"The luxurious idea of "bothering to bother" is sadly a rare one, but when you are near those that do make the effort it can be a perfect joy. No one embraces this ethos more enthusiastically than Camp Nest creator Joe Holtzman. Approaching every project he touches with the same razor-sharp aesthetics, Holtzman fashioned his upstate New York artist compound as a respite to his New York City life as editor, designer, and creator of the award-winning NEST magazine. Propelled by an astonishing taste level, otherworldly ideas, and an uncanny ability to get anything done, Holtzman's is a rare and actual design genius. He somehow makes everything seem as though we have never seen it before. Holtzman's singular, quirky vision and fantastic handpicked motley crew of contributors made NEST appear to be made by someone who had never seen a magazine before, and the same can be said of the Camp Nest compound." 
"Every design detail in Camp Nest is perfectly considered with the obvious path never taken. Here are but a few examples: When installing 17th-century encaustic tiles in the downstairs powder room, Holtzman had the walls brought in a few inches in order to avoid cutting the tiles and interrupting the repeating pattern. The striking red-wool striped carpet runner that ascends the staircase and leans to the upstairs bedrooms was custom woven in the perfect width so it would never have to be cut at an uncooperative angle. In the upstairs master bedroom, Holtzman pulled a Lazarus-like resurrection of sad rec room paneling by whitewashing the whole affair and repainting every depression in the paneling shiny black. The result is a visual effect that makes the room seem gigantic and as if it is folding in on itself at the same time. The upstairs guest room features walls clad in perfectly applied antique wallpaper printed with baseball players. Those paper walls meet in the room's corners with deeply layered wax walls that have the exact wallpaper pattern incised from them--all this without interrupting the patter's repeat. The Biedermeier sofa in the mess hall is reupholstered in reclaimed 1950s vintage Christian Dior handbag fabric. Almost every ceiling fixture has been removed and replaced with multi-outlet plugs, creating a jangly cord extravaganza in every room. In describing Holtzman's work, one senses the efforts of a design madman, but somehow he manages to never cross one wrong visual path or make an inauthentic move." 
"Located near a small pond in the Hudson River valley between the Catskill and Berkshire mountains, Joseph Holtzman's Camp Nest is a singular fusion of several antecedents in American architectural history. First there was Henry David Thoreau's one-room cabin on Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau built it himself with pine planks and second-hand bricks and sparsely furnished it with a bed, a table, three chairs, and a copy of the Bhagavad Gita. He wanted to return to basics and to realign himself with nature.
Second, as an experiment in eclectic design and personal taste, Camp Nest recalls a far more ostentatious enterprise, the Moorish castle built by press lord William Randolph Hearst on a former ranch overlooking the Pacific Ocean at San Simeon. Movie stars flocked there from Hollywood for sybaritic weekends. Hearst boldly mixed artistic styles--a Spanish baroque facade, Gothic interiors, a Roman bath. With its gold and cobalt blue tiles and neat Greek temple, the outdoor Neptune Pool at Heart's estate (called "Xanadu" in Citizen Kane) was inspired by the pool ringed by sculptures of buff nude athletes at the Roman emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli. " 
"Among Holtzman's precursors as a connoisseur and patron of the arts was the eighteenth-century British writer and politician, Horace Walpole, who commissioned a flamboyant house at Twickenham called Strawberry Hill. Walpole's retro recycling of medieval style (amusingly dubbed Rococo Gothic) was hugely influential: Strawberry Hill sparked the massive Gothic Revival in architecture that would lead to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Walpole's fanciful interiors employed painted glass, papier-mâché ceilings, and hand-drawn patterned walls (as at Camp Nest). Strawberry Hill also had its own printing press, prefiguring Holtzman's work as an innovative magazine editor and home publisher.
Then there was Ludwig of Bavaria, called the Dream King for his architectural fantasias. (Helmut Berger played him in Luchino Visconti's Ludwig.) Neuschwanstein, Ludwig's most famous castle (begun in 1869) is a late Romanesque structure with spires and towers soaring over a deep river gorge in the Alps. Craftsmen worked for four years alone carving the oak paneling and furniture in the king's bedroom. Neuschwanstein is known to the world through Walt Disney's adoption of it as the archetypal fair-tale castle for his theme parks and animated films." 
"Camp Nest began as a hunting lodge, which was later expanded. Hunting lodges were once very common in heavily forested Northern Europe, where game provided a crucial food supply over the long, harsh winters. Upgraded in later centuries, they became plush summer palaces. A good example is Mayerling, the love nest near Vienna where Rudolph Hapsburg, crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian empire, shot himself and his mistress in 1889. Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve starred as the ill-fated couple in Mayerling, which also featured a divinely dissolute Ava Gardner as the fierce Empress Elizabeth, herself destined for assassination.
As a country retreat, Camp Nest rejects the pomp and circumstance of America's landed gentry and opts instead for a more casual, vernacular idiom. It aligns itself with Adirondack Mountain cabins, with their rustic local materials and humble display of natural wood. The original hunting lodges of northern upstate New York were supplanted in the late nineteenth century by the Adirondack "Great Camps" created by wealthy Manhattanites. Though these houses could be quite large, they beautifully harmonized with the natural environment of woods and water. Construction and decor were strongly influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement, which sought a pre-industrial, hand-crafted look.
Camp Nest, which was renovated by a team of art students under Holzman's direction, lightheartedly refers to all its precursors. The cartoonish, gaping-jawed wall trophies (hippopotamus, crocodile) evoke the ancestral hunting lodge but also offer a playland feel, as if this were a scout camp, another old Adirondack specialty. The simple chairs recall plank-style Adirondack furniture, but there are also luxury import accents and quirky retro curios (as at Strawberry Hill). Holtzman's signature collage of patterns engages and stimulates the eye, while the airy natural light refreshes it. Camp Next is both a sophisticated social space and a serene contemplative zone."