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And North’s Emma Tuccillo Celebrates Home in the Hudson Valley

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Photos by Emma Tuccillo unless otherwise noted

After happily growing up in Hastings-on-Hudson and going to college in New Paltz, Emma Tuccillo was ready for a bright-lights-big-city chapter. But after six years in Queens, she discovered her true north.

In the short version of creative entrepreneur Emma Tuccillo’s story, in 2017 she noticed a house for rent while taking a walk on the aqueduct trail with her mom. “It was a former goat barn on an estate from the late 1700s,” says Tuccillo, 33. With rentals extremely hard to come by in Hastings, she quickly signed the lease and moved in. “The house was in wonderful condition, so all I had to do was paint and decorate.”

true north

But the longer version of Tuccillo’s Hastings tale is, well, longer. “Growing up, my parents were always taking my brothers and me on day trips to towns like Woodstock and High Falls, so I had a connection to the Hudson Valley from a young age,” she says. Her mom, a photographer, and dad, a musician, emphasized arts and creativity by example. When it came time for college, Tuccillo decided to study photography at SUNY New Paltz.

Emma Tuccillo

She spent any free time between classes exploring Minnewaska State Park and surrounding towns. After graduation, she found “a lovely little house in Rosendale” where she could start her life. “I juggled three jobs to afford the rent,” says Tuccillo. “I worked in a farm-to-table restaurant, a photo school, and a furniture and lighting design company.” These early experiences intensified her love for the local creative community and inspired her to start a lifestyle website called And North (andnorth.com), a curated guide to upstate New York. The passion project —started with a group of mostly college friends—would ultimately allow her to create the professional role of her dreams.

north of NYC home

The stunning antique cabinet at the base of the stairs belonged to Tuccillo’s grandmother. It offers extra storage in various drawers and compartments and the perfect perch for a turntable. Photo by Chloe Berk Photography

Her vision in starting And North was to inspire both Manhattan dwellers and upstate locals to explore the beautiful regions north of New York City, and in turn help small businesses grow and thrive. What began as a longform, online magazine has evolved into carefully researched and beautifully presented reviews and recommendations. Users can search for stores, specific kinds of lodgings (such as dog-friendly), or browse Buy North for unique properties through a partnership with the Lillie K. team. Guides to popular towns offer the scoop on restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, and more. Special events, such as an annual Soirée on the Railway, bring community-minded people together.

and north home

“I had always dreamed of having a small historic house with outdoor space, so I feel like I won the lottery,” says Tuccillo. In 2020, she started a perennial garden after extensively researching flowers and herbs that would come back up. Now the roses, peonies, and irises are thriving. “On warm nights I invite friends over for outdoor movies.”

“And North has allowed me to continue to pursue photography but also design, styling, event planning, social media, and business development,” says Tuccillo. “I love that my role changes 10 times on any given day. There’s always something new to learn, and someone interesting to talk to.”

and north home living room

“I like to mix old and new objects to create a timeless look and feel,” says Tuccillo. “Layering textures, patterns, and materials creates a richness that’s easy to shift around, which is something you’ll often find me doing late at night when inspiration strikes. I tend to buy vintage furniture because it is often better made and less expensive than new items.” The eye-catching wooden shutters that span the living room windows were a gift from her grandmother. Tuccillo loves the unique and unexpected look. “The shutters filter the light so beautifully,” she adds.

Next up: getting And North Adventures, day-long experiences in different creative and outdoor realms, up to cruising altitude. “The first one, in September, included private fly-fishing lessons on the Esopus Creek and a special dinner at Deer Mountain Inn. More events will be planned for spring,” says Tuccillo.

dining table

Tuccillo refers to the vintage Arthur Umanoff dining chairs from her grandma Nan as her “most prized possession.” A simple iron-and-wood open shelf serves as home base for a mix of special objects like inherited candlesticks and vintage pottery. The photos were taken by Tuccillo, her mom, Rona, and a friend from college.

Instagram (@andnorth) has played a significant role in the brand’s narrative, with the audience growing organically to 58,000 at press time. “In the early days of the platform, it felt easy to tap into a global group of creatives. I met many close friends through Instagram and formed wonderful professional partnerships as well,” says Tuccillo. She also maintains a hashtag for her home (#MyHastingsHouse) and an account for her photography business (@emma_austen).

An inspiring bedroom nook

Tuccillo placed her bed in front of the window which eliminates the need for a headboard. In lieu of a nightstand, Tuccillo tucked a small desk and chair in one corner. All linens by Parachute Home.

Meanwhile, Tuccillo couldn’t be happier in her hometown. She lives a few minutes away from her parents and Nan, her 96-year-old grandmother, and has several close friends within walking distance. “Hastings has always been a magical place to me,” says Tuccillo. “But I had to move away and experience something different before realizing how truly special it is.”

Related: Decorate Your Hudson Valley Home With Feathers This Fall

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