PREMIE RE ISSUE
OUTDO O R LIVING IN TH E H U DSO N VA LLE Y
Amazing Outdoor Spaces Stunning Hudson Valley Pools Grill Like A Pro Local Craft Beer Pairings
May/June 2014 Complimentary
Warm & Inviting Outdoor Rooms ...Its all in the details
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May / June 2014
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FEATURES 28 BLURRED LINES
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32 EAGLE’S REST Overlooking the Hudson River in Garrison, NY, this Tuscan inspired poolside offers all the comforts of home.
39 WESTCHESTER WHIMSY
16 IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
A new cabana nestled amongst a natural rockbed in Westchester County houses a stone fireplace for yearround entertainment.
DEPARTMENTS 6 FROM THE PUBLISHER We have been building Outdoor Home Magazine quitely behind the scenes for quite a while now. We are thrilled to share our premiere issue with our Hudson Valley readers. Exciting!
13 THE DIRT
28 BLURRED LINES
Create shade for your outdoor gathering areas with cool shadeon-demand products. Also, not your average fire pits—stylish, modern, and practical.
16 DETAILS The smallest of details can elevate your outdoor room from ordinary to extraordinary. Two projects, tons of details—which space speaks to you?
21 OUTDOOR CHEF
After a long hard winter here in the Hudson Valley, it’s finally time to fire up the grill and crack open some local, award-winning craft beer.
32 EAGLE’S REST
25 GROW Vegetable gardens can connect us to nature and keep us eating healthier— but who has the time? Container edibles help to bring the garden into the modern world.
OUTDOOR HOME MAGAZINE No. 01 · May/June 2014. PUBLISHER Corey J. Halstead. EDITOR Anna Halstead. GRAPHIC DESIGN Corey J. Halstead, Gina Logrande. PRINTING Universal Printing Co. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tovah Martin, Jennifer Brizzi, Gabrielle Contelmo, Dee Nash, Ryan Parker. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Chris Lovi, Roger Theise, istockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages,viki2win, irin717, coramueller, Kali Nine, Nancy Donskoj. Outdoor Home Magazine (OHM) has not tested any services or products advertised herein and has not verified any claims by it’s advertisers. OHM makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for claims regarding such services/products. No reproductions of printed materials is permitted without the written consent of the Publisher. © 2014 by Halstead Media Group LLC, all rights reserved.
May / June 2014
Photos: Courtesy of Unilock®
that will stand the test of time Unilock® Authorized Contractors are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail and in-depth experience with a wide range of paving and outdoor living projects. You’ll rest easy knowing you’ve hired the best!
Every detail counts. We design and build your landscape to perfection. Every time.
Harmony Hill Landscaping is proud to be Authorized Unilock Installers. Our commitment to training and continued education ensures that every project is installed to the highest industry standard. It is our passion for outdoor living that has allowed us to serve the Hudson Valley for over a decade.
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Trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners and are used by permission.
& Welcome To Outdoor Home Magazine. Finally, outdoor living in the Hudson Valley has a dedicated voice.
So here we are.
products. All of these positions helped me to really understand outdoor
Spring 2014. Wow! I
living spaces and what it takes to make them truly amazing. And all of
could not be more ex-
that leads me to here. Sprawling pages with lush photography, behind
cited to share with you
the scenes coverage of local outdoor projects, and content that is fresh,
the very first issue of Outdoor Home. Many long months of hard work have culminated in this stunning collection of tips, tricks, and inspiration for all things outdoor living in the Hudson Valley.
creative, and most of all, useful. The beautiful natural landscape of the Hudson Valley serves as an amazing backdrop for the most incredible outdoor living spaces. As the in-
For almost fifteen years, I have been involved in one way, shape, or form
door and outdoor living spaces of our
with the outdoor living and landscape industries. It all began as a teenager,
homes continue to seamlessly merge,
working for my uncle’s landscape maintenance company. After that, I held
Outdoor Home Magazine will be here
a number of sales, project management, and design positions for sucessful
as the most comprehensive source in
design/build firms, as well as distrbutors and manufacturers of landscape
outdoor living and design.
COREY J. HALSTEAD Founding Publisher
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Are you fired up for outdoor living?
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For a free catalogue of outdoor living ideas visit: outdoorrooms.com/Outdoor-Home-Magazine/
Create that luxury home feel in your outdoor space with help from The Outdoor GreatRoom Company. With over 35 gas fire pit and fireplace products along with custom outdoor kitchen islands, pergolas, beautiful furniture, and more, weâ€™ve got you covered!
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fire& shade Control the natural elements with these amazingly cool, or maybe hot, outdoor products.
ince the beginning of time, man has longed for the warmth of an open fire. And these modern days are proving no different. One night of toasting marshmallows together with the family will show you just how incredible your outdoor space can be with the touch of fire. From contemporary to classic, these products can help warm up your outdoor home.
