5 Questions With Architect Sarah Zames of General Assembly

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The Hamptons is an interesting place because it has both a very formal and a more relaxed artistic history. This project was a balance of those two ideas.
— Architect Sarah Zames
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Flooring is one of the biggest decisions you make on a project and locking that decision in in the beginning is important in order to keep the other decisions on finishes in line. What I enjoyed about The Hudson Company was the education they brought to the clients.
— Sarah Zames

Meet Sarah Zames of General Assembly

Brooklyn-based architect Sarah Zames grew up in Northwest Connecticut and has been living and designing in New York City and Los Angeles for the past two decades. After working at several international firms, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Rafael Viñoly Architects, her attraction to the intimacy and scale of residential design led her, in 2010, to start General Assembly - a team of designers and project managers who believe that the details of a home should come from the unique, personal details of the people who live there. In addition to ground up and full renovation projects, GA designs custom lighting and furniture.

Creating A Family Refuge In The Hamptons

In 2018, The Hudson Company worked together with Sarah and GA to provide the custom milled flooring for the ‘Watermill’ project - a complete residential renovation in The Hamptons. Describing the project in their own words, GA says:

“This 3400 square foot home in the Hamptons was gutted down to the studs and rebuilt to create a family refuge from the busy city. We were inspired by the idea of juxtuposing the informality of a traditional country house with the formality that such a grand space required, in order to create something entirely unique, filling the house with our modern interpretation of some very classic details. GA handled all aspects of the process from architectural design to interior design, including all lighting, finishes and several custom designed furniture pieces.”

5 Questions with Architect Sarah Zames

After the successful completion of the Watermill project, which features Hudson Company Bare, White Oak, Flat Sawn floors, we wanted to sit down with Sarah to discuss a bit about her team’s creative process and how they brought the Watermill project to life.

First off, how did you distill the clients' needs / ideas into a clear vision for the design of this project?

The house was designed for four different people (from two different generations) to enjoy. So, we naturally had some differing opinions on style.  We wanted to make sure we were able to work the personality of everyone into the design, and took input from everyone involved. One unifying factor between everyone was their love of travel. They often traveled as a family together, and brought back some great art pieces. We made sure to find places to include those in the space. 

Clearly there is a focus on natural materials in this project—woods, marble, stone, and plants—can you talk a bit about these choices of materials and why they are a good fit for a, 'family refuge from the city?'

We tend to use natural materials in all of our projects because they are ageless and will not go out of style. For this project, using natural materials was a big part of bringing balance to the design. We combined natural materials with more modern details and, in doing so, we were able to achieve a comfortable elegance.

How did the design of this home fit into or contrast the historic design vernacular of the Hamptons?

The Hamptons is an interesting place because it has both a very formal and a more relaxed artistic history. This project was a balance of those two contrasting ideas. We wanted to maintain some of the formality, but also create a comfortable place to enjoy the weekend. We achieved this balance by creating more modern versions of some traditional details (for example, the paneling on the stairs and family room ceiling), and by bringing in natural materials that would age over time.  

It's clear that your team loves the custom details of design (from finishes, lighting, furniture, etc.). Can you talk about this high-level of creative detailing and how this style of work allows you to serve your clients and create unique design?

We feel that the best part of doing a full renovation is being able to have everything designed exactly to your taste. Designing custom details, like the brass tops to the railing balustrade, is one of the best parts of what we do. It means that the homeowners get to enjoy something that is unique to them, and we get to experiment with design and work with really great craftspeople.

Lastly, can you talk about your experience collaborating with The Hudson Company during the Watermill project?

We started working with The Hudson Company very early on in the project. Flooring is one of the biggest decisions you make on a project and locking that decision in in the beginning is important in order to keep the other decisions on finishes in line. What I enjoyed about Hudson was the education they brought to the clients. They respect the fact that [wood flooring] is a big investment and they took the time to educate the clients on the importance of quality flooring. 

Learn more about Bare, White Oak, Flat Sawn

Go inside the Watermill residential project here and here.

Project Credits:

Inside Our New Ridgefield, CT Showroom

Come Visit Us In Ridgefield, CT

Opened on November 14, 2018, our Ridgefield, CT showroom was established to serve our Westchester, Connecticut, and New England clients. Designed by Brad Ford and furnished by FAIR, our newest and largest showroom will showcase over 100 flooring, paneling, and beam products.

