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44 Master of Color, Master of Design Barbara Feinstein speaks with the ease and confidence of a woman who knows her craft inside and out, and is taking her clients along for the ride.

By Jennifer Jackson - Outlaw


Outdoor Spaces Move outdoors with this inspiring collection of outdoors spaces created by our areas top creative talents.


The Gilded Box Nature and modern design come together when the architectural team at Austin Patterson Disston creates a unique getaway within the wetlands.

By Jennifer Jackson - Outlaw




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Editors Letter Kitchen Cookbook Outdoor Tech

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Melange Ask the Experts Hidden Treasures

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Cover Photo by Barry A. Hyman

East Coast Home + Design

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Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief J. Kolk Matthew Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092 203-820-1092 Managing Editor Editor Managing James Eagen James Eagen Contributing Writers Writers Contributing Tracy Dwyer, Lisa Gant, Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw, Tracy Dwyer, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, LollieJackson Mathews, Tracy Dwyer, Roshunna Howard, Jennifer Kait Shea, Diana Diana Sussamn,Peg Sussamn,Peg Ventricelli Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw, Sarah Robertaon, Kait Shea Kait Shea, Ventricelli Contributing Photographers Photographers Contributing Jane Biondo, Phillip Phillip Ennis, Ennis,Tria TriaGiovan, Giovan, Jane Beiles, Beiles, Michael Michael Biondo, John Gruen, John Hannon, Hannon, Paul Paul Johnson, Johnson,Neil NeilLandino, Landino, Tim Lee, Lee, Daniel Mark La Rosa, Tim Daniel Milstein, Milstein,Janice JaniceParker, Parker, Durston Saylor, Debra Debra Somerville, Somerville, Eric EricStriffler, Striffler, Durston Saylor, Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Photography Proofreader Copy Editor Graphic & Web Design East Elena CoastSerocki Publishing Graphic & Web Design Coast Publishing EastEast Coast Home Publishing Publisher Shelley E. McCormick 203-545-7091 Publisher Shelley E. McCormick Account Managers Lisa Dearborn 203-545-7091 Patrick Giddings Lollie Mathews Account Managers Lisa Dearborn Business PatrickDevelopment Giddings Randi K. Lehrman, Lollie MathewsEsq. Marketing & Sales Advisor to the Gold Coast Business Development Corporate Counsel Randi K. Lehrman, Esq. James F. Walsh, Marketing & Sales Advisor toEsq. the Gold Coast Distribution Distribution Man in Motion Man in Motion East East Coast Coast Home Home + + Design Design 111 Forest 111 Forest Avenue, Avenue, Fairfield, Fairfield, CT CT06824 06824 Fax: 203-286-1850 Fax: 203-286-1850 East six issues issues per per year. year. To To subscribe:;;SubSubEastCoast Coast Home Home ++ Design Design is is published published six East Coastone Home + Design published issues percan; Subscriptions: year, $28; $50.six Back issues can beTo purchased For scriptions: one year, $28; two twois years, years, $50. Back issues purchased scriptions: one year, $28;East two years, issues 111 can Forest be purchased For editorial Editor, Coast HomeBack Design, 111 Forest Avenue,atFairfield, Fairfield, CT06824 06824orore-mail: e-mail:mattkolk@ mattkolk@ editorial inquiries: inquiries: Editor, East Coast $50. Home ++ Design, Avenue, CT editorial Editor,inquiries: East Coast Home Design,McCormick 111 Forest Fairfield, CT 06824whole or e-mail: For Please call+Shelley Shelley McCormick 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole Foradvertising advertising inquiries: Please call atatAvenue, 203-545-7091. Reproduction ororininmattkolk@ part For advertising inquiries: Pleasedescribed call Shelley McCormick at are 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole or inNo part without isis prohibited. All described in this this publication arefor forprivate, private,noncommercial noncommercial useonly. only. Norights rights outpermission permission prohibited. All projects projects in publication use out permission prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. by No rights for use or are given or implied. implied. The opinionsexpressed expressed bywriters writers forarticles articlespublished published byEast East forcommercial commercialis use or exploitation exploitation are given or The opinions by for for commercial or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed writers for articles published by East Home + Design necessarily those of thebymagazine. Coast Home + use Design are Coast not necessarily those ofare thenot magazine. Coast Home + Design are not necessarily those of the magazine.


