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Symmetrical Simplicity Bates Masi Architects exhibits ‘old meets new’ in a mid-century kit home renovation in the Hampton’s

By Roshunna Howard


Interior Designer Gilles Clement Raising The Bar On Downsizing In Style

By Diana Sussman


Grand Entrance A Connecticut family’s mudroom ideas are transformed into a total home overhaul with the expertise of a three-part building and design team

By Roshunna Howard




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Editors Letter Outdoor Spaces Ask the Experts

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Melange In the Field Hidden Treasures

Cover Photo: Neil Landino

East Coast Home + Design 7

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Number 68 Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Cristina Commendatore, Tracy Dwyer, Kait Shea, Diana Sussamn,Peg Ventricelli Contributing Photographers Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, John Gruen, John Hannon, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Daniel Milstein, Janice Parker, Durston Saylor, Debra Somerville, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Graphic & Web Design East Coast Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick 203-545-7091 Account Managers Lisa Dearborn Patrick Giddings Lollie Mathews Business Development Randi K. Lehrman, Esq. Marketing & Sales Advisor to the Gold Coast Corporate Counsel James F. Walsh, Esq. Distribution Man in Motion East Coast Home + Design 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 Fax: 203-286-1850 East Coast Home + Design is published six issues per year. To subscribe:; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at For editorial inquiries: Editor, East Coast Home + Design, 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 or e-mail: mattkolk@ For advertising inquiries: Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights for commercial use or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by East Coast Home + Design are not necessarily those of the magazine.


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Letter from the Editor

Gaults Megan Smith Gill and I at this years Round Table Event at Gault in Westport


nside this issue of East Coast Home + Design, we have three amazing projects from dramatically different perspectives: an architect, an interior designer and a builder. I believe that these different perspectives are important to demonstrate, it clearly shows the different thought processes involved from each firm. Not only from a creative thought process, but illustrating the care and attention to detail each demonstrates in the end results. I have to say, that I really enjoyed putting together the outdoor spaces this year. Each project is distinct , incredibly beautiful and just puts you in the mood to get out and enjoy the landscape, but it certainly didn’t hurt raise my spirits compiling this in late April when I still had the heat turned on! We also conducted our second annual Builders and Architects Roundtable discussion at Gault in Westport. Back by popular demand, the conversations were incredibly informative, a bit heated at times and chock full of details on the current state of the industry and where these talented individuals see it going in the future. This article is a must read for the homeowner thinking of or in the midst of a home project. Enjoy,

Matthew Matthew J. Kolk Editor in Chief

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Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens unveils its new hardware line, American-Made Bronze Handles The hardware line includes bronze and patina fixtures to complement the Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchen collection of high-quality, stylish outdoor cabinetry. “Danver’s new hardware line signifies our commitment to producing a quality product that is both functional and fashionable,” said Larry Smith, President of Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens. “The new American-Made Bronze Handles represent the latest hardware style trends and, at the same time, are strong, sturdy and weatherproof.” The American-Made Bronze Handle collection blends fashion, functionality and elements of nature together. The hardware line is offered in unique shapes portraying twigs, logs and bamboo shoots. The new hardware collection features patina and bronze finishes for door and drawer pulls, knobs, ring pulls and levers. As outdoor living trends still thrive on bringing the indoors out, the American-Made Bronze Handle line complements colors and styles seen in the outdoor living environment. The American-made hardware line production incorporates a unique oxidation process to create the patina effect. The process is an accelerated version of natural exposure to time, touch and environment. Repeated handling of the hardware leads to graceful wear of the patina revealing an authentic one-of-a-kind finish. BROWN JORDAN OUTDOOR KITCHENS 855.839.5063

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Outdoor Spaces


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HORTICULTURAL HEAVEN ECH+D Celebrates the Great Outdoors Stories by Susan Heller and Lollie Mathews

East Coast Home + Design

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Janice Parker Landscape Design A Restoration & Renovation of Historical Proportions The Mission Blend garden romance and historical charm with versatile functionality and contemporary design. Importantly, honor the original design created by the legendary, Ellen Biddle Shipman. Combine two lots, make them work separately and together. A delightful proposition for a modern-day design maven, who fortunately, combines well-honed analytical skills with intuitive artistic sensibilities. However, there were Complications. The westward facing slope was very steep, posing all kinds of issues. The garden pavilion, signature fountain, and sundry masonry was in total disrepair. Retaining walls were in structural failure. Underground spaghetti ruled, it was a counter-intuitive crazy quilt of drainage pipes and utility conduits. Hurricane Sandy had ripped out huge old trees leaving great gaps, in other areas the soil was damaged and compacted. The site itself is extremely cold and exposed. “Generally, we’re not called into anything simple,” Janice explains. You need a landscape architectural firm when things are not so easy – part of our approach is that we love the challenges. It’s fun to deal with complex sites, they invite us to explore the mystery, drama and excitement of the location.” Although Shipman created some 400 gardens in her career, no photos or plans for this particular site were found in her archives at Cornell University. Instead, Janice studied her work extensively so that she could invoke her aesthetic and spirit. Working both sides of the logic and creative street is something Janice does all the time. “Understanding the right way to work with things is a combination of analysis and intuition. We are seeking to create a layer on top of a piece of topography or land that has its own energy and personality. I am intrigued by the analytical and technical issues because they do inform the right way to work with materials. And because we need to know about the water table, the soil content, and environmental exposure, we do a lot of research and work with a geologist.” This level of focus and detail would be why her website showcases such a wide range of astonishing creations. Research completed, it was time to address architectural details. The

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pieces of the balustrade that remained, were sent to a restoration company which then recreated the entire balustrade to match. The lower fountain is a stucco-pebble matrix, a design form that appears frequently in the papers at Dumbarton Oaks (a research library and museum of garden design and landscape architecture) because it was fancied by designers around the turn of the last century. Janice found someone willing to train herself in creation of the special stucco-pebble surface so that they could restore it and put it on the new staircase. The beautiful curved stone bench had been carved up a number of times, the question became - how do we reunite the various pieces and create something new that would respect what had been there originally? The answer was to utilize the same hand-crafted pebble matrix to create a mosaic paving around the bench. “Obviously the property has traditional architecture that we wanted to acknowledge, but we didn’t want to take it overly seriously. We wanted to create a timeless sense of grace and charm – with a light touch of humor. So we have the statue of a beautiful Aphrodite which is an homage to the feminine energy of the garden at the same time two dolphins spitting water with another fountain on top, is just great fun.” The arresting stag sculpture was a product of design whimsy and historical connection with the property. With landscape architects in general, and Janice in particular, the yin and yang as expressed in design principles, is very much in play. She takes into account the variable lighting of the atmosphere above and the configuration of the land below, so that what she creates in the mid-zone unites the two elements seamlessly. “That,” she says, “is where you get something really potent. That’s where the magic lives.” JANICE PARKER LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS 52 Wakeman Hill Road Sherman, CT 06784 TEL. 860.350.4497 NYC 212.929.6490

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This new waterfront shingle-style house in Greenwich, CT, provides a stunning view of Todd’s Point. Architect Charles Hilton, wanted to create a space that offered comfortable viewing of the myriad moods of Long Island Sound; from brilliant sun, to misty fog and windy chop, with all the boats dancing at their moorings. He created a long linear plan, which terminated on one side with a semi-circular porch that also features pool views. Opposite the classical columns are French doors that open into the family room. The stunning fieldstone fireplace serves to anchor the house to the land. Chuck did not want to use new-cut stone, instead he sourced old, oversize chunks of fieldstone – creating a contemporary scene with a sense of history and proportion.

