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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    The recent colonization of the Hudson Valley by Brooklyn creative types has become as hot a topic as which rapidly-gentrifying corner of King's County is "the next Williamsburg."  Spurned by rising city rents, parenthood and New York Times editorial cycles spotlighting [insert latest town here to receive artisan food label/farm-to-table restaurant/craft brewery here], communities along the winding waterway from Hastings to Hudson have experienced an organic, bespoke residence, wooing the tasteful and outside-the-box with inspiring landscapes, character-filled Main Streets and an affordable abundance of historic housing stock. It's delivered an exciting new generation of stylish residents, fresh ideas and unique perspectives, in turn transforming our backyard into a place of Pinterest dreams and Instagram-worthy dinners.

    While much of this migration has centered on the northern River Towns, the artistic wealth has always been spread throughout the region.  Here are some artful listings currently available in Westchester and Putnam counties:

    MILLWOOD | 38 Shinglehouse Road | $2,795,000
    This Walden in Westchester is an enchanting retreat for the visionary who derives inspiration from the tranquility of nature. Hidden behind tall trees and vibrant gardens, the shingled Manor carries a fresh, modern ambiance, accentuated with one-of-a-kind touches by the home's artist-owner.  Custom millwork, honey-hued oak floors and clapboard hallways add country charm while embracing sophistication.  An expansive great room with stone fireplace provides entertainment possibilities perhaps rivaled only by the adjacent stone patio, which sits above the home's sparkling pond and a free-form pool with pool house set up as additional studio/office space.  In between epiphanies, call a few friends over and pay doubles on the Har-Tru tennis court, or in the winter months go skating or ice fishing (the pond is stocked).

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    NORTH SALEM | 215 Hawley Road | $950,000
    Art and academia have always been closely aligned.  Appropriately, this slice of suburban bohemia includes its own restored one-room schoolhouse, moved to its present site in 1900 to serve such myriad roles as a ballet studio, antique display, photography studio and guest space.  The 7.5+ acre preserve bordering scenic Mountain Lakes Camp awaits to inspire its next maker-in-residence, offering 1,522 square feet of living space in the c.1770 main house.  Stone walls, specimen trees and a neighboring lake make the site a magical mountain perch.  A STAR deduction removes four figures from taxes, making it all the more appealing those opting for those less stereotypically-suburban professions and lifestyles.

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    COLD SPRING | 2058 Route 9D | $1,195,000

    Just a half-mile walk from cultured Cold Spring Village, this renovated Victorian beckons with year-round views of Breakneck Ridge and Storm King Mountain framed by centuries-old oaks. If we didn't know any better, we'd think the room shots were snapped in a brownstone somewhere off Bleecker or West 4th Street.  The combination of classic lines and eclectic furnishing defines pleasantly kitschy interior spaces that seem straight out of Greenwich Village, with high ceilings and wood floors meeting radiators by big bay windows.  If the photo above hasn't inspired you to spread out on that rug and start scrapbooking, perhaps you'd prefer setting up studio space in the property's restored c.1850 slate-roofed barn. There's also a secluded pool, sauna, stone patios and a detached two-car garage with garret.  Stroll into town for brunch, shopping or hiking at Hudson Highlands without fighting all those ZipCars for parking spaces!  It's truly the perfect home for the Hudson Valley-nouveau creative class lifestyle dependent on an easy escape route to and from the city.

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    MT. KISCO | 48 Old Roaring Brook Road | $2,500,000
    Orchard Hill is an absolutely classic clapboard-and-stone Colonial on six acres of fading farmland, complete with a vintage chicken coop and greenhouse to verify its authenticity.  The home's gracious character has been skillfully modernized, restoring period touches while subtly inviting new ones.  While the five-bedroom main residence is artful in itself, a detached three-car garage, bridged by porte-cochère, completes its creative cred with its second story studio space, overlooking the home's bucolic surrounds.  A spring-fed pond completes the landscape, with a boat tied to the dock standing by should you need to row away any writer's block.  There's so much to love it's almost overwhelming.  We'll focus on the small things, like how great that light pendant in the sun porch is.

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    GARRISON | 838 Route 9D | $3,500,000
    Local lore holds that Benedict Arnold once paced the property of this Garrison farm.  (We can't verify that, but we'll check FourSquare for the check-in for good measure).  Built from a string of converted, interconnected 18th century barns bridged via graceful breezeways, this historic property is anything but a turncoat to its agrarian roots, resulting in an eco-friendly enclave that's quintessentially Hudson Valley.  Its minimalist interior spaces are striking, with stone, wide-plank wood floors and hewn beams contrasting modern sliding doors and whitewashed walls.  A spacious guest house and versatile studio are complemented by a pool, tennis court and magnificent views of meadow and mountain, protected through time with easements to complement the Atlantic Flyway.  In season, a rusticated pergola stands ready for farm-to-table suppers set with kitchen towel napkins and mason jars, perhaps filled from a craft ale growler off the taps at The Pantry or Cold Spring General Store.

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    HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON | 31 Sheldon Place | $1,950,000
    We couldn't help but close our tour in what some call "Hipsturbia-on-Hudson."  Ranked by The Journal News as one of their "Ten Dream Homes in Westchester," this c.1906 stone and stucco Arts & Crafts channels contemporaries of Jack London, Upton Sinclair and Rudyard Kipling with its masculine Chestnut ceilings, traditional Inglenook, tapestry fireplace and leaded glass windows.  A third-floor terrace beckons year-round river and Palisade views while the studio overlooks the property's award-winning gardens.  Towering trees complete the bewitching majesty of this spectacular home just 35 minutes by train into Grand Central Terminal.

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