"I’ve always envisioned the home being available on Airbnb, where unconventional houses really stand out," says Austin Griffith of his recently listed property, Hudson Lookout, which is nestled in New York’s Catskill Mountains. "After a long design process in collaboration with my amazing architect, Kimberly Peck, I arrived at this sort of modern watchtower concept."
Having spent his childhood roaming the outdoors in Michigan, Austin felt an instant connection to southeastern New York’s open spaces when he first visited the region. "I started looking for property in the area around 2015—one of the first dates with my girlfriend was spent hiking at nearby Kaaterskill Falls and looking at vacant land, and I’m sure she thought I was out of my mind," he laughs.
Crazy or not, he bought a parcel that hit all the marks, with just the right acreage and a well already in place. "When the previous owner told me that his family used to run a resort on this piece of land in sixties, I knew there was a special history here to continue," Austin says. It’s possible to hike, swim, shop and ski nearby, but he understands if visitors do nothing but "stay in and watch a family of deer grazing from the living room."
The layout of the three-story home—which positions all the bedrooms on the first two floors, clearing the third floor for shared living spaces that look out onto breathtaking scenery—lends itself well to mingling with family and friends. There's also a welcoming roof deck equipped with a telescope for stargazing.
"You can cook a meal, watch a movie with our projector in the living room, cozy up with a fire, or just relax," Austin says. The latter is easy to do, with other amenities such as heated terrazzo floors and a deep soaking tub in the main bedroom suite.
"I love the fact that this all started as a file on my laptop and now, after driving up on weekends for over a year to work on it, it’s finally a real home," Austin says. "People say the view from here is like a painting, and most importantly, that they can’t wait to return."
Read more about the contest Dwell held to find the next must-visit listing on Airbnb and why this listing won.
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