When our clients, a stylish family with teenage children, decided to leave Manhattan for the country, they naturally gravitated to the Hudson Valley, where the husband is originally from. The wife, a prominent lifestyle journalist and editor known for her creative entertaining, immediately saw the potential in this unexpected property, although it is distinctly different from the Greek Revival farmhouses the area is known for.

The house was originally a 1940s dairy building, part of a larger farm that was split off and sold in the 1960s. In the 40s, the dairy was famous for its Poona cheese — a creamy, camembert-style concoction — and we kept the antique sign to pay homage to the property’s storied past.

The rest of the renovation also honors the building’s origins and we maintained many of the original details, although it required a complete overhaul to transform what had been an agrarian, industrial compound replete with concrete floors and a warren-like layout, into a warm, light-filled residence. In addition to reconfiguring the floor plan to create a more natural flow throughout the interior spaces, we lifted roof lines and added a primary suite. The simple moldings and doors were intentionally designed to be less ornate, again keeping in line with the minimal aesthetic of the old dairy. 

The skylights in the living room, a critical part of the cheese-storing process, are original, but we added French doors that open out to a vista of beautiful mature trees original to the property to bring in more light and create a better connection to the outdoors.

Our client led the interior decoration, designing chic, flexible spaces that function well for daily family life and easily morph into rooms that suit her famed “the-more-the-merrier” dinner parties and cocktail gatherings. 

To read more about this project and our client’s creative interiors, please read Schumacher’s feature on the house and our client here.