A Hudson Valley Home Pioneers a Fresh Natural Design Scheme


Natural Selection in New York

A designer puts a glamorous spin on nature for a New York couple's riverfront weekend house.

Traditional New York Home Exterior with Curved Driveway and Chimney

This weekend home on the Hudson River betrays little of its glam interiors, although designer Sasha Bikoff evoked its wood and stone façade, as well as the surrounding trees and water, in the edgy decor.

Antique Mirror and Dog Entryway with Sculpture, Plant and Sconces

An antiqued mirror from ABC Carpet & Home centers the entry vignette, which includes a wood-and-metal table from Olde Good Things, vintage Feliciano Béjar magiscopes purchased at auction, a dog sculpture by The Phillips Collection and quartz-crystal sconces by Homenature.

Double Height Great Room with Balcony Hallway, Staircase, White Fluffy Chairs, and Chandelier

A painting by the wife, an accomplished artist, adds color to the great room. The sectional is DDC, the coffee tables are The Phillips Collection and the armchairs are Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. A custom silver-fox throw adorns the vintage Vladimir Kagan chaise, and the chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman.

Abstract Brass Artwork Wall with Contemporary Bar

A series of abstract brass faces by The Phillips Collection hangs over a vintage marble-and-brass Brueton bar, which Bikoff found on 1stdibs. The pyrite sconce by Homenature is one of a pair flanking the fireplace.

White Painted Fireplace with Organic Seating

A sculptural triple-burnt teak chair by Andrianna Shamaris accents the living room fireplace. Sean Ward of Ward Painting lacquered the previously tan-and-gray stone surround with Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. Cromwell Hill Wood Flooring applied a custom glossy stain to all the floors for a more modern look.

Wooden Dining Table Dining Room with White Cabinetry and Open Flow Kitchen

Bikoff designed the live-edge dining table with a walnut slab from Indonesia through the David Alan Collection in Solana Beach, California. The woven-hide dining chairs are by Andrianna Shamaris, and the pendant lights are from Arteriors.

White Four Poster Master Bedroom Bed with Taupe Accents and Sitting Area with Geode Table

A custom wood-and-brass canopy bed by Uhuru Design is the focal point of the master bedroom. The bedside tables are by Theodore Alexander, and the mirrors are by Arteriors. White Kelly Wearstler tub chairs sit next to an agate-stone table by Matthews Studios.

Large White Soaking Tub Master Bathroom with Colorful Striped Rug and Stools

In response to her clients’ request, Bikoff had silver leaf applied to the ceiling of the master bathroom over the existing bathtub; the glamour continues with chunky 1970s sconces from 1stdibs. The antique African rug is from ABC Carpet & Home.

A young Manhattan couple faced a conundrum when they decamped to the Hudson River Valley after tiring of their crowded weekend Hamptons commute: How could they infuse their chic downtown style into a traditional waterfront cottage and guesthouse where the views are more dramatic than the interiors? Their designer, Sasha Bikoff, knew what she had to do. 

“She’s really young, fashion-forward, edgy,” Bikoff says of the wife, an accomplished artist whose abstract paintings now fill the house. “Creative people like to have their own art and style shine through. I saw this home as a backdrop for her personality.” As she began transforming each room and addressing the home’s dark nishes, heavy stone fireplaces and exaggerated moldings, Bikoff remained sensitive to the natural surroundings. “My number one thing in design is that the interiors of the space need to coincide with where the home is,” she says. “This house is on the Hudson River, which you see from every room. It’s serene and tranquil.” Her challenge was layering those references into a design that highlights the wife’s couture-like preferences for metallics, mirrored surfaces, leather and fur. 

The most prominent stage for Bikoff ’s efforts is the soaring living room, which looks out to the river through two stories of glass. The designer’s first purchase here was a rug that depicts a stylized streambed in tones of black, gray and white—a fitting anchor for molten-lava-rock coffee tables, DDC’s nubby modern On the Rocks sectional (so named for its sleek take on boulders) and a brass-and-glass chandelier that is a modern interpretation of branches. The ensemble translates nature into the owners’ language of shiny surfaces and decadent textiles, Bikoff explains. “I took everything from the outside and reimagined it for my glamorous clients,” she says. 

In similar fashion, Bikoff created a soothing but shimmery background with pearly gray paint on most of the walls as well as lacquered finishes on the kitchen cabinets and massive stone hearths, which would have been too costly and labor-intensive to replace. “I’m a big advocate of repainting and lacquering,” she says. “High gloss looks so fresh and so new.” The white kitchen cabinetry allows the live-edge dining table and woven-hide chairs to make a powerful statement, “which resonates with the woodlands,” the designer says. 

Although the clients requested a mostly neutral color scheme, for the family room and nursery Bikoff took cues from the vivid palettes of the wife’s paintings. “I wanted to take it up a notch,” she says. The designer then added shine and texture throughout the house, particularly in the master bedroom. Metallic grass cloth envelops the room, while mirrors hang from chains like earrings over burl-wood nightstands. A custom canopy bed, meanwhile, looks as if it were dipped in brass, and the room’s abstract-patterned rug is woven with metallic threads. “There’s a lot of repeat of the motifs the wife loves,” Bikoff says. “She’s really into jewelry, and she’s all about metals—that’s where her edginess comes from. She loves chrome and brass.” 

While those priorities remained top of mind, Bikoff maintained her vigil to invoke nature at every turn. Within a guest room’s taupe palette, for example, she chose wallpaper with an ivy pattern in cool grays. “It’s so dreamy,” she says. “It looks exactly like something you might see if you walked outside.” To add just the right amount of grunge, she incorporated funky globe lamps on side tables with chain-link bases.

Friends and extended family stay in a guesthouse accessed through a window-lined corridor facing the river. Here, Bikoff was inspired by nature’s own palette. She swathed the corridor in a wallpaper that has an angled silver metallic pattern, making the wall look like a silvery rock face, and attached custom glossy green sconces that mimic antlers—a cheeky reference to the local deer population. This transitional space sets the tone for a guest room done in the colors of water and sky and outfitted with brass-trimmed Lucite lamps and sconces, svelte Chieftains chairs, a metallic tree-stump table and a silvery hide bench. It’s all part of Bikoff’s guiding design principle of embracing a home’s surrounding nature—only this time with an edge. “This is a very mod, glam, fresh way of looking at the outdoors,” she says. 

Jennifer Sergent

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