space of the week

A Country Oasis With Room to Grow

What’s better than owning a place in the country? Bill Hilgendorf and his wife and design partner, MC Rueda, of Uhuru Design discovered the answer. “We decided to join forces with our closest friends to build a rural retreat for family and friends on a 12-acre two-house property in upstate New York,” Hilgendorf says. He and his family have renovated the original 1850s barn on the property, building a small addition that houses bedrooms and a garage now used as an art room and work area. Upstairs, the open great room, seen above, has a pool table, dining area beyond, and a grand piano tucked away in the corner. It’s a room that easily accommodates joint-family meals and entertainment. The property is also available to rent.

“Because of the landscape of the property — the meadow and pond are surrounded by the forest — the house is a true wildlife observatory,” Rueda says. “There are all kinds of birds, hawks, beavers, woodchucks, even a couple of bear sightings. Looking out from the deck toward the Overlook Mountain, there is always something unexpected and beautiful to see.” Photo: Phoebe Streblow
The addition has a corner of calm opposite the kitchen for contemplating the glorious views and chilling out by the Jotul wood-burning stove. The chairs are by Uhuru and the knit poufs are from Rajrang. The overhead light fixture is from Brendan Ravenhill, the low circular cast-aluminum end table is from Uhuru. Photo: Phoebe Streblow
The open-kitchen utilities are from Rotpunkt Küechen. The island’s marble-slab top was found on Craigslist, then recut and honed for the space. Photo: Phoebe Streblow
The dining table, a custom maple slab with a brass base, and the X-back chairs are all by Uhuru. Photo: Phoebe Streblow
A view into the two bedrooms and the sleeping area upstairs in the loft space. Photo: Phoebe Streblow
The loft space can be reconfigured for different sleeping options. Photo: Phoebe Streblow
“The ground level of the barn is a multifunctional room with a projector, a sauna (not shown), and a teepee,” Hilgendorf says. “It’s the perfect room for a rainy day,” Rueda adds. But there is more to come. “This is the first major project of many,” Hilgendorf says. “In the near future, we want to build several small, self-sufficient cabins as well as a larger shared space for gatherings and classes. Our hope is to build a community with shared amenities — a place to raise our children and grow old with our friends.” Photo: Phoebe Streblow
A Country Oasis With Room to Grow