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Matthew Kolk Leading the Builders and Architects Roundtable


roducing our Annual Outdoor Spaces feature is a very enjoyable time for me. I just love how some of these homeowners have transformed their lawns into, in some instances, into backyard resports. Who would ever want to leave home? With each season exploding with all of the different colors and textures of the seasonal plantings and the luxury of being able to cocoon one’s self in the space while never leaving home...Wonderful! Spring is such a wonderful time in New England, as short as it is, I love the vibrancy of nature and the hustle and bustle returning the the neigborhoods. Marinas go from full storage areas and empty slips to empty storage areas and full slips in a matter of weeks Especially after this long hard winter, I feel like a grumpy old bear coming out of hibernation, stretching my legs looking for my first meal. Bring it on summer, we have all been waiting a long time for you! Speaking of Summer, as we speak, we are starting to produce our Annual Amazing Transformations Issue. This is our most read and enjoyed issue of the year and this year is looking pretty good so far, we look forward to sharing it with you in July. Enjoy!

Matthew Kolk Editor-in-Chief

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A colorful poolside palate reflects the crisp minimal lines of a playful Palm Beach

Orange Okura Planter

In The Spirit of Palm Beach Zanzibar Ticking Woven Cotton Rug

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Letterman 1 Mailbox

Word “Happy� Placemat

Foosball Table

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Slim Aarons “Donald Leas� Photograph

Old World Charm A Traditional vibe infused with Hollywood Regency will add timeless style. Keep it simple with black, white and deep sea blue


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Sundance Directors Chairs

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In The Spirit of Miami Beach

Oasis Drop Box Commercial

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The Modern Bohemian

Muted tones and a laid back organic style, for the romantichippy with a modern twist.

Rhapsody Wool Woven Pillow dashandalbert.

Arnie Chair

Dora Maar Planter

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Gypset Travel

Design by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna, The Aurelia from Delft Collection is a modern American interpretation of a centuries old familiar craft, . Shown here is a hand cut jewel glass mosia shown in Lapis, Lazuli, Lolite, Mica, Absolute White and Blue Spinel. Ibiza Lounge Collection

The Jenning Brutalist Ribbon Table Lamp will dazzle in the modern home with striking illumination, simple geometric designs and bold metal done in a gold leaf finish.

Zanzibar Ticking Woven Cotton Rug

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Kitchen Cookbook

Bertazzoni Professional Series Range

Sub Zero Integrated Refridgerator

WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF APPLIANCES We asked Marco Barallon, showroom manager at Clarke Appliances, and Tony Aitoro of Aitoro Appliances, both in Norwalk, CT, to fill us in on the latest developments in kitchen appliances. Here are some of their favorites. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw Story by Sarah Robertson

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. Aitoro’s newly expanded showroom will feature the ultimate hightech luxury product, the minimalist TopBrewer coffee system. This amazing tap not only delivers hot and cold water, it makes your coffee, too. All that appears above the counter is a swan-neck faucet. Hidden underneath is a coffee grinder, refrigerator, frother and, of course, a brewer. Use your tablet or smart phone to order a coffee, macchiato, cappuccino, latte, sparkling water or even milk (warm or cold) at the size and strength you prefer. Your beverage is prepared in less than a 20

minute, and the system flushes itself with water so there’s no aftertaste for the next order. Wolf ’s new gourmet home coffee system makes professional-quality brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte and macchiato, and perfectly steams and foams milk in seconds, producing a consistently delicious cup of coffee prepared to the user’s taste, every time. Brew two types of roasts at any given time. You control the strength and the size of the grind with the 13-setting stainless burr grinder. One-

