Hudson Valley Mill is located in Dutchess County in Upstate New York just 2 hours north of NYC, offering a quiet vacation rental retreat from city life.
What was your inspiration to create The Getaway?
My husband and I have lived all over the United States, from the beaches of Florida to the deserts of Arizona. In my formative years, I lived in the central part of Arkansas and, as a young woman, I came to the Ozarks. It was springtime and just spectacular with the dogwood trees in bloom.
When we were living in Colorado (and later Arizona), we saw the early signs of water shortage and experienced forest fires. We began wondering how sustainable it was going to be to stay there in our retirement. We knew that when we retired, we wanted to be somewhere with more space and more connected to the Earth.
So we began looking for places to move to and eventually decided on Fayetteville, which is a cool college town in northwest Arkansas. The county is underpopulated, with lots of agriculture. We got an apartment and eventually found this beautiful property on a former horse pasture. It was just rolling hills (it looked like a golf course) and I knew we could do something there.
The idea was to create a cosy place where guests could stay while knowing it would be there for us in our retirement years. I knew the architect, who works only in passive solar design and who trained under Fay Jones (the architect whom the University of Arkansas’ School of Architecture is named after). Fay Jones was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.
I have always had a thing for feng shui homes and am also into the Danish concept of hygge, so I wanted to create a home that embraced both. I grew up building with my dad, so I took charge of the construction and sought the most environmentally friendly materials I could — recycled, responsibly sourced and nothing with chemicals. I also hand-oiled all of the floorboards, furnishings and kitchen cabinets. My husband has a lot of allergies and I wanted to create a place where guests could stay without worrying about theirs.
How would you describe the atmosphere of The Getaway?
It has a big, open, cosy feel. It’s like being in a womb. People feel protected and comforted. We used cellulose foam as insulation, which helps to create that feeling. There’s not a lot of distraction, like things hanging on the wall, which helps to make it a place where people can retreat.
I receive a lot of feedback from guests during their stay and one described it as “like staying at your rich friend’s guesthouse!”