Charles Hilton Architects

Charles Hilton Architects 170 Mason Street Greenwich, CT 06830 203.489.3800


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Hoffman Landscapes Make Your Every Outdoor Moment Count This year, one New Canaan family is going to make every outdoor moment count. Every day they spend outdoors is a gift, as our outdoor season is short in the Northeast. Outdoor spaces are an extension of our indoor living spaces, and ideally will mimic how we use the rooms inside. This entertainment hub is just steps from their home. Whether it’s a large gathering of friends and family, or by themselves, it is a respite from the everyday stresses of life. They can roast s’mores in the evenings at the fire pit. Or take a cool plunge in the pool on a hot afternoon. Or stretch out on a lounge chair and get replenished with an outdoor nap. Brian Cossari’s philosophy is to take the time to plan your outdoor spaces to function and flow very much like your interior spaces. Cossari, landscape architect for Hoffman Landscapes, states further, “You will see here the three most important rooms every backyard should have: kitchen, living and dining rooms. When describing outdoor living spaces, I often use an analogy of a typical dinner party. It begins in the living room with cocktails and appetizers. Then everyone gathers in the kitchen while the meal is being prepared. Guests are served at the dining room table. Then they migrate back to the living room. This sequence is no different outdoors. The footprint of the rooms, their uses and the furniture required is very similar right down to the kitchen island with bar seats and outdoor living room with a fire element and furnishings.” A close get-away that can transport you to another place…all your senses will be touched. Can you count the many different shades of green, from the lawn to the trees to the leaves on the bushes and flowers? How about the colorful variety of beautiful blooms? Listen to the wind rustling through the trees and the gentle sound of water from the nearby spa/pool. Hear the birds singing their tunes. Just think of the mouth-watering taste of s’mores and those great family BBQs. Feel the warmth of the midday sun on your face, or the heat from the fire pit on a cool autumn’s eve. Smell the fragrance from the dazzling perennial beds and the freshly mowed lawn. This retreat is literally in your own backyard. You can have that “get away from it all” feeling without having to go very far at all. Calmness reigns. Senses are soothed. Souls are pampered. Refresh. Renew. Rejuvenate. Do it alone. Do it as a family. Do it with friends and associates. And do it all in your own backyard. This is making every outdoor moment count. HOFFMAN LANDSCAPES Wilton 203.834.9656 Greenwich 203.637.1131 Fairfield 203.254.0505 Litchfield 860.868.0103 Westchester 914.234.0304


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Artemis Landscape Architects

When Tara Vincenta from Artemis Landscape Architects was asked to incorporate an outdoor retreat to her New Canaan client’s 4-acre backyard she made sure to keep within the shingle style homes character, creating an atmosphere that was seamless. She wanted to design a “living and entertaining area as an extension of the house.” She was given a large palette to play with artistically and as the homeowners had a large space to be awak-

ened in summer. This “retreat’s” main focus starts with the rectangular vivid blue pool that as Tara said “it is purposely set away from the main entertaining areas and the pool is covered during the winter months, as they did not want this to compromise their views during the winter season.” The integrated waterfall style spa is a “feature at the primary outdoor entertaining area, that gets heavily used East Coast Home + Design


in season as it is close to the house.� The pool remains classic set against panels of grass inlayed by diagonal bluestone. Five all weather wicker lounge chairs sit perched with a perfect view shaded by off-white umbrellas on one side and directly across sit two matching benches. The family can gather around the fire pit that holds court below an abundance of white hydrangea trees, which seem to be present in many other parts of the homes expansive yard. A blue stone frames the top of the pit sitting atop strategically placed fieldstone. Native CT fieldstone was chosen for the walls, courtyard, and stone columns. All while sitting atop a ground covering of white washed native stones, which can also be seen in the homes driveway and in the outdoor dining area. A large rectangular dinner table with a blue granite top sits among all weather wicker taupe chairs. With the addition of casual and more formal living areas and water features, this design will offer plenty of uses for the family. ARTEMIS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Tara Vincenta 277 Fairfield Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604 203.683.1808


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Spaulding Landscape Architects When homeowners from Fairfield County wanted an all year outdoor entertaining space they turned to Nancy Spaulding, at Spaulding Landscape Architects. They loved the idea of eating outside in the summer time, but also wanted to be able to enjoy the space in the other seasons as well. One can’t but miss the strong lines of the fireplace that Nancy shared“ was located so that it would also be a focal point from inside the house looking out through the glass back doors.” The three tiered fireplace façade is New England fieldstones that were hand picked out to reflect the same look as the homes foundation. The fireplaces hearth’s large slab of Roxbury granite resonates in the cottage’s steps. As Nancy said, “the space needs to look as if it is original to the house”, and that rings true in this space. The outdoor kitchen has an abundance of stainless steel appliances that command the space. There is a generous Chinese grey honed 26

granite surface that is echoed in the seat walls and fireplaces three tiered edges. The granite look on a lighter grey in the grounds paving stones. The homeowner, who was well versed in gardening, loved the idea of a “gardeners paradise” and this particular design leads to many paths among all year plants. Nancy is a strong believer in planting flowers and shrubbery that will thrive all year long and in Connecticut that is a something we all would appreciate. SPAULDING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, LLC Nancy Spaulding 203.322.6404

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LANG Lang Pools

Lang Pools has a following amongst pool lovers in Fairfield County, as they deliver an impeccable styled pool that is always completely customized. They also pride themselves on being technology savvy, an example being the salt-water chlorine generator, which elimantes the need for chlorine. In this project, “The client wanted a serene environment to enjoy with his growing family”. Project Designer Nick Vitiello chose irregular full range bluestone set in a mosaic pattern to offset the rectangular narrow long pool. “Lang Pools only had 580 square feet to work with, all of which was located in a very narrow corridor behind the house.” The design itself turned out be serene with very clean lines. The grass softens the edge of the stone as it envelops the side and continues into a soft lawn. It is a timeless styled pool that blended the hot tub into the main pool, almost creating an infinity look. The brown stonewall is a seamless backdrop to the shrubbery and cool water. “A pool that long and narrow can easily end up feeling very cold and sterile, but with the right materials, the client received the best of both worlds!” 28

LANG POOLS 169 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 203.846.3943

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Sean Jancski Landscape Architects

One would not mistake Sean Jancski’s pools for any other than perfection. It can be a challenge for a client to explain their vision of a backyard oasis, but Jancski gets it with his usual flair. He doesn’t miss a detail, with the blue stone making a flawless pattern as it embraces the pools edge. One feels as if they are in the tropics with his infinity pools right here in Connecticut. He also incorporates many spas into his pools designs, from black glass tiled hydrotherapy, waterfall effect to infinity inspired. The furniture he choses even mimics his strong lines in a bold yet tailored manner. He crosses over from teak, wrought iron to woven all weather wicker. The way he incorporates magnony wood in some of his projects outdoor floors makes it feel so organic against the flourishing greenery. The outdoor kitchens he creates are works of art, making it an effortless combination against the perfectly laid stone. When homeowners wanted to watch summer baseball, he even designed an outdoors TV that could be hidden and raised when needed. He understands the client’s needs to have functionality yet style as well. Janscki also takes into consideration the style of the homes and making sure to keep within in that homes character. 30

In his project at the classic brick home he designs a pattern using the inlaid grassy step stones creating a flow of soft and hard among the cool pool water. Walking down the steps from house into the pool, he creates a dramatic yet subtle “beach entry”. The side pergola offers shade for the custom-made teak dining room table. When one thinks of an outdoor oasis, shade has to come into play. Besides trees and pergolas, he also makes this happen with his spectacular pool houses and that take on a life of their own. No detail is left un done down to the hanging candle rectangular chandelier and coral draped dividers, all while taking in a birds eye view of the pools main attraction. The lines of the pools themselves work impeccably and they stay away from the cookie cutter designs of the past. Sean Jancski Landscape Architects 43 Purchase Street Rye, NY 10580 914.967.1904

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Austin Ganim Landscape Design Sun + Sea Breezes + Salt Three elements that provide delightful living on the Connecticut shoreline and pose interesting challenges in terms of landscaping. Additionally, Eva Chiamulera of Austin Ganim Landscape Design in Fairfield, CT, wanted to create for her client, a stunning visual frame for the house that also provides a sense of privacy from adjacent beach patios. Beginning with a planting bed, she crafted a combination of soft textures with colorful flowers and foliage in the entryway that was wonderfully aesthetic while serving double duty as a matrix to anchor the soil in place. To create a sense of motion in the garden that would preclude damage from strong breezes, she brought in Limelight Panicle Hydrangea, which has a smaller flower head and the long blades of Maiden and Switch grasses.


