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Don Draper Would Love This Retro Hudson Valley Home

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Steven Kratchman Architect, PC took a 1960-era ranch home in Woodstock and turned it into this sophisticated and practical home.
Photos by Steven Kratchman Architect, PC

Architect Steven Kratchman and his team transformed a wooden shack in Woodstock into a hip hideaway in the Hudson Valley.

The Project

As demand rises for houses in the Hudson Valley, Steven Kratchman, owner and founder of NYC-based Steven Kratchman Architect, PC, works with customers to renovate post-war homes to maximize modest spaces, like this wooden cottage in Woodstock. The owners, a young family from Brooklyn, “originally wanted to replicate the look and feel of a New England cottage, as they both had positive experiences in their past,” says Kratchman, a Croton-on-Hudson resident. “However, since the original structure was a 1960s-era ranch, the roof profiles with cottage dormers grew too expensive. We showed them how to embrace the original era in which it was built, but give it an updated and cooler look and feel. They said, ‘Mad Men’ and we said, ‘Yeah, that’s right — think of that show.’ They were happy with that. Clients have dreams and memories as starting points, as do we. We have learned to listen, and listen carefully. We know that we shall tease out illogical ideas somewhere during the process.”

Steven Kratchman

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What was the front of the house is now on the side, when looking at it from the entrance of the driveway.

Favorite Feature

“The garage location (pictured below): One side creates the automobile court, the other side creates the pool court where a pergola is attached, connecting the garage to the house. We approached the project with the goal of designing not only the house, but also the spaces outside the house that open to the sky, creating outdoor rooms. We used outbuildings, property walls, retaining walls, trellises, etc., to help define the outdoor room. The automobile court is part of the homeowner’s parking and entry sequence, while weekend guests are also provided for. The court establishes a clear drop-off and pick-up area.”

Steven Kratchman Architect, PC took a 1960-era ranch home in Woodstock and turned it into this sophisticated and practical home.

Steven Kratchman also designed the home’s interior; loose furniture is the owners’.

The Greatest Challenge

“The complexity of raising the first floor two feet to make the lower-level basement code-compliant and therefore usable as habitable space. Even raising the entire house, skinning the interior with a new wall for code-required energy lines, and installing new siding throughout was cheaper than a tear down.”

The Materials

“The house incorporates both real and concrete boulders for retaining walls. It also uses cedar siding for exterior cladding for the garage and house and new, big, wood windows throughout. The homeowner hired a very good general contractor (Tino Martinez of Martinez Renovations in Catskill) with fastidious rough and finish carpentry skills, making it a pleasure to drive up for field meetings. The contractor team was very quick to understand the design intent and equally solicitous in achieving it.”

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