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.

7 Kitchen Floor Alternatives (Expanded)

The selection of a kitchen floor is another example of how our wealth of choices makes those selections all the more difficult.  The criteria for a kitchen floor includes the following:
1.  It must be attractive-a very broad and subjective requirement, which is often in the eye of the beholder.
2.  It must be durable-there are many forms of durability.  For wood, durability may mean looking good with dings and scratches.  With stone or tile, you will want something chip and stain resistant.
3.  The […]

By |August 23rd, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

2 Garage to House Connectors

It is often visually and functionally appropriate to get some space between a home and a garage.  Inevitably there is a concern for what happens in bad weather when you have to get from the garage to the house.  We have found a number of ways to connect homes to garages, and here are a couple of recent projects that made that connection work.

Sometimes our clients only want to separate their new garage from their home by an entry […]

By |August 22nd, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

8 Garage Door Solutions (Updated)

Garage doors may seem to be a very mundane topic, not worth much thought in the overall scheme of home design, but in our office, that is not the case.  When you think about it, garage doors are quite large elements, which need to be worked into the composition of a building. Those considerations are important whether it is a stand-alone garage, garage/guest house, or a garage connected to a home.
We have designed 3” thick authentic swinging carriage house […]

By |July 19th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

A little Modern

Our clients bought an old home that had been moved to it’s site, and reconstructed.  The old portion of the home was charming and quite beautiful.  Added on to it was one of the worst additions I have ever seen.  They asked us to remove the addition, and design a kitchen/family room that was sympathetic with the old house, but give them big views and a modern aesthetic.

One other requirement was that the addition include a commercial grade kitchen.  Our clients found […]

7 Places to Entertain

When my family entertains, we often start in the kitchen, go to our back porch, then eat in the dining room and end up in our living room, and that doesn’t include outdoor entertaining.   Every home is different, and so are the ways in which each family entertains.  We create a variety of spaces in each home we design to accommodate gatherings of family or friends.  In addition to the more public places, it is important to have private spaces for those […]

By |July 18th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn is Open!

After the usual amount of construction delays and a mad scramble to make ice cream, train staff, and work out the kinks, Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn opened last Saturday.  In addition to Zoe and her crew, my whole family was working serving guests, making milk shakes, and keeping the ‘barn’ clean. (Zoe is my wife’s youngest sister) It was supposed to be a ‘soft’ opening, but it turned out to be quite the scene as everyone came in to […]

By |June 27th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||2 Comments

4 Ways We Make Small Rooms Feel Larger (Updated)

When trying to make a small room feel substantial, we find that light and architectural details go a long way.  Bookcases filled with interesting photos as well as good reads, give a room depth and interest.  If there is room for a small fireplace, the small room is complete.

Small rooms really don’t feel small at all if you can view the world beyond from a comfortable chair.  Architectural details, interesting textures, big windows and tall ceilings ensure a feeling […]

By |June 27th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

5 Rolling, Barn Style Doors

Rolling, barn style doors, solve a lot of problems.  They are attractive, easy to use, and save a lot of space.  Because the rolling barn style doors are hung from a rod or a track, they slide in front of the opening so they do not provide a tight seal. For many locations, a tight seal is not required.

In their original use as barn doors, tight seals were not necessary since barns were rarely, if ever, heated. We use them, mostly, as a visual […]

By |June 16th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments

Porch Renovation (Revisited)

Older homes have a character that often is impossible to replicate.  A 200 year old home has traces of daily life so different from our world today.  That sense of history is what makes living in an old home wonderful.  I once owned an 1865 schoolhouse that a friend and I converted into a weekend home.  Some naughty children carved their initials in the siding over a hundred years ago and we treated those carvings with great reverence when […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||2 Comments

Family Farms: Bos-Haven 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.”

It just so happens that my sister-in-law, Katie (Zoe) Ferris, is going to use these high quality local dairy products at Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn.   She asked me to photograph some of the farms to display in the shop. […]

By |April 30th, 2016|Categories: Miscellaneous||0 Comments