Settling down in one’s childhood town often feels inevitable, but for photographer and writer Emma Tuccillo, it almost seemed destined. The founder and creative force behind And North, a lovingly curated guide to Upstate New York that showcases the best in travel and lifestyle north of New York City, Emma’s heart seems to belong to the region. When she is not photographing the shops and homes of The Hudson Valley and beyond, Emma and her boyfriend Nick are often found exploring the area, getting to know its communities and people. For Emma and Nick, moving back Upstate from their digs in Sunnyside, Queens was less a question of if but when.
This past summer, after a fortuitous drop-in at a rental during a wedding weekend in the area, the couple decided to take the plunge. The decision wasn’t difficult. The space in question, located in Emma and Nick’s hometown of Hastings-on-Hudson, is the stuff of fairytales. A retired eigtheenth-century goat stable on the grounds of a larger, river-facing estate, the diminutive two-story house is small in scale but plentiful in the sort of charm that only Upstate New York can provide. (It also helps that when you’re coming from a studio in Queens, almost anything feels palatial by comparison.)
One of Emma and Nick’s favorite things about their new home? The ability to—finally—host guests overnight! “The dream of a guest bedroom was a real luxury,” Emma says. “There is something so delightful about creating a space whose sole purpose is to be warm, inviting, and cozy. Since we are renting, there are certain bigger projects that didn’t seem appropriate, like custom shelving or painted floors. However, the house is the perfect blank canvas with its cozy corners, strange angles, and old fashioned details. For the guest room, we had to figure out a way to fit everything we wanted to into a very small and unusually shaped space.” Take a peek at how Emma + Nick were able to take a tight space + transform it into a cozy guest bedroom, just in time for the holidays!
“Since the room is very small with fantastic sloped ceilings, I felt the focus should be on the bed. The Parsons daybed was the perfect solution; it had the clean lines I was looking for and could sleep two with the trundle. The black and white color palette blended seamlessly with the original black hardware on the slatted wood doors and allowed the strange angles of the room to shine.”
“The view of The Hudson River from the bed is the best in the house, so allowing the nature outside the window to be the most colorful aspect of the room felt wonderful and right. Having our first house guests during the holidays feels straight out of an old fashioned movie. Plates of cookies and fresh flowers on the bedside table feel like a necessary luxury this time of year.”