This Hudson Carriage House Restoration Project Turned out So Lovely

Photos courtesy of Spacesmith

An antiquated carriage house in need of repair is transformed into a Hudson Valley library and creative space full of life and natural light.

Team: Jane Smith, FAIA, IIDA, Partner, Spacesmith; Jules Anderson, builder and owner/client

Project: Basement/library of a carriage house in Hudson, whose structure was brought back to its original beauty with little architectural intervention.

The Space: The ground floor became a combination construction workshop, gardening storage area, exercise room, and garage for two motorbikes and a car in inclement weather. The second floor is a library, an art and architecture studio, and design office. The roof is a place to hang out on a beautiful day and watch 4th of July fireworks on the river.

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Favorite Part: “Every part of the restored carriage house is a place to engage in creative activities, to think, to make, to discover, to learn, and most importantly, to retreat,” says architect Jane Smith of Spacesmith. “The large, open second floor is beautiful, peaceful, and light-filled, a terrific place to be in any weather or time of day or night.”

The second floor of the carriage house is now a library, studio, and design office; new pine steps lead to the rooftop garden. “We felt the wood and original brick worked well together, and the contrast with the modern additions and pendants made a clear distinction between history and the new residents and uses,” says Smith.

The Challenge: The original 9-pane wood windows were leaky and falling apart. The second-floor walls had been poorly sheet-rocked over the brick walls with no insulation, no tape, or paint, and were badly water-stained. There was no access to the roof. The stairs from the first to second floor were narrow, steep, and rickety. The roof was leaky, and the rafters were damaged from the leaking roof and fire.

Materials: The wood windows were restored. Wide-plank shiplap rough-sawn planks were added with insulation to the ground level; otherwise all interior walls were stripped of sheetrock to expose the brick. A simple, unfinished-pine ceiling was added to the second floor and insulated.

The stairs were relocated and also made of pine. Bookshelves on the second floor were constructed from reclaimed timber. The concrete floor on the ground level and original wood wide-plank floors on the second floor remained. Vintage metal pendant lamps were hung in the space, adding warm illumination. The window frames were painted a strong red.

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