Home away from home
Dell collective offers guests a true sense of comfort; photos by Michael Hanlon
The properties of Dell Collective are remarkable studies in interior design. Every aspect of each location that make up the collective evokes absolute coziness, a sense of belonging, and that sometimes-elusive feeling of coziness and comfort, what the Danes call “hygge.”
Amanda Osborn, proprietor and designer, began her property rental adventure in 2018 when she and her husband, Nate, caved to wanderlust. They decided to list their home on Airbnb and travel whenever it was rented. To their pleasant surprise, every year the number of rentals grew. Out of her love for hospitality, hosting, and food Osborn saw an opportunity. They purchased a house on Silver Lake as weekends at the main house booked up, and the couple began house jumping, staying at whichever home was not rented. The idea then became to rent both homes full time and live in a remodeled barn on the same property as their farmhouse. That never happened. As Osborn curated the new barn space, finding one-of-a-kind pieces, making a unique home away from home, it became clear that this space also was meant to be shared with others.
As the renovations of the barn were underway, Osborn had a clear vision. Each space would be different, with pieces thrifted, salvaged, and saved from across the country. Old sheets of mercury glass became mirrors framed with barn wood.
She thrifted glassware and china, and it often took a year if not more to collect a set. The sophisticated farmhouse style of design is accented perfectly by high ceilings, reclaimed chandeliers, and plush seating welcoming all into the space. To allow for a feeling of openness, each side has one wall complete with floor-to-ceiling garage door windows that can be opened in nice weather. The spaces are more than just unique living areas. More local experiences are offered here than with other rentals, yet you feel right at home and immediately comfortable on the property. Taking the concept of hygge to heart is truly what it is all about for Osborn: “It’s that feeling. When you’re here, having the best possible stay, putting everything together to create the best possible experience.” It’s not one thing but a combination that creates the feeling of hygge at Dell Collective.
Using local artisans to create custom pieces throughout the barn was also important. She wants to support those that put as much care and effort into their pieces as Osborn does into her design. Jim and Suzie Wigger of Avoca designed and built a kitchen island from reclaimed wood as well as a wagon wheel mirror. Stacy K Floral of Rochester created magnificent floral installations in each bedroom, bringing in even more unique design choices, clearly thinking outside of the box. Mira Sprinkle of Avon created beautiful chalkboard lettering that lets guests know where to go and what to do. The West Barn comprises Southview and Highbanks—complete with a silo bedroom. The two spaces are named after two of their farms, as the Osborns are not only hosts but dairy farmers as well. All the small details have created a luxurious home away from home right near Letchworth state park. Interested parties can rent one side of the barn, both sides, or all three properties on site— enough to fit eighteen to twenty people comfortably.
Working with as many local businesses, artisans, and builders as possible and creating connections and relationships is almost as important as the physical design of the space. The almost-floor-to-ceiling chalkboard filled with Perry-relevant places to eat, to go, and to do is central in the Highbanks side of the barn. Osborn and Dell Collective are always supporting the goings-on in Perry, and she happily showcases Village of Perry maps. Both Highbanks and Southview have a mini shop where you can buy all sorts of Dell Collective, Perry, and Letchworth related goods, including canvas bags, t-shirts, Burley Berries & Blooms candles, soaps, and a custom scent from Scents by Design for diffuser oil and pillow spray.
The connections don’t stop at just the physical space of the rentals. As guests venture onto Main Street in Perry, visiting Butter Meat Co. or East Hill Creamery, they soon discover how well the Osborns are known in their community. These connections draw guests further into the heart of the village, making them feel like locals. It’s the connections the Osborns have formed over their years of living in the area as well as their time as business owners that create a sense of belonging for their guests when they visit local businesses. The hygge, welcoming feelings stay with guests well beyond the confines of the rental properties.
This endeavor is the perfect melding of all of Osborn’s worlds: hosting, hospitality, food, and her new-found talent for interior design. Add-on experiences are a specialty of Osborn’s, including private chef meals and fresh baked goods for guests. Osborn has also been known to create amazing brunch boxes with local products in old galvanized milk crates customized by a previous guest. You could also request snacks that will last your trip, charcuterie boards, or sweet treats that Osborn will make herself, since she is a trained pastry chef. In the summer, farm experiences are plentiful. There is an abundant garden filled with salad stuffs that guests are welcome to harvest as well as chickens for farm-fresh eggs from. Jenny the donkey, Teddy the cow, Boots the lamb, and Hazel the pig have a pen that comes out in the summer, so they can greet guests as soon as they drive in.