01 Extend your outdoor living season by including a fire feature in your design!
1. OUTDOOR GREATROOM COMPANY NAPLES FIRE PIT TABLE has a powder-coated frame with a Dora Brown finish and a Crystal Fire stainless steel burner. Perfect for appetizers and drinks around the fire. Lp tank included.
2. NAPOLEON’S PATIO FLAME GPFL48MHP is built for the outdoors with a powder coated cabinet and durable weather resistant brushed stainless steel burner, chassis, and cover plate. The clean lines of the design make this an amazing option for a unique
fire feature. Say goodbye to the boring fire pits of the past!
3. GEOMETRIC FIRE PIT BY JOHN PAUL PLAUCHE’ is hand crafted of durable steel sporting a natural rust patina finish. The minimalist design allows for a sophisticated, modern feel. Available accessories include a grate top and a cedar table top for when the fire is not burning.
02 SHADE ON DEMAND
is certainly at its best when summer’s here and the weather is warm. But what do we do about that blazing sun? Creating shade for your outdoor spaces is an important aspect of increasing comfort and usability in your landscape. Enjoy the sun or create some shade by using some of these attractive shade-on-demand products.
May / June 2014
1.SOLAIR RETRACTABLE AWNING with sunbrella fabric in heather beige—Looking to add sun protection to your deck? Here’s your answer. Photo courtesy of Sunbrella®.
2. SUNSETTER OASIS AWNING is retractable, freestanding, and available to move wherever it needs to go. Set it up by the pool, on the lawn, or on the patio or deck. It is
available in both motorized and manual models and comes with a large variety of fabric choices.
3. DEFENDER SAIL AWNING by Corradi is equipped with a freestanding base and this beauty rotates 360 degrees for changing sun patterns. Available in two sizes: 118 sq’ and 150 sq’. Choose from 5 different sail colors.
Awning FX RHS 0314 HH
DECK COVERS PATIO COVERS
Great in the Rain
3 WAYS TO COVER YOUR OUTDOOR AREA:
Retractable Awnings By
Aluminum Four Seasons Awnings
Stationary Awnings By
CAKES FOR ALL OCCASIONS • ALL NATUR AL INGREDIENTS • ALL FROM SCR ATCH Servicing Rockland, Orange, Westchester & New York City, as well as Bergen County, NJ 495 Kings Highway • Valley Cottage, NY 10989 • HudsonValleyCakery.com • (845) 267-CAKE
OUTDOOR GOURMET An outdoor kitchen from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet (www.kalamazoogourmet.com) is second to none in craftsmenship and design. Go see the folks at Albano Appliance in Pound Ridge, NY to check them out (www.albanoappliance.com).
OUTDOOR WALLS Walls are one of the biggest reasons indoor spaces feel intimate—create them outside too!
FIRE PIT SQUARED If you’re like us, you are tired of looking at plain ole’fire pits—round and overused. Try incorporating square models for the ultimate in clean lines.
So you’re planning an outdoor living space? Show your outdoor rooms some love by using the proper materials, key features, and lush accessories.
May / June 2014
ith outdoor living spaces becoming seamless extensions of our homes, it’s finally time to elevate the average backyard setup here in the Hudson Valley. Long gone are the days of the 12x12 patio and steel rim fire pit. Outdoor living manufacturers, designers, and installers are all rising to the challenge of creating better products for you, but it’s also up to you to clearly define what you like. So what is your style? The inside of your home probably reflects your likes and dislikes pretty well and now you need to carry those ideas outside the backdoor. At Outdoor Home, we want to see every project in the Hudson Valley being designed and built with the proper attention paid to style and detail. Thus, here in Details, we provide two project features with differing style profiles. No matter the style you choose, however, make no mistake that the smallest of details are what elevates an outdoor room from ordinary to extraordinary.
TEXT COREY J. HALSTEAD PHOTO KALAMAZOO OUTDOOR GOURMET
MATERIAL CONTRAST Use a combination of materials in the design of your outdoor space to create interest and sophistication. Think wood, concrete, steel, and glass all working together in harmony.
