It’s time for another edition of At Home, our series that offers a glimpse into the intimate spaces of creative individuals who captivate and inspire us. We were invited to step inside the charming Hastings on Hudson abode of Emma Austen. As the founder of renowned travel guide And North, Emma curates the finest aspects of upstate New York, beckoning city dwellers and locals alike to explore the beautiful regions north of New York City while helping small businesses to grow.
Join us as we sit down with Emma to delve into her story, as well as the inspiration, design philosophy, and aesthetic essence of her historic cottage.
Thank you for welcoming us into your home. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you spend your time.
I am a Creative Director, designer, and photographer living in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Since founding And North, a curated guide to upstate NY, I have spent the last decade exploring the regions north of New York City and sharing travel recommendations with our audience. My love for timeless spaces has translated into a passion for interior design and I just recently launched an interior design studio called Austen Boland with my partner Andrew Patterson. I can often be found at home cooking something comforting in my kitchen, walking on the aqueduct trail just steps from my home, or watching movies with my Nan who lives down the road.
As we move into the colder months, I gravitated towards Coyuchi’s essential down collection to create the ultimate base of comfort. From there I chose the undyed sateen sheets which I can say are truly heavenly. I have never had such soft sheets before and knowing that they are organic makes them all the more special. I couldn’t resist the green velvet quilt to top my bed with, it reminds me of something they would have had in Downton Abbey, it’s classic yet modern at the same time.
How does your home reflect your personality?
I live in a small historic home that was once a goat barn dating back to the late 1700’s. There are so many special details throughout the space like original wide plank wood floors, paned glass, and a very large window behind my bed that was once used to pull hay through. I have always loved to mix vintage pieces with contemporary furniture, not only is it more sustainable, but it offers a sense of history and individuality to the space. I am very lucky to have many treasured heirlooms from my Nan who lives down the road. She passed down her love of interiors to me and we often spend our time talking about designing a particular space or where to move a beloved vase. When I redesigned my kitchen this year, she was part of every decision and I lovingly referred to her as my “decorator.”
Sonoma Textured Organic Tablecloth, Coyuchi Conserve Organic Bowl Covers, Fringe Stripe Organic Napkin
Can you tell us the stories behind some of your favorite things in your home?
When I set out to redo my kitchen, I knew I wanted to place a painting by my late grandfather on the shelf. I used the brown, blue, and green color palette to inspire many of the decisions for the room and the end result feels all the more personal because of it. I love doing this sort of thing around the house. I installed wooden shutters from my Nan’s former home in the living room and it set the stage for the rest of the color palette, bringing in warm wood tones and black accents throughout. I also love to be cozy at all times, so my collection of warm throws and comfy pillows are a beloved luxury.
What are your must-do daily rituals and why are they important to you?
I love traditions and rituals at home, I find that they can transform a simple task into something almost sacred. Most mornings, I wake up and feed my cats and then set out to make a simple breakfast of eggs, tea, and toast. I boil the water in the electric kettle while I look out at the river and scramble the eggs the way my Nan taught me with a precise amount of butter and salt (the two most important ingredients in life as far as I’m concerned.) I love to have all the elements ready and hot at the same time, placing the plate and teapot on a tray that I carry to the living room. I turn over the three minute tea timer (a holdover from my days working at a tea room after college) and look out at the trees from my sofa. This ritual brings me so much calm in the morning and sets me up for the day; elevating simple moments helps me to slow down and notice beauty in other ordinary parts of the day.
And lastly, please describe your style in 3 words.
Timeless, Cozy, Romantic.