Windle & Dini's New Wave in Hudson

Windle & Dini's New Wave in Hudson

Regina Yunghans
Dec 9, 2009

Name: Windle Davis and Dini Lamot, Innkeepers
Location: The Inn at Hudson in Hudson, New York
Size: 8,000 square feet
Type: 1905 8-bedroom Dutch and Jacobean house by Albany architect Marcus T. Reynolds
Years lived in: 4

"Style follows function" isn't exactly what comes to mind when you first lay your eyes on the lovingly-restored Hudson, New York home of former rockers Windle and Dini. But on closer look, function greets you at the front door. Literally. The turn-of-the-century mansion is organized around a central grand entrance hall, allowing peripheral bedrooms and living spaces lots of natural light. The house was even designed with heated floors and a spring-fed ventilation system for cooling the entire house. But while function may have come first in this ahead-of-its time design, style is certainly right on its heels.

Windle and Dini worked within the ornate bones of the house — much of which they restored themselves — to create a surprisingly modern dwelling for themselves and their guests. As Windle sums it up, the couple's approach is "low on the doily factor". Their modern and contemporary art collection coexists with original Art Nouveau embellishments, intricate woodwork, and plaster moldings. In the bedrooms, antique beds are dressed with all white, 100% cotton, line-dried linens. Juxtapositions like these allow full appreciation for the beauty of the house's past while enabling simple yet elegant livability in the present.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: We met in the midst of a dizzy and fertile artistic scene in Boston in the 1970s, and during that time acquired a number of brilliant modern works by such artists and colleagues as Nan Golden, Pablo Hurtato, Mark Morrisroe and Jack Pierson. Combining them at home with inherited family pieces (ranging from Early American to Ancient Chinese) helped us develop a look that doesn't conform to any particular style, but feels right for us, and apparently pleases our guests.

Inspiration: We find inspiration not only in the stimulating challenge of harmonizing diverse art pieces and décor , but also in the structure and architectural details of the various homes we've restored and decorated — in locations ranging from Key West to Los Angeles to rural Vermont. Our home in Hudson has been the richest, the most challenging, and the most rewarding in this respect.

Favorite Element: The 42 stained glass windows by Rose Valley founder and architect William Lightfoot Price.

Biggest Challenge: Repairing the frozen plumbing to all seven bathrooms and then restoring those bathrooms.

What Friends Say: Can I move in?

Biggest Embarrassment: The hole still awaiting restoration in the very ornate coffered ceiling of a burled walnut oval dining room.

Proudest DIY: On a scaffold, scraping the banana yellow paint off of 38 painted canvases in the front hall ceiling.

Biggest Indulgence: Individual climate control devices for each bedroom.

Best advice: While visiting our puppeteer friend Caleb Fullam during his final days, we asked whether we should take on this extraordinary house. He answered: "Think of the adventure."

Dream source: Hudson River School painter Fredric Church's home, Olana, located just down the road.

Resources of Note:

Stair Galleries Auction House, Hudson
Skinner Auction House, Boston
Marx Home, Hudson
• flea market finds

Related Post: Memorable Artwork: Buffalo Print by Valerie Shaff

Thanks, Windle and Dini!

Images: ©Peter Aaron /Esto

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