Featured Hudson Valley Style Renovation Project: Myles & Desire O'Connell Summer Residence in Woodstock, NY
Interview and Photography by Maxwell Alexander, Editor in Chief / Hudson Valley Style Magazine
Brooklynites Myles and Desire O'Connell were frequent visitors to the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, up until they bumped into each other on a hike near Woodstock. Soon after, Myles proposed to Desire on the top of the Panther Mountain in Shandaken. It was a matter of time for them to start thinking about putting their roots down (even just for the Summer season as it usually goes.)
"Of all of the fantastic small towns in the Catskills, we fell in love with Woodstock. Every time we went on a hike, we always drove through the village to shop the windows and have a late lunch before driving home. " - explained Myles. "When the property became available, I think we both jumped on the opportunity. We loved that it was located directly in the middle of the village, walking distance to all of the boutiques, and great restaurants."
From our own experience renovating 200-year-old properties, we know that when something like this happens, it has to be a match made in heaven, and I am referring to both personal chemistry as a couple and connection with a house as well. This house got really lucky, just take a look at one of the "Before" shots. At the same time, it makes me really proud to see Millennials like Myles and Desire being able to recognize an opportunity behind those thick layers of borderline-psychedelic paint. It really does takes guts to get into something like this one!
"The house itself is one of the oldest in the village - it dates back to the late 1870s. But it was really in need of a lot of work. For a smaller house, we felt it had far too many rooms, and so we opened up the space. We also put in stairs and a trap door in the center of the floor to access the basement (previously, there was a hallway directly in the middle of the house that leads to a doorway for the basement). All of the designs Desire and I developed were an effort to open up the space because we wanted to have as large a layout as possible to entertain friends and family." - added Myles.
And yes, it worked out amazing, all in the authentic, modern yet rustic Hudson Valley Style. I knew how a 200-y/o craftsman or a gingerbread type of a home might look like on the inside, so it was almost a magical experience when I first walked in and saw the space. It felt very open, airy and yet so appropriate and somehow "this is how it should've been in the first place". Beautiful rustic beams on the ceiling, wood+brick columns, cozy and perfectly refinished hardwood floors, sophisticated furniture and decor, glass, metal, and warm+dynamic Edison lights make this home a Modern Rustic epiphany that should be on everyone's bucket list. Lucky you, the property is on Airbnb when Desire and Myles are out of town, so there is an opportunity to experience it.
"It was important to us that the kitchen was connected to both the dining and living rooms - and that both had large windows the patio. We also completely gut renovated the kitchen and added a new sink and shower to the bathroom, and decided to open up the ceiling to expose the original beams in the living room. It not only added a ton of character and warmth to the house but also it created additional space. Donna LeMoine from Atlas Home Construction did a fantastic job on the build out."
"We also completely leveled the backyard, planted trees, perennials, and seasonal flowers, as well as a new patio, walkway, and bocce court. Bill Stack from Mountain Gardens Landscaping had a real vision for the yard."
This is a great example of how ideas of environmentally responsible design could be so relevant and stylish at the same time. New construction homes, after all, are not on the trendy list of the new generation of homebuyers, and especially in the Hudson Valley, projects like this one lead the way to a more sustainable future.
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