This Hudson Townhouse Renovation Pairs Historic Details With Modern Touches

A townhouse with a touch of Italian flair charmed a couple looking to relocate permanently from the Lone Star state. A New York-based designer they discovered on Instagram was the perfect choice to wrangle a reno intended primarily to preserve the original beauty.

Interior designer Liz Lipkin was happily living in Brooklyn when would-be clients reached out about a job in Hudson. When she visited the town, she found it so utterly charming that she decided to move there herself. As she became settled in Hudson, Lipkin couldn’t wait to transform a house for a Texas couple, who were relocating to the east coast for their next chapter after many years of visiting family and friends in the Hudson Valley.

Lipkin living room

The husband-and-wife pair happily snapped up a wood-frame, semidetached townhouse built in 1900 with a 16th-century Italian Renaissance vibe. The regal two-story—measuring just under 1,500 square feet—had three bedrooms, one full bath, and a half bath with a hidden washer and dryer. The eat-in kitchen on the first floor offered access to the backyard. Other key selling points included a generously sized primary bedroom, with a walk-in closet and a niche large enough for a dressing table and sitting area, plus a guest bedroom and a study that can double as another sleeping space.

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The living room is a signature blend of vintage finds sourced locally and choice new picks from retailers including Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, and Design Within Reach.
The living room in the Hudson townhouse is a signature blend of vintage finds sourced locally and choice new picks from retailers including Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, and Design Within Reach.

“We all felt that the renovation should be approached with a light touch,” recalls Lipkin.

They agreed to maintain the original layout, salvage the vintage casings and trims, and keep the existing floors throughout by refinishing or painting them.

Lipkin design

“On the ground floor, each room opens into the next, so color and pattern had to be carefully considered. On the second floor, each room is separate, so continuity was less of a concern,” says Lipkin. Even so, all parties were focused on the entire house really feeling in sync visually. They zeroed in on a neutral palette of browns, beiges, and creams, with some subdued blues and a few hints of yellow. They planned to lean into wallpaper for added texture and charm.

Lipkin bathroom design

Modern upgrades that make spaces more functional and comfortable can harmonize with historic elements.

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With few exceptions, almost everything sourced was antique or vintage. There was a lot of wood, interspersed with new pieces made from natural materials. Hudson was a constant source of inspiration, especially the many antique stores. “Anything that wasn’t bought here came from dealers and shops nearby in Millerton, Pine Plains, and Great Barrington,” says Lipkin. “As a designer living in the Hudson Valley, I often feel like a kid in a candy store!” She wanted every room to feel special, but also laid back, so she mixed high and low, old and new. Each area has paint or wallpaper that sets the mood and a new anchor piece such as a bed or a sofa. Most of the other pieces are antiques with great bones. “They’ve got a few scuffs and dings, and they offset the newness,” Lipkin says. Texture also played a part in décor decisions, adding depth and dimension to each room. “Contrasting textures like the living room’s lacquered coffee table, chunky wool rug, and nubby sofa prevent a neutral palette from looking flat,” she says.

The contrast between the white walls and the warm sand-colored cabinets energizes the kitchen and makes it look larger. As for the graphic painted floor, Lipkin herself drew the pattern with a laser and a yardstick.
The contrast between the white walls and the warm sand-colored cabinets energizes the kitchen of the Hudson townhouse and makes it look larger. As for the graphic painted floor, Lipkin herself drew the pattern with a laser and a yardstick.

The end result is a cozy home that nods to the iconic Victorians that were the backdrop of the wife’s San Francisco childhood, and manages to be traditional and fun, and historic and modern, all at the same time.

Different wallpapers throughout the house lend texture and elegance. The yellow wildflower powder room, left, started as a nod to local blooms but soon became a focal point. The homeowners love it so much that they leave the pocket door open so they can view it all the time.
Different wallpapers (above and below) throughout the Hudson townhouse lend texture and elegance. The yellow wildflower powder room started as a nod to local blooms but soon became a focal point. The homeowners love it so much that they leave the pocket door open so they can view it all the time.
bedroom wallpaper

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