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.