Located on Ethan Allen Highway (Route 7), our Ridgefield Showroom is conveniently located for product viewings, consultations, and client meetings and is open by appointment Monday to Friday.

Book An Appointment or Learn More About Our Ridgefield Showroom

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Join Us In Ridgefield, CT on November 14

Join The Hudson Company and Brad Ford for the opening of our new Ridgefield, CT showroom, designed by Brad Ford and furnished by FAIR. Open house November 14, 5-8 p.m, 139 Ethan Allen Highway in Ridgefield, CT.

Protecting Your Floors This Winter

 
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Protecting Your Wood Floors

As we approach the dry winter months, we’d like to remind all our friends, clients, and partners of the importance of monitoring the interior environmental conditions in your home, office, and retail spaces—specifically the temperature and relative humidity levels.

Natural expansion and contraction of wood can be caused by insufficient or excessive relative humidity.  So, to reduce the chance of damage to your wood floors, the National Wood Flooring Association recommends a climatic temperature of 60 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 35 - 50% relative humidity. 

Easy Tip For Protecting Your Wood Floors This Winter

This winter, we encourage you to closely monitor the conditions of your space and strive to create a comfortable environment for both you and your wood floor. So, here are four easy ways to protect and maintain your floors…

  1. Purchase an indoor thermometer / humidity monitor (online or from a local hardware store),

  2.  Install monitor and keep an eye on the indoor conditions during winter months,

  3. Maintain an interior temperature of between 60 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit,

  4. Maintain an interior humidity of 35 - 50%,

  5. Enjoy your wood floors for decades to come!

Questions? Learn More

*For more information, please visit www.nwfa.org or contact The Hudson Company directly.

*For more tips on maintaining and protecting your wood floors, stay tuned to this blog and follow The Hudson Company on Instagram at @thehudsoncompany.

*Plan on scheduling a visit to our NEW SHOWROOM in Ridgefield, CT, opening on 11/14/2018. More info on that to come!

 

Installation In Focus: The Carriage House By Workstead, Charleston, SC

The Carriage House, interior design by    Workstead,       Reclaimed Heart Pine, Vertical Grain    flooring by The Hudson Company.

The Carriage House, interior design by Workstead, Reclaimed Heart Pine, Vertical Grain flooring by The Hudson Company.

Reclaimed Heart Pine Heads South

Originally from The Hudson Valley, the talented team of designers at Workstead also have a strong presence in the American South—particularly in South Carolina (their work inside Charleston’s Dewberry Hotel is a must see).

For a recent residential project in Charleston known as The Carriage House, The Hudson Company had the pleasure of working alongside Workstead co-founders Stefanie and Robert to select and custom mill some Reclaimed Heart Pine, Vertical Grain flooring. Since the initiation of The Carriage House project, Robert and Stefanie have moved the bulk of Workstead operations back home to New York and we certainly look forward to working together with their team on more projects in the future (including the interiors of their new luxury, multi-unit renovation project in Brooklyn, opening in 2019).

But, until then, enjoy this peek inside the stunning Carriage House project, designed by our friends at Workstead.

Notes on The Carriage House

Detailed project notes from the design team:

“The Carriage House contains 2,000 square feet of livable space distributed over two floors, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.  The first floor living room features two gas fireplaces, originally used for cooking and laundering.  A brand new kitchen serves as literal and figurative hearth of the home, with cabinetry tucked under the stairs and a grand island providing the counter around which life revolves.  A cozy window seat situated within cypress and caned cabinets compliments the dining room along the south-facing facade.

The second floor features an anteroom for use as an office or library with an adjoining bathroom.  A south-facing bedroom with windows on three sides includes a cypress-clad closet, while the large master suite is complete with two closets, laundry, and master bathroom.  A balcony overlooks the brick courtyard below with green hedges for added privacy.

At the heart of the Carriage House is connection—with time and place as with collaborators.”

Learn More

Explore More Hudson Company Flooring Installations

Learn More About Reclaimed Heart Pine, Vertical Grain Flooring

See The New York Times Feature Story on Workstead in South Carolina.

Check Out Workstead Full Portfolio and Bespoke Webshop

All Photos below taken from www.workstead.com unless otherwise noted.

