6 Outdoor Fireplaces

Cool evenings in October draw me out onto my porch.  We have an area heater which extends the season both in the Spring and the Fall.  Many of our clients who want to enjoy those edge of season days and nights outdoors ask us to design an outdoor fireplace. Once they start using it, they find that the ambiance of an outdoor wood burning fireplace can be a lot of fun year around.  We have heard of great marshmallow […]

Fine Home Source 2013, Sept. 28th

I will be the first to admit, everyone doesn’t need a bowling alley.  But if you would like to see the latest in home bowling, come on out to Fine Home Source on September 28th and take a look.  This year we have some of the most broad ranging and professional vendors ever.  You can speak to the experts from Orvis Sandanona about learning how to fly fish or shoot sporting clays then talk to the folks at Dutchess Overhead Door […]

The Philip Hart House-Sleeping Porch(Revisited)

Every old home needs an advocate. A special someone who understands and cares about the details, the history, and the sense of place inherent in a period home. Those advocates may save that home from the wrecking ball or the vinyl siding salesman or the addition that would look better on a gas station. Two of those advocates are David and Nan Greenwood.Their home is in Hart’s Village just outside of the Village of Millbrook. Philip Hart built his […]

4 Pool Houses(Revisited)

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 pool, […]

A Home in the Middle

The first of my articles on house sizes(Small Home-Big Dreams) featured a home with 2200 square feet of heated living space.  We explored the strategies which are critical when designing a smaller place to live.

A medium sized home in our office runs between about 3000 square feet and 5000 square feet of heated space.  As the size of the home increases, shared spaces are still desirable but are not as critical to the overall perceived spaciousness of the home.

 

We […]

Small Home-Big Dreams

We have designed new homes which are very small(under 1000 square feet) as well as homes which are very large.  Regardless of scale, each home reflects the vernacular detail of the region and the careful study of proportion and light as well as the needs and desires of its owners.  This will be the first of several articles exploring projects of various sizes.

This home was designed as a weekend home for a couple who were professionals working in New […]

Adding On (Revisited)

About half of the work in our office is new construction and half renovations and additions. When designing a home from scratch some of the most important elements to study(besides the clients wishes) are views, site features, sun and wind direction, and the approach to the site. The most important single element in an addition/renovation is the existing building. Sometimes the portion you save and restore is key to the rest of the project. Although it is almost impossible […]

The Reluctant Authors(Revisited)

 

It’s hard for me to believe it has been almost 7 years since the publication of ‘On the Porch’.  Sandee Mahoney and I wrote this coffee table book at the request of Taunton Press, and I have to say we are as proud of it today as we were in 2006.  What follows is the text of a article written just before release of the book but after we had seen authors’ copies.  It begins with a description of […]

Projects’ End(Revisited)

One of my least favorite parts of a project is it’s end. During the process of designing and constructing the home, we have built special relationships with home owners, contractors and craftspeople which inevitably must change. Often those business relationships become friendships, but there is nothing like being part of that creation(ask any mother).

We work together as a team for as much as several years speaking at least once a week and exchanging ideas even more and then the […]

5 Porches(Revisited)

America has had a love affair with porches that goes back centuries. Although few of the earliest Dutch and English colonial homes had porches, it wasn’t long until they were added to the beautiful stone and wood structures.

Like most of the country, there were few homes built from the mid nineteenth century until after World War II in the northeast that didn’t have a porch. From Greek Revival farm houses scattered through Connecticut to Gothic revival cottages in New […]