Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Gather Together

Making a home at SunRaven



Photos by Rana Faure

It was their travels to Morocco and India that inspired much of the interior design at SunRaven, Michael and Robin Finkelstein’s Bedford home. “Sitting low on the floor, being served tea—everything was about community,” says Michael. “We were inspired by the beauty, the colors, the people, the fragrances, the rituals—the things that people did to connect.” In fact, Pauline van Lynden’s book Rajasthan on color, people, and places in India, is prominently displayed in SunRaven’s meditation room and is directly responsible for the warm Indian Carnelian hue that welcomes all who enter SunRaven.

SunRaven is not only home to the Finkelsteins but also to Slow Medicine, a holistic wellness center they run onsite. Certified in both internal and integrative-holistic medicine, Michael founded SunRaven on his Guard Hill Road farm in 2005, and this is where he and Robin, a psycho-spiritual counselor, now offer an extensive array of Slow Medicine services, treatments, and programs.

When he began looking for a home for his practice and his life, Michael says “it was particularly important to find a home that had a history and a connection to the land and to the town.” The c. 1929 barn that he chose was built as a carriage house and eventually remodeled as a private home.

After rezoning the property as agricultural, Michael set to work on developing a community garden. “I had the idea of inviting friends over to see if they wanted to work with me in the garden here,” he recalls. “I called it the SunRaven Mindful Gardening project at the time. We had an operating CSA with a unique model that involved the members experiencing farming and living in a community around a garden.”

Over the past decade, the garden has grown in complexity and productivity and is now managed by a master gardener, Xenia D’Ambrosi, who educates and guides the garden members.

At the same time, SunRaven’s programming has expanded to include educational and support programs, astrology, pot-luck lunches, and meditations—offerings that make it clear that SunRaven is not only about farming but also about healthy living and healing.

Robin soon joined Michael as both a business and life partner, and together they wanted a home that felt like it was lived in and had an energy to it. “It feels good which is why we bring our clients in through the kitchen—the heart and the hearth of the home,” says Michael. “It opens people up to the experience where they can get themselves back into alignment.”

“Robin and I decided to get married after being together for nine years,” explains Michael. “We realized that our home was the best place to have that ceremony, and we had to get it in shape.” While they had made some aesthetic changes over the years, they decided to ask their friend Debbie Spiro, a Bedford designer, to help them upgrade a few areas of the house.

“Our wedding was a great occasion, and we knew that the improvements would enrich our lives not only just for that moment but for all the things we do here and all the people who are touched by what we do here,” says Michael.

Friends, family, and clients all enter through a side door that opens to a foyer. To the left (pictured right) is the family room that also doubles as the community room for Slow Medicine group meetings. Before Spiro joined their team, Michael and Robin had decorated the space in shades of gray-blue and fuchsia, hung paintings they found while on vacation in New Orleans, and added a one-of-a-kind redwood coffee table by woodworker David Zander. 

To the right of the foyer is the brick kitchen that was built back in 1976 by Michael and Barbara Reed who first converted the barn to a home. The Finkelsteins, who are enthusiastic and adventurous cooks, accessorized but kept much of the Reeds’ vintage details, including the wide reclaimed floorboards that were likely originally sourced from the forests of New England in the 1700s. 

The kitchen is open to a breakfast area (pictured left) furnished by Spiro, a dining area, and the raised meditation room. “The eating space is one of my favorite places indoors because it’s where we commune together,” says Robin. “We often have dozens of friends here for meals or our whole family. That brings the most joy—to connect and see everybody.”

Further down the hall are offices for both Robin and Michael’s practices. While Robin wanted her office to be light and airy with a quiet serenity, Michael wanted his to resemble a tree house. “Growing up, my favorite place was to be up in a tree,” he says. So, he outfitted the room with wood shelves that have live edges and an indoor fire feature filled with rocks he has collected on his travels around the world. 

Upstairs is where Spiro worked her magic in the months leading up to the wedding. Michael and Robin asked her to create rooms that would be sanctuaries for their grown children who often visit.

The blue bedroom (pictured right), draped in fabric, is inspired by Stanley, the family peacock, and the couple’s memories of Moroccan tents. In the room across the hall—which serves as both a bedroom and sitting room, “Debbie brought together maybe 20 different fabrics. Her ability to see how they all worked together was really remarkable,” notes Robin.

Spiro also helped transform a guest bathroom upstairs, and they are now working on plans for the “grand finale”—the master bedroom. 

“This house is so livable from the inside to the outside. People feel relaxed—at ease and at home here,” says Robin. “The pergola is my favorite outdoor space. It’s a hub where I can see everybody everywhere.” Michael concurs, “It’s great to be able to be outside and look around and see the animals and the garden.

When we sit outside with people and eat, we share what we grow in the garden and produce in this kitchen. The nature of SunRaven since the beginning has been that of a community gathering space.”

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Bedford 25 of 2017

Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential

Art: Heads Up

Bob Clyatt has sculpted thousands of heads

Baking Secret

SoNo Baking Company & Café is an artisanal bakery with the warmth of a neighborhood coffee house and eatery

Into the Woods

Katonah Woods is a neighborhood restaurant in the best sense

Clean & Simple

A Contemporary Take on a Classic Country Home

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

October 2017

Registration is open for the annual Walk/Run for Abilis that will be held at Greenwich Point Park (Tod's&nbs...

Cost: $35 for 5k run

Where:
Greenwich Point Park
Tod's Driftway
Old Greenwich, CT  06870
View map »


Sponsor: Abilis
Telephone: 203-531-1880
Contact Name: Erica Klair
Website »

More information

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Founded in Budapest in 1975, the Takács Quartet have since won countless awards around the world and have become known for their innovative programming and outstanding technical expertise....

Cost: $30, $40, $60, $85

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


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

Principal Conductor Jaime Laredo and the Westchester Philharmonic kick-off the orchestra’s 2017-18 season by bringing another unforgettable violin star to the Performing Art Center stage....

Cost: $36-$98

Where:
Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY  10577
View map »


Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


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...

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


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...

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

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

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


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...

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Now in its 17th season, the Bedford Chamber Concert Series starts on Wednesday, Oct. 18th, in Fellowship Hall at St. Matthew’s Church in Bedford. The first concert will focus on the music of...

Cost: $40 per person; $210 for the series

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Music Committee of St. Matthew's
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


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...

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


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...

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Stroller tours at the KMA are a unique opportunity to connect with other new parents and caregivers seeking culturally enriching activities to share with their babies. These once-a-month...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


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...

New Canaan Country School will host an event specifically designed for young explorers (ages 4-6) and their parents, Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Wonder of Worms will...

Cost: no charge

Where:
New Canaan Country School
635 Frogtown Rd
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Country School
Telephone: (203) 801-5608
Contact Name: Cathy Schinella
Website »

More information

Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
Newburgh, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Join the Bedford Historical Society for a fun and festive evening on the Green. Tickets include beer, wine, Bedford Brew, abundant appetizers, live music by DogHouse and mystery raffle and more!...

Cost: $75

Where:
Bedford Village
Village Green
Bedford , NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Bedford Historical Society
Telephone: 914-234-9751
Contact Name: Sophia Bernier
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

Noam Pikelny is one of the world’s greatest banjo talents. Perhaps best known for his work in the forward-thinking bluegrass band Punch Brothers, Pikelny made a name for himself as a solo...

Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

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


Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturdays from 9am to 1pm! For a real feel of the country drive up Rt. 22 to the John Jay Homestead where you go to market with grass under your feet, surrounded by historic buildings and...

Cost: Food prices

Where:
John Jay Homestead
400 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


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...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags