5 Additions That Especially Add Value to a Home(Revisited)

In a completely unscientific review of past and current projects, I find that five types of additions are requested more than all the others combined.  The reason may be that homeowners value these five additions the most or it could be that most homes lack or only have poor examples of these spaces. While I never try to predict real estate trends or future markets, it stands to reason that a home, which includes fine examples one or more […]

One Micro Home

Many people I know are weary of the work required to maintain a large home and the headaches associated with coordinating that task.  Although the idea of living in a very compact home isn’t for everyone, there are certainly days around my house that make me fantasize about living in a home, which due to its size, limits the amount of work required to keep it in good shape.

Luckily we are often asked to design exactly that kind of […]

Mass. Farm House-Featured Recent Project

We started with an historic home on a dirt road in the countryside of Massachusetts which had been uninhabited for several years. Our clients came along at just the right time to resurrect this beautiful bit of history.
By carefully preserving the antique portions of the home while renovating and adding to the newer sections, we were able to create a home that has a foot in several centuries. Best of all it still feels comfortable on that tiny dirt […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture(Revisited)

Excerpted from “On the Porch” by Sandee Mahoney and James Crisp

Have you ever looked at a house and sensed that something about it wasn’t quite right? Perhaps it didn’t look finished or feel balanced. Was it the placement of the windows? The pitch of the roof? The size of the porch? It’s not always easy to put your finger on what’s wrong, but it helps if you understand a few principles of good design. These drawings illustrate the difference […]

By |November 2nd, 2013|Categories: Design, Porches, Renovations|Tags: , |1 Comment

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]