Tell us about the Hudson Woods project.
Hudson Woods is an architect-driven development project in the Hudson Valley by the NYC-based Lang Architecture. It’s 131 acres of twenty-six locally sourced glass-and-timber homes, which are completely customizable. Each home is built using help from local builders, craftsmen, and artisans and began as an attempt to re-envision the exurban environment. The project is primarily directed toward urban dwellers who are looking to balance their life with a connection to nature.
How did the collaboration come about?
We have many mutual friends and colleagues; through the powers of social media they found my Instagram feed and the rest is, as I like to say, styling history!
A large part of the project centers around a collaboration with nature. How did the setting inspire your work?
I grew up in the Hudson Valley so it’s always felt so authentic for me to incorporate the natural surroundings into my work, especially for a project based in the middle of the woods.Environment plays a big role in how we style our interiors and it’s often a subconscious reaction to what we’re seeing, hearing, or smelling. The Catskill Mountains contain so much beauty – it’s only natural that items discovered in the surrounding woods would find themselves in the décor. I wanted the styling in Hudson Woods to seem as if the homeowners organically and over time brought the outside in; fallen feathers haphazardly arranged in a collection of vintage bottles, found rocks lining the corners of windowsills, and cut branches instead of the expected flower arrangement.It’s the small touches that speak collectively and drive home the lifestyle you could have in the homes.
How has this project differed from your other work?
Most of my work has been specifically for photo shoots, so it is temporary and fleeting. This project is a permanent home on view to the public and is very much a combination of interior design and styling. My work at Hudson Woods is ongoing so I’ve been able to add layers and adjust over time, incorporate the seasons, and so on. Additionally, the home is furnished with pieces from small and independent designers with an overall attention to quality, craftsmanship, and detail. Each item brought in acknowledges and compliments that aesthetic.
How did you get involved in styling and interior design?
It started at a very young age, in the days before design blogs and HGTV. I’d spend hours flipping through my Mom’s design books and shelter publications, fascinated by the details that make up a photograph, and then would try to replicate what I saw in my childhood bedroom. This was the nineties, so it was a lot of lace throws, Laura Ashley inspired flower prints, and straw garden hats casually thrown on beds. When I’d go over to a friend’s house I’d quickly convince them Barbies were boring and rearranging a space was where the fun was! In college I studied photography, but was more interested in the process before the photograph than photography itself.
What has been the biggest challenge at Hudson Woods?
When first approached, I was humbled and excited that a team with such strong design sense would trust my eye. Since I’m based in New York City the biggest challenge is traveling up to the site every weekend. But once I’m there, I understand the magic of escaping the city to a cabin in the woods.
How did the Hudson Woods project affect/influence your other projects and overall aesthetic?
Because of this project I’ve become familiar with some amazing artisans and makers and am more apt to pull one of their pieces when sourcing props for other jobs. Hudson Woods also provides a platform to showcase these pieces in an interior setting, almost like a living and breathing showroom. It’s a special project because it’s at the forefront of the American Made concept and the idea to source locally, a theme that is rippling its way through the design community, and doing so in a beautiful and sustainable setting.
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