Homes that are a cut above the rest aren’t usually positioned accordingly. But it was quite literally the mountain top for this young couple’s retreat, overlooking the bountiful Hudson Valley in New York State. Blessed with the architectural intervention of Takatina, the Old Stone House feels as if it has coexisted with its environment for decades. Surrounded by exceptional wineries and paddock-to-plate markets, this reworked weekender has found its feet as a wholesome haven.
Stripping the spaces back was first and foremost for Takatina’s master plan. Originally a two-and-a-half storey house, Takatina reduced the structure to its three masonry walls and foundation, halving the size of the building before adding on. As a refreshing downsize, Takatina reconfigured the house to a single storey home evocative of a barn in form. The charming stone wall was a specific request of the client and a staple to the architecture of the Hudson Valley region. Forged with black metal roof and stained cedar, the exterior appears monolithic; as a seamlessly proportioned composition.
While there are plenty of upsides to not having an upstairs, a sure standout are the cathedral ceilings. By inserting a north facing skylight and surrounding aluminium window and door openings, natural light is deftly captured to architectural and sculptural effect. It’s a soft glow that filters throughout the entire house — and that’s without mentioning the mountain views on offer, as you step out onto a teak deck extending from the southern facade. The open plan living has a loft-like ambience, perfect for a cosy winter stay around a freestanding wood burning stove. We wouldn’t mind movie night either after noting the retractable projector screen cleverly concealed in the living room feature wall inset.
Takatina’s approach to the interiors creates an almost instant calming effect. The industrial dining setting is softened by leather and linen under the hand-blown pendant lighting. A custom oak vanity and herringbone patterned, Carrara marble tile walls also demonstrate the work of expert craftsmanship. The palette is cool and moody, offset by white-painted sheetrock walls and brushed grey oak floors. The kitchen is a welcome extension of this theme, its charcoal grey lacquered finish and shaker-design inspired millwork showcasing tasteful country kitchen to a tee. As a meeting place of the loft and barn, Takatina has nailed the balance of modern rustic.
There’s no doubt this young couple’s home away from home is now the envy of their neighbours. Out of Takatina’s conceptual vision, the old stone house has redefined the cabin in the woods. We couldn’t think of a weekender any more suited to its idyllic surrounds or more fitting to enjoy a glass of Hudson Valley wine and a platter of local produce.
Minimal in all respects, the monochrome bedroom space relishes in carefully framed views and underexposed white-painted ceiling framing.