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SMEG Small Appliances An Interview with Marco Barralon, showroom manager at Clarke Appliances in Norwalk ECH+D: What’s new in your showroom in 2015? Marco: This year we have so much that is new at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen. Our two signature brands are in the midst of rolling out more new products than ever before in the history of the appliance industry—and at Clarke you can see more models of Sub-Zero and Wolf than anywhere else in New England. We are particularly excited about the expansion of Sub-Zero’s integrated refrigeration, which now comes in 30 sizes and configurations. You can design any refrigerator-freezer layout you can imagine. ECH+D: What noteworthy shifts have you seen in homeowners’ appliance needs? Marco: The needs are still the same—food preservation (refrigerators and freezers) and cooking (ranges, ovens, cooktops). However, now the technology offers options never before thought of in those categories, such as convection, induction, steam ovens, dual-fuel, humidity-controlled wine storage and the list goes on. The features are endless, and it takes a lot of dedication for designers and homeowners to learn their options. There are more choices in the marketplace, and consumers can get just about anything they can imagine. ECH+D: What is your top-selling appliance? Marco: Our best seller is still the Wolf 48-inch Dual-Fuel Gas Range with six burners and a griddle. The look is iconic, and the performance is unsurpassed in the industry. While some homeowners prefer to install it with black knobs, most people love the signature red knobs that are synonymous with Wolf. What is the biggest mistake you see homeowners making when purchasing appliances? Often homeowners think about cabinets first. They think of what the layout of their kitchen will be before they understand their appliance options. It is key to start with the appliances and work from there. When homeowners come to the Clarke showroom, they find options they never dreamed of, and then they are back redesigning the layout. If you are working with designers, they will thank you when they don’t have to rethink the design once you have chosen appliances. ECH+D: What is special about shopping at Clarke? Marco: The special thing about Clarke is that it is about shopping, not buying. You visit a Clarke showroom to find inspiration, take an appliance “Test Drive” and learn everything you need to know about the latest options in appliance technology. It is one part of designing a kitchen that is truly fun and informative. Your Clarke consultant is incredibly knowledgeable about these products, and will answer all your questions and help you understand the options.

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An Interview with Tony Aitoro of Aitoro Appliances in Norwalk. ECH+D: What’s new in your showroom in 2015? Tony: Everything! We are undertaking our biggest renovation since 2004, when we tore down and rebuilt the store. We will have an expanded Sub-Zero/Wolf working kitchen with all the new 2015 appliances. We’ve introduced La Cornue into our lineup and will have many models on display; we are also excited about the hightech coffee system by TopBrewer. Many of these appliances will be working demo models that homeowners can try out. We will also be hosting more charity events than ever once the renovation is complete. ECH+D: What noteworthy shifts have you seen in homeowners’ appliance needs? Tony: Appliances are now seen as the ultimate luxury purchase. The quality of the appliances is really a reflection of the home. Realtors expect certain brands to be present for resale value, and homeowners are treating appliances as an investment. Because there are more choices than ever in the marketplace, homeowners need more assistance in making the right appliance decisions.

wishing they had purchased larger appliances—a 48-inch range instead of a 36-inch, or more refrigeration. My advice to homeowners is that if you think you can fit a larger range, do it! ECH+D: What is special about shopping at Aitoro’s? Tony: Aitoro’s is a third-generation family-owned business, started by my grandfather, Tony Aitoro, in 1948. We have built our business on our strong relationships with our customers. Members of our sales team have 30+ years of experience in the business, and can tell you everything you need to know to make good appliance decisions. We have on-road sales staff who can visit your site and make recommendations. We service all our appliances or will help you set up a service call if you live out of our area. With all that, our pricing is still competitive with big box retailers. How do we do it? My father helped found an appliance buying group back in the 1970s that allows us to buy at the best prices—and we pass that savings on to you.

ECH+D: What is your top-selling appliance? Tony: Sub-Zero and Wolf are our biggest sellers. ECH+D: What is the biggest mistake you see homeowners making when purchasing appliances? Tony: Not measuring! But beyond that, we often see homeowners

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WOLF Teppanyaki Cooking Module

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touch convenience adds ease to the system’s milk cleaning feature, which uses steam and requires no disassembly. The coffee system is available in stainless steel and black glass styles.

three-axis door panels) that make them

JOLLEY FRANK easier to install. In addition to dual refrigeration, the newly advanced integrated refrigeration features more industry-lead-