Part of the magic of landscape design, is accomplishing the practical goals of accommodating intense heat, salt and solar radiation while setting a visual backdrop--evergreens and euonymus--for seasonal detonations of color--Blue Salvia, Pink Sedum, Knockout Roses and Luna Pink Swirl Hibiscus. To that palette, Eva added among others: Thunderhead Japanese Black Pine, Moonshadow Wintercreeper, Elijah Blue Fescue and Summer Storm Purple Leafed Hibiscus. AUSTIN GANIM LANDSCAPE DESIGN 320 Kings Highway Cutoff Fairfield, CT 06824 203.333.2003

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In the Field

Marking a Decade: A Roundtable Discussion

In honor of its tenth anniversary, East Coast Home + Design discusses changes over the last decade with prominent tri-state area architects and builders. Story by Diana Sussman Photography by Debra Somerville


en years ago blackberry meant a fruit, green was a color, tweeting was something that birds did, and East Coast Home Publishing launched East Coast Home + Design magazine. What better way to mark a tenth anniversary then to gather the most respected builders and architects from the tri-state area to engage in a roundtable discussion about ten years of change? The group focused on industry changes regarding: clients’ objectives and priorities; how clients select and communicate with architects and builders; the effect of the internet on clients’ relationship with architects and builders and the role each party plays; and on 34

the clientele itself. Gault Energy of Westport, a family owned business that has been around for over 150 years, graciously hosted this event on Thursday, March 13th, and Matthew Kolk (“M.K.”), the Editor-in-Chief of East Coast Home + Design, served as moderator with his usual aplomb. Below are excerpts of contributions made by the members of this select group of architects and builders during the lively, two hour discussion, grouped thematically. Clients’ choices, expectations, and selection process

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Matthew Kolk and Sam Gault

M.K. Over the past ten years, there have been three distinctly different periods: 2004 - money flowing, status symbol homes, creating luxurious special purpose spaces; 2008 - the great recession period; and 2013 - the new market. How has the landscape of home design changed during this time? Clients’ choices, expectations, and selection process Chuck Hilton: In 2008 there was the big slow down, in 2009 it was dead, and in 2010 the market bottomed out and started to rebound. New projects at that time were mostly smaller renovation projects. Over the next few years the projects slowly evolved back to more new and larger projects again. Now everyone in the building trades seems to be extremely busy. Neil Hauck: As a whole, the size of most new homes has shrunk over the past ten years. Some of this has been a reaction to what has been a rather long recessionary period … and some of this has to do with an increased interest in “green” or “sustainable” design. People are looking to reduce their “carbon footprint”. I have had fewer new house clients since the bottom dropped out of the financial world in 2008 and more clients who have chosen to stay in their existing homes and remodel them. While people do seem more comfortable investing in their homes than they did five years ago, we are not yet back the 2004 mind set and I am not sure we ever will be. Ross Tiefenthaler: People are looking more at VALUE and are buying/investing more smartly. I see a trend back towards luxury, but clients want to be sure they are getting the best price and that the quality is very high so it will last. Ed Parker: Clients interview everybody. It is a lot more compet-

Ira Grandberg and Foster Lyons

East Coast Home + Design

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Ed Parker

Jonathan Wagner

In 2008 there was the big slow down, in 2009 it was dead, and in 2010 the market bottomed out and started to rebound. New projects at that time were mostly smaller renovation projects. Over the next few years the projects slowly evolved back to more new and larger projects again. Now everyone in the building trades seems to be extremely busy. - Charles Hilton itive. Clients interview eight or nine architects before finding a real fit. So now when you get a job it is one you really want because you were vetted so carefully before you got it. Also people want homes that are smaller and that use space more efficiently. Steven Meuller: There seems to be a new post-recession trend -many of our clients are referrals from builders. Traditionally the clients interviewed architects and then we assisted in selecting the builders. Now many clients interview the builders first and then ask them to recommend architects. Ed Parker: The architect used to be the master builder, which gave one person the responsibility to create and build a project. The architect and builder model we have today sometimes creates an antagonistic relationship simply by the nature of how it is set up. We are seeing clients that want one stop to get all the answers and see cost efficiencies, as well. The master builder model is better suited to satisfy this need. Michael Smith: Within the past five years – since the recession – the design/build model has not worked. Architects are designing for clients and bidding the job out to two or three contractors to get a competitive price. Scott Hobbs: The current design/build model doesn’t seem to work as it did in the past. Clients are motivated to drive a great deal but they want things that are complex and require real services. Jeremi Jablonski: Our clients are very focused on the cost and speed 36

of the project. An architect-builder team can save time and money by offering an accelerated construction schedule, better budget control and timely reporting. Having a team in place is the first step to any successful project. Early input from all trades and professionals is critical to assure a fast and efficient construction completion. Jonathan Wagner: The best clients - the ones who get the best design, love their homes, receive great compliments, occasionally get featured in magazines, and not unimportantly, refer their architect to friends are usually NOT the clients who micromanage their projects. In fact, those who micromanage projects often are the unhappiest because things may not have proceeded in exact accordance with their view of how the process should go. They don’t let the architect do their job -- a job being done for the client’s benefit, with the expertise the client does not have and for which the client is paying. This same mindset leads to clients trying to reduce architects fees and extent of services, so it doesn’t surprise me that they end up dissatisfied and wind up feeling short changed. Foster Lyons: The profession of residential architecture seems to be under attack on multiple fronts. Services that, in the past, were solely provided by licensed architects are now frequently purchased from a variety of non-licensed practitioners. The professional organizations that historically advocated for licensed architects in the residential market seem to have lost interest and clients have filled that void with providers that have convinced them that there is no down side.