First up, this clean-lined beauty embodies modern day outdoor living in dramatic fashion. Through the use of contrasting building materials—steel, wood, and stone—the space feels sophisticated and vibrant. The segmental paver floor offers strong lines that set the tone and define the space. A common issue we see in the Hudson Valley right now is the overuse of one material in outdoor designs. Why settle for a deck that is built with the whole space composing of wood? Or a patio in which concrete pavers and walls dominate entirely? It is very difficult to create spaces that integrate well with the
CLEAN LINES Clean. Simple. Sophisticated. Don’t let your contemporary style stay locked up inside anymore.
rest of the home when materials are used in this fashion. Be sure to explore the available materials when planning your outdoor oasis! Creating amazing outdoor living spaces like the one featured here really boils down to one simple principle: approach the design of your outdoor home in the same way as your indoor home. That’s it! Easy right? Ok, well easier said than done. But here’s one major idea that can really bump up your outdoor spaces—create outdoor “rooms.” Just like on the inside of your home, large outdoor areas need to be divided into smaller, more individual
outdoor rooms. In this featured space, there are really four rooms—the outdoor kitchen with Kalamazoo products (available at Albano Appliances in Pound Ridge, NY), the living room with the fire feature, the dining room with table and chairs, and the standing conversation room. Connecting these spaces are what is referred to as transitional spaces—hallways if you will. Compare this approach with the common practice of building one large patio or deck, then trying to figure out how to use it. You will be much happier living in your new outdoor space if you implement the aforementioned design strategy.
...SPEAKS TO YOU?
SOFT & WARM Pillows, blankets, and cushions are a must for creating a cozy space.
May / June 2014
COLOR PALETTE Pick your color scheme right at the start. This will make the task of choosing colors for all your materials a bit easier.
TEXT COREY J. HALSTEAD PHOTO BELGARD HARDSCAPES
OUTDOOR DECOR Vases, candles, and centerpieces are not just indoor decor anymore. These touches can make all the difference.
Just enough cozy pillows and warm colors to create an inviting space for your friends and family.
CONVERSATIONS Arrange furniture in a way that encourages people to chat up the night.
n contrast to the Clean Lines project, Warm Welcome is the perfect example of how details can define a space. The neutral undertones of the blue-grey stone contrasts nicely with the burnt orange accents introduced by the fabrics. This muted color scheme helps create a calm, inviting vibe that just makes you want to jump through the page and grab a seat. The fireplace not only creates warmth and extends the useable season here in the Hudson Valley, it really acts as the centerpiece for the entire space. Standing tall and proud, it is covered in a
manufactured fieldstone veneer, and nicely complements the concrete pavers—a Belgard Hardscape product—used for the patio. The other perhaps less obvious benefit of the fireplace unit is the enclosed feeling it creates for guests in the seating area. This is a major reason why this space is so cozy and warm. When planning out your space, strongly consider including focal features like fireplaces, fire pits, water features, or even an outdoor TV to make the space more fun. Concrete and stone—the major players in the outdoor living material world— are beautiful and noble. But they can also
be very cold. Many properly designed and professionally installed projects across the Hudson Valley are left in this state. The projects just never fully come to life. Remember, what’s good for the inside is also good for the outside, right? Spend a little extra time and a small amount of money (when compared to the overall project cost) and soften things up. Add splashes of color and warmth with outdoor pillows, throw blankets, and outdoor rugs. Trust us...these small details will make your project all the more popular with family and friends.
RARE GRILL THE KALAMAZOO HYBRID FIRE GRILL Gas, charcoal and wood in one incredible grill. Hand-built in Kalamazoo, Michigan from $10,495. HYBRIDK AL AMAZOO.COM
OUTDOOR CHEF LEFT Kalamazoo Gourmet outdoor kitchen located in right here in NY. Products available at Albano Appliances in Pound Ridge, NY.
GRILL MARKS Spring is here and that means it’s time for grilling. A few simple tips will help you bump up your food game. TEXT JENNIFER BRIZZI
EDITED COREY J. HALSTEAD
s early summer kicks in, those of us who love to cook and eat outdoors can’t help but get excited about firing up our grills again. When days stretch longer and fresh breezes are warm on our skin, the urge to be outdoors means moving the kitchen outside —as often as we can. Everything just tastes better in the fresh air and when you add in the grill, food is succulent, smoky, and juicy. Luckily, most meals can be cooked outdoors, from appetizers to mains to sides. Why stop there? Since it can be tricky running back and forth from the kitchen to the grill while putting together a meal, even dessert can be prepared on the grill! There isn’t one silver bullet to perfectly grilled food. The
key to learning when to poke with a finger and when to stab with a knife takes a lot of practice, so get out there! As you grill more over time, you’ll learn tricks for maximizing flavor. Regardless of how much time you’ve spent as the keeper of the flame, here comes a few ways to help bump up your grilling style and flavor! Seasoning before cooking is the first secret you must know about! Especially, salt and pepper. Chef Graziano Tecchio of Kingston’s historic Rondout waterfront district likes to dust meat with fine sea salt just before grilling. “It penetrates better,” he says. He prefers a course-ground cracked pepper and just enough extra virgin olive oil, “something that stands up nice to the heat” he adds. A great little tip for sweet potatoes, which take very well to the smokiness and caramelization of grilling, is to add a bit of cinnamon and a healthy pinch of cayenne to the oil, before coating the potatoes. In his native Italy, Chef Tecchio remembers brushing flavored oil on meats and vegetables using duck or goose feathers as the food sizzled on the grill. Often overused, marinades are very popular these days, but you hear less of the tangy grilling sauces called “mops.” These get applied as food is cooking, just as in Teccio’s Italian roots. Aromatics in the fire can be a really cool addition to your routine. Big sprigs of rosemary and sage (grown in your potted herb garden) are not only decorative and evocative, but when thrown on the fire, they perfume the food. “The oils in the herbs get released by the heat” says Chef Tecchio. Now that is how you awaken your taste buds: stimulate your smelling senses first! For the smoky flavor seekers, charcoal is making a
May / June 2014
... Get Paired Up With Craft Beer!