Designers and    Workstead    co-founders Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler. Photo by Kathleen Robbins for   The New York Times

Designers and Workstead co-founders Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler. Photo by Kathleen Robbins for The New York Times

At the heart of the Carriage House is connection—with time
and place as with collaborators.
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Go Behind The Scenes

The Hudson Company Story

Go behind the scenes and see how The Hudson Company sustainably sources, mills, and finishes a wide range custom floors, high-character wood paneling products, and reclaimed timber beams. Locally owned and vertically integrated, The Hudson Company proudly provides the A&D industry with New York's finest wood floors and surfaces. 

Click any of the video stills below to view The Hudson Company video, filmed and edited by Jenner Brown, with titles by Amanda Jane Jones

After watching the behind-the-scenes video,  visit us at our FSC-Certified mill in Pine Plains, NY (Mon - Fri 8-5) for a first person visit. We would love to help you with your next design project.

And North Holiday Pop-Up December 9 & 10

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Holiday Shopping at Our Manhattan Showroom 

We are thrilled to be hosting this weekend's And North Holiday Pop-Up inside our Manhattan Showroom. This weekend long pop-up shop will bring the And North blog to life with a collection of quality goods from their favorite upstate makers.

Complete with festive floral installations and special events throughout the weekend, the pop-up will celebrate a talented group of And North's favorite designers and craftspeople. This weekend, let And North be your holiday shopping guide as they bring the best Hudson Valley and Catskill artisans into the heart of Manhattan.

Full List of Event Participants:

Installation In Focus: Willow Street

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We wanted the space to be a balance of contrasts, open and airy yet respectful of the rooms expected in townhouse living; modern lines and materials, but respecting the character of the house and neighborhood; natural but polished; unique and creative, yet timeless and universal.
— Damian Zunino, Studio DB
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Transformation In Brooklyn Heights

Well known for its tree-lined streets and well-preserved antebellum townhouses, Brooklyn Heights is one of New York City’s most charming neighborhoods. At the very heart of this historic district is the 1834 brownstone on the corner of Willow and Middagh Street. Originally built in a Greek Revival Style, 15 Willow once belonged to the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor but, in 2016, was transformed into a single-family residence — a transformation that required a nuanced balance of innovation and preservation. The development and design team behind the renovation at 15 Willow Street project was Studio DB, led by the firm’s husband-and-wife principals Damian and Britt Zunino.

Damian explains how, as the team endeavored to modernize the 6,400-square-foot, five-bedroom townhouse, their goal was to create a balance of contrasts. “We wanted the space to be open and airy, yet respectful of the kind of interiors expected in townhouse living, [with] modern lines and materials that honored the historic character of both the house and the neighborhood.”

The choice of flooring was central to the architects’ goal of honoring the past while simultaneously integrating modern lines and materials. “We had a vision of how we wanted the floors to feel, so we reached out to The Hudson Company at the very beginning of the process. There was a specific walnut floor we were looking for — we wanted something that felt natural but still had a lot of character, and we knew The Hudson Company could produce this kind of flooring for us.”

Through close collaboration with the Studio DB team, The Hudson Company custom-milled 3,000 square feet of 5” Walnut plank and 1,000 square feet of 5” Herringbone plank for the project.“The new floors feel light but still raw,” Zunino says. “The finish brings a timeless, polished aesthetic to the house’s interior.”

The installation profile originally appeared in The Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2. Read more or learn how to get your physical copy of The Journal here.

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Installation In Focus: Mitchell's Lane

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Flat Sawn White Oak Floors At Mitchell's Lane Residence

Our custom Flat Sawn White Oak is milled to minimize waste and to accentuate arching, cathedral grain. This cut includes edge sap, tight knots, and grain variation. Learn more about this versatile flooring product here.

Photos above and below are from the award winning Mitchell's Lane residential installation (also known as 'Grove House'), designed by Roger Ferris + Partners. A few notes about the project design, taken from the architect's website:

This private residence was designed as an immersive yet modern natural retreat, providing connections to the surrounding landscape via planes of glass that interrupt a series of solid forms. Two of the volumes are delicately connected and sectioned off by a glass breezeway, housing the public and private living spaces of the home. A third volume stands alone, housing an artist studio on the second floor overlooking the rural landscape on which the home is set. Each of the three simple gable-shaped volumes are covered in the same natural rain screen wood material, that will gradually weather as the volumes fade into their natural surroundings.

Learn more about our Flat Sawn White Oak  here and see more from this design installation here.
 