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Mac Patterson and Scott Hobbs

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Howard Lathrop

Howard Lathrop: It is better to provide reduced services than no services at all. Architects can design simple well-proportioned houses better than builders clipping plans from stock sources and often locating the house poorly on the site. In the latter situation, the new owners get cheated and the rest of us end up looking at an eye sore. Rob Sanders: 
New regulations in the building code are much more stringent. What happens when building inspectors figure out what they are supposed to be enforcing? We will have the challenge of building designs people want that may not meet the upcoming code requirements. Also, these new more stringent code requirements drive up design costs and will make all construction more expensive, so housing becomes even less accessible. The Internet Effect Ira Grandberg: Clients are using the internet sites like to come up with images that assume that architects design by simply picking and choosing from visual cues. Many of the images presented represent construction costs far in excess of their budgets. They have no idea how many “hundreds” of hours plans and details take and how skillful an architect has to be to properly integrate all details into a seamless home George Dumitru: has ruined the architect’s position. Clients want you to copy what they have seen on and not come up with an original design. Jonathan Wagner: Clients don’t know what they want so they use,, even local and national shelter magazines. At a minimum, these are all great tools for people to find a way to communicate what they find appealing and would like their home to embody. Clients often don’t have the vocabulary to explain the spirit 38

of what they want; hence the value of showing pictures. A misuse of media relative to working with architects is when they want to simply copy what they saw, often verbatim. Jonathan Wagner: Social Media is indeed one way we get work. One client unknowingly brought me images of my own work. But word of mouth and referrals are always the best and from where most of my work comes. Ed Parker: I see the web as being helpful. Clients use images as pictures to inspire design. When clients show architects images, they are showing what they like as an inspiration but not saying copy it. I see and as a helpful tool to help understand what a client wants. Jeff Kaufman: Clients are more savvy and educated about costs more than they used to be 10 years ago. The internet, and have taken the place of printed material that clients used to come to meetings with. They still have the magazines with them, but they also have printouts from home websites. This additional knowledge that clients come to meetings with allows, me as an architect, accomplish more design, more due diligence and ultimately produce an even better high quality project. The internet basically means the client is also working on the project, not just at meetings. More new products are being used because of this additional time spent by the owner. I would even go so far as to say, the internet today becomes one of the members of the team- added to the interiors person, the landscape architect, the lighting designer etc. M.K.: Is the internet creating an overload? Howard Lathrop: While I find the internet makes work a lot easier in some ways, it does create a constant stream of information and reviewing that information does eat up a lot of time. So on balance

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the internet makes work harder. M.K.: So the internet is creating a challenge of sorting through the information. Foster Lyons: My father grew up on the third floor of a row house that had a gap in the wall wide enough to slide his hand through to the exterior. It was not a big deal. Today the tiniest imperfection is unacceptable. None of us grew up in houses nearly as perfect as what we currently build. The drive for perfection is cultural, fueled by the images on television, in the print media and on the internet. M.K. Style has changed, clients are different, utilize services, values are changed. Clients used to be in early 20s pre-recession. People in the late 1980s and now are both out of recession. Many of you have spoken about a shift to smaller “jewelbox” homes, eliminating unused space and the “pairing down” in priorities for the home in line with the new socio-economic values of the consumer. Do people want to now pair down? Do they not want to feel tied down as much to places? Chuck Hilton: We have clients on both ends of the spectrum, some who are very conservative with their building programs, and others who are building their dream house and don’t want to skimp. I have found people very practical when it comes to not overbuilding their lot. For the most part the smaller “jewelbox” homes are being built in the older, more established neighborhoods on smaller lots while the more substantial homes tend to occupy the larger more prime locations in town. Steven Meuller: It only took a very short time as we came out of the recession for our clients to go back to the phenomenon of demolishing an existing house and building a new residence. These homes are typically designed as large as the zoning allows for that particular lot size.

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ECH+D’s Lollie Mathews, Lisa Dearborn, Shelley McCormick and Patrick Giddings

Neil Hauck: Though the overall trend in the marketplace may be toward smaller homes, most of my clients are still looking for things like home theaters, gyms, wine cellars and elaborate outdoor spaces as part of the package. Lots of emphasis is being placed on entertainment spaces. One trend that interests me is the request for more elaborate in-home offices. A number of my clients do a significant amount of work from home and want a comfortable and functional place to do that from. Ed Parker: Clients really want good quality. They don’t want ordinary, they want extraordinary. They would rather have a smaller geo thermal home than a large house with a traditional heating system if that was the only way they could afford to build the larger home. Howard Lathrop: Clients all want geothermal systems now. They are more ecologically aware now than in the past. Ross Teifenthaler: People are no longer building random, large rooms for the sake of space first, functionality second. The plans I am building more of include the use of a lot of custom cabinetry, antique/ reclaimed flooring, walling & beams, coffered ceilings and built-ins, which all make spaces rich in design yet still very functional for the family to use. 40

Scott Hobbs: Parents who have three kids want sufficient bedrooms for each child and a guest room. A big mudroom is important. Dining rooms and living rooms turn into functional spaces and are big by standards in the United States. Yet, clients still want homes that are different, like not wearing the same dress as their friends. This is where we add value to our clients. We can show them something different. Trends and Styles Foster Lyons: Tonight’s roundtable participants are catering to sophisticated clientele and those clients frequently follow an international design sense. They are exposed to images and fashions from around the world and tend to request designs that reflect those styles. Jonathan Wagner: Trends and styles sell magazines. I think if there is a “trend” you like or believe is appropriate for you, find an architect who specializes in that trend. But from a cost, aesthetic or functional basis, some trends make no sense for many people. A lot of “trends” are just silly and are really “fashion”. We architects know the difference and try to educate our clients to keep them about going down that path. If you go down that path you end up with a trendy house

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Charles Hilton and George Dumitru

at least trendy for the moment. We all drive past those types of homes every day. Most look pretty dated now. George Dumitru: Is what we are calling fashion really taste or is the taste shaped by the fashion? If a client is sick of a big house and the fashion is to be pair down, do we call it fashion or taste? Ira Grandberg: Look at the industry today and ten years ago it is not much different. Most architects are trained as “modern” architects and so much of the “artistic” side of this training lays fallow as we produce “traditional replications” ad nauseum. I am amazed at how banal most of today’s residential architecture is in this part of the country. How many New England and Georgian style homes do we have to constantly see? How many “white” kitchens are enough. Pick up periodicals and magazines from years ago and today - there is little difference. M.K.: This is why it is hard sometimes to tell one magazine cover from another. Magazines reflect current trends and this is the trend that works right now. Their home is a fashion statement. The statement for the average 35-40 year old client may not be the same as that sought by clients who are 45-50 years old. Our job is to educate the consumer and publish the beautiful examples of all different types of styles. Magazines talk to interior designers and point out their signature styles. Interior designers sell the same look to five people because they come to that designer for that look.

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Neil Hauck

Jeff Kaufman


Jeremi Jablonski: The trends will always come and go. I noticed that we are building faster and better, not bigger, but definitely better! The houses are smaller but the technology, appliances and finishes are much superior to what we were doing 10 years ago. M.K. There is a new generation designing and building homes from ten years ago. What are their wants and needs, what trends do you see emerging from this new generation moving forward and how is your business changing to service this new buyer? The new generation Ross Tiefenthaler: The new generation is very value oriented and wants to be sure they are getting the most return on their investment. Some of my clients are also more interested in energy savings and most are interested in high tech “smart” houses with lots of advantages for use in lighting designs, entertainment systems, etc. Todd Drury: We see a trend in homeowners that previously wanted a 10,000 sq ft house on a large lot are now looking for homes in the 5,000 sq ft range that are closer to town. People want modern and luxurious amenities in efficiently-designed spaces that work with how their families live. Mudrooms are in great demand to keep families with kids and pets organized. Open floor plans and relaxed entertaining areas (both indoor and outdoor) are more desirable than rarely-used formal living and dining rooms and we design with that in mind. Charles Hilton: Our clients are gradually getting younger. Although they still come to us for traditional homes they are requesting more contemporary, or what we refer to as ‘transitional’ interiors. People are surrounded by more and more technology

