0

Your Cart is Empty

Michael Hofemann and Andrew Arrick, owners of FINCH hudson, outside their 1830s Dutch colonial, painted Railings Blue

 

DESIGNING MEN:

5 DESIGN TIPS FROM FINCH

The gray and chilly weeks of winter are the perfect time to start dreaming up a home decor refresh. To help get your inner designer inspired, we checked in with Michael Hofemann and Andrew Arrick, the co-owners of FINCH hudson, a cult antique store in upstate New York. The two met at A-House (a 200-year-old bar) in Provincetown nearly 30 years ago, and the rest, as they say, was history."

 

Fast forward to today, where the couple — Andrew with a background in luxury fashion, Michael in finance — is responsible for curating the store’s collection of vintage and contemporary goods for the home, and with it, an entire lifestyle experience. Their philosophy: a good sense of style involves a collection that values both the modern and the traditional — it’s an outlook they bring to bear when helping us outfit the Todd Snyder stores, too.

So, we decided to take a trip upstate to visit Michael and Andrew in their home (an early 19th-century Dutch colonial) and pick up a few pointers on easy home upgrades. You can use them whether you want to recreate Todd’s signature mid-century store vibe at home or just elevate your own aesthetic.


HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER INTERIOR DESIGNER

The coffee table above was a vintage find in Hudson; the radiating metal pattern creates texture. 
It sits on a vintage Persian over-dyed rug, which adds color to the Nordic white pine floors.

 

#1
CHOOSE YOUR VIBE

Andrew: “The way the two of us work and see things is very different: I can envision what I want something to look like, and Michael needs to see a concrete example. However you work, first you need to pick your aesthetic lane. There’s so much out there on social media, Pinterest, Instagram, flipping through magazines…there’s so much available, and you can get a tangible sense of what direction you want to go in. I was constantly looking through books trying to find something that I thought would work for our home.”

 

Michael and Andrew replaced a 70s mantel with this reclaimed mid-1800s one to bring the den back to its original self.

#2
PICK YOUR PALLETTE

Michael: “Color is key — it’s the most impactful tool you have to support your mood through paint and wallpaper. For example, we knew we wanted a dark house.”

 

A: “When I started conceptualizing the color story for the house, it started with the exterior, we chose Farrow and Ball Railings, a deep blue-black that changes in the light, from summer to winter — it looks blue when it snows. When I landed on that color, I felt strongly about somehow bringing it into the house so there was some synergy. Railings became the color of the interior doors, stairs and baseboards, so that subconsciously when you walk in from outside, that color continues.”

“Charcoal gray is very much a part of the FINCH aesthetic, and that’s also been carried through in different ways [in our house] with the use of Farrow and Ball’s Mole’s Breath. If you’re not sure, just take a chance and paint the room — worst case, you repaint it. And don’t forget you don’t have to stop at the walls: you can paint the ceiling, the floor, the trim or vary the finish to create entirely different, but cohesive, effects. Just keep in mind that flat or matte paint can show marks pretty easily, so you would want to pick a gloss finish for high-traffic areas.“

 

Handwoven from unbleached wool and cotton, this Cappelen Dimyr rug is a recent find from Denmark. It plays well with
the 1940s Swedish faux shearling chair, creating layered, tonal textures that keep the bedroom interesting but soothing.

#3
DIVIDE (AND CONQUER) YOUR SPACE

A: “Big or small, figuring out how to create a seamless flow is essential. Start with some foundational pieces — a sofa, desk, credenza, that type of a thing — and figure out where those need to go. In a large room, one way to envision it is to create individual spaces. When I’m trying to merchandise the store, because the main floor is over 6000 sq ft, I have to create vignettes so it doesn’t look like one giant open space.

 

Once you have your foundational pieces placed, create verticals. For me, it’s a floor lamp, or objects sitting on my desk, the flowers in a vase…verticality helps bring things down to scale, which creates warmth. When you think about flow, you’re thinking about how you want to direct people through the space — create a concept diagram, the essentials, when you walk in you want a moment that captures people. It’s a space you want to be in, every day, and feel comfortable in. I do this with everything from placing a shrub in the garden to placing an object on the mantel, I look at it from 10 perspectives, and it's not right until I’ve done that, to see how it appears.”

 

Andrew’s office “vignette” is demarcated by a 50s Robert Haussman for de Sede chair and a stunning late 60s rosewood desk, designed by Herbert Hirche. The plaster sculpture perched on top — a dancing satyr — was an auction find.

 

#4
MIX YOUR STYLES

A: “Try combining different eras and aesthetics to create a cohesive (but interesting) space. What we do in Todd’s stores is a similar thing of combining new and old — mid-century furniture mixed in with a kilim covered bar. It’s key to our success, because most people naturally mix styles in their homes, so it’s very accessible.”

 

M: “We certainly always end up mixing styles, anyway. It’s how we live and how we’ve always decorated.”

A: “I’m sure some people who come by our store are purists, and that’s great…but we always look at ways to mix aesthetics and make it work. Keeping things appropriate for a particular era of home doesn’t mean you can’t try different styles of furniture…I’m a firm believer in doing whatever makes sense for a particular space.”

 

Avid dog lovers, Andrew and Michael's staircase doubles as a gallery wall dedicated to man's best friend.

#5
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE

A: “The right lighting helps to create the right effect — soft or stark, warm or cool. Avoid relying on overhead lights, and use floor lamps or table lamps instead. You want to remember that yes, you’re using light to illuminate the space literally, but you’re also using it to draw attention to the vignettes and spaces you’ve created. For example, a small side lamp might draw the eye towards a painting, or reflect off your glassware.”

 

M: “And don’t forget to consider natural lighting, too. We don’t have any curtains, because I love the light that comes in through the windows. In our house, I love the den. It’s where my office is, and it’s where we spend most of our time. It’s warm and cozy, there are so many windows…it’s a small room, but you have a lot of openness. Light is a big thing for me, I need natural light.”

 

The small lamp on the bar in the den is a 1950s piece from Italy, which manages to look right at home illuminating the 19th-century Italian oil painting and a collection of cut crystal barware — some vintage finds, some from Andrew’s father.


Most of all, Andrew and Michael emphasized the need to experiment — use the color, rearrange the furniture, try that Art Deco lamp you’ve been pining for. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that for them, when an experiment doesn’t work, it can just as easily end up on the floor at FINCH.

 

But still: nothing ever has to be final. You can keep updating your space in small ways, to make what’s old new again. And always, always have fun. Or as Andrew says, “Chaotic fun.”

Andrew and Michael's dogs, Beats and Augie, ensure every guest gets a very warm welcome.

Three Questions for...FINCH hudson

How Do You Relax?

A: “We both love The Gilded Age…but that’s just a pleasure, not a guilty one. One thing that I really love that relaxes me is watching The Great British Baking Show.”

M: “For me, it’s sci-fi novels…right now I’m reading The Disturbance by Brandon Q. Morris.”

A: “It’s also making music mixes…! He’ll pour himself a cocktail and start making mixes for the store.”

What’s your favorite style that you don’t use at home?
M: “Art deco. It’s a style that’s hard to incorporate sometimes, but I’ve been really into it lately, so I’ve been buying it for the store.”

What's next?
A: “The entire home sector got a big post-COVID boost and we are now exploring ways to expand the FINCH brand outside of Hudson. We've grown very quickly.”

Photographs by John Keon

Interviewed by Kate Andersen