Local Craft Beer is exploding big time right now. You see it at BBQs, weddings, and even fine dining restaurants. Why? Scott Vaccaro from Captain Lawrence Brewery sums it up in one word, “flavor!” Scott points out, “the flavors of the different styles are so diverse and offer such a wide range of flavors to match up with foods that it is undeniably a perfect beverage to pair with food.” It’s not always easy to know what beer to serve with what food and when, but it can be, with a few pointers. Scott shares these three tips to get your pairings done right! comeback. Most grilling enthusiasts will tell you that a charcoal grill is the best way to get amazing flavor and Chef Tecchio agrees. This method is without a doubt quite a bit more work and mess, but you will be handsomely rewarded with fine flavor. A great solution is to use your handy gas grill for weekday meals and save the special experience of charcoal grilling for weekends with the family. Fine weather is a great excuse to uncover your grill (charcoal or not), use your simple ingredients like herbs and oils, and get your friends and family over. Enjoy the fun, flavor, and the great Hudson Valley outdoors. Happy grilling! CHEF TECCHIO’S GRILLED RIB-EYE STEAKS WITH GORGONZOLA 2 servings
Consider choosing quality meat products like local Hudson Valley grass-fed beef. Northern Italy’s soft, crumbly, and nutty gorgonzola stands up beautifully to the hearty beef. Bring steaks to room temperature before cooking. Although Graziano prefers a charcoal grill, gas works too. He serves this with grilled baby onions, long peppers, and zucchini. 2 10-16 oz Rib-Eye Steaks ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin 1 bay leaf ½ tsp. coarse grind black pepper ¼ tsp. fine sea salt 3 ounces “dolce” gorgonzola cheese, cut into slices
PHOTO BY NANCY DONSKOJ
Trim steaks if necessary. In a small bowl combine ¼ cup olive oil with sliced garlic, bay leaf, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. It’s better to do this a few hours ahead but it’s not necessary. Set aside. As the grill heats up, coat steaks with the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil, remaining ¼ black pepper, and sea salt. When the grill is hot, cook the steaks about three minutes per side for medium rare. Brush steaks as they cook with reserved oil mixture. When cooked to desired tempature, remove from grill and brush with any remaining oil. Top with gorgonzola slices. Let rest ten minutes and serve.
the grilled steak topped with Gorgonzola cheese that is featured here, “you need to take the beer up a notch so that it is not lost in the intense flavors of the cheese. The perfect match is the Captain Lawrence IPA. Big, bold, and full of flavors that can cut through the cheese without overpowering the steak.” Don’t forget about the classic beer and food
2. pairings. “Smoked Porter and braised short ribs is a match in heaven.” Scott likes the Captain Lawrence IPA with fish tacos. The brewery’s “Pale Ale is the perfect match for a grilled ribeye. The citrus and floral character of the beer, with a clean bite from the hops pairs up perfectly with rich flavors of a nice cut of meat!”
3. Consider the weather! “No matter what you are
cooking and who is attending the party there is always a beer that will work. Captain Lawrence has been working tirelessly to create beers for every occasion. For those hot summer day BBQ’s the Sun Block, hoppy wheat ale, is the perfect match. Bright, citrusy and crisp it will work with a range of foods and will open your eyes to what hops can do. That said don’t be afraid to break out the Freshchester Pale Ale and the Captain Lawrence IPA, both loaded with hop character which helps beat the heat!” The magical reason behind pairings (is if it’s done well) is for your beverages to bring out the flavors in your food and yes, even make your food taste better (that is possible)! Of course, the same goes the other way around too. Captain Lawrence takes their pairings seriously and are increasing their food offerings. Scott points out that the brewery has “paired up with the Village Dog out of Tarrytown to offer homemade, gourmet hot dogs. Calling them hot dogs does not do them any justice. These are works of art! Daved Dibari of the Cookery comes by on Fridays during the summer and parks his Dough Nation pizza truck and cranks out some delicious pizza.”
OUT ON THE BACK DECK The start of the container vegetable growing season.
