This Old Hudson: An Upstate Creative Studio and Lodging Experience in Hudson, NY
In Hudson, amid the cache of high-end retail and fine antiques shops, vibrant art galleries, and critically-acclaimed restaurants, one can still see evidence of the city’s storied past in the mix of stunning historic architecture. Walk a few blocks off its main drag, Warren Street, and you will find the classic residences of the seafarers and dock workers upon whose backs the former whaling town was built. Nestled among these dwellings sits This Old Hudson, an early 1900s Craftsman-style home turned newly renovated creative studio and upstate escape over a century in the making.
Inspired by prop stylist Anthony D’Argenzio’s desire to turn his creative company, Zio & Sons, into a “real life space that people could experience for themselves,” This Old Hudson is a physical manifestation of his styling brand, impeccably decorated in a palette of weathered whites and grays that marry with warm woods, antique brass, and earthy linen. From the light fixtures he built himself, to the Venetian plaster he hand applied, to the sink he fashioned out of an antique cabinet, Anthony’s eye — and inimitable care for detail — is defined in full throughout the 1,300-square-foot space. Guests and clients are provided access to a full kitchen, living room, studio/meeting place, bathroom, and two bedrooms featuring original flooring, doors, hardware, and other architectural elements that have been restored and styled with vintage finds and custom designs from some of the very best shops and makers in the Hudson Valley.
“In every element of the home, we wanted variations of white, grays, and natural tones, and that was all in effort to make it a really beautiful backdrop for photography,” says Anthony, who worked closely with his wife, Hillary D’Argenzio, a certified sommelier and design aficionado, to see past chipped yellow wainscoting and musty linoleum floors, and instead the perfect canvas to create the staging he always envisioned: a casual luxe escape designed to be both exactly what it is, and exactly what you need it to be — where photographers and stylists can create myriad settings for lookbooks; where a florist might host an intimate workshop; or where travelers can gather for a restful and reinvigorating weekend upstate.
- Location: Hudson, NY
2 bedrooms with Queen beds
Original clawfoot tub
Dressing room for stowing luggage or production gear
14-foot white wall for photo shoots
5-minute walk to Warren Street
Anthony turned an awkward area above the stairwell into an inviting nook where guests can read, work on their laptop, or simply take in the view from the large window. A custom bench and down-filled cushions offer a soft place to land, while an antique end table, stool, and artwork — all sourced locally — serve to give the space a sense of place and history, and remind guests that they are now a part of it.
In the living room, a modern sofa and ottoman from Z Gallerie are complemented by repurposed and antique Hudson pieces: a floor lamp made from salvaged wrought iron by local sculptor Mark Wasserbach, a wooden tray from Red Chair, and a vintage rug beater picked up in town. “I wanted the space to be transformable; I didn’t want to over-style or over-stage it,” says Anthony, who opted for a monochromatic palette, “so if the space is being used as a photo setting, it can easily become something new, or fresh, or different. It’s almost like a canvas.”
A flower arrangement by Hops Petunia drinks up the light from large southern-facing windows in the studio, which is where Anthony envisions photographers creating gorgeous backdrops for their shoots, and where makers and other creative types can potentially host small gatherings and workshops. “One reason I fell in love with the space was for its natural light,” Anthony says. “It lets in really beautiful light, which is so important for a photo studio setting.” Here, as in the rest of the home, everything was designed to be transformed. Aside from the original mantel, all can be moved, including the table, which is just a six-foot wood plank placed atop antique saw horses.
In the smaller guest room, an antique brass bed is dressed with custom-dyed bedding from Flaneur, a linen duvet from Hawkins New York and vintage landscapes from Anthony’s personal collection. Much of the renovation and restoration process was spent on curating the perfect touches for each room. “Time was really important to me,” Anthony says, “to curate the space the right way, tell the right story, and take the time to source the right materials.”
While aesthetics were of utmost importance during the restoration process, so was functionality, and there is evidence of that in thoughtful details such as the ledge Anthony built using reclaimed barn wood from the Historic Albany Foundation. “The room isn’t a giant room by any means. I still wanted to incorporate things that have character and feel vintage, but also space functionality, which a lot of antiques don’t really have,” Anthony explains. “I wanted this nook to be a space where a woman can stand and put her makeup on in the mirror, put a drink down, or write a letter.”
The bathroom is a study in the detail and thoughtfulness that is a theme of This Old Hudson. While much of the space is white for photography purposes, Anthony crafted a feeling of texture and interest by way of small touches: blush pink paint on the outside of the original clawfoot tub; gray grout instead of white; and period-appropriate beadboard wainscoting.
On the other end of the bathroom, a turn-of-the-century cast iron sink rescued from a local hair salon that was going out of business was reimagined with a custom-made base. Anthony repurposed the cast iron legs from another sink he had found in Kingston to add yet another layer of subtle detail to the space.
In the master bedroom, a stately tufted headboard and pale pink bedding commingle with an antique patinaed brass lamp and a worn wood end table to create the simple elegance that is characteristic of This Old Hudson. “I wanted the pieces to feel primitive with variations of weathered paints,” Anthony says. “I’m a texture person — I love subtle texture and it still feels so clean, but there’s character and a feeling of history, too.”
Almost everything in the kitchen is either original to the home, made by Anthony, or a locally sourced vintage find, with the exception of the hand-cut, hand-glazed Moroccan tile by Clé. “Color kind of scares me, but I still wanted some texture and I still wanted some subtle qualities behind it, so these tiles worked out perfectly,” Anthony says.
A white and gray palette reigns supreme throughout This Old Hudson, barring the master bedroom. “I wanted some pink touches, just to bring a little bit of charm and character to the space,” Anthony says. “Pink is such an elegant color. It can be fresh and feel different in so many ways, and for a boudoir, it just made sense.” A cabinet made in Sweden, but sourced in Hudson, delivers a worldly flair to a quiet corner, while an industrial pendant from Ron Sharkey’s Black Barn feels entirely Americana.
Just a short Amtrak ride from Manhattan, Hudson is close enough to dash off on a moment’s notice for a weekend escape (or even a just a day trip), but far enough to feel truly removed from the constant cacophony of urban living. Warren Street, one of Hudson’s most notable attractions, is only a five-minute walk from This Old Hudson, and can easily fill an entire weekend with some of upstate’s finest shopping, culture, and cuisine. Wander over to Talbott & Arding for freshly baked goods, homemade sandwiches, or the daily changing grain bowl. Grab lunch at Lil’ Deb’s Oasis for a taste of the tropics in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Cap off your day of gastronomic indulgence by tucking into Fish & Game, a cozy nose-to-tail eatery for artisanal cocktails and locally sourced seasonal fare. Fill your time between meals exploring Olana, the historic home of painter Frederic Edwin Church, or partake in a little old-meets-new retail therapy inspired by your hosts at This Old Hudson and shop Hawkins New York, Red Chair, and Antique Warehouse Center. “Every season tells a different story here,” Anthony says. “I think that if you really want to experience upstate and you don’t want to commit to a three-hour drive into the mountains, Hudson offers a really great whimsical escape that is different from New York City and other upstate towns.”
Fish & Game, Talbott & Arding, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis
Red Chair, Hawkins New York, Antique Warehouse Center
Olana, Hudson River Exchange, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse