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.

13 Homes at Dusk

Sometimes, we ask our photographer, Rob Karosis, to work overtime and take some photographs as the sun goes down.  This is usually after he has already put in a 10 hour day, but he never complains, (out loud).  The extra effort is always worth it! A dusk shot can often reveal features of a home which are missed during the day. The windows become illuminated while the exterior materials become more monochromatic.  We are forced to notice the proportions […]

By |March 19th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||6 Comments

6 Dutch Doors (Expanded)

As far as we know, the Dutch door originated in the Netherlands during the 17th century and was very popular with the settlers of Dutch and English origin who colonized what is now the United States.  The door worked well to keep farm animals out of the home while keeping small children safe.  The families enjoyed additional light and fresh air when the upper half was open.

One of the major advantages of the modern Dutch door is that we […]

By |February 19th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||3 Comments

7 Curved Stairs

Curved stairs can be elegant, beautiful, and functional.  We design stairs which are curved from bottom to top as well as stairs which only curve a bit.

There are many manufacturers who sell prefab spiral stairs which work well in certain circumstances.  The most common mistake, with those stairs, is to make them too small in diameter, especially in a high traffic location.  We are often asked to replace spiral stairs which are too narrow, with a conventional run of stairs […]



I love snow!  Growing up in Galveston, Texas, and Pumpkin Center, Louisiana, snow was precious.  Even a few flakes would mean school was out and we would do our best to put together a snowball to throw at each other.

My first winter in NYC was magical because of a very snowy season.  There is nothing like New York City after a heavy snow.  When I moved north, it got even better.

Two snow storms in a row set the stage for […]

By |February 14th, 2017|Categories: chickens, dog, Miscellaneous, sheep||12 Comments

8 Rooms For Mud (Expanded)

Living through the seasons in the Northeast reminds me of my daughters’ favorite book as a child: ’Going on a Bear Hunt’ where the father, the kids and the dog go looking for a bear and when they find one, they run home through the snow storm (Hoooo woooo), the forest (Stumble trip), the mud (Squelch squerch), the water (Splash splosh) and back through the grass (Swishy swashy). They then run into the house(without wiping their feet), up the […]

By |January 14th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||1 Comment

Family Farms: Plankenhorn Farm

Hudson Valley Fresh is a dairy farmer partnership located in the Hudson Valley.  This group of farmers are “dedicated to preserving the agricultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley and promoting it as one of the premier food regions of the United States.”

Hudson Valley Fresh is the brainchild of Dr. Sam Simon who owns Plankenhorn Farm.

Dr. Sam Simon knows (and loves) cows. His father Kurt was a cattle dealer and Sam learned long ago how to spot a quality cow. […]

By |January 13th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||2 Comments

9 Balmy Islands with Seats Waiting for You

Well, I may have exaggerated a little bit in the title when I said balmy, perhaps warm and cozy would be more descriptive.  Kitchen islands are a great place to hang out.  You can either help  the chef prepare the food or simply provide moral support while sitting at the counter.  In my childhood home, down in Louisiana, you were expected to do both, whether you were one of the family, or a first-time visitor.  Weekend cooking  was a group […]

By |January 7th, 2017|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

Farmhouse Modern (Updated)

Many of our clients own old farm houses and love the way they fit into the countryside of the Northeast. These same clients want the interior of their homes to be brighter and more modern than the original farm house.

Recently we renovated a large kitchen and added a bright sun room to an 1800s farm house in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The kitchen cabinets were frameless and painted white with simple but elegant details offsetting the extra thick Carrara marble […]

By |December 15th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||4 Comments

Models Tell the Story (Revisited)

There is always an air of excitement around the office as a model is nearing completion.  To me, they are our best representation of a new home or addition, short of a full-scale construction project.  We have tried photo realistic renderings, computer modeling, and a simulated walk through, to name a few.  None are as helpful to our clients and us as a physical scale model. (They are a lot more fun, too.)

Depending on the scale of the model, […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

4 Interior Designers That Make Us Look Good

As part of an ongoing series, we would like to tip our hats to other professionals who make us look good.  The line is often blurred between the work of architects and interior designers.  The way we design homes, at Crisp Architects, is collaborative within the office as well as collaborative with our clients and other professionals.  Our motto is “a good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from”.

Our best projects often include interior designers, as […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||4 Comments