GROW TEXT BY DEE NASH EDITED BY COREY J HALSTEAD
The MODERN Gardener
Let’s face it. Most of us are way too busy to spend hours and hours plucking weeds and trimming fruit from a large backyard garden. So how are younger generations adapting the traditional garden to their crazy schedules? Here’s a few tips from an expert on modern day edibles for 20/30-somethings.
o you ever feel like something is missing? It seems the harder we work in our hectic, always-connected professional lives, the more we crave a connection to nature. Once you have a place to call home—whether it’s an apartment
or your dream home—you begin to want something more. Perhaps you like to cook. You’ve invested in all the right cookware and a few of those fancy little kitchen gadgets out on the market, and you just love to get your hands on fresh ingredients. What if you could just walk out your back door and clip
a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary before dinner? You want a garden, but you don’t need it to take over your already busy life. You don’t want your grandmother’s large plot, but you want one that feeds you, body and soul. You may not have much space, but you desire a few fresh flowers for your table too. It might sound like an impossible task, but it isn’t. With a couple of containers, some good organic potting soil, a few plants, and good ‘ole water, you can quickly grow a garden that works with your modern day life. Spending an hour or two on the weekend to gather your materials and do some planting is a great investment in the locally sourced, organic food you will enjoy with friends and family for months that follow. Here are my 5 tips to get you started.
1 Start small and choose
the right pots. Container gardens, whether you plant one pot or six, are easy and productive. You can use traditional pots, but if you live in an apartment or a condo with stairs, you may not want to lug heavy pots up to your balcony. Plastic seems an obvious choice because it’s lightweight and portable. However, scientists still haven’t proven whether bisphenol A (BPA) leaches into growing vegetables. There is food-grade plastic available, especially in five gallon buckets, if you don’t mind the industrial look. Just don’t forget to drill holes in the bottom for adequate drainage. There is another popular lightweight and flexible option. Smart Pots are soft-sided fabric containers uniquely designed to improve the root structure of your plants.
May / June 2014
. . . Remember that gardening is a process. It’s a chance to step away from our gadgets and engage with the world around us. Open your back door, take a breath of fresh air and enjoy.
Professional growers have used these things for years, so they are time tested. Some even come with clever little handles to make pots easier to move around. They come in black and tan and can be emptied, folded, and stored easily for the long Hudson Valley winters.
2 Potting soil isn’t
garden soil. Most potting
soils are primarily composed of peat moss. Peat moss in the US generally comes from Canada. Whether it’s sustainable depends upon whom you ask. For more information on Canadian peat bogs and their management, see http://www.peatmoss. com/. If you’re concerned about the ingredients in your potting soil, ask your local nursery. Nurseries often have their own mix, and it may con-
GET A HEAD START Given the length of the Hudson Valley growing season, buy plants not seeds.
tain less peat, or completely replace it with other materials.
Buy plants instead of
3 trying to grow everything from seed. Garden favorites like tomatoes and peppers need a long growing season, and in the Hudson Valley, it’s a good idea to get a head start. Leafy greens though, like lettuce, chard, kale, and spinach, all grow well from seed in cooler weather.
You don’t need to grow
4 all of your food.
That’s what grocery stores and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms are for. Container gardening is a simple way to reap a good harvest of what you like best to eat. By gardening, you’ll learn to think seasonally— kale and green beans, for example, don’t normally grow or harvest at the same time. By eating seasonally, you’ll get fresher food that tastes better and is healthier.
Water is your most
5 important resource. Before you plant, think about how you will water your garden. Water needs to be close by and consistent for potted plants—one day without water, and they very well may die. Will you install a drip system, or water by hand? Either way, have a plan before you plant. If you’re growing on a raised deck or patio, your containers will heat up and cool faster so they may require a bit more water.
One of the best things about growing in containers . . . you’ll save your weekends from weeding! With a container garden, you don’t usually have as many weeds, and the ones you do see are easy to pull. To keep tabs on your plants, go out and visit your garden every day. If you don’t install a drip system, you’ll need to water plants before you head off to work so they’ll be hydrated during the hottest part of the day. Finally, don’t focus only on the end result. That’s a trap most new gardeners fall into. Instead, remember gardening is a process. It’s a chance to step away from our gadgets and engage with the world around us. The simple joys of clean eating, birds singing, butterflies, and fat bumblebees are only a step away. Open your back door, take a breath of fresh air and enjoy. Your garden awaits.
