Sprawled across a hundred acres of rolling hills that sit between the Berkshires and the Catskills, this Hudson Valley nature retreat was built to encourage guests to enjoy nature and relax and reconnect with friends and family in a cozy environment. There are 17 beautiful little timber-and-glass cabins at Gather Greene, along with an open-air pavilion that makes one awesome gathering space. During a recent open house at Gather Greene, guests were greeted with warm apple cider doughnuts and spiked cider drinks before heading into a cheese-making demo and touring the property. A trip down to the shale quarry pond even turned up crystals for some of the guests.
Owners, Amna and Jackie are giving us the full scoop not only on the gathering, but also on the property’s inspiration and the process from vision to fruition. Hop on down below to read more about the Dutch concept of Gezellig and how coziness is a major factor in creating such a place.
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Photography by Chellise Michael Photography
What are your background leading up to building Gather Greene?
We both started in completely different careers (finance and education) and decided we wanted to go back to school to pursue creative paths. We met during grad school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn studying interior architecture and design. We both specialized in exhibition and experiential design in grad school and became instant friends, working on projects together late into the night, supporting each other through the ups and downs of new careers, creating our own little design studio, and eventually conceptualizing the idea of Gather Greene.
How did the decision to open a venue come about?
We felt there was an opportunity to fill a niche in the retreat and special event venue market, as well as create a space where we could allow our design dreams to flourish. A big part of our goal with Gather Greene was to create a space that allows guests to relax in one place with their family and friends for a full weekend, with less running around, and more quality time spent together. We also love the Hudson Valley and found this amazing property, so here we are!
How did you find the location? What was the state of it when you bought it?
We love the Hudson Valley and its beauty and accessibility from New York City, so we really wanted to find property here. One day we came across our property and we knew the minute we stepped foot onto it, that this was it. When we bought it, all that was built here was a small house, so we had to put in all of the infrastructure and do all of the building ourselves. Let’s just say we’ve learned a lot from this process!
What was your design process like? Did you work with an architect? Did you have any special inspirations?
We worked with several architects and engineers to realize our vision for both the pavilion and the cabins. We had a lot of inspiration:
– While we were participating in a furniture design intensive in Copenhagen during school, we became enamored with Scandinavian design, which influenced much of the inspiration for Gather Greene.
– We were inspired by the property’s dramatic landscape. For example: We decided to put cabins on the edge of our ridge to provide this feeling that you are up in the canopy of the trees.
– We were inspired by the Dutch word Gezellig – loosely translated to mean, “to gather with friends in a cozy environment.” Gezellig refers not just to that feeling from being around friends, but also the feeling the actual space evokes.
What has been your favorite part of this journey? Biggest learning lesson?
We came up with the concept for this property and then painstakingly designed each and every aspect of it. Watching it all come to life has felt extremely rewarding and almost surreal at times. Our biggest lesson might be to not underestimate the value of reliable people. Certain people take their commitments very seriously, but not everyone is like that, and unfortunately we’ve learned that the hard way.
What is your dream for opening this venue?
We’ve always imagined Gather Greene as an inspiring getaway, but also as a place to make meaningful connections, not just with nature, but with other people. We hope everyone who steps foot on this property feels how special it is.
There was a lot of incredible responses from our readers on social media about the recent fall open house that was hosted at Gather Greene. How did it feel to see so many incredible wedding vendors gathering at your venue for the first time?
It was so exciting and a long time in the making! We have always looked to The Venue Report for inspiration, so for us to actually be a part of that inspiration on The Venue Report really means a lot to us. We have also connected with an amazingly talented group of vendors and partners who have a knack for really capturing the magic here.
What was the inspiration behind the event?
We wanted to unveil and showcase the property to event planners, friends in the industry and some media as well. We tried to bring to life every aspect you would find at an amazing event: spectacular cuisine, delicious drinks, beautiful decor, comfortable amenities and fun experiences – like the cheese-making demonstration we had from our neighbors at Lime Kiln Farm. We are looking forward to many more events in the future!
Venue: Gather Greene | Photography: Chellise Michael Photography | Event Production: The Revelry Cooperative | Catering: Comparti Catering | Florals: Mimosa Florals | Furniture Rentals: Patina Rentals | Tabletop Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals | Video: Love + Brain Films + The Wedding Artists Collective | Exterior Lighting: Stortz Lighting | Live Music: Mixtape Cover Band | Cheese: Lime Kiln Farm
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT
Amna & Jackie