From the moment Kim Bucci opened her front door for us, I was giddy. You see, Kim is my dream woman. The type of woman whose life provides a blueprint for my own. She approaches everything–from her style, her home, her parenting choices, her career–with a deep level of thoughtfulness, empathy, and appreciation for history.
Along with both her partner and her business partner, she owns and runs Rivertown Lodge, Hudson’s premiere boutique hotel (which we’ll be showing you plenty more of next Sunday!).
Meet Kim and enjoy our second Sunday in Hudson!
Your style feels very feminine, but also very grounded and approachable. How has it evolved over the years?
I love to dress up and have since I was very young. My early wardrobe was almost exclusively vintage, with more of a costume flair. I had a look for every event. Most of my clothes were very structured. I loved 1940’s peplums and 1950’s wasp waists with giant skirts (still do, really).
Both having my daughters and moving upstate softened my clothing. I love dresses and rarely wear pants. I need the ability to take a walk with my kids in the woods before they start the day at their farm school and make it back to run a lunch event at our hotel without taking much time to change.
I’ve always been a pattern lover–but, I noticed after living in Hudson, my choices shifted to florals, and my color palette to more natural tones. Now, I have less occasion for the formal, but when I do, I feel the need for something fresh and more modern. Getting older has made me crave progression and new looks. It’s fun to regenerate each decade.
Talk to us about this gorgeous house; the story behind it, the history, the inspiration for the interior?
The house was built in the 1890’s by a lumber magnate as a wedding gift for his son. When I was looking for hotel properties, someone suggested it as a bed and breakfast. But, when I left the viewing I couldn’t stop thinking about it as a home. I knew that my partner, who is obsessed with Stanford White, would love the intricacy of the woodwork (there’s even a wood relief of Rip Van Winkle in the den!) and I couldn’t get away from the fantasy of the double wide, dutch door half open with light pouring in.
The house is the last on the hill at the edge of town and has a perch-like quality to it, so it was important for us to preserve and make usable the areas where you could really feel those vistas, like the outdoor porch and the wide landing on the second floor. It was very busy with wallpaper when we bought it, so we kept the only original and most compelling one (a forest scene running through the center of the house) and painted a warm white over all the others to lighten the feel without losing the texture.
With the interior, we tried to modernize without detracting too much from the style of the house, which proved rather easy, since we are in Shaker territory and their furniture has felt modern and classic from its inception. Lighting from our friends at Workstead helped create beautiful clean lines throughout the house to pull away some of the heavy antiquity.
It feels very much like a family home–comfortable and lived in, but also quite cool and elegant. When designing, how important was that balance to you?
To me, this equilibrium is everything. I don’t like anything that is fake or staged in design. I like objects around me to be both beautiful and utilitarian–I want to use the things in my house every day, so I chose pieces with a purpose that I like to feel or see. I have two young children so I’ve had to make different choices than I’ve made in the past (when the worst destruction scenario was a drunk friend spilling red wine on a chair during a dinner party!), but it’s been a good design challenge to find durable items and fabrics that wear well and look great.
What is the most treasured item in your closet? And in your home?
All of my most valuable treasures are that way to me because of their romantic stories.
My most valuable piece of clothing is my grandmother’s 1960’s black cocktail sheath dress with a roll collar. It’s not something I would naturally have chosen, but I can imagine her standing next to her gold leather tufted bar, passing out coupes of champagne, and I feel the generational transfer of good hosting.
Thank you, Bammy!
The favorite piece in my home is my partner’s grandparents dining table, made in the 1920’s in Portland, Oregon. When we removed it from his parent’s house, it had been layered in stain, but a quick sanding and waxing changed it into the mainstay of our social life. I love dinner parties, both planned and impromptu, and we are lucky to share our meals often with our large family in Hudson. It’s nice to know we’re seated at a table that has brought so many people together in that same way.