4 Dutch Doors

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 […]

In the Kitchen (Revisited)

One of my favorite times in the kitchen is Saturday afternoon, all by myself, making a big mess preparing Creole and Cajun dishes. Whether I’m trying to cook my roux(flour and oil) to the perfect nutty brown for Gumbo, or making a simple pot of Red Beans and Rice, it is my place to unwind and anticipate the good food to come. At our home like most of the homes we design, the kitchen is the heart of the […]

6 Wood Burning Fireplaces(Revisited)

Every autumn as leaves and temperatures fall, I anticipate the first fire in the fireplace. I continue to build fires well through the cool spring nights. Each new fire is a personal test of my log selection and arranging skills-some of which I fail; my father-in-law and I have a running contest to see who’s fire will smoke and go out the fastest.

When my home (and his) was built in the late eighteenth century, building fires was serious business. […]

Getting There is Half the Fun-4 Hallways

The way you approach a room can often be as interesting as the room itself.  When designing a hallway, we sometimes take the opportunity to create a sense of movement by changing materials, exploring natural and artificial lighting, varying the ceiling height, and establishing beam patterns.

A long hallway is ideal for displaying family photos or can be a perfect art gallery.  Lighting is critical for both comfort and the proper enjoyment of the art work.

 A stair hall, if wide […]

Modern Farmhouse Design (Revisited)

There is no absolute prototype for a farmhouse, but most of us can recognize one when we see it. By definition the originals were located on farms and were integral to the life and work of those farm families who lived there.

Depending on when and where those homes were built, they could be made of stone, brick, shingles or clapboard. Most farmhouses had porches since there was no air conditioning and many farm and family chores were undertaken there. […]

Three Green Rooms

A bold color choice in a home is not for the faint of heart.  Our client, in her new home decided to think out of the off-white box when she chose a green palate using Farrow and Ball paints, and in doing so, hit a home run.

The home has beautiful big views, and she made the point that the strong colors offset and draw focus to the landscape beyond.  I will add that the contrast between the mostly green […]

By |March 13th, 2012|Categories: Design, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |5 Comments

5 Ceiling Treatments

Even though it may not be the first thing you notice when you enter a room, the ceiling makes a big impact on how you perceive the space.  A well designed room should include careful study of how the ceiling is perceived.  Simple unadorned ceilings are fine as long as they fit the rooms they are above.  There is almost no limit to the design options available when considering the ceiling of a home.

When additional ceiling height is needed, […]

4 Front Doors

The front door is a symbolic welcoming gesture to the world beyond.(even if we enter the mudroom door most of the time)  When designing a new home, a strong inviting front door is relatively easy to create.  An existing home whose front door is ill defined and hard to access, often poses a greater challenge.  Many times the biggest hurdle is to create a functional front door on a home whose approach is defined by the automobile rather than […]

By |January 10th, 2012|Categories: Design, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Quiet Spaces

We all need time to think, read and/or write, to sketch or simply dream.  A quiet space within our home can be a refuge from hectic lives and too many electronic diversions.  That space doesn’t need to be a closed room with a heavy door, you may want to be close to the activity inside your home, just not in the middle of it all the time.

When planning a quiet or contemplative space, care should be taken to decide […]

7 Entry Halls

Entering and leaving most homes, we pass through an entry hall that is formal or casual, one that is meant either for guests, family or for everyone. Many homes we design have a main entry which is meant for the arrival of guests with a place to hang their coats, and a ‘mud room’ entry which is for everyday use as well as muddy boots, dogs and gardening apparel.

In my house (circa 1790) we have a center hall with […]

By |October 26th, 2011|Categories: Design, Miscellaneous, Stairs|Tags: , |3 Comments