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Rob Sanders and Ross Tiefenthaler

in their lives and are coming to expect advanced technology in their homes too. Innovative green technologies such as LED lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, high performance glazing systems, and smart house technologies such as Savant to control all the other in-home technologies are very popular. Also, I think in response to people’s busy and stressful lives, a wide variety of home entertainment spaces such as media spaces, wine cellars, home sport facilities (basketball courts, squash courts, indoor and outdoor pools, etc.) and elaborate indoor and outdoor cooking facilities are also very much in vogue. Despite the ever increasing complexity of these homes, today’s clients are demanding more and more aggressive construction schedules. The internet and our fast passed society have fostered this atmosphere where people desire instant gratification. Rob Sanders: The character of our clients is changing. They are 35 year olds who made their money in internet related services. They are not the bankers of 10 years ago. They’ve grown up with constant access to data, and are looking at images and researching products from all over the world on line. They approach their building projects in the same manner. Steven Mueller: We are finding that the profile of our typical client is changing. Many are between the ages of 35 to 50 working in the financial industry. Their expectations are demanding and time frames challenging. Instant gratification Jonathan Wagner: People who appreciate the value of what Architects do - the value of the architect’s creativity, technical knowledge, and experience - will be good clients. These people are great clients because they recognize they are not just the hiring someone to “draw up blueprints” because the City requires it. These great clients enjoy

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Jerami Jablonski, Charles Hilton and Scott Teed

People who appreciate the value of what Architects do - the value of the architect’s creativity, technical knowledge, and experience - will be good clients. These people are great clients because they recognize they are not just the hiring someone to “draw up blueprints” because the city requires it. These great clients enjoy open communication with and trust in the architect and a very rewarding experience for all. - Jonathan Wagner

Todd Drury


open communication with and trust in the architect and a very rewarding experience for all. They end up with a wonderful home as the end result. Great clients should challenge the architect; architects should challenge their clients to consider different, innovative ways of addressing the client’s needs and goals. That’s our job, as I see it. To accomplish these goals architects need time to mull things over. At least I do… Rob Sanders: We want the client to be happy, but also want to make a living. During construction clients don’t want to be shocked and frustrated by changes, so architects and builders have to deliver more complex designs better and more quickly than ever. It’s a perfect storm.

 Michael Smith: When the process is accelerated by the client’s pressing for designs quickly then the architect doesn’t always have time to think things through and then sometimes more changes wind up being needed. Scott Hobbs: We need to reintroduce time back into the process and set the client’s expectations about needing time from the start. We need time to absorb the concepts and think through the design process to ensure that it works.

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Patrick Giddings, Shelley McCormick and Steven Meuller

GANIM’S GARDEN CENTER & FLORIST, LLC 320 Kings Highway Cutoff • Fairfield, CT 06824

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203.333.5662 Trees • Shrubs • Perennials • Fruit Trees • Roses • Annuals Herbs • Vegetables • Pots & Planters • Seasonal Decor Ed Parker: Clients need to be informed on how things work and so they can make better decisions. It is our responsibility as professionals to educate the client. Today’s objectives and tools Neil Hauck: One of the things I have seen recently is that the newer generation of homeowner seems to want to be closer to town, particularly those with school-age children. I think this is a direct response to the sheer number of after-school activities, such as soccer games, piano lessons, and play dates with friends. Young parents have figured out that the extra ten or fifteen minutes of drive time each way really has an impact on their own lives. It harkens back a little to the 1920s when some of the great old in-town neighborhoods were built. Mac Patterson: Our clients range in age from those who are moving from the city into their first home, those who want larger more prestigious homes and those who are downsizing as empty nesters. Since we have two offices, one in the Hamptons and one in Southport, our clients also have different programming needs, a vacation home versus a primary residence. What we’re seeing in both Connecticut and Long Island is a significant interest in modern, contemporary residences. We have ten in the works right now. In addition our clients who want more traditional homes often seek cleaner not as fussy interior trim systems. Harold Lathrop: The way design is done now has changed. Now you can access CAD Drawings as pdf ’s. Foster Lyons: The tools of the industry have changed. Fifteen years ago design file sharing was unusual. Now this is done routinely – PDF and CAD files are transferred multiple times a day as designs

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are considered and built. Renderings and 3D images are now animated with movie theater quality. You can even share by putting them up on YouTube. Yesterday’s luxury has become today’s necessity. Over the last ten years the industry has faced many changes, the internet probably being one of the most influential. Clients have become more ecologically aware than they have been in the past, are more educated when they approach architects and builders, and perhaps because of their access to information seek to find the greatest value in every detail of the project, including the selection of the architect and builder. Clients are more demanding – they want more complicated designs and faster responses for minimal cost. No space should be wasted and functionality, being green, and quality are more important than size. Architects and builders have had to adapt to this new environment. Of course, given their professionalism, they are quite capable of designing and building relationships with clients that yield optimal results. RESOURCES Alisberg Parker Ed Parker 222 Sound Beach Road Old Greenwich, CT 06870 203.637.8730

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Austin Patterson Disston Architects Mac Patterson 376 Pequot Avenue
Southport CT 06890
 203. 255.4031

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Charles Hilton Architects Charles Hilton 170 Mason Street Greenwich, Connecticut 06830 203 489-3800

Jablonski Associates Jeremi Jablonski 59 Grove Street New Canaan, CT 06840 203.966.3636

Michael Smith Architects Michael Smith 462 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 203.563.0553

Studio Dumitru George Dumitru 49 Richmond Avenue Westport, CT 06880 203.226.5156

Grandberg & Associates Architects Ira Grandberg 117 East Main Street Mount Kisco NY 10549 (914) 242-0033

JMKA Architects Jeff Kaufmann 17 Kings Highway North Westport, CT 06880 203.222.1222

Neil Hauck Architects Neil Hauck 859 Post Road Darien, CT 06820 203.655.9340

Tiefenthaler Ross Tiefenthaler 314 Wilson Avenur
 Norwalk, CT 06854

Hobbs Inc Scott Hobbs 27 Grove Street
 New Canaan, CT 06840
 (203) 966-0726

Jonathan Wagner Architects Jonathan Wagner 11 Riverfield Drive Weston, CT 06883 203.454.1825

Rob Sanders Architects Rob Sanders 436 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 203.761.0144

TR Building & Remodeling Todd Drury 28 Vitti Stret New Canaan, CT 06840 203.664.1303

Horizen Builders Foster Lyons 2131 Espey Court Suite 3 Crofton, MD 21114 800.726.4876

Landmark Exteriors Scott Teed 18 Sheehen Avenue Norwalk, CT 06854 203.838.3838

Sellars Lathrop Architects Howard Lathrop 1 Kings Highway North Westport, CT 06880 203.222.0229

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May/ June Architectural Firm Bates Masi demonstrates a simple symmetry in a Hampton’s vacation home. Designer Gilles Clement shows his colorful side in this eclectic town home in New Canaan. Builder Ross Tiefenthaler restores and expands a classic center hall colonial in Westport.

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SYMMETRICAL SIMPLICITY Bates Masi Architects exhibits ‘old meets new’ in a mid-century kit home renovation in the Hampton’s Story by Roshunna Howard

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Natural rope was used structurally to support the dining room chandelier

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reserving the styles of mid-twenieth century homes isn’t much of a focus for many residents in resort locations such as the Hampton’s. The hamlets, which consist of dwellers eager to start fresh in the community, have a frequent design turnover rate. So when local Amagansett, NY residents chose to preserve parts of their existing Robins Way kit-style home during renovations, architect firm Bates Masi + ARCHITECTS gladly obliged at the opportunity. A good portion of the house’s framing remained, and everything else was gutted down to the basic form of the post and beam. In addition, a larger master bedroom and bathroom was created. Senior Associate Paul Masi said the team of designers worked with the family of three to create a single design solution that would unify the old remaining parts of the house with the new intervention. “A vocabulary was developed that allowed the patina and history that the client favored to remain and new experiences to evolve,” Masi said. With nearly half a century of mastery in the architectural field, Bates Masi’s team of experts embraced the unique need of the clients of Robins Way. The awardwinning firm focuses on enriching lives through attention to all the elements of design, Bates Masi used this philosophy to transform the home that is nearly as old as the company itself. The homeowners, an interior designer and a DJ, sought to effectively orchestrate sound, illumination and equipment while simultaneously addressing the

