Retreats: Max Tucci dreams a million dreams inside his North Salem barn


Max Tucci inside his retreat, a 6,000-square foot barn on his property in North Salem. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

This is the first in an occasional series that takes North Salem Post readers inside the special places of local residents.

Last spring, Max Tucci–award-winning producer and host of the podcast Max & Friends and author of the forthcoming cookbook “The Delmonico Way”–bought a home in North Salem and began the process of making it his own. The 6,000 square-foot barn on the property was an instant draw. Immediately after moving in, the space became where Tucci retreated to after days spent working on his book, set to publish next year. The North Salem Post sat down with Tucci to learn more about his retreat, his inspiration for it and how it fuels the work that he does.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

NS Post: What makes this particular space one that you want to retreat to?
Tucci: To call it a space undermines it. It's more of...well, it's indescribable. It's an environment that is magical. It reminds me of the movie “The Greatest Showman.” There's a song in that movie called “A Million Dreams,” and that’s what this space represents. This really is a place where my dreams are keeping me awake.

A vintage carousel horse inside Tucci's barn. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

NS Post: What do you use this retreat for?
Tucci: I come here to decompress after working on the book ("The Delmonico Way;" Rizzoli: release date October 2022) or after interviewing for Max & Friends. This space is an escape from obligations and responsibilities; it houses my daydreams. It has an amazing energy and vibe to it. When people walk in, they usually have one of three reactions: 'oh my God,' 'holy sh*t' or they’re speechless.

Tucci filled his retreat with whimsical and unexpected elements. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

NS Post: How did you make this retreat your own?
Tucci: I just let it unfold naturally. It’s a child; you have to let it grow. What I first wanted to do was make it a drive-in theatre –put in some antique cars and a massive screen. Then I wanted an indoor pool. Next I want to do a third floor loft space guest bedroom, and I also want to host Delmonico dinners here (Tucci’s grandfather Oscar founded Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City in the 1920’s).

I don’t have fear; there are no mistakes. If you don’t like something, change it. I have changed the dining room table five to six times already. Someone once came up here and said, ‘now I can see the inside of your head and your thoughts.’

A seating area inside Max Tucci's North Salem barn. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

NS Post: What advice do you have for people who want to reimagine a special place in their home?
Tucci: Just do it. What’s stopping you? You don’t need to spend a lot of money; there’s Facebook Marketplace and ReStore in Danbury. Just let it unfold naturally and have the courage to do it. 

"Daydream it into reality."

When you do create your space, make it a welcoming environment. How can this space accommodate and welcome guests and friends and family? We’ve been home so long; how can we make our homes even more enjoyable for people to come and enjoy?

The North Salem Post relies on community support. Click here to become a monthly supporter for just $5 per month.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is not local
This is unverified