The Latest Buzz. Both Wolf and SMEG have recently made the jump into small kitchen appliances. SMEG’s new lineup of toasters, stand mixers, kettles and blenders add a small taste of 1950s nostalgia to your kitchen. Offered in six colors plus chrome, the toaster and stand mixer received the prestigious iF award in 2015 for outstanding achievement in design. Available at retailers this spring, Wolf Gourmet is a new line of luxury kitchen countertop appliances and tools. The line, which includes blenders and toaster ovens, maintains the high standards of quality for which Wolf is known, and is designed to complement As winter grinds to its dreary end and the first of Spring emerge, the anticipaWolfsigns appliances in the kitchen.

tion of warm weather and soft breezes captures our imagination. Get a head Color My World. start on the changing seasons by bringItaly’s Bertazzoni, theinto world’s oldest ing the hues of summer your environfamily-owned manufacturer ofare cooking ment. Currently, many interiors based on neutral palettes because of their selecadapappliances, now offers the largest tive They provide calm, soft livtion nature. of induction cookinga appliances in ing spaces during colder months, and the North America. Available in mid-2015, perfect backdrop for color as temperathe includes newturquoise Professional tureslineup rise. Blue, aquaaand bring Series induction range in visions30-inch of the surf washing up offered on sandy beaches and skimming the stainless steelsalty and breezes a total of six colors, tops waves. Series These 30-inch accessories, fabric a newof Master induction and lighting help bring the allure of water range and two touch-control Induction into your home. built-in Start by cooktops. exchanging your neutral drapes for something lighter and more colorful. Bee’s Knees, from Donghia, instantly Teppanyaki-To-Go. bring shoreline into leverage your living In latethe 2015, Wolf will its space. experThe fine printed linen provides a welcome tise in commercial teppanyaki grilles, inchange of scenery. troducing a scaled-down gasthe griddle modAs the days grow longer, Oly Studio ule for the home.mirror “Teppanyaki” derived mother of pearl not onlyisadds reflectedthe sunlight to your but from Japanese wordsurroundings, “teppan,” which also lusterplate,” of seashells. Replace meansthe“iron and “yaki,” whicha painting or photograph with this mirror translates to “grilled.” The new Wolf and watch your room come alive. Teppanyaki will be added to A cerulean grill glassmodule table lamp from ArteriWolf ’s growinganlineup of cooking modors provides additional light source whiledesigned adding afor touch of seaglass to your ules the ultimate in customsurroundings. izable cooking.And what would a sofa be without pillows? The Restoration Hardware textured linen pillows coordinate The Perfect perfectly withFit. your new look. Choose a Sub-Zero its popular line number of has sky,expanded peacock and pool colored pillows that mirror the shimmering ocean. of fully-integrated refrigeration from 11 The map pillow30from Pottery Barn Genadds to a whopping models. Its New an attractive and entertaining reference eration integrated refrigeration products to the sea. are available in table five widths–from a For now a unique coffee accent, Flashslim inchesoffers to 36 inches,handmade for more point 18 Candles beautiful ceramic candles with layered glazing that product combination possibilities–with not only provide interest, but a seductive redesigned installation features (such as glow for evening entertaining.

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ing preservation technology, including air purification; water filtration; and low-temperature, high-humidity produce drawers. Plus, the new integrated refrigeration systems are styled with a selection of handles specially designed to match Wolf products. Resouces: Aitoro Appliance 401 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 203.847.2471 Clarke Appliance 64 S Main Street Norwalk, CT 06854 203.838.9385 WOLF Blender

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Ask the Experts

Matthew Kolk and Sam Gault

2015 Third Annual Builders + Architects Roundtable Discussion

Buying? Building? Renovating? Read on. An Alchemical Mix of the Wit & Wisdom of Builders & Architects Story by Susan Heller | Photography by Neil Landino


lchemy is the science-art best known by its medieval incarnation where practitioners focused on the transmutation of elements such as turning base metals into gold. Not unlike the process whereby builders and architects take the science of engineering, combine it with the basic elements of building materials, add in an astonishing array of client needs, and, through their creative vision, expertise and artistry, make a house into a home. So which of the current trends are mere flavor-of-the-month PR spins 24

Tony Savino

and which will provide real-world value to clients? How do you decide if your new space needs to be 3,000, 13,000 or 30,000 square feet? What about Special Purpose Rooms? Does the exterior of a house define the design of the interior space? One answer to all of the above, is to convene a meeting of the area’s top architects and builders, ask the questions and watch the fireworks. For the third year in a row, East Coast Home + Design partnered with Gault Stone & Energy to explore relevant questions for homeowners and professionals in the home design and construction industry.

