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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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Weekend activities and events in the area
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June 2017

A message from Paul Rosenblum, Managing Director: All chamber music gourmands are invited to join us for a “chamber feast” celebrating twenty-five years of music and friendship,...

Cost: $20, $35, $45, $55, Garden Listening $10 Free tickets for students 18 and under

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Nerd Night in Newtown is sponsoring two special screenings of The Princess Bride on Sunday, June 25 at 4 PM, and 7 PM at the Edmond Town Hall Theater, 45 Main Street in Newtown.  Tickets are...

Cost: $3

Where:
Edmond Town Hall Theater
45 Main Street
Newtown, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast Tuesday,...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Turn a summer day into an artful one. Experiment with new materials and creative processes. Families with children of all ages are invited! Discover the metallic sculptures throughout William...

Cost: Free for members and with Museum admission

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

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast Tuesday,...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

The Aldrich’s inaugural Summer Institute, Teaching and Learning through Contemporary Art and the Written Word, presents a unique learning opportunity for educators and creative professionals,...

Cost: $400

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

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Join nationally renowned author, James Thompson, at the Norwalk Historical Society's Mill Hill Historic Park on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 7:00pm for an introspective look at World War I...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Mill Hill Historic Park
2 East Wall St.
Lecture will be in old Norwalk Town House on site
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish
Website »

More information

Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for a complimentary wine tasting with Benziger Family Winery! France’s most successful group of all time! They are a group that helped define the phrase...

Cost: $110 Orchestra | $90 Balcony

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


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Music on the Hill welcomes singers for the 15th annual Summer Chorus, this year performing the Schubert Mass in E-Flat, led by artistic director Ellen Dickinson. Student singers welcome!...

Cost: $40 suggested minimum; $20/students

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road (Rte. #106)
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Ellen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast Tuesday,...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

The Aldrich’s inaugural Summer Institute, Teaching and Learning through Contemporary Art and the Written Word, presents a unique learning opportunity for educators and creative professionals,...

Cost: $400

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

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

An annual summer tradition, Dancing at Dusk turns the spacious Friends Field into a world music dance party for children and their families. Featuring a beautiful panorama of folk dances, Sachiyo...

Cost: Adult $10, Child $5

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Star soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation with her riveting performance as the malevolent Lady Macbeth, the central character in Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She is...

Cost: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15 Ridgefield Library card holders recei

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


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast Tuesday,...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

The Aldrich’s inaugural Summer Institute, Teaching and Learning through Contemporary Art and the Written Word, presents a unique learning opportunity for educators and creative professionals,...

Cost: $400

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

Turn a summer day into an artful one. Experiment with new materials and creative processes. Families with children of all ages are invited! Explore the use of words and letters in the art on view...

Cost: Free for members and with Museum admission

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

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Manuel García, Rossini’s opening night tenor in Il barbiere di Siviglia, was also a prolific composer and singing teacher. In 1830-31 he wrote a series of brilliant one-act...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Amherst College Visiting Professor Steven Simon discusses the history of US involvement in the Middle East, as well as its status today. During the Cold War, the region was an arena for...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

The Wallflowers fronted by Jakob Dylan, formed in 1989, and in 1992 released their classic self-titled debut album, featuring one of the greatest songs of social commentary  ever heard,...

Cost: $75

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


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Capture the magic of early summer by unleashing your inner child. Join us for a short indoor introduction to learn about these enchanting creatures before taking a walk through the meadow to catch...

Cost: $5 members, $8 non-members

Where:
Audubon Greenwich
613 Riversville Road
Greenwich, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Music on the Hill welcomes singers for the 15th annual Summer Chorus, this year performing the Schubert Mass in E-Flat, led by artistic director Ellen Dickinson. Student singers welcome!...

Cost: $40 suggested minimum; $20/students

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road (Rte. #106)
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Ellen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast Tuesday,...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

The Aldrich’s inaugural Summer Institute, Teaching and Learning through Contemporary Art and the Written Word, presents a unique learning opportunity for educators and creative professionals,...

Cost: $400

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

Instructor: Nancy Stuart Young chefs will have 4 days of cooking with Nancy in the Silo kitchen. Learning chopping, mixing, baking and more! Monday, June 26 is all about breakfast...

Cost: $200 per child

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Artist-in-Residence Jason Vieaux teams with former Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence, the Escher Quartet, for an exceptional evening of chamber music. Vieaux performs Ginastera’s only...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Returning for its 7th year, this popular event will feature eight original, unpublished one-act plays which celebrate life and relationships.   Guest are invited to bring food and...

Cost: All Tickets $25

Where:
Ridgefield Theatre Barn
37 Halpin Ln
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

      Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel   Looking for something relaxing, creative and...

Cost: 50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Meet Aldrich alumni artist Sharon Louden and join her for a discussion about her second publication, The Artist as Cultural Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, a collection of essays...

Cost: Free for members or with Museum admission

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

Grab your family and friends, and get in the spirit of ’76 by celebrating the Fourth with us a bit early. Caramoor favorite and Broadway baritone Ryan Silverman serves up classic songs from...

Cost: $30, $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $85

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Returning for its 7th year, this popular event will feature eight original, unpublished one-act plays which celebrate life and relationships.   Guest are invited to bring food and...

Cost: All Tickets $25

Where:
Ridgefield Theatre Barn
37 Halpin Ln
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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