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The newly constructed interior walls and interior cabinetry were surfaced with reclaimed barn wood

aesthetic décor requirements of the family’s one-of-a-kind object collection. Masi explained that she and fellow members of the Bates Masi team find inspiration in what the client is passionate about and the vernacular of the area that the project is located. Like many neighboring homes in the Hampton’s community, Robins way will primarily serve as a weekend family retreat from their city apartment. The clients’ professions played a significant role in the direction of the home renewal project. “The husband is a DJ, which factored into our study of materials and sound absorption in the ceiling,” he said. “The wife is an interior designer and we worked closely with her on the interiors and finishes.” The hands-on couple was involved in much of the renovation design decisions, including the use of reclaimed barn wood to resurface some of the interior walls and cabinetry, as well as the incorporation of a natural rope throughout the home in the ceiling decor. Masi revealed that the rope pattern woven through the existing ceiling joists not only served as a shield for utilities and speakers, but also enhanced the home’s acoustics. “Since the client is a DJ, sound is very important. The rope weave acts as an acoustic baffle absorbing background

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Robins Way Master Bath, 2013 Watermark Awards Winner, Category: Master Bath in a Remodeled Home Project, Bates + Masi Architects

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noise, but allows music from the ceiling mounted speakers to be emitted.” The Sag Harbor based firm created an impressive overhead pattern that showcases the natural rope weaved through a digitally fabricated framework, signifying different ceiling conditions. In addition to the utilities and speakers, it integrates with the décor to structurally to supports several items including a large steel framed mirror in the master bathroom and a chandelier in the dining room. The rope,

which is also entwined along the home’s large sliding door, provides the family with privacy and a natural sun blocker. Robins Way doesn’t shy away from natural lighting, however. Rays of sun peek through strategically placed openings in the bathroom, casting linear shadows across the floor. Even the crossed weave of the rope penetrates bright beams of light from above. Equally as stunning, the exterior of the 1960’s kit home seamlessly reflects the ‘old meets new’ style of the interior. The exterior is a dark East Coast Home + Design

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stained cedar siding that wraps all of the exterior facades and transitions to the matching frames of the replaced windows and doors. Behind a sheet of glass, the same reclaimed wood lines the shower, giving the illusion of an outdoor shower. “The clients now have a quiet escape from city life”. Masi said. Bates Masi offered the clients a brilliant layout solution that merged the house’s original charm with new interventions. As a result of the exemplary architectural quality, innovation and design demonstrated by the firm, the Robins way project yielded the firm several awards, including the 2012 Interior Design Best of Year Honoree and the

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2013 Watermark Award. Weil concludes, “This project preserved the skeleton of the house and the history in the patina’d materials that the client desired. ARCHITECT Bates Masi + ARCHITECTS 138 Main Street Sag Harbor, NY 11963 631.725.0229

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Interior Designer Gilles Clement Raising The Bar On Downsizing In Style Story by Diana Sussman Photos by Jane Beiles


nterior designer Gilles Clement proved that downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t mean compromising on style. Clement’s client, who had previously lived in an extremely grand home, asked him to refurbish this small but charming, 1930s English townhouse in New Canaan and to make it as unique, glamorous and chic as possible while retaining functionality and comfort. Upon entering the foyer of this home and seeing the unique Italian duck feet solid brass table lamp with dark gray feathered lamp shade sitting atop the tortoise high gloss lacquered chest and hand sewn cowhide rug with brass accents, you immediately note that he achieved this goal.

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Her objectives were completely consonant with Clement’s motto – “comfortable and chic, elegant and functional, stylish and inviting, unique and desirable.” Like many of Clement’s clients, she and Clement shared extremely similar taste in design. As an artist and a designer, Clement’s style is transitional, a rebirth of Hollywood Glamour, Art Deco and Neo-Classic with a hint of Contemporary. Clement is strongly influenced by the homeowners’ style, character and interests and feels “the home should represent the personality and soul of the people who live in it.” He says he was strongly inspired by his stylish and fashionable client and carried her fashion sense throughout the home.

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Displaying fabulous art on additional wall space and mixing interesting objects, textures and shapes in living room creates a glamorous showpiece

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As always, Clement ensured that each detail of the home had sufficient panache - from animal skins to metallic fabrics, from Hermes pillows to Givenchy reminiscent rug patterns, from Tortoise and bone to Brass and High gloss lacquered pieces, from eglomise mirror to mother of pearl materials, from varnished goatskin to solid Lucite furniture, from Powder Coated aluminum frame to real feathered shade lighting. He also defined his design choices by carefully considering the family’s usage of the space, entertainment needs and social habits. The two greatest challenges Clement faced on this project were that this townhouse, like most, had smaller sized rooms and only had windows on the front and back of the home, allowing for little daylight. Consequently, he had to use a variety of tricks to maximize, open and brighten the spaces. For example, he used items and textures that would reflect light such as mercury medium mirrored cabinet doors, glass beads, reflective wallpaper, translucent glass tiles, an open base table, high sheen fabrics, metallic rugs, see through light fixtures, and sheer window treatments. Also, since fewer windows meant greater wall space, he turned this challenge into one of his greatest assets by covering those walls with amazing original art, handmade mirrors, sexy wallpapers and hand-applied wall finishes. The living room area exemplifies Clement’s talent. First, to maximize use of the space, Clement created one focus in the room from two competing foci by eliminating the entertainment unit that had lined the wall opposite the fireplace and by installing a flat screen TV above the fireplace mantel, which he rebuilt and covered with a rich orange and white toned geometrically patterned wallpaper. Then, he modern-

ized the shelving that bookended the fireplace by lining the back of them with coordinating, geometrically-patterned, neutral-toned wallpaper that he also used to line walls of the rest of the living room/ dining room/foyer area. On the bottom portion of these shelves he placed fabulous mirrored doors stylized with a design the same color as the mantel wallpaper and the same geometric shape as that on the neutral wallpaper. With the focal point in place, Clement created a seating area that augmented the light and popped with color, resulting in a bright, sophisticated feel. Each of the pieces used for the seating area -- the high sheen ivory velvet sofa imported from Turkey, the two Italian chairs covered in raised crocodile velvet, and the day bed custom designed by the House of Clement and upholstered in a metallic woven white and chrome fabric with orange piping, and the white high gloss coffee table with brass sides – have finishes and light tones designed to enhance the light. The throw pillows accenting the sofa and day bed also artfully pick up the geometric theme and orange color. Clement balanced the lighter palette and orange mantel by hanging three fabulous, colorful art pieces on the wall over the sofa -- two original works, Jars – Love and Hope painted by world famous artists Clement-Kamena, and a rare Vintage Chanel poster imported from Paris and custom framed by House of Clement. He grounded the room with a geometrically patterned area rug made with raised white and grey corduroy silk on a metallic thread. Clement also ensured that there was sufficient light in the room by his selection of window treatment and by choosing open style furniture. East Coast Home + Design

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Similar to the living area, the dining area features selections made to maximize space, finishes and lighter tones designed to augment light, and interesting shapes and color pops needed to create effect

Striking, crocodile-patterned sheers edged with orange trim that had been imported from Germany and pinched and pleated with a Parisian waterfall treatment line the windows. The day bed, coffee table, and Italian chairs, all directly in front of the window, are all open so light can easily passes through them to the dining room and foyer. Clement also hung a unique chandelier made of translucent resin bowls through which natural light could travel. Other lighting is strategically placed throughout the living room area to augment natural light and allow for varying the atmosphere of the space. Similar to the living area, the dining area features selections made to maximize space, finishes and lighter tones designed to augment light, and interesting shapes and color pops needed to create effect. For instance the banquette Clement custom designed, with Lucite legs, chrome tufted nail-heads, and raised geometric velvet upholstery that blends into the wallpaper behind it is an ingeniously stylish way to enable more seating for a dining room in a relatively narrow space. 66