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Dinyar Wadia

There is much to be learned when top-tier talent start discussing, disagreeing, articulating and expressing their passionately-held views about the work they do. Graciously hosted by Sam Gault at his Westport, CT Showroom, the Roundtable was once again moderated by the imperturbable Editor-in-Chief of East Coast Home + Design, Matt Kolk. WE BEGIN WITH QUESTION 1 Matt Kolk: My first question is actually inspired by a conversation I had with Chuck Hilton. It appears that home exteriors--from contemporary to Georgian--are staying fairly consistent, but the interiors are getting a lot cleaner, sleeker, more pared down. How do your current projects reflect this trend and what’s driving it? The Great Dining Debate: Dinyar Wadia: Two years ago we were designing a shingle-style house in New Haven county and my client summed it up best by saying, “I don’t want to live in my grandmother’s house.” That set the whole tone for our office. Since then, most of the interiors we’re designing are transitional or even contemporary, and most of the apartments we are doing in New York city are contemporary. The furniture is cleaner, crisper, even in a very traditional house in Fairfield County, that seems to be the focus.

Susan Ailsberg: I would add two things to that, one is that technology has changed things. Everybody has embraced technology, years ago people were hiding televisions, now it’s the center piece; it’s over the fireplace, it’s over the mantel. Additionally, years ago when you did a big house there was a lot of help to service it, life was more formal. People have a more informal lifestyle. Since the crash, understated is chic. Dinyar Wadia: We are designing houses now without dining rooms without living rooms, so it’s just a great room now. Dining, eating, living space, breakfast space. No more formal dining rooms. Jonathan Wagner: I don’t know if I agree with that. I’ve done a fair amount of contemporary houses and I do believe people want a formal dining room, certainly the living room has become secondary, perhaps that function has been replaced by a library, but a separate adult space where adults can retreat and watch TV or read quietly is important. Dinyar Wadia: I have a beautiful dining room, I’ve lived in the house for fifteen years and I’ve probably used it five times. Susan Ailsberg: I disagree, I think people want a little ceremony from time to time, and some clients want another function in their dining room; that’s a place where kids do projects or kids are being tutored, that kind of thing, but there’s also a thing about retreating, having a meal in a special space. Ed Parker: They want a dining room to be more flexible too, they East Coast Home + Design

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5/7/15 10:43 PM

Ross Tiefenthaler, Steven Mueller and Howard Lathrop

Exteriors, from contemporary to Georgian, are staying fairly consistent, but the interiors are getting a lot cleaner, sleeker, more pared down.

Peter Cadoux, Jeff Kaufman and Foster Lyons

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Susan Alisberg

want to be able to eat there with their families; five or six people, but they also want to be able to accommodate sixteen or twenty and that works with a more open plan, a more contemporary space. Steven Mueller: I think people are still concerned about marketability, in the future will they still be able to sell their house? If their living room has become a billiards room or a sitting room, while they may not use it as a living room they have the space there so they can still sell the house. Christopher Pagliaro: We do a lot of smaller waterfront properties and it took us a long time to be able to convince clients that the dining room was necessary but it shouldn’t take prime real estate. So it’s important clients understand that while the relationship of the dining room, family room and kitchen might not be traditional, you can still utilize the dining room. Robert Keller: In terms of contemporary interiors we definitely see that in our business a lot, in terms of much more traditional exteriors with contemporary interiors. In my business I think this is a young person’s game. A lot of my clients are young and from the city, and they brought that to the suburbs, that’s where I see it coming from. Peter Cadoux: What seems to be a dividing line is books. The classic library has gone away because our younger clients don’t have any books. It’s also about streamlining all of the stuff, storage has become a very big thing, I’m doing a house in New Canaan and there is a closet for every function. But the TV is out there and the rest of the media is in the basement because it’s all remote. It therefore kind of coincides with the modernist ideal. Foster Lyons: Who’s the chicken and who’s the egg? The client or the designers? Is it the clients that are pushing this or are they reacting to some trend with all the design professionals sending them in that direction? Johnathan Wagner: It’s the Magazines!!! (Laughter.)

