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14 Hudson Valley, NY Homes We Love

by Grace Bonney

A few months ago when I started feeling sick (and later found out I had ), I found myself slowly walking down our sleepy farm-town road, wondering how I would have handled this diagnosis if I was still living in the city. While some people find the city rela, after 12 years in Brooklyn, city life started to bring more stress to my life than joy — and moving to a rural area felt like an irresistible siren song I didn’t quite understand yet, but couldn’t resist. And now, less than a year since my diagnosis, it’s all starting to feel like it was meant to be, as if the universe decided to push me (and my family) to a quieter, more peaceful place where I could slow down, focus on my health — both mentally and physically — and be near mountains and rivers that help put any problem into perspective. It’s these small moments of tranquility and clarity that make me love and appreciate living in the Hudson Valley, and I’m so proud to now call this area my home.

I remember the first time I drove through the Catskill mountains as the sun set. I said out loud, like a total dork, “Well THIS is why there was a named after this area.” The light that comes through the mountains, trees and lakes here is warm and calming and even in the heaviest storms, there’s something about the air and open vistas that feels so strong and safe and sturdy. It’s no wonder that anyone would want to live here and it’s definitely not a surprise that this area, only a few hours from NYC, would be a place where generations of creative people would move and set up their homes and studios.

Over the past few years we’ve shared a handful of homes from this general area (some further upstate than others), and today I wanted to celebrate 14 of my favorite. From renovated farmhouses with wide plank floors to modern concrete homes nestled into the sides of mountains, these spaces remind me of the people and places I’ve come to love so much over the past year and a half. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. And, if you’re in the area this summer, check out my personal guide to my home county, Ulster County! Spring and summer are definitely my favorite time of year up here. xo, grace

I always dreamed of living near the Catskills and, now that we do, I feel so thankful and appreciative to not only be in this area, but to have a home that we love so much. So I thought I'd start this slideshow with a peek inside our kitchen! Everything used to be hunter green and now it's all bright white and open spaces.
This Saugerties home is my dream house come to life: All those tall ceilings and amazing woodwork. The couple behind Brooklyn fashion brand Alter live here and have done an amazing job renovating their home with such love and care.
One of the (many) reasons a lot of younger people have flocked to this area lately is that a cool modern motel opened in the town of Phoenicia called The Graham & Co. One of its owners, Amanda Bupp, calls this amazing modern house her home, and I'm always envious of its contrast between cool, modern style and woodsy mountain house.
This modern Catskills home belongs to Jeff and Jason and after we ran their home tour here on DS, it went on to host a memorable girls trip with a group of close friends -- and eventually it was the place Julia and I decided to spend our honeymoon. That trip cemented our love of the area and convinced us to consider moving here one day... which ended up being a year later.
I can't talk about the Hudson Valley without mentioning the most colorful house in Ghent -- Ted and Ted's home! Ted Watson Kennedy owns one of the greatest design shops in Seattle, and when he and his husband aren't in Washington, they spend their time here in this amazingly green country home. I love all the bright shades and the pops of navy blue that accent it all.
Ted and Ted's back porch/sunroom is heaven in any season. But especially in fall when the leaves in the Hudson Valley put on quite a show.
Back to green! Max introduced us to the home of talented bandmates and husband-and-wife team, Darbie and Justin (also known as Bishop Allen). Their amazing Kingston, NY home is jam-packed with great artwork, color and texture.
Darbie and Justin's music room is one of my favorite spaces we've ever shared. There's so much visual interest, detail, character and history in this room.
Dana and Chris' Catskills kitchen is shelving perfection. So much order and so easy to access! Their entire home is just as beautiful.
Real estate agents always have the good dibs on great properties and Hayes Clement is no exception. His incredible Kingston, NY home has the most breathtaking view of the Hudson River and some truly amazing historic details inside and out.
Tracy and Jamie own a spectacular bar in Kingston called Brunette and they also own this charming former quarryman's cottage. I fell in love with their old wood-burning stove and their awesome collection of vintage furniture.
Artists Kieran and Giselle moved into this 1900s farmhouse and have been slowly transforming it into a modern space for their family. I love the way their mid-century furniture works in such a historic place.
Their kitchen is precisely the sort of cozy space that would make anyone want to spend at least a great vacation weekend in the Hudson Valley.
Bill's rural 1800s barn was transformed into a remarkable open space that feels both contemporary and historic at the same time. I love this gorgeous fireplace.
The talented team behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. redid this home upstate and I love how much work they put into restoring and highlighting the original woodwork in the house.
Jeffrey and Clayton updated their western Catskills home with a bright white kitchen. During their renovation they found insulation made from old denim jeans and 1930s newspapers!
Sarah and Chris' modern home in Olivebridge is a great example of the clean design work they do at Carpenter & Mason design. I love these tall ceilings -- which are hard to come by in older homes in the area.

Suggested For You


  • After spending most of my life in or near big cities, I moved out to the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and haven’t looked back. Well, that’s not completely true because I *often* go back to visit family and friends in the DC area, which is conveniently less than two hours away. It’s a small town/teeny city surrounded by rural areas so there’s all I need as well as all I want in terms of nature, a slower pace of life, and more. As you’ve pointed out before about your chosen-home, there’s also plenty of culture and community here in ways both obvious and subtle.