Dee Nash is the author of the 20/30-Something Garden Guide, a nofuss, down and dirty, Gardening 101 for anyone who wants to grow stuff. You can reach her at her blog of the same name, or on her other website, Red Dirt Ramblings. She’d love to hear from you.
ucolic and majestic, the Hudson Valley is a treasure trove of sweeping natural landscapes. Residents and visitors alike are drawn to this scenic part of New York; falling as willing victims to her beauty, anxious to revel in the seasonal kaleidoscope of color she offers. For those familiar with the area, the lure of the Hudson Valley is easy to understand. Capturing her inimitable aesthetic, however, proves more difficult. The work of mid-century modern architectural masters like Philip Johnson and Clifford May changed the way we look at our surroundings. With a few deft strokes, these visionaries effectively blurred the line between home and landscape. This idyllic concept, where living space seamlessly segues to meld with surroundings, continues to inspire contemporary designers; extending their own creative reach while they endeavor to smooth the division between indoors and out. Creating indoor/outdoor spaces that offer the best of both worlds while remaining true to the principals of form and function involves more than simply building access between the home and landscape. To blur those particular design lines, creative thinking and a holistic approach are put
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to work to dissolve the boundaries. The prize, for those who do so successfully, reveals itself through living areas that are distinctive and inviting. Clearly exemplifying wholes that equal greater than the sum of their parts, these are the cohesive spaces that push past traditional limits. Erasing physical and visual boundaries, these are the designs that reward us with outdoor living spaces replete with amenities usually reserved for a home’s interiors. These are indoor rooms that capture the coveted appeal of the great outdoors and landscapes that afford us all the comforts of home. Free from preconceived constraints, these are the spaces designed to delight from both near and far. Ask Gina Samarotto, Principal Designer of the Poughkeepsie-based Samarotto Design Group, to create a landscape and the first place she’ll want to see is your living room. Behind the seemingly odd request, there lies a method to the designer’s madness. With her firm working in both interiors as well as landscape architecture, Samarotto’s deeply rooted design sensibilities demand that a home’s intrinsic style be prominent across all spaces. Before a single plan is drawn, ground is broken or the first furnishings proposed, she focuses her seasoned eye on the feel a home embraces -- both indoors and out.
“Look out at the landscape from inside of your home” Samarotto explains,“ and you’ll see that the interiors are what frame your view of the space beyond. The style of the outdoor spaces must meld with the interiors in order for the view to flow and become what is, essentially, a visual extension of the room.”
“Look out at the landscape from inside of your home” Samarotto explains, “and you’ll see that the interiors are what frame your view of the space beyond. The style of the outdoor spaces must meld with the interiors in order for the view to flow and become what is, essentially, a visual extension of the room. The spaces have to come together. They have to work closely in style so that each individual element complements the next. That copasetic co-mingling is the basis for distinctive, cohesive design.”
Choosing furnishings and elements with shapes and styles that reflect those found inside the home, Samarotto addresses the outdoor living spaces she designs as if they were part of the interior rooms themselves. This approach, which introduces a much stronger connection between the homes interiors and landscape, is a game changer for
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the clients Samarotto works with. â€œThe bones of the design have to be solid. Equally important to the final project as the landscape architecture itself, are the connections that are made through the details including the furnishings and staging.â€? Samarottoâ€™s outdoor rooms are meticulously designed to indulge clients craving luxurious
surroundings, without sacrificing the intrinsic spirit of outdoor living. As elegantly appointed as any living room, the spaces feature elements like artisan-crafted hearths, space-defining flooring, sleek furnishings, and inspired accessories. Performing beautifully as outdoor retreats, they also serve as carefully framed vignettes intended to
Equally important to the final project as the landscape architecture itself, are the connections that are made through the details including the furnishings and staging.
TOP & BOTTOM Samarotto Design Group adds style to these poolside creations.
home that reflects a laid back, personal style; it would make no sense for me to deliver a rigidly structured garden. It’s more reasonable to guide those clients through the design process and introduce concepts featuring softer, more organic lines. We would suggest plantings and gardens with an unplanned, casual feel to work more smoothly with both their home and their lifestyle.” To tie the landscape to the home, Waite suggests a palette concentrating on the same colors seen on the exterior of the structure and within the interior spaces. Repeating elements that exist in the home’s architecture like a certain stone or signature metal finish also helps to underscore the style. “When the home and landscape are in harmony,” she says, “a space feels more comfortable, less compartmentalized. It blurs the lines between home and garden. That’s the design philosophy I learned after much trial and error and one that lets the home feel very connected to the land surrounding it.” To say a happy marriage between home and landscape blurs the lines may be an understatement. Closer to the truth may be to say that the creative union provides a way to bring out – and bring in - the essence of living under a ceiling of sky.
