The home-building experience has come to an end. But for the Olsens, life at their getaway retreat is just beginning.
Photos by Scott Hemenway
Drive two hours north on the Taconic State Parkway, away from the bright lights and fast pace of Manhattan, and you’ll soon find yourself pulling off into the charming hamlet of Hillsdale, New York. It’s here, surrounded by rolling hills and country roads paired with upscale amenities and million-dollar views of the Massachusetts Berkshires, that city dwellers come to rest, relax and get away from it all. And Greg and Dee Olsen are no exception.
“We go up to the house pretty much every other weekend, whenever the kids have vacation — all the time,” says Greg, adding that they’ve also been hosting guests frequently, including his parents. “My dad’s an architect, so he really appreciates the house and how it lives on the land and captures the view.” It was that view that first captured Greg’s attention as well, and served as the focal point for the home’s “one with nature” design.
“The view and the pond are what we enjoy most. The setting is really something you would typically go on a hike or a gondola ride to set out and see, but we’re so spoiled because we wake up to it every morning,” he says. “The house complements the property so nicely, but it’s the location that really blows us away every single day.”
The finished home has other standout qualities, including a mix of reclaimed materials; a walk-out lower level with a rec room and home gym; and a “healthy house” approach that helps with their daughter’s environmental allergies. The design, with its open kitchen/dining/living space and walk-out lower level, lives larger than its 3,200 square feet, Greg adds. “The great room that leads into the kitchen and the dining area — everyone’s always spending time there.
No one is huddled up in their rooms. The kids study at the dining room table. If we’re reading a book, we’re in the living room or on the porch. I definitely think we designed the right size house with the perfect layout.”
From start to finish, design to completion, the Olsens’ home-building journey has been just that: perfect. “It might sound a little unbelievable or corny because you sometimes hear horror stories about building a custom home, but we didn’t have any of that,” says Greg. “We’re so happy we decided to build this house and we’re so happy we decided to work with New Energy Works. We couldn’t have built a better home for our family and this spectacular piece of property.”
Home DetailsSquare footage: 3,200 (including lower level)