The curves on the corners of the banquette permit access to switches on the wall and visually work well with the open back, curved, solid wood dining chairs from Paris by Alison Palladino. The finishes of the pearlescent white chairs that are upholstered in a raised geometric chevron fabric and of the high gloss lacquered dining table Clement custom designed both augment room’s lighting beautifully. Similarly, the white powder coated aluminum finish of the dining room chandelier, imported from Amsterdam, also augments the light and simultaneously modernizes the chandelier’s traditional 18th century shape. Accent pieces further enhance the scheme of the room beautifully. The geometric patterns are carried through on the eglomise geometric doors of the white linen colored wood English chest, the geometric shapes made by the solid metal lamps that are hand-painted in an antique silver finish and sit on top of the English chest and in the solid octagons of mother of pearl shells inset into white bone polished frame of the mirror above that chest. On another side of the dining

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Finishes, shapes and light tones in dining room set a bright, chic place to dine

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Lucite desk doubles at breakfast area, orange pendant light adds pop of color

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Mosaic backsplash of white Thasos marble and translucent glass coupled with Calacatta marble countertops add subtle interest

room a console with a tortoise shell top and an antique brass frame, the faux tiger animal skin velvet bench tucked beneath it, and the orange ceramic lamps above it add color and interest. In redoing the entire kitchen, Clement’s choices maximized function and extended the bright and glamorous feel of the home. The vintage Lucite desk doubles as a breakfast counter and the ultra-suede light beige ottomans tuck underneath the desk when not used to maintain space in the room. By choosing a backsplash of mosaic of white Thasos marble and translucent glass and coupling it with a Calacatta marble countertop he created interest without darkening the room. The reflective nature of the hand-made cowhide mosaic white and light beige rug with brass accents also brightens the room. The orange powder coated aluminum geometric rectangle lantern, made in California, provides the pop of orange color and geometric feel necessary to bring the kitchen within the same scheme as the rest of the home. The home’s motif of geometric shapes, reflective finishes and light palette is also found in the master bedroom. Geometric patterns are readily evident in the cotton drapery, the pillows on the bed, and the shape of the mirror above the desk. The metallic threads woven into the drapery, the metallic linen used in the pillows and on the bed, the German metallic paisley fabric on the bench, and the Nepalese hand-made high sheen silk corduroy rug that sits on top of the Nepalese sisal metallic threaded wall to wall carpet all brighten the room and are in keeping with the high gloss and mirrored finishes of the furniture and accent pieces in the room. For instance the bed has a silver leaf solid wood frame with antique mirror mosaic pieces lining the entire frame. The semi-flush circular hand-cut crystal ceiling penEast Coast Home + Design

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dant, two mercury glass base lamps, and two square modern lamps offer a variety of lighting in the room and add interest. A great influence in Clement’s “transitional” style, his background, is as fascinating as his design. Having been baptized in champagne and grown up in a Parisian Salon as the child of the famous artists Serge Clement and Marina Kamena, Gilles was exposed to his parents’ friends, who were members of the “artistic intelligencia” and to their extravagant, amazing homes. He knew Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, and members of the Rolling Stones, just to name a few. So at an early age he had developed sensibilities toward aesthetics. He spent twenty years in the music business producing and promoting electronic music and in doing so regularly organized concerts and events for tens of thousands of people. One of the reasons he feels he was so successful in that business is because he excelled in making the events an aesthetic experience as much as a musical one and hired the best artists to assist him. Recognizing his talent and passion in design, he spent eight years earning the most advanced degrees in design and made the transition. Given his talent, he quickly rose in the field and earned himself an incredible reputation as an award winning designer with a large clientele. Expanding on his talents and connections, Clement will soon be opening the Gilles Clement Gallery at 179 Main Street in Westport, which will feature Pop Art and Urban Art. The gallery will be the exclusive carrier for original works by new international artists from Japan, Australia, France, Brooklyn and elsewhere. A few of the artists who will be featured include Vicki Da Silva, David Hollier, and Boy Kong. He is also opening a Warehouse and Web Corporate office in Fairfield. The Warehouse will feature the House of Clement Boutique Concept, where clients will be able to purchase items at this facility without design services, and the Web Corporate of-

Lucite, metallic fabrics, mirrored finishes, and light tones create bright sophistication


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fice will focus on launching a national E-Commerce website that will feature over 10,000 pieces from the House of Clement’s exclusive collection. Clement is also an entering into a concept where he will team up with Real Estate developer Michael Fazio and offer custom built properties in Lower Fairfield County for less than a million dollars that showcase Mr. Clement’s transitional signature style. The first custom home sold in January 2014 after being on the market for only two days. Clearly, Gilles Clement is an extremely talented interior designer who is finding innovative ways to impart his discriminating and distinctive style and taste.

DESIGNER House of Clement Gilles Clement 181 Main Street Westport, CT 06880 203.349.5300

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Grand Entrance A Connecticut family’s mudroom ideas are transformed into a total home overhaul with the expertise of a three-part building and design team. Story by Roshunna Howard Photos by Debra Somerville

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nspiration comes from the most unlikely places, often turning a simple task into an intricate, multi-layered project. Connecticut home building company Tiefenthaler had that experience firsthand with one of their most recent clients. What originated as an idea to design a lone room, evolved into a whole-home remodel that lasted for two years.


“The Homeowners wanted a new mudroom,” President and master builder, Ross Tiefenthaler explained, “and it started from there.” Residential architect Brooke Girty and interior designer Sara Jordan teamed up with Tiefenthaler to execute a customized design plan that reflected the growing needs of the client. The trio worked together, from start to finish, to overhaul the Fairfield County home. “I was originally called in because the house lacked a mudroom, and the kitchen and family room needed updating. When we sat down and really analyzed the house, we realized the family would need to do

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A built in window seat overlooks the outdoor dining terrace. A set of french doors crates an airy feel to the family room and provides access to the outdoor patio.

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more to achieve their goals,” Girty said. Those additional goals included increasing space for entertaining, introducing more modern elements and making updates to the existing technology. The house, located in Westport, was built in the 1920s and is well-loved by its residents. The team collaborated with the clients--a vibrant, young family--to update the original style of the home with a fresh design. According to the interior designer, Sara Jordan, it had good bones and nice proportions. “We took the feel of the original house, a traditional colonial with traditional styling, and gave 78

everything a clean, modern update that is also timeless, “ Jordan said. The total rebuild resulted in Tiefenthaler’s team of builders having to first removing every single material from the home, including wires, pipes, and windows. He said that every surface was redone. Because of the original scale and feel of the home, Tiefenthaler shared that he and his team had no desire to create a brand new feel, but something more mature. Girty agreed. “ one wanted a brand new house with acres of sheetrock. We recreated old house details and finishes so that the new and old would flow together,” she said.

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The timeless room was carefully appointed with custom upholstery pieces and antiques, including the home’s original fireplace. Interior designer Sara Jordan started with clean, tailored lines and then layered in original art to create this unique space.

Girty, Tiefenthaler and the clients agreed to preserve most of the central portion of the home and add-on open, yet intimately designed spaces. For example, new moldings and a custom-made fireplace mantle were added to the original living room, while rooms such as the dining room and study were completely re-built. Sara Jordan, who came on board once the house was framed, said that the clients had a clear interior design vision, but were open to taking some risks. The family emphasized the importance of including certain items into the decor.