be viewed and appreciated from indoors as readily as they are enjoyed from out. The effect captures the landscape and introduces an open-air aesthetic into the home. The scope of the design is broadened, effectively extending the reach of the space’s outdoor beauty. Designer Jennifer Marut-Waite, of Celtic Gardens in Albany, shares similar beliefs. “Working with a client who lives in a rustic
EAGLE’S REST Every element of Eagle’s Rest in Garrison, NY is outward-looking. So, not surprisingly, the pool house communes with it’s surroundings to complete the statement. text by tovah martin photography by chris lovi
For Jamie Copeland of Hudson Design Architecture & Construction Management PLLC, it all began in the sandbox. “I was always building forts,” he says of his earliest memories growing up in Charlotte, NC. From there, he moved on to a multi-story tree house. As luck would have it, his home was the first finished house on a street that added structures on a regular basis—a little advantage that exposed him to plenty of carpentry during his impressionable years as well as all the salvageable scrap lumber he could haul on his bike to his own backyard projects. His mother was an enabler, “She realized that kids who play hard also work hard.” So, Copeland grew up with ample opportunity and encouragement to dabble with spatial relations. When the time came to select a career, he never had to grope. “If you believe in a purpose to our lives, I found my gift and figured out how to use it to serve other people.” From the sandbox and tree houses, it was just a hop, skip, and jump to a degree in Environmental Design. His internship was what brought him north to New York City. “I met my wife on the job site,” he said of an early project with the Lambs Theatre in Manhattan, where his wife served as artistic director. Since then, his focus has moved out from the city toward a dialogue between architecture and nature. At Eagle’s Rest, a 1998 commission, his firm—Hudson Design Architecture—created a very noteworthy house on 100 acres of grounds, previously a horse farm recently converted to sheep. There, Copeland found a sterling opportunity to exercise all his talents and bring structures together to honor viewsheds while walking lightly on the environment. The more the homeowners communed with nature, the more they wanted to be outdoors. The pool house followed fourteen years after the main house was
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built. Basically, it is yet another excuse for an intimate exchange with nature. With a massive fireplace, protected porch, incredible views, a pool alongside, and outdoor shower—who wouldn’t want to settle in with the scenery? The house at Eagle’s Rest was a hard act to follow. With circular, site-found granite lookout components joined by stucco wings, the house is purposefully oriented to revere the Hudson River snaking immediately beside the property. Just before the Hudson reaches the house site, it spins into a dramatic S-curve around Constitution Island, giving Hudson Design their reference point. Everything about the house celebrates the cataclysmic majesty of the river and the sights along its shores. Walk through the front door, and a bank of pilot-like windows sends all eyes out to that S-curve in the water. “The orientation toward the river was so strong, it had to inform everything else,” explains Copeland. “When a ship comes down the river, it feels as if it is heading straight for the house.” Ingeniously, the bank of bowed windows magnifies the experience. No matter how often you’ve walked through that front door, you feel the thrill. The contours of the house are all about curves as it strives for the panoramic view. And the landscape is equally curvaceous with an arc of pines shouldering the wind and gently undulating berms of shrubs flowing around the various majestic specimen conifers along the riverfront. When the homeowner decided to furnish yet anoth-
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er opportunity to link firsthand with the land and opted to add a freeform outdoor pool rather than an indoor version, enclosing it within a curved safety fence was the obvious way to go. With heavily disciplined wisteria vines to soften its lines, a low, circular stone wall topped with custom metal stylized leaf-like ornamentation was also added to reinforce the flow felt throughout the property. The pool itself has a jigsaw of inlets, including a massive springboard stone beside a hot-tub/whirlpool that heats the surrounding water. As for the jewel-in-the-crown pool house, Hudson Design “agonized over its position.” They drove stakes into the ground where the pool house might sit, they pulled them out to move them around. They did a mock-up, they set up chairs and sat in them. In the end, they oriented the pool house toward the pool, shouldering the river view and optimizing on the afternoon sun. Instead of meeting it head on, large windows cut in its walls frame the view. Jamie Copeland is nothing if not tuned into the land. That is why he sought out the massive tulip poplar timber salvaged from an 1800 barn to run across the yawning 18 foot wide front of the Tuscan-style pool house that he designed. Crafted of stone and stucco with wood beams to echo the house and match the granite on the generous patio skirting around the pool, he strove for simplicity and strength when designing the pool shelter. After dark, when the pool is not the center of attention, all eyes are on the massive
itself has a jigsaw of inlets, including a massive springboard stone beside a hot-tub/whirlpool that heats the
Rumford fireplace. “In the early 1800s, when fireplaces became less about cooking and more about comfort, the Rumford design where the walls are slanted so the heat radiates outward served as the most efficient design. You hear the fire, you smell the wood, it gives you all the comforts that a fire can provide,” Copeland sums up the beauty and engineering of the heat/entertainment source. Furnished with oversized all-weather wicker and brightly cushioned sofas, the space is made for lounging. Several whimsical sculptures around the pool keep the mood merry and serve as focal points. Thanks to the fireplace, entertaining extends before and after the pool’s calendar year for active use. Behind the covered (with cooling fan affixed) porch, the pool house accommodates a half-bath and laundry for convenience, both accessed from the rear. In between those doors, Hudson Design stationed an outdoor shower. How to make it discretely private without feeling boxed-in? The sleek, nautilus shape is Hudson Design’s solution, using overlapping mahogany slats for seclusion. With the woods behind and the heavens above, showering is a lark. Every aspect of the design was done with a firm eye fixed on environmentally friendly techniques—the roof is copper to shed water and handle snow, distressed lumber was employed to echo the tulip poplar front beam, light-colored granite was employed to defray heat underfoot around the pool, and windows are sited to optimize natural ventilation. Similarly, Hudson Design collaborated with the landscape designer to make sure that a high canopy would block the floodlights from the West Point’s Michie Stadium and the texture, color, and massing of plantings reflect the mood of the buildings. Always—when creating the house as well as the pool house—Jamie Copeland keeps one tenet firmly in mind, “You are designing for people. They will view it and use it inside and out.” Fittingly, the house has a decidedly nest-like feeling. And the property’s most recent addition—the pool house—enhances that experience furnishing all the comforts of family, friends, and warmth.
