Antique Beams Meet Modern Art In a Beautiful Reinvention
Sculptural furnishings, layers of texture, and one-of-a-kind artwork transform a modern structure built with antique posts and beams.
Envisioning a relaxing weekend retreat, a fortysomething New York City couple acquired a reinvented barn with rustic century-old, exposed beams on about 100 acres in the Hudson Valley. When they began spending more and more time there during the pandemic, they hired interior designer, Todd Raymond, to help them make it their own.
Raymond knew straightaway that the pieces he selected would need to defer to the prominent architecture. “There was sort of a dance,” Raymond says. “How do we make the furniture important without detracting from the beautiful old beams?”
Originally a Dutch barn that was later deconstructed, the house’s former owners had commissioned an architect to reimagine it. A simple cedar-clad envelope now surrounds the weathered post and beam structure, which acts as an endoskeleton. A breezeway with glass garage doors on either side and an open mezzanine level introduce a feeling of modernity despite the rustic beams.
Taking his cues from the clients, Raymond painted the walls white and the millwork and cabinetry in a dark blackish hue. Playing off the polished concrete flooring and rustic wooden details, it’s a crisp, contemporary backdrop for a mix of new and iconic vintage furnishings rendered in a monochromatic color palette.
“The client’s style is sleeker and more modern with a little bit of glam,” he says.
During the nearly 18-month project, Raymond and his clients visited showrooms in Manhattan, custom furniture studios in Brooklyn, and a myriad of charming shops offering local wares in the charming towns that dot the Hudson Valley. In the process, they acquired a heady collection of often whimsical artwork, bespoke ceramics, and every stitch of furniture.
In the living room, for example, a textural black- and-white-patterned rug anchors a low-slung sectional sofa and a vintage Hans Wegner chair in front of the prominent concrete fireplace. A compressed-wood cocktail table with an angular cutout adds personality and interest.
“It has a beautiful sort of shape that talks to the different angles of the beams,” he says.
And a serpentine sofa covered in long black mohair paired with a bent wood chair in a dark stain creates a spot to enjoy a post-dinner cocktail in the open lounge. Soft fur floor throws add to the mix. “The fabrics are neutral, so we played up the different textures,” Raymond says. “It was great to have the concrete flooring, because anything we did was going to be a beautiful juxtaposition to that.”
“It’s a nice reflection of who my clients are in the Hudson Valley.”
Steps away, a quartet of spun-wood pendants softly illuminate a round concrete dining table with a wedge- shaped notch in the top. “We remained simple in terms of silhouettes but brought in a lot of texture and natural elements to emphasize that they’re in the Hudson Valley,” he says.
Creating a sense of cohesiveness and continuity, the palette flows throughout the interior. In the mezzanine- level office, for example, a white metal desk and black Eames shell chairs coordinate with a chunky wool rug. And a woven black chair punctuates the white walls in the primary bedroom, where a pair of petrified wood side tables flank a streamlined walnut bed.
Finally finished after pandemic-related delays, the owners quickly welcomed their tight circle of friends for casual gatherings in the country, cooking elaborate meals on their top-of-the-line Wolf range.
The home’s open layout features several distinct conversation zones, allowing the owners and their guests to be together or retreat to more private spaces. Indeed, at one such gathering, Raymond joked that they should convert the mezzanine into a DJ booth.
“It has a good feeling, and it’s been rewarding to see them use the house the way that we designed it,” he says. “It’s a nice reflection of who my clients are in the Hudson Valley.”