“The clients love antiques and collect art. It was important that the space incorporate those things,� she said. Because the interior reflects the project as a whole, Jordan sought to have a balance of old and new things throughout the space. The charming colonial features a new formal dining room designed with custom cabinetry, a backsplash of mercury glass mirrors and a hammered nickel sink. A classic study and piano room sit on the right side of the house, featuring a custom antique chestnut library and French doors that reveal an outdoor dining terrace. East Coast Home + Design

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“We took the feel of the original house, a traditional colonial with traditional styling, and gave everything a clean, modern update that is also timeless” The home’s foyer originally did not go through to the back of the house, so walking in and seeing out the large windows in that family room is a nice addition, Girty said. Upon entering, the eyes are drawn toward a series of locally painted watercolors, accompanied by a custom console table by Parc Monceau, custom herringbone floors and a tonal zebra needlepoint runner which adds a modern twist. According to Tiefenthaler, materials ranging from reclaimed refined wood to hardwood were used throughout, including parts of the house’s rear artery (family dining room, family dining and kitchen). The section contains a lot of Tiefenthaler’s creations: custom painted cabinetry, a built in window seat overlooking the outdoor dining terrace, antique beamed ceilings and a reclaimed white oak island in the 80

kitchen. Though there was an initial property line/space challenge, the architect and builder worked together seamlessly to keep the size of the house within the proper proportions. All four parties comThe open concept kitchen has reclaimed antique white oak island ancountertops, a soapstone perimeter and custom cabinetry. The result is modern kitchen with a classic and timeless feel. The master hallway, which features antique beamed ceilings and and light fixtures, is filled with character. Built-in shelving holds some of the family’s prized treasures.

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mended the other and concurred that everyone worked well together and brought a great depth of knowledge and expertise to the well-executed project. Not once intimated by the evolution of the project, Tiefenthaler, who has been a master builder for almost three decades, credits a good team, clear direction and a clear design for the success of the project. “There were no big stumbling blocks, because everyone worked as a team.” he said. RESIDENTIAL DESIGNER Brooke Girdy Design Brooke Girty 261 Grassy Hill Rd Lyme, CT 06371 860.434.1401 BUILDER Tiefenthaler Ross Tiefenthaler 314 Wilson Ave Norwalk, CT 06854 203.857.0055 INTERIOR DESIGNER Sara Jordan Design Sara Jordan 917.797.6937

The 1920’s home sits on a beautiful level property in Westport, CT. As part of the complete rebuild, builder Tiefenthaler shared that everything, including the windows were first removed from the original structure.

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Ask the Experts

Your Table is the Heart of the Home!!! While living in France, I can’t begin to count the hours spent around the table. The majority of my memories of our time overseas is around a table; gatherings with multiple generations, eating, drinking, sharing. In our own home in the Loire Valley, our eat-in area was set up to resemble a small cafe arranged with a leather train bench found at the Paris flea market and cafe chairs. Besides meals and card playing, there were countless discussions with my ‘then’ teenage daughters. Time well spent! In a recent project, I recommended to our design client that we upgrade her kitchen and breakfast room area. Her house is beautiful but the breakfast area of the kitchen paled in comparison with the rest of her home. Located in the center of the main living space, the family congregates here for meals, homework, craft projects etc. I brought in an expert, Lin Moty of Lin Moty Interiors to collaborate on the design and millwork details. Lin’s amazing vision, using a three dimensional presentation, helped the homeowner visualize the new proposed project. The homeowner loved the idea of a bench that acted like a banquette on one side of the custom kitchen table. Because this area is visible from the front door of the house, our goal was to keep it open and light and visually pleasing. Lin designed windows from floor to ceiling so while seated on the bench you feel like a part of the outside. Antiqued leaded glass transom windows defined the eating area and added a beautiful architectural element. Put energy into your everyday dining space to attract endless hours of family time together. Keep it comfortable and kid friendly. Your table purchase may be one of the most important decisions you make in your home. It needs to be the right size and made of a durable solid hardwood. Before setting out to find the perfect table, take a measurement of the space, double checking with blue painter’s tape on the floor or a cardboard template. Take along a picture of the space and dining chair to coordinate with the style and color while shopping for your new table. I suggest making a table purchase that will serve your family for many years to come. The finish on the table should be a polyurethane which is available in varying sheens. Flat or medium sheens tend to fit in a more casual setting while a higher sheen leans towards a formal setting. The poly finish protects the wood from stains and scratches. When purchasing a new table, be sure to inquire about how to care for it. Solid wood tables can be easily maintained by a thin coat of Briwax every 6 months. The best way to apply wax to your table is with a short natural bristle brush. Let the wax dry before buffing, rubbing in the same direction of the wood grain. Eat, drink and be merry! A bientot! Tracy Dwyer Proprietor, Parc Monceau 84





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Hidden Treasures

Steven Mueller Architects Celebrates Twenty Years in Business


hen Steven Mueller first established his business as a boutique architectural firm in Greenwich, Connecticut he could not have anticipated the economic ups and downs of the last twenty years. From the building boom in the late nineties to the post-recession renaissance Steven Mueller Architects, LLC has thrived as a boutique architectural firm with a practice centered upon the dreams of his clients. “Mueller’s skill is transforming those dreams into reality by creating architectural designs that inspirer; he is a gifted story teller with the ability to translate his clients’ ideas into a vision which evokes the very essence of your thoughts” quoted a recent client. Mueller prides himself on his personal commitment to educating his clients on the architectural process to manage expectations and guide

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them through the process. Late last year Mueller relocated his offices to the newly renovated shingle style office building at 32 Field Point Road. He also expanded his staff by adding two full time architects. The firm’s work exemplifies a personal commitment to achieving the finest architectural expression through a cooperative relationship with the client. Each project is designed to enhance the lives of the occupants by developing practical, dynamic, and creative solutions. SMA is a full service enterprise dedicated to design excellence specializing in Architecture, Planning, Construction, and Interior Design. There is a sincere commitment to work creatively and administratively with maximum efficiency on each project. From estates to cottages each project begins with a dialogue between Steven Mueller and the client. A design concept, created in response

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Peacocks of Aqua at Lion’s Paw

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Hidden Treasures

Mueller prides himself on his personal commitment to educating his clients on the architectural process to manage expectations and guide them through the process. Late last year Mueller relocated his offices to the newly renovated shingle style office building at 32 Field Point Road. He also expanded his staff by adding two full time architects. The firm’s work exemplifies a personal commitment to achieving the finest architectural expression through a cooperative relationship with the client. Each project is designed to enhance the lives of the occupants by developing practical, dynamic, and creative solutions. SMA is a full service enterprise dedicated to design excellence specializing in Architecture, Planning, Construction, and Interior Design. There is a sincere commitment to work creatively and administratively with maximum efficiency on each project. From estates to cottages each project begins with a dialogue between Steven Mueller and the client. A design concept, created in response to the client’s ideas and desires, establishes architectural imagery, style and space. This informed process ultimately results in a residence of distinction. “My architectural inspiration comes from the rich architectural history and compendium of architects and architectural firms who de88

signed Country Homes and Estates between 1860 and 1940. This fuels my passion for great architecture and to design residences of distinction. Delano & Aldrich; Cass Gilbert; Richard Morris Hunt; and McKim, Mead & White rank among the architects I admire and study” says Principal Steven K. Mueller. Steven Mueller received his architectural degree from The Ohio State University. Steven has been practicing Architecture since 1977 and has been in private practice since 1993. He is a licensed Architect currently registered in the States of Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. In addition, he is a registered Interior Designer licensed in the State of Connecticut. Professional memberships include the American Institute of Architects, the Connecticut Society of Architects, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Visit SMA’s award winning Web Site at for a plethora of the firm’s architectural projects ranging from new construction to renovations.

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