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Mac Patterson and Scott Hobbs


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Lucian Vita

Michael Smith

Foster Lyons: I’m a contractor so I’m going to do whatever the design professional tells me, but designers actually have some influence on what the client ends up with. So, are design professionals on average pushing a more contemporary idea or a classical one? Susan Ailsberg: I don’t think it’s one thing or the other. I think everyone is doing it, I think it’s a change. Peter Cadoux: I’m kind of intrigued by all the responses because everybody in the room is saying pretty much the same thing. What I’m seeing is clients that don’t want wasted space and technology is not such a horrible thing. I haven’t really heard a contradictory thing except maybe the dining room component of it and there is a happy medium there. I do believe there is still a gathering area that wants to be larger than just the breakfast table but doesn’t want to be ostracized to the front of the house where no one is going to use it, it can be used more if it’s in a location in an open plan.

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Susan Alisberg, George Dumitru and Ira Grandberg

Susan Ailsberg: Just to go back to the dining room debate, they’re not that many females here, but as someone who cooks… Group: Hey, I cook too! So do I! You can’t cook, I’ve eaten at your house… (general hilarity). Susan Ailsberg: ..I feel that it’s nice not to have to look at the mess. So it could be separated off but you don’t want to look at the dishes or the mess you create when you’re preparing a meal. Jonathan Wagner: (Referencing traditional vs. contemporary) Wait, Peter, what the hell are you saying here? For me the question is rather than clothing a modern house in shingle style, why doesn’t (the modernist shift) apply to the exterior? Call me idealistic but I’m just saying people want a modern house but they’re afraid to do it. Ed Parker: There’s a sense of home that people seek in traditional architecture (exteriors), that’s the communal idea of suburbia, it’s the comfort of that home. Jonathan Wagner: But don’t you think that all of us could create a home that is not a reproduction on the outside, but something that is set to scale, with appropriate proportions and materials, and could be expressive of today, of 2015, without clothing or frosting the house in older, traditional… Ed Parker: (Interrupting) This is that whole conversation about Modernism. Modernism started in the 20’s, it’s old. All those moves that we’re making that are called Modernism, are stuff that has been regenerated or revamped over the years so why do people always say that traditional is not up-to-date? Well, it is because it gives people comfort, it gives people a sense of home. I think every architect takes pieces and combines them in a new and different way that says this is 30

home, and that is paramount. Ira Grandberg: I think it is a combination of both. Respect to your perspective and respect to your purity on this whole thing, (nod to Story by Lisa Gant Jonathan) the bottom line is, we’re talking about dining rooms and living rooms. Clients are afraid they’re going to be stuck with a house that nobody is going to want. Jonathan Wagner: Who gives a shit? (More hilarity.) I’ve done some pretty unusual projects… Ira Grandberg: You have but that’s the special client though, that’s the special project… Chris Pagliaro: (Interrupting) We just had a conversation that the beautiful thing about our practice is that we have clients who come to us that have confidence, who don’t do things based on what other people think. So we have the ability to do certain things, but on the whole I think the general population is afraid to go that far. Ira Grandberg: I agree with Jonathan on one level, it’s very easy to do a bad contemporary house and it’s very hard to do a good one. There is an art to doing good contemporary houses that transcends--I’ll stick my neck out here--the art of doing a good traditional house. Ryan Fletcher: What I have seen is that most tend to stay conservative and traditional with only hints of modernism on the exterior of their homes. However, inside there has been a huge movement towards clean lines and refreshing space. My feelings are that our lifestyles have become so complex and involved with so many moving objects in them, that it’s not only refreshing but serene, to come home to a simple yet elegant lifestyle. Michael Smith: I find that in my own work, interiors are much more modernist. I think I’m a modernist at heart, and I’m putting these

