The dining chairs are Bertoia Side Chairs from Neven & Neven Moderne, “this amazing antique shop in Hudson,” Rachel says. The light fixture is by Lindsey Adelman. The table is by Fort Standard. Photo: Nick Cope
great rooms

Renovating a 1968 Split-Level in Hudson, New York

“We didn’t enter the project with a master plan.”

The dining chairs are Bertoia Side Chairs from Neven & Neven Moderne, “this amazing antique shop in Hudson,” Rachel says. The light fixture is by Lindsey Adelman. The table is by Fort Standard. Photo: Nick Cope
The dining chairs are Bertoia Side Chairs from Neven & Neven Moderne, “this amazing antique shop in Hudson,” Rachel says. The light fixture is by Lindsey Adelman. The table is by Fort Standard. Photo: Nick Cope

I don’t think we realized how much work we were stepping into,” says Nick Cope, thinking back at when he and his wife Rachel Cope fell for this 1968 split-level house in Hudson five years ago. The couple, who founded the Calico Wallpaper company and know their way around interiors, had been taking day trips to the area for years. But with daughter, Willow, on the way, house hunting began in earnest.

After looking at around ten houses north of the city they chose the house that needed the most work, but just how much work was to be discovered once the renovation began. Nick admits that even though he had had a design build firm before starting Calico, “I over estimated my abilities. I was used to doing interior renovations in Manhattan working on smaller scale projects with systems in place.”

But this house with a pastiche of stylistic add-ons created over decades, presented a larger challenge.

From left: Before: The original exterior. Photo: Courtesy of SubjectAfter: “The façade in the front had these interesting windows,” Nick Cope says of what initially drew him and Rachel to the split-level. “It had like this Mondrian–like entry, and as you can see from the before pictures, it took a lot of vision, and we learned a lot on the way. Photo: Hanna Grankvist
From top: Before: The original exterior. Photo: Courtesy of SubjectAfter: “The façade in the front had these interesting windows,” Nick Cope says of w... From top: Before: The original exterior. Photo: Courtesy of SubjectAfter: “The façade in the front had these interesting windows,” Nick Cope says of what initially drew him and Rachel to the split-level. “It had like this Mondrian–like entry, and as you can see from the before pictures, it took a lot of vision, and we learned a lot on the way. Photo: Hanna Grankvist

Enter architect, Michael Yarinsky of Office of Tangible Space, who along with contractor, Per Blomquist, confronted the subdivided layout on the main floor to conceive a fluid expanse of open space with areas of intimacy off the open kitchen. “Opening up the space also served to frame the view of the valley below and blur the boundaries of inside and out,” Yarinsky says. “Michael and Per identified this area where they put in a piece of steel and you could basically eliminate all the rooms in the ground floor. There were six,” Nick says. “That was a game changer for us.”

Before: The living room and fireplace. Photo: Courtesy of the subject.
Before: The living room and fireplace. Photo: Courtesy of the subject.
After: The fireplace in the back corner was originally part of a closed off room. “We added long library shelving and that is the area where Rachel has set up a work station for the kids.” The new wood flooring throughout the house is by Madera and the kitchen is by Reform. Photo: Nick Cope

“The house in Hudson was our first purchase of a home and in this new space we wanted to be surrounded by objects that our friends had created.” Nick says of the different designers represented throughout the space. Their coterie of friends include a bevy of seasoned makers and artisans including lighting designer, Lindsey Adelman, and the duos behind Apparatus and Workstead studios, all of whom contributed to the décor of the house. And of course they could dip into their own Calico Wallpaper and Cope textile designs.

VIDIVIXI designed the custom bed. The Signal Sconces are from Workstead and the Flora Wildflower wallpaper is by Calico Wallpaper. The curtains and pillows are from their new textile line, Cope. Photo: Nick Cope

“We didn’t enter the project with a master plan,” Nick says. “but rather organically developed the mood by experiencing the space, and then finding important pieces. For instance, when we saw the Lindsey Adelman Clamp Light, we knew it had to create a large presence in a great room. The shape of the sloping brass chain helped us to find the perfect Fort Standard Column dining table to pair with.”  

Before: The entrance (left) and laundry room. Photo: Courtesy of the subject.
Before: The entrance (left) and laundry room. Photo: Courtesy of the subject.
After: The entrance features Lindsey Adelman’s Cherry Bomb Chandelier and a vintage umbrella stand. The interiors are painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White paint. Photo: Hanna Grankvist/
After: The laundry room sports Ikea Cabinetry and an LG washer-dryer. Photo: Hanna Grankvist

After the extensive renovation they lived there happily and two years ago, their son, River, arrived. But in the pandemic, when many city people decided they needed to get a house in the country, someone came a calling to want to buy it. “We never put it on the market and we never thought about selling it.” Nick says. But after all that work, they finally succumbed to an offer they couldn’t refuse.

In Willow and River’s rooms, Eames Shell Rocking Chair is by Herman Miller. The Aurora Ray wallpaper (left) is by Calico Wallpaper. The curtains and pillow are by Cope. The Nelson Thin Edge Bed (left) is by DWR and the ceiling light is by Apparatus. The Aurora Petal Wallpaper (right) is by Calico Wallpaper. The bedding (right) is by Parachute. Photo: Hanna Grankvist.
In Willow and River’s rooms, Eames Shell Rocking Chair is by Herman Miller. The Aurora Ray wallpaper (left) is by Calico Wallpaper. The curtains and p... In Willow and River’s rooms, Eames Shell Rocking Chair is by Herman Miller. The Aurora Ray wallpaper (left) is by Calico Wallpaper. The curtains and pillow are by Cope. The Nelson Thin Edge Bed (left) is by DWR and the ceiling light is by Apparatus. The Aurora Petal Wallpaper (right) is by Calico Wallpaper. The bedding (right) is by Parachute. Photo: Hanna Grankvist.
Renovating a 1968 Split-Level in Upstate New York