About James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 20 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

Everyone Needs to Know a Good Woodworker

When I have a special woodworking project for myself or my clients, the first person I call is Rodger Manley.  He literally can make anything with wood.  He builds double hung windows like they were built in 1750, or 1880, or you name it.  He loves old homes and I have seen him replace 200 year old windows and exterior details, that when he was finished, you could not tell the new from the old.

Although Rodger can build anything, […]

By |June 12th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous, Wood working||4 Comments

9 Pool Houses of Summer

Nothing says summer like kids splashing around in a pool–except perhaps an adult party centered around a pool on a balmy summer evening. In either case, a pool house makes everything easier. Whether the pool house is small and simple or includes a full kitchen and guest quarters, having a place to store cold drinks, towels and refreshments makes summer entertaining a lot more fun.

A pool house can be a place to access only the absolute necessities while enjoying the […]

By |June 8th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||4 Comments

9 Screened Porches, Just in Time

When it is buggy out, a screened porch is in it’s glory!  I love to eat dinner on my open porch (as well as drink my morning coffee), but if the bugs are out, I go inside.  Screened porches solve those problems entirely.  It is just lucky for me, that my property rarely has a bug problem.  For some homeowners, the mosquitos, gnats, and other biting insects come out like clockwork, making it hard to relax and enjoy their […]

By |May 15th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||1 Comment

7 Uses for Reclaimed Beams

We use reclaimed wood beams on many of our projects.  They add color, texture and a sense of history to every home.  Some are used as structural elements, some as decorative elements, and other times they are milled into flooring, cabinets, trim, or furniture.  200-year-old beams have a color and texture which  are very hard to reproduce.  Old-growth trees, from which they were made, also have a grain structure which is very different than wood which is generally available today.

Most […]

By |May 15th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||2 Comments

Wood: It’s Not What It Used To Be (Revisited)

I once owned a converted one-room schoolhouse built in 1865.  The siding and the trim around the windows, soffit, fascia, corner boards, etc. were made of pine.  When I bought it, it had been without paint for years yet the windows and trim were in perfect condition.  Today, if you left a wood window made of pine exposed for 2 years (or less) you would probably need to replace it.  Homes built 15 years ago can have major problems […]

By |May 13th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||1 Comment

6 Rooms in the Eaves (Expanded)

When we first moved into our 1790’s home, I bumped my head many times on a sloping ceiling in the master bath.  I could not wait to change that situation. One of our first major additions/renovations included a full height master bath.  We still have a sloped ceiling in the new bath, but it starts at about 7’-0” and goes up from there.

Ideally the sloped ceiling starts high enough so that furniture easily fits against the walls of the […]

By |April 23rd, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

4 Kinds of Home Lighting

The American Lighting Association identifies 3 types of interior lighting: Task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting.  I would add a fourth which falls into several categories, but I would call mood or stage lighting.   I don’t mean dramatic stage lighting, I mean setting the stage in a home for a mood or an event.    When my family eats dinner in our dining room, we light a large candelabra and it sets the mood for a fun […]

By |April 23rd, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

Spring Surprise

One Saturday, a few weeks ago, my son and I walked up our hill to feed the animals.  We chatted about the melting snow and he stopped for a quick swing on the swing set.  When I walked into the barn, not believing my eyes I stopped and took a double take. We had a newborn lamb and another on the way!  I ran to the door and yelled “Come quick, you’ve got to see something!”.

We tried to breed our […]

By |April 23rd, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||18 Comments

Garden Structures (Expanded)

Nothing reminds us that spring is coming more than digging out the potting soil, the rusted tools, and clay pots. For me, it involves cleaning the refuse out of my vegetable garden from the previous year, opening up the deer fencing, and bringing on the roto-tiller. Like many things in life, the process is often more important than the final product.  As long as we have a few wonderful meals from the garden, we are truly happy.

I think many […]

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||5 Comments

Stamford Renovation (Featured Project)

We love working on old homes.  With each generation of homeowners, the needs and lifestyles change and, with that, homes grow and evolve.  This home was in need of a make over and luckily we were chosen to help the new owners achieve their vision. In addition, Morrissey Saypol Interiors, worked hand and hand with us to create interior spaces and furnishings that were both beautiful and functional.

There was almost no room which was not touched by the renovation, and […]

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||3 Comments