Anthony D’Argenzio was named one of The 100 Most Creative People in the U.S. by Country Living Magazine. His work has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, Domino, and Architectural Digest.
Why does Anthony love CapNY? READ ON!
Photo by: Winnie Au
“I’ve always been interested in upstate New York and the Hudson Valley,” says Anthony D’Argenzio. “It has an old-world sensibility behind it, and I feel like I’m an old soul at heart.” The designer is founder and CEO of two New York-based companies; design consultancy firm Zio & Sons, and real estate company This Old Hudson.
D’Argenzio’s brands are known for his unique combination of concepts, countries, and centuries. His fascination with old-world interiors leads D’Argenzio toward Second Empire gilded mirrors and Chesterfield sofas. Decor that would’ve satisfied the most discerning of The Four Hundred, many of whom had mansions here in the Hudson Valley. Skipping backwards about 100 years, D’Argenzio often pulls influences from the French countryside. Rustic whitewashed floors, reclaimed tile, and weathered finishes abound. He infuses these with twenty-first century hygge minimalism and, of course, modern appliances and amenities.
“I gravitate towards timeless materials; wood, brick, tile, stone, bronze. I love Venetian plaster. I actually taught myself how to do it,” says D’Argenzio, who likes to work with his hands. It’s no surprise that his father was a cabinet maker and his mother an interior design and renovation enthusiast.
From the West Coast to the East
Anthony D’Argenzio was born and raised in Sonoma, California. He moved to New York after getting a business degree from Arizona State. In 2012 he founded Zio & Sons, his design production firm. Initially, he focused on providing prop styling, vignettes and backdrops for big brands like West Elm and Anthropologie. Over the course of the next few years, D’Argenzio grew into the role of creative director and producer for his clients’ content, and his own.
His first renovation project was his 450-square-foot East Village apartment. He did most of the work himself, documenting it on social media throughout 2012 and 2013. D’Argenzio acknowledge that this was what ‘put him on the map’ and showed his aesthetic and interior design talents.
An Upstate Love Affair
“I would often take the Amtrak upstate to explore and to escape the city. I first discovered Hudson in 2014, when I would come up for antique sourcing, and really fell in love with the architecture of the town.” D’Argenzio would end up buying property in Hudson; a deteriorating two-family house built in 1915. Originally, the two-year renovation project was intended as an investment. Instead, he had manifested not only his home, but his first rental property. This became The Studios, a permanent photo-staging site for clients. Today, The Studios remain a highly sought-after venue, available exclusively for photography production, film bookings, and other staging projects.
This Old Hudson
In 2015, D’Argenzio founded This Old Hudson, providing rentals and renovation services. “It was kind of a natural evolution [into real estate]. I just love old homes, I love renovation, I love working with people,” he says. He sold the East Village apartment that catapulted his brand to social media stardom. Then he quickly purchased another investment property, effectively making Hudson his full-time home.
His second property was a beautifully neglected four-unit, built around 1910. He’d had his eye on, as it sat next door to his current two-family. After a fastidious renovation, the building opened in 2019. It featured four turnkey rentals called The Residences. Each has its own bespoke architecture and furnishings selected by Zio & Sons. This Old Hudson manages the rental side of the business. The properties cater to budding creative entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley.
The latest showplace is a short-term Airbnb rental that opened its doors this summer. Crowned The Maison, the space is an homage to old-world French style. D’Argenzio documented the renovation in his column with Domino Magazine, as well as on social media accounts. Each of D’Argenzio’s rental spaces lets the turn-of-the-century architecture shine through – a hallmark of the This Old Hudson brand.
“It definitely takes more work to save some of the architectural elements. If something can be saved, I try to save it. There’s so much waste in this world. I like to find salvaged wood, materials, or accents that can add character to a space in unique ways, even if I’m doing something more contemporary.” says D’Argenzio.
COVID Causes the Upstate NY Real Estate Boom
A natural extension of his vision, D’Argenzio obtained his real estate license in 2020, selling under luxury brokerage Houlihan Lawrence.
“COVID really sped up my real estate business. I was fortunate my brand was perfectly set up for it. We already have this buyer community, people who love the upstate lifestyle and loved to visit. I had a built-in clientele,” D’Argenzio says.
“The Hudson Valley draws a creative type that loves history, culture, design. The entrepreneurial activity is going to continue growing,” says D’Argenzio. “We’re also in a really great location. We have closeness to the city and amazing old homes. With an emerging economy, and low cost of living. Now with technology changing, being able to work from anywhere, there’s just so much opportunity.”
Anthony D’Argenzio’s Signature Style
Although it’s difficult to name to his signature style, for now D’Argenzio is calling it ‘Vintage Modern.’ His style combines gilded age, rustic countryside, art deco, mid-century modern, and minimalism. This is also the chosen aesthetic of the East Coast Millennial generation. The Maker Hotel, Stewart House, Green House Mansion, and The Morgan Statehouse are thriving, drawing tourists from all over the world. Brands like Hammertown Barn, Kabinett & Kammer, and The Modern Exchange are rising to national prominence. To D’Argenzio, it’s no surprise that upstate New York, rich with American history and antiques, would be the nucleus of this trend.
And, it’s no surprise that D’Argenzio’s brands are leading the way.
Authors note: Anthony D’Argenzio and his wife, sommelier Hillary Zio, welcomed 17-month-old daughter Havana last year. He is currently living in Hudson and renovating a 1970s cabin on a large piece of land that will become their family home. To learn more about his businesses, visit https://zioandsons.com or https://thisoldhudson.com. Follow his Instagram accounts @zioandsons and @thisoldhudson.
Special thank you to Anthony for taking the time to speak with us about his journey as an entrepreneur in the Hudson Valley.
Written by: Cabrina McGinn
Born and raised in Delmar, Cabrina McGinn has spent much of her life in restaurants, having bartended in Albany, Binghamton, and, New York, NY. Upon moving back to the Capital Region three years ago, she realized that a lot of the bars and restaurants in Upstate New York were quite up to par with some of those in the city; problem was, between Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga, you kind of have to ‘be in the know’ to know what’s going on in each town on any given night. Thus, her blog On The Rocks or Straight Upstate was born! Cabrina lives in Saratoga Springs, and while the sun is up she is the Marketing Coordinator for medical device company, Hometa.