Located just a ten-minute drive from the town of Hudson, NY, this post-and-beam home built in the ’70s offered original charm to its new homeowners. Splitting their time between London and Brooklyn, they wanted a house in the countryside where they could unwind from their busy lives in the film industry. Having already worked with Sarah Zames and Colin Stief of General Assembly before, they turned to the Brooklyn-based design firm to bring personality to their home Upstate.
“The owners, who knew our work well from a previous renovation together, brought us in to breathe some more character into the existing space,” the designers shared. “We wanted to bring in some farmhouse charm, while also modernizing the layout and materials. The idea was to create something really singular, a fresh combination of ideas and eras.” This meant that they had to remove a few of the walls on the ground floor that were preventing natural light to flood in and creating a lack of flow throughout the space. The second floor also saw its layout redistributed, as is the case where two bedrooms were made into the primary suite.
Before addressing some of the more exciting aesthetic concerns, Sarah and Colin had to ensure that the upstairs plumbing and wiring were re-done without affecting the exposed timber beams. None of the piping could be exposed, which required a skilled team of workers to ensure that the job was done carefully.
Once the interior systems and layout were addressed, it was time for the designers at General Assembly to bring their inerrant stylish touch to the ’70s home. “Overall, we were immediately drawn to the heavy timber construction that is exposed throughout the home. That is what directed most of our decisions in terms of materials and perhaps even more importantly, in terms of the color palette,” they said. In some cases, that meant going very neutral, such as in the kitchen. Custom cabinetry crafted by Rowan Woodworking was painted in the same off-white tone as the rest of the ground floor walls, drawing focus to the original hardwood floors and beamed ceiling. Contrastingly, the main bathroom was painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Green Smoke” to create a serene and elegant environment.
Not everything, though, that was brought into the home was new. The wallpaper in the guest room was left untouched and served as a “glimpse into the lives of the previous owners and the life of the home.” Much of the furniture was vintage finds that were sourced by the General Assembly team and their clients. “We are always excited when an owner is involved in the finishing of a project as it brings an added layer of personality and memory to the space,” they said. “The wife is English and we are not sure if it was a conscious decision or not, but there are definitely some elements that recall the refinement and timelessness of English country homes.”