Carpet design

Hammertown: Defining cutting edge country style through the decades | Design and decoration | Hudson Valley

At the very beginning, there were mostly crafts and gifts, “and lots of dried flowers!”, Recalls Hammertown Barn Owner and Founder Joan Osofsky, smiling and wincing at the memory of the country style of the mid-80s. “We also had quilting and stencil workshops. When she opened a shop in the barn next to her home on Route 199, a mile east of downtown Pine Plains, she was looking for a way to help her family support their new rural life. . She and her ex-husband were both 40 and tired of living in suburban New Jersey. “We were looking for a change of life,” says Osofsky, whose husband aspired to work with his brothers at the family dairy in Ancramdale, Ronnybrook Farm.

A former schoolteacher, Osofsky is a self-taught merchant and stylist with the soul of a community organizer. “There was no grand vision or plan,” she says of Hammertown’s origins. Her son, Gregg, was in sixth grade and her daughter, Dana, in eighth, and she knew the family couldn’t live on her share of the profits from Ronnybrook (who had yet to start selling milk in bottles in drink at New York City Green Markets.)

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“I spent $ 10,000 to fix the barn — there were still horse stalls in half — and $ 5,000 on inventory,” she recalls. “I also managed a bed and breakfast in our house to get our cash. Soon, Osofsky teamed up with a neighbor from Ancramdale, Katherine Martucci, to buy and sell antiques. “It was the time when I could drive an hour and find enough stuff to fill a truck,” she says. (After a few years, she bought Martucci.) “Now good antiques are so hard to come by.”

Osofsky began traveling to England and France, bringing back linens, crockery and accessories that would look like they were at home in the old Colonial, Victorian, and farm houses that more and more townspeople were buying and were renovating as weekend homes. “The love of the country life is at the heart of what I do,” says the former farmer as her dogs with dirty paws jump on her knees and lick her face.

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Joan Osofsky's house, decorated in the characteristic Hammertown style.

  • Joan Osofsky’s house, decorated in the characteristic Hammertown style.

In fact, her pets led her to enter the upholstery business in 1998. “I had a five-year-old couch and my arm was unraveling because that’s where my dog ​​was resting his head. “, she says. “I went to the pottery. Barn and other stores and could not find any appropriately sized upholstered sofas with good styling. She discovered that the North Carolina-based company Mitchell Gold Company made affordable slipcover furniture that she believed would be perfect not only for her home, but also for the homes of her clients. “You had to place a minimum order of $ 25,000,” she recalls. “I almost suffocated when I wrote that check.”

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The location of Great Barrington.

  • The location of Great Barrington.

It was a turning point for Hammertown, which was now on its way to becoming a full-service lifestyle store. With big furniture to sell, Osofsky opened a second store on Warren Street in Hudson in 1999, but she only had a one-year lease and her owner didn’t want to renew it. “Dick Hermans opened his second Oblong books to Rhinebeck and he told me the space next door was available, and that’s how we got to Rhinebeck, ”she says. “We opened a month after September 11. The following summer, it expanded in the other direction by opening a branch in Great Barrington. “All of my stores are located in such special communities,” she says.

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Rhinebeck's location

With its arrangements of ottomans, rugs, pillows, coffee table books, toys, jewelry, candles, glasses, kitchenware and gadgets, Hammertown is a dry goods store with style. globally inspired modern rural that has come to characterize the aesthetic region. “My goal has always been to make locals and people who come just for the weekend feel comfortable and inspired,” Osofsky said. “I am drawn to things that are beautiful, usable, affordable, touching. You can always find a $ 10 gift here, and I think we’re the easiest place in the world to buy a baby gift.

You can buy everything you need to restore, renovate or furnish a home in high-end style, from designer favorite furniture brands like Lee Industries to the elegant Farrow & Ball mural. The selection of rugs ranges from vintage (Turkish, Moroccan, oriental) to new (Dash & Albert, Jaipur). There are recycled wool blankets and certified organic cotton bedding, plush Egyptian cotton towels, lighting, dishes, and kitchen gadgets galore.

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The location of Great Barrington.

  • The location of Great Barrington.

Osofsky’s son Gregg, a tech-savvy activist and Stanford graduate, returned home to work with his mother to keep Hammertown vital and relevant in a new era. “Gregg was the one who said we needed to build an online community on the Internet,” Osofsky says. “He was the one who said we can only do e-commerce if we create a niche and organized experience because we can’t compete with the big retailers and catalogs. Hammertown now has an online retail business in addition to its brick and mortar storefronts.

Both mother and son appear to be as concerned about the quality of life as they are about the bottom line. “What I want to do here is not married to gross receipts,” says Gregg, who at the end of the years renovated the ground floor of his childhood home next to the barn, knocking down walls to create a large open kitchen to host cooking classes, hands-on workshops and salon-style events. He adds: “Hammertown is really local life.

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The Hammertown Barn in Pine Plains

  • The Hammertown Barn in Pine Plains

Hammertown locations

Hammertown Barn 3201 Route 199, Pine Plains; (518) 398-7075

Hammertown rhinebeck 6420 Montgomery Street (in Montgomery Row); (845) 876-1450

Hammertown Grand Barrington 15, rue Pont; (413) 528-7766