    I’ve passed through the Hudson Valley numerous times and have always enjoyed the view. All of the beautiful tours and posts about it on Design Droits-Humains have convinced me to actually stop and look around next time! While I can’t exactly visit people’s homes, I *can* check out the places in the great Ulster County guide. This is perfect timing as I’ll be going on a mini-road trip with a friend from Germany this June.

    • Lena

      I grew up in VA, too and this part of upstate NY always reminds me of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My parents always joke that I moved 9 hours north of VA to get the exact same look ;)


  • Great photos! We live in a renovated church built in 1850 in Rockland County. These photos are my motivation in our home, but with some tweaks for toddler and baby life! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Nicole,

      Grace isn’t claiming that the area is very rural, per se, but compared to NYC, it’s a much slower pace of life. For sure, Kingston is not rural, but some pockets of the Valley are – Grace’s town is so small, you blink and you’re through it!

      What a beautiful area for you to grow up in :)

    • Nicole

      I just wanted to chime in- I don’t think I ever said Kingston was rural, did I? I live in a rural area (Accord), but Kingston is definitely “the city” up here, I’m aware of that ;)


  • beautiful homes and an amazing place to reside. i hope that you feel better and that living in the country helps.

  • Moments are such a big part of where we pick to live and how we design or homes. Thinking about moments and feelings, and the practicality of design, I’d love to see month-in-the-life galleries of rooms DS publishes.

    It’d be a peek into what they look like “lived in” – with misc papers and ephemera piling up, dishes/pillows/paraphernalia moving around, day and night scenes, empty and full of people, etc. I’m sure there are rooms that look impractical, but work quite well, and ones that look practical, but aren’t. Not even just practicality, but also the habits a house breeds: how the light comes in at dawn, setting out breakfast on a patio or grabbing a coffee in the kitchen, how everyone uses the living room, etc.

    I wonder if we’d find out that some styles we like wouldn’t give us the moments we want.. Or a style we don’t like would be precisely perfect for us in use.

  • Having moved from NYC to the south of France, I understand the whole get out of town/wow this it beautiful reaction. And there’s a lot to love in these beautiful homes. Kingston seems to be an exceptionally hip place–where Mr. Manhattan Nest is, among others.
    Hope you’re feeling better!!

  • Roy and Tommy’s home is so amazing, I remember loving that house tour when it was first published on DS. So many great homes here, including yours.

    Wishing you lots of good health to come, Grace – so glad your natural surroundings and home can give you comfort and relaxation.

  • A ‘real’, substantive and personal selection of vignettes around the Valley that instantly evoke feelings of what it’s like to live here. A powerful statement not easily accomplished!

  • Growing up in Brooklyn I was easily convinced that NYC was the center of the world. Even after living around the globe for a handful of years, I returned to Brooklyn because it seemed both right and inevitable. Then I moved upstate to open a business and was so pleasantly blindsided by how much I loved the change of pace and the humbling aspects of living so close to nature. I’m so dang grateful I live here now. Don’t get me wrong– there’s still a lot of love in my heart for NYC, but I’ve discovered other parts my heart out here I didn’t even know existed.

  • Grace,
    About 2 years ago, my 13 y.o. daughter (also named Grace) was Dx w/ T1D. The emotional and mental upheaval has been, well, you know how it’s been. I was so sorry to read about your diagnosis, but wanted to reach out to let you know that your blog (and your Instagram) have been such total and complete eye and mind candy for me over the last couple of years– a true respite from the weight of it all. I though you should know that this gig you’ve got going on has allowed me to immerse in what I love, and to emerge with the energy that this new life takes. Thank you for that! Best wishes on your journey! PS- check out the Friends for Life convention in Orlando this summer. Sounds amazing :)

    • Amy

      I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. I’m sending you both huge hugs from upstate NY. This is a huge life-changing diagnosis for anyone and I totally understand how heavy it all feels. I’m glad DS could be a little distraction from all of this :)


  • Hi Grace,
    Boy did this post hit home! A few years back I left NYC and working on Broadway for the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC (around the Asheville area). After the move, my health took a heavy hit and just like you it was my blood sugar! I hope you are well on your way to recovery and feeling good again. It truly is a process and I am glad you are in a healing place to ‘reset’.

    As a side note: I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing these beautiful homes around the Hudson Valley as I will be moving up there in the coming months. Very excited! Thank you for posting and I hope to see you around the ‘hood sometimes soon!

    Healing wishes to you Lady!

  • Who did the photos?

    We moved up from the city in 08 and own a house on 20 acres with a pool just south of Kingston. All for less than the price of a studio apt in NYC. I admit it was my wife who practically had to handcuff and drag me screaming out of NYC. After all that I’ve never wanted to go back. We just had July 4th breakfast on our deck looking out at a magnificent scene.

    Who did the photos? I’m putting together a 2017 calendar for a local bank of homes in Kingston.

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