At Home in Hudson Valley
âThe landscape that defined Americaâ is the 315 miles that bestride the Hudson River, an area of rare visual and agricultural abundance, latticed with fieldstone walls. Dairy farmers, Ichabod Crane, cap-tains of industry ...more
By Allison Serrell. Photographs by Meredith Heuer. Chronicle Books, $40 âThe landscape that defined Americaâ is the 315 miles that bestride the Hudson River, an area of rare visual and agricultural abundance, latticed with fieldstone walls. Dairy farmers, Ichabod Crane, cap-tains of industry and Dylan disciples all have called the Hudson River counties home, and any of them might be content in one of the remarkable dwellings scouted by Allison Serrell for her new book. Most were photographed, wisely, in peak fall or dead of winter, accentuating rhythms in the dense woods. What these houses most share, besides a preference for stone and wood, are delightful peculiarities that invite further investigationâa cypress shed that incorporates a 1940s silver Spartan trailer, a 20-foot slash of red door on a fog-painted wall. None of the houses is a perfect restoration; some of them are unashamedly âglamorizedâ (New York City design professionals have very entertaining notions of the perfect cabin in the woods). There are archetypes: batty Victorians (ten bedrooms and a blackened tin ballroom), disappearing acts (hooded Zen palaces, ivy-claimed cottages), deconsecrated churches and other conversions, even an eye-popping prefab. Each building expresses the creative souls who dwell within, the best that can be said of an interior design.