A place to breathe, unwind and create in beautiful surroundings, right in New Jersey.

The Culture Palette is a friendly and relaxed intentional community for traveling musicians and artists.  Seeking the time, space and gorgeous, quiet setting to pursue your passions? Need a place to hang your hat temporarily while on the road between gigs? Whether you’re looking for a music retreat, a screenwriting haven or some time to draw and paint, the tranquil lake environment of Hopatcong, New Jersey will give you peace and focus and get your mojo working.  Join us in our network of several homes containing private, fully furnished living spaces, around a central house, ''Hippie Haven.'' The surrounding woods are teeming with wildlife, including hummingbirds, deer, squirrels, butterflies, chipmunks, raccoons, foxes and the occasional black bear!  Hosted by Mercedes and Andrew, the artist community is designed as a place to breathe, unwind, and immerse yourself in creative work — and guests choose as much or as little interaction with the hosts and fellow resident artists as they like. Two music rehearsal facilities are equipped with drums, keyboards, guitars and PA equipment.  Delicious home-cooked food is on offer every day, with vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free options and more. Communal meals, group activities, and music jam sessions are a regular occurrence if you'd like to meet and collaborate with fellow artists, talk about your work, and learn from others.  Stay a couple of days, a week, or more!

About Mercedes and Andrew

Mercedes has had a diverse career spanning music, TV, film, cooking, and teaching at university.  Her hobbies include cooking a dazzling array of international food, recycling and upcycling furniture and other items, and doing lots of arts and crafts.  Andrew is a skilled photographer and artist and a collector of vintage guitars and amplifiers.  Both are multi-instrumentalists and singers, animal lovers, and estate sale junkies.


Hopatcong New Jersey Wildlife
Cooking class
Rehearsal Studio

“I absolutely loved my stay at The Culture Palette! It is a true gem for artists and traveling musicians. We stayed at the main house, Hippie Haven, and were even welcomed with complimentary refreshments! It’s a wonderful artist community retreat offering jam sessions and 2 full rehearsal studios with instruments. It’s definitely a dream for us artists. Will definitely be back!”

Elisa Meri,
Actress, Model, Singer

"It was peaceful and relaxing, with a verdant forest view. It was good to talk music with fellow musicians when we did chat, and they also gave me my space to recover from the work I was doing in the area. They were perfectly friendly and respectful of my privacy at the same time. I felt absolutely comfortable. I hope I play around there again, so I can stay there"

David Greely, Fiddler

“Neighborhood is residential, very quiet and woodsy. Easy parking, restaurants within a few minutes drive, and depending on the time of day, not much more than an hour from Manhattan, and less than an hour from Newark airport. Oriented toward musicians (the hosts are musicians themselves) with actual rehearsal space available … even instruments and amplifiers if arranged in advance … We'll definitely be back!”

DeadPhish Orchestra

"Mercedes is an AWESOME host! I'm a traveling nurse and stayed here for two weeks… My husband Brian enjoyed his time playing his guitar with Mercedes. We shared some gourmet, restaurant quality meals. I highly recommend a stay!

Lisa and Brian

“Thank you for providing us with exactly what our group needed for a very long and grueling recording session.  It was the perfect home away from home.”

Brave Future Band