Setting the Tone: At Home With the Founders of Hawkins New York

An 18th-century farm house revival you won't want to miss!

White Living room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

The founders of the expertly curated Hawkins New York turn their talents to reviving an 18th-century farm house—complete with a subtle pink palette.

“We’re drawn to colors that shift drastically with the light,” says Nick Blaine, cofounder of Hawkins New York along with his partner, Paul Denoly.

Photography By Adrian Gaut
Text By Sarah Coffey
Produced By Kate Berry

Gold and Taupe and White Living room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

SIMPLE CANDLESTICKS by Hawkins New York from $38   
SIMPLE LINEN PILLOWS by Hawkins New York from $78

White Portrait
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Paul Denoly and Nick Blaine have mastered the art of compromise. 

Their home-goods store, Hawkins New York, is known for its unique balance of modernity and warmth—a marriage of the couple’s styles. “Everything in our store has been thought and fought through,” Denoly jokes of their process. “Before we lived together, my apartment looked like a Design Within Reach catalog, and Paul’s place looked like a very cool grandma lived there,” says Blaine.

Bronze Study
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Buying an upstate New York farmhouse in 2011 gave them the opportunity to truly combine and refine their aesthetic. Built in the 1750s by Dutch settlers and rumored to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad, the centuries-old property was crumbling. Denoly and Blaine worked with local craftspeople, including Claverack Builders and mason Mike Budai, to bring the house back to life, restoring the original stone structure as well as a 1901 clapboard addition. (During the renovation, they found the initials JVD on an interior wallboard— carved by the original builders, the Van Dusen family—which they preserved and have plans to frame.) 

Taupe and White Dining room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

“We love easy, textural updates,” says Blaine. “In winter, we add woolly pillows and layer chairs with Icelandic furs.”

Once the bones of the place were in good order, the couple turned to the interiors. Inspired by traditional paneling in Dutch Colonials, Blaine designed a simplified modern version for the living room walls. They tested no less than six shades of pink before agreeing on the perfect hue. For the floors, they sourced tinted concrete tiles from Mexico in Hawkins’s signature palette of pinks, blue-grays, and creams. Friends came over to help lay the tiles in a random pattern, and they intentionally skipped grouting so that the edges would wear over time. “In the process of restoring the original doors, we fell in love with the years of layered paint,” says Blaine, “so we left them that way.” Other details, such as copper electrical tape around the perimeter of the kitchen walls, pair a DIY approach with a love of lived-in patinas.

BIEDERMEIER CANDLESTICK by Ted Muehling from $360
HOFFMANN SIDE CHAIR by Josef Hoffmann $305
SHEEPSKIN RUG (covering chair) by Ecarpet Gallery $70
HAND-DIPPED TAPER CANDLES by Danica Candles from $17

Brown and Pink and White Living room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Wood piles add to the living room’s rustic charm, where the couple replastered the walls and restored the original stone and brick fireplace. 

An ever-evolving project, the home is a living lab for Hawkins’s collections. “We play with prototypes and test them in the house,” Blaine says. “When we launch a new color in the linen program, we move it from room to room to make sure it fits with our palette.” For their Versa Vase collection, they tried different silhouettes on the mantel, breakfast table, and coffee table, editing out any that didn’t feel like a good match. “We know something’s good when we love living with it,” says Denoly.  

Billie Sofa $799
Line Floor Lamp by Douglas and Bec $1,325
Sidnie Lamp by Schoolhouse Electric $299

Gold and Pink and Taupe Entryway
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Stronger elements, like this vintage brass Milo Baughman console and bold blue Pols Potten vase, balance out the softer hues.

Red and White Living room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

A quiet reading nook meets Dutch Colonial design.  

Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller $959 store.herman​
Shapes Rug By Hawkins New York x Alyson Fox $75
Simple Linen Pillows by Hawkins New York from $78 domino​.com/winter16

White and Wood Kitchen
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

20th C. Factory Filament Milk Glass Single Pendant from $129

Bronze and Gray and White and Wood Kitchen
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Blaine and Denoly made the kitchen shelves themselves from salvaged floorboards.

White and Wood Entryway
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

“Some of the ceilings are low,” says Blaine, “so we made a chair rail from brass electrical tape, painting the floors and lower wall the same dark gray to make the walls seem taller.”

Half Bushel & Peck Baskets by Peterboro Basket Company from $35

White Dining room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

The daybed, a family heirloom, serves as a banquette in the breakfast room, while a brass chandelier adds a touch of drama.

Brass Chandelier by Workstead $2,750
Turned Round Dining Table by Gregor Jenkins $7,995
Cinched Hanging Planter by Kati Von Lehman $52
Simple Mohair Throw by Hawkins New York $195
 Velvet Pillow by Kevin O’Brien $310

Gold and White Bedroom
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

“We designed our own linen bedding. The flat sheet is 20 percent larger than standard, because Nick and I tend to fight over the sheets,” says Denoly with a laugh.

Simple Linen Bedding by Hawkins New York from $198
 Mantis Sconce by Bernard Schottlander $435
Wall Lamp by Workstead $775
Saarinen Side Table by Eero Saarinen for Knoll $724
Facade Snow Bed from $999

Brown and White Living room
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Hawkins New York created the leather chair and ottoman with Slowood Studios. “It’s light and airy but substantial, and the untanned leather ages beautifully,” Denoly explains.

“Nick had the genius idea to vault the ceilings upstairs.”

Floor Lamp by Workstead $750
Anderson Chair + Ottoman by Slowood Studios $1,450

Orange and Pink Entryway
Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Subtle pinks, from Pale Oak to Odessa Pink by Benjamin Moore, feature throughout the home.

Think Pink
“A lot of my personal attraction to pink comes from growing up in Mexico,” says Denoly. “It’s considered a neutral there; pink makes everyone look good.”

Go monochromatic. Blaine prefers to keep walls matte, adding sheen to trim that’s also painted one shade darker. “It looks monochromatic,” he says, “but the color subtly shifts in certain lights.”

Play with tonal texture. The Odessa Pink walls in the guest room match Hawkins’s linen bedding. “We built the palette around the concept of a textural, tonal room,” explains Denoly.

Make it all seasons. “In spring and summer, we pair pink with flax to play up the pastel tones,” says Blaine. “In fall, mixing pink with rust, mustard, and peacock makes it feel totally different.”

Pink Graphic

Get the Look

Brass Chandelier by Workstead $2,750
Louise Bowls by Hawkins from $50
Landscape Rug by Alyson Fox for Hawkins New York $2,200 
Blue Grid Vase by Workaday Handmade $160
Era Round Armchair by Design Within Reach $329
Esme Sofa by West Elm $999

Published on December 31, 2016 - 5:00am EST

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