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Westchester Whimsy Text by Gabrielle Contelmo Photography by Roger Theise
Nestled among natural rock outcroppings, a new pool cabana provides an entertaining space for a Westchester family yearround. Hidden by overgrown landscaping, the original pool house was not easily accessible from the main house and the surrounding landscape did not flow well with the contours of the land. In addition, the 1970s structure was in need of repairs and updates; in conjunction with Daniel Contelmo Architects, the owners decided it would be more cost-effective to demolish the original and reconstruct a cabana in the style of their recently renovated home.
The original structure was a colonial and two renovations by Daniel Contelmo Architects in five years had transformed it into a whimsical, shingled home. â€œThe goal of the design was to create a structure that was completely integrated with both the main home and the landscape and would offer easy outdoor entertaining during all seasons,â€? Contelmo stated. Daniel Contelmo Architects settled on a cabana-style structure, which was open on all four sides to be more conducive to the indoor/outdoor entertaining that typically occurred around the pool.
Once again, we had tremendous clients who had great visions of their own and allowed us to create this outdoor oasis for their family and friends to enjoy.
The entire rear yard was re-landscaped; low shrubs and wide swaths of grass contribute to the openness of the entertaining area. In New York, all in-ground pools must be protected by a barrier 48 inches high, but by opting to enclose their entire property, rather than just the pool area, the homeowners were able to take advantage of unobstructed access from the pool to the lawn. The pool decking was done with random-sized and -colored bluestone that is flush with the lawn on one end, allowing entertaining to flow smoothly onto the grass. When the fieldstone retaining wall was built, pockets were left that now serve as nooks for flowing plants to spill over the stones. The fieldstone is finished with a rustic, grouted cap in colors that blend with the existing rock outcroppings. While the new cabanaâ€™s design ties into the existing house, certain details lend it a more casual style. Columns matching the home provide structure to the front of the cabana, while contributing to the open feel. The lattice-work joining the columns and the cedar shingles on the roof are reminiscent of beach houses, as is the vaulted ceiling finished with white beadboard and exposed beams. Though the overall feel of the pool cabana is casual, it is grounded in practical details that will allow the homeowners to effortlessly entertain. A balcony at the rear permits air to flow freely through
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the structure; more importantly, it is flanked by a full bath and a changing room so guests don’t have to make the trek to the main house to use those facilities. The outdoor kitchen is a cook’s dream—the stainless steel Viking cabinets and appliances include a fifty-three inch grill, and a refrigerator, icemaker, and sink that make food prep easy and keep the hosts connected to their guests. Bountiful storage space hides behind the cabinets, which are surrounded by stone, and an industrial-sized hood vents smoke and odors through the roof, not into the vaulted ceiling. Opposite the kitchen area, a fireplace with a raised hearth and a twenty-two foot tall chimney anchors the cabana and offers the ideal place to relax, converse, and roast marshmallows. The fireplace allows the entertaining season to begin earlier and extends it into cooler days, even into the winter months. The chimney was constructed of the same fieldstone that makes up the retaining walls and supports the kitchen counter. Daniel Contelmo Architects decided to wrap the finished surfaces of the cabana with Versatex, a weatherproof PVC material, to ensure that it would stand up to the elements, which was particularly important with the open-air design. Due to the high-quality installation completed by the housewrights of Home Enrichment Company, the building looks as perfect today as when it was completed three years ago. Contelmo states, “once again, we had tremendous clients who had great visions of their own and allowed us to create this outdoor oasis for their family and friends to enjoy.”
From classic estates to country side cottages, Daniel Contelmo Architects has been providing insightful solutions and timeless designs for nearly twenty-five years. They are one of the New York Hudson Valley’s premier architectural firms, having won numerous awards for their designs. Contelmo has contributed to online publications, traditional magazines, books, HGTV, and was recently published in Beautiful Homes, Better Homes and Gardens, and Westchester Home.
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