A 19th-Century Upstate New York Farmhouse Gets a Makeover—’90s Italian Villa Style

For one bicoastal family, an 1870s farmhouse in Germantown, New York, seemed like the ideal place to spend their summers. The small, bucolic town, with its creative community and stunning views of the Hudson River, would offer a quiet reprieve from buzzing Los Angeles. The only thing standing between them and a blissful July in the countryside was a full renovation of the historic home.

The family reenlisted Tandem Design, the studio that had overhauled their primary residence and two of their office spaces, to update the dwelling’s traditional interiors—but they didn’t provide a specific brief. “Our client said, ‘Just surprise me,’” remembers founder Jessica Hansen, who assigned the project to her East Coast–based designer Shelley Young. “We built up enough trust, having worked with them so much, so I let Shelley go for it.”

“I have to be careful sometimes not to go overboard with iron,” admits Shelley. “I love it so much. Those [curtain rods] are made by this wonderful, talented man. He does it himself by hand. And those have been painted black. He offers that so that it doesn’t come with that sheen that can happen with metal work once it’s first done.”

A reading nook features a striped Esko Pajamies Asko Bonanza armchair, a 1930s French Art Deco pendant, and a postmodern cut green glass pedestal topped with a vintage stoneware sculpture.