kitchen. A wide arch between the entryway and living room created an open flow for the main floor, connecting all areas easily. Rather than use modern sheetrock, artisan plasterers crafted new walls and structured beams. Clunky radiators were removed and forced heating was installed, with vintage-style grates to cover the openings.

Since a coffee table would not suffice to run two businesses, dormers were added to the roof in the walkup attic to create a spacious, light-filled workspace. Five windows face north, “a great vantage point for a storm,” says Ross. The pleasant atmosphere is the exact opposite of what one might expect from an attic, yet still serves a functional purpose. Wooden cabinets line the wall, hiding the service conduits that run through the belly of the house.

The original home was constructed with three nearly equal-size bedrooms. “You can see where people maybe walked into the home and said, ‘Wow, it’s super sweet, but we couldn’t live here,’” says Valerie. But she had a vision. The master-bedroom addition now includes a transition space between the original home and the new construction. A small Indian Ganesha statue sits on a built-in nook where a closet once stood—now a shelved space for knick-knacks and picture frames.

When constructing the master bedroom and bath, Valerie wanted a more modern feel. Expansive windows across the east wall and minimalist decoration are indicative of her Zen-influenced choices. The bed seems to float above the bamboo flooring—an illusion created by a custom-crafted platform. Two fuzzy sheepskin rugs offer cozy padding on either side.

The practical bathroom has his-and-hers sinks and a steam shower. And, in keeping with the Zen-sanctuary theme, a soaking bathtub is hidden behind three translucent, shoji-inspired panels. A small window allows a view onto the surrounding yard but still offers privacy. Aromatherapy candles and jars of Epsom salts surround the tub, creating a relaxing, spa-like environment.

The grounds complement the home’s heritage and the couple’s modern, minimalistic approach. A small courtyard with casual seating overlooks the rolling lawn of St. Mary. Overgrown brush has been replaced with a bountiful garden. “We found a way to give ourselves a really beautiful, private space without closing ourselves off,” says Valerie.

Perhaps the couple’s favorite aspect of the house is its location near the heart of town, which allowed Ross to walk to Ridgefield Hardware twice a day during construction. Today, you might spot the Schneidermans strolling down Main Street with their yellow lab, Pooka. “You’re very connected to your neighbors—there’s no big, high fence,” says Valerie of the communal way of living on Catoonah. “You wouldn’t move to this street if that’s what you wanted.” 

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October 2017

Join artist, and The Aldrich’s Education Programs Assistant, Noah Steinman for an insightful gallery tour and engaging conversation centered around Anissa Mack’s exhibition, Junk...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Lisa Brigantino is an award-winning singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. She and her sister Lori will be performing a concert of Lisa’s original songs Sponsored...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library/Friends of the Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Legendary music icons, THREE DOG NIGHT, celebrate their 4th decade bringing with them some of the most astonishing statistics in popular music. In the years 1969 through 1974, no other group...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

As seen on America’s Got Talent! Every once in a while, something magical reminds us that we all have an inner child that must be fed.  Through simple, clever and charming humor...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield , CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Bart's Tree Service Comedy Series
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Jump start the art school application process! Present your portfolio to admissions representatives from leading colleges and universities at The Aldrich. Whether you are ready to apply, or are...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sérgio Mendes is one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time. His hit single, “Mas Que Nada,” is the...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ingersoll Auto of Danbury World Music Series
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

WCSU will hold a Community Day for volunteers to participate in mulching the university's Permaculture Garden on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. in the garden adjacent to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures Entertainment present, The Princess Bride 30th Anniversary, in select cinemas nationwide! The event also includes exclusive commentary from a...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Cohen and Wolf, P.C. Fathom Events Presents & Movies Series
Website »

More information

The Institute for Holistic Health Studies will present a lecture by Dr. Brian Luke Seaward, "Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards," at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall...

Cost: $15

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm,  Fairfield County Wedding Concierge will hold their first networking event for the Fairfield County bridal vendor community at Bespoke...

Cost: $10 in advance and $15 at the door

Where:
Bespoke Designs
5A Sconset Square
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield County Wedding Concierge
Telephone: 203-864-5084
Contact Name: Gayle Szuchman

More information

Four-time Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum selling sax-man Boney James needs no introduction to contemporary jazz fans.  The gifted saxophonist, veteran of...

Cost: $60.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine and Jazz Series
Website »

More information

WCSU will present the Midtown Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. in the Colonial Corner in the Student Center on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The coffeehouse will feature an...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Mary Wilson is one of the founding members of the Motown legends, “The Supremes,”  who recorded twelve No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969  including “Where Did Our Love...

Cost: $57.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, Oct. 21   Innovation Day, 1 – 5 p.m. Discover, Dabble, Do-It-Yourself at Wilton Library’s annual Innovation Day! Join us for a festival of making, creating and demonstrating....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Get into the Halloween spirit while exploring the ways in which unexpected household objects can be transformed into magnificent sculptures and festive decorations! Create a pumpkin using yarn,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, The Fab Four will make...

Cost: $55.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

As part of its 2017-2018 concert series, Friends of Music will host the Zorá Quartet on Saturday, October 21st. The group of artists were winners of the 2015 Young Concert Artists...

Cost: $35, Children 18 and younger enter free

Where:
Kusel Auditorium at Sleepy Hollow High School
210 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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