When weekend homes became full-time residences, something happened to the region’s design aesthetic. NYC happened.

Produced by Eduardo Rodríguez and Herman Vega | Text by Simon Murray

So, when The Mountains’ new design editors, Eduardo Rodríguez and Herman Vega, were tasked with visually representing the current residential interior design of this region, they were more than up for the challenge. From homes ripped from the pages of national shelter magazines to the partners’ Ulster County bungalow, weekend retreats turned semi-permanent residences are rethinking what a fashionable hinterland pad can be. The result is country living with a decidedly Manhattan twist. 

This newfound attention to a secondary lodging—both stylistically and spiritually—very much includes the domestic and business partners’ rural retreat. Their home-away-from-home, in what Rodríguez describes as a “fairy-tale setting,” used to act as a two-day reprieve from the frenzy of their urban lives—until the pandemic upended everything. The partners, who originally met in Miami, found that the mountains have a similar tranquil aura not unlike the beach. Days became months, which became something more permanent entirely. “Never did I imagine that once the pandemic passed, we’d decide to become city ex-pats after a decade of being Upstate home owners,” Vega says. “But with that came the challenge of adapting the house to be our full-time residence and home office.”

Rebalancing the things that matter most in life is the common thread behind these homes, with oftentimes wildly different results. Let’s take a look.

Favreau: Berkshires

Photography by Sean Litchfield

to the max (top) By no means is Country Modern a one-size-fits-all kind of style. This artist retreat benefits from Hudson-based interior designer Steven Favreau’s maximalist approach: a fun mix of period styles and layering of vintage on top of contemporary to create what he calls Country Luxe.

Weisberg: Lenox

Photography by Jared Kuzia

beams of lite When Linda Weisberg worked with an architect to renovate her country estate in Lenox, MA she brought with her an aesthetic sharpened from living and working in a large metropolis—and influences as far afield as Namibia, Scotland and Morocco. The result is a cohesive, cozy retreat with exposed beams, large windows and skylights that make it feel like a forest haven.

Rodríguez and Vega: Ulster County

Photography by Mick Hales

gut check Rodríguez and Vega’s three-bedroom, two-bath house sits in the middle of a five-acre storybook setting surrounded by tall pines and oak trees. Originally built in 1973, the pair admits the restoration was “a total gut job,” but they welcomed the challenge.

“Having designed our city apartment with plenty of color, we knew we wanted to bring a black-and-white minimal palette Upstate and let the outside colors pop,” Rodríguez says. 

White walls also give their carefully selected pieces run of the house. In the living room, for instance, the artwork and furniture were chosen for their contrasting nature. Mixing taxidermy, post-modernism, East Asian stone work and mid-century modern together in one space has a disarming, mesmerizing quality. In another person’s hands it would most assuredly feel cluttered. Instead, and unsurprisingly, it feels perfectly balanced. Of course it does. 

Upstate Modernist: Dutchess County

Photography by Ethan Abitz

salisbury stake The pièce de resistance of design firm Upstate Modernist’s Salisbury House concept is a two-story entry hall that doesn’t skimp on style—not even a little.

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