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.

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

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||7 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