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Inspired By: Selina van der Geest of NL-GB

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The Reclaimed Brown Board Paneling we used on the outside of our house immediately adds a sense of history and character.
— Selina van der Geest
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Selina van der Geest of NL-GB, photo by Venetia Dearden

Introducing Selina van der Geest

Interior designer Selina van der Geest moved to New York from London in 2000. Since coming to America, Selina has worked in the art and decorating business and has now opened her own eclectic showroom near Millbrook, NY, 90 miles north of New York City.

After building her own house in Milan, New York, Selina was inundated with requests to add her unique style and organizational skills to projects for private clients. It has been a natural progression to continue the decorating business she started back in England, bringing a relaxed European feeling to her clients’ houses. She believes in working organically, reflecting in her designs and colors, the natural surroundings of the property she is transforming.

Earlier this year, we sat down with Selina to discuss her work.

Tell us a bit about how your time training in Europe prepared you for the work you do today?

Well, I studied history and art history which gave me a great background for my work in interior design.  I was lucky to combine both fields working for Colnaghi, the old master art gallery in London, designing stands and galleries as well as working with important art works. It was there that I learned woodworking and curtain making, thus giving me a very hands on approach to my work. The European aesthetic is different and has certainly continues to influence my work here in the States.

How did you choose Upstate, New York as the base for your home and business?  

My husband, who is Dutch, bought a house Upstate in 1983, when he first came to America.  I moved to New York from London in 2000 and since I share his love for the area, we purchased land in 2002 and decided to build a house. As soon as we finished the house, I was asked to help with other projects and so my work Upstate evolved.

what is the red thread that connects all of your design interests?

I am very inspired by nature and the environment around me, whether Upstate or on my travels. I often  incorporate natural elements into my designs.  Bottom line, I strive to create original homes and furniture for my clients and that's what drives me creatively.

What can you tell us about the design process for your own home in Milan, NY?

Before even buying the land, we bought an early 17th Century Louis XIII mantle in Bordeaux, France when we were there for a wedding.  Then, we designed the house around this and a pair of antique Chinese doors.  Coming from homes built of stone in England, I wanted to achieve the same sense of history and character in our new home Milan.

The Reclaimed Brown Board Paneling we used on the outside of our house, immediately adds a sense of history and character.  I stained the cut edge of all the batons, so we didn’t have fresh cuts showing.  It also has the advantage of requiring less maintenance.

Inside we have a large open room featuring Reclaimed Hudson Company Beams, which, along with the Bordeaux mantlepiece, give a very European character to the house.  On the floors we used wide white oak boards, which we left untreated so they could develop a patina over time.  The result is a home which feels very settled, relaxed and natural.

What were some of the key design goals for your new home?

We love cooking so wanted to have a big open space that would allow us to cook while also enjoying the fire and the living area.  You enter through a mudroom with the large Chinese doors creating a welcoming opening into the great room and a view through the French doors to the pool beyond. We often have our family and guests staying and having separate bedroom wings and a guest apartment help to give us all space, but a wonderful place to congregate.

We built the house in seven months and it was certainly an advantage to be on site daily. I spent many days shoveling snow or helping the framer when someone didn’t show up and nothing was delayed waiting for decisions.  I also insist on a clean and tidy job site, believing that a messy environment encourages sloppy work.

What's next for Selina van der Geest?

I am working on a new house being built in Sharon, CT for a client whose apartment I designed in the city. We’re combining a traditional stone farmhouse with painted barn buildings, a stone potting shed and an English green house. The goal is for the house to feel as if it’s been there for hundreds of years and has evolved over time.  Likewise, my goal is for the interior is to feel as if it’s been collected over the years, with interesting accents, textures and natural colors.

Lastly, how would you describe your experience working with The Hudson Company?

The Hudson Company have a wonderful selection of materials and a great aesthetic. From the sampling process to selection, they have listened and understood what we are after. Whether its a small order of individual planks and beams or a bigger order of  pre-finished wood floors, The Hudson Company has  always provided us with quality, professional services.

Visit NLGB.com to learn more about Selina's work.

Learn more about Reclaimed Hand Hewn Beams here and Reclaimed Brown Board Paneling here.

Below is a sampling of more interiors by Selina, with photos by Jane Beiles for The New York Times.

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The Hudson Company have a wonderful selection of materials and a great aesthetic. From the sampling process to selection, they have listened and understood what we are after.
— selina van der geest
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