The lake house on Silver Lake is available seasonally from May to October and sleeps twelve (or six couples), comes complete with a dock, and is right down the road from Perry Country Club. Each year every property is improved. The Osborns are always thinking about what will provide the most value for their guests. The properties and experiences draw an even split between staycationers coming from Buffalo and Rochester, travelers who come for Letchworth, and long-distance road-trippers. The couple truly loves Perry and want to share all that the village offers with those that visit from near or far.
There are plenty of winter activities aside from hiking through the beauty of Letchworth to see the upper or middle falls. Endlessly Outdoors, an equipment rental company out of Perry, rents snowshoes in the winter and hosts plenty of fun wintertime activities like an introduction to winter hiking and full moon walks. Ration Wine Bar has heated igloos for outdoor dining. There are plenty of cute main streets close by, including Mt. Morris, Angelica, and Cuba. Perry also has a brewery and two cider mills open all year. Many incredible celebrations and moments have happened at Dell Collective in its short time. Small groups of friends have gathered for celebrations and game nights. Corporate events have included retreats and workshops. Photographers can rent the whole property for workshops. Boudoir photographers like Jordan Lexus of Wellsville have offered exclusive two-to-three hour sessions with clients. The space is multifunctional not only for those who need a vacation but for the creative entrepreneur looking for a new and exciting space. Meeting new people who stay at Dell Collective is a joy for Osborn in more ways than one. She tries to support many of them as well. Some honeymooners stayed not that long ago, and one of them was a ceramics artist. Osborn commissioned mugs from her for the barn. These little reminders are what make the work and the attention to detail truly worth the entire endeavor.“I love to see it all come full circle.” says Osborn.
The celebrators are something that Osborn really looks forward to. She was excited for her first honeymooners, decorating especially for them and creating such a unique experience that they have come back twice more. The couple had their baby, Hazel, on September 11. Osborn’s pig Potpot also had babies that day. When the couple found out that Potpot had also welcomed little ones to her family, they contacted Osborn. They wanted to know if she would name one of the piglets after Hazel. And this year, on Hazel the human’s first birthday, Hazel the pig met her namesake. Hazel got to feed Hazel cupcakes for their shared birthday, resulting in what this writer is sure to be the most adorable photos on planet earth.
Relationship cultivation and attention to detail make for a better, more complete stay, causing guests to come back time and time again and to recommend the accommodations to others. The spaces of Dell Collective are designed to be your very own home in Perry, where you want for nothing and can be cared for by the hosts. The kitchen is stocked, the spice cabinet is full, every cooking utensil or piece of equipment is available. The bathrooms have everything you may need, including razors, bodywashes, and more. “We design our spaces to live in them and to make them a home.” Osborn is so dedicated to making her guests feel at home that when a guest requested a French press, Osborn bought one for them and had it delivered during their stay. They are also looking to always make the space more cohesive, cozier, and homier. Guest want for nothing.
Even the name Dell Collective has a sweet and sentimental story. It came from Nate’s grandparents. As Osborn puts it, “Grandma and Grandpa Dell were the most hospitable, lovely, wonderful people you’d ever meet, and we wanted to take their love of hosting and bring it to our rentals.” Each summer, Osborn and her mom spend time chopping, slicing, and canning pickles as part of the Dell Collective experience. Trust me, they are delicious, and it all started with Grandma Dell. And the future of Dell Collective? Osborn also hopes to create a Dell Collective blog complete with design tips, trends, and itineraries for your stay. There are also plans for a Dell Collective shop featuring lifestyle pieces as well as a mini hotel on Main Street in Perry within a couple of years. Twenty-twenty-two was a banner year, with everything booked pretty much all the time, and Osborn can only see further investing in herself and her community.
If you want more information about this accommodation in Perry, follow Dell Collective on Instagram at @dellcollective.