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In The Art Dept. Fi

shingle style facades on these projects because people want that comfort exterior that feels like home. But as architects, how are we challenging ourselves to translate the more modern interior to a different exterior, whatever that is? Scott Hobbs: People look at modern houses and think, it’s going to leak like a sieve, this is a nightmare, but that is no longer true. If you’re in New England, you’re designing for a snow load, and you have a heck of a flat roof, you’ve also got a heck of an infrastructure there that you don’t need most of the time. Whereas, if you have a pitched roof, you can shed the load, distribute it. So as the products continue to develop perhaps we’ll see more of a shift toward more contemporary and modern structures. Lucien Vita: We are pleased to find that clients who love modern design are feeling emboldened by the growing trend toward modern interiors, and in fact are looking for a fully modern exterior as well. We believe that the acceptance of our passion for modern interiors is leading to a growing confidence and acceptance of modern exteriors. Howard Lathrop: People want energy efficient houses, they don’t ask for contemporary or colonial, they want them energy efficient. So when you go through what it takes to make an energy efficient house, you end up with a contemporary vernacular on the outside and everyone wants contemporary on the inside, so I think it’s technology that’s driving a lot of this. Michael Black: I’ll go the opposite and say I don’t think the trend is there. I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re seeing a trend. I think we’re talking the difference between stylepantry and form. It’s aboutinclude Today’s accessories how we use spaces, the trend is coming with the Millennial generaconvenient pull-out shelves, racks and tion and that’s going to explode and change everything. Forget Artist Julia Contacessi bins for placing cans andabout other foods traditional, contemporary, it’s going to change the entire house. withinWe’re easy reach.

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Chuck Hilton

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talking about kids who watch TV on an iPhone and I think our mindset needs to change to that. MOVING ON TO QUESTION 2 Matt Kolk: Question number two is about purpose-built rooms. We’re seeing a lot of this in our industry as well, wine rooms have always been there but more gyms are being built, we’re seeing very sophisticated, high-end garages and outbuildings. Do you see this as a shift from creating homes with resale in mind to creating a purposeful home customized to the homeowner’s tastes and lifestyles?

Peter Cadoux

Chris Pagliaro

Joseph Theriault: Yes. Media rooms, home theaters, wine cellars, second kitchens, sitting and breakfast rooms are not just a personal touch but becoming the norm. I think these rooms may be sought by future buyers and so improve resale for the client. Mac Patterson: I have a client now, and in all respects the entire budget is going into just two rooms. And yet he’s got the rest of it, but he just wants something for himself. People are saying I want this house, it’s got everything else, and so they want to put in the one thing in it that gives them down-time. Chuck Hilton: People want something about their house to be unique and special. They’ll find those one or two spaces that are related to a hobby, or travel, or their life or business, that they’re proud of and they want to build their experience into the house around them. Foster Lyons: It seems as though people are sort of pulling their private country clubs into their houses. Having said that it seems the guys are doing it more than the women. The guy gets the golf swing room, the billiards room, the guy gets the garage. Steve Mueller: What we’re finding is that clients are downsizing to a 4,000 or 5,000 sq. ft. house and I think that’s exactly what’s happening. That now they know this is a home they’re going to live in for the rest of their lives, so they’re not concerned about resale, they’re tailoring the home to their needs; the bar room, the billiard room, the wine cellar, the media room. George Dimitru: I have the same experience; everyone comes and says I want a kitchen, a house, 3,000 sq. ft. Two weeks later we are at 8,000 sq. ft. I also have clients that built multiple projects. When they were young they went for the small house. And then they got a little older and decided, now I want that cigar room or a room for the dog. Peter Cadoux: I can only speak from personal experience but I’m finding more of those unique spaces not gender-specific. We did have one project that sticks in my head. We were pretty much done, going through the drawings, and the client came to me and said, “Where’s my f*** you! room?” I said, “Well, okay, I’m sure we can figure that out.” So the next meeting they’re both there and I said, “Here is your, um, room,” and his wife turns to me and says, “Where’s my f*** you! room?” (roar of laughter). So they each got their own space. Jeff Kaufman: I find that people who are younger and have kids are pretty specific about what their needs are. Just to hit on the dining room thing, the people that really want dining rooms are the people that tell us their families come to them for holidays. But there are a huge number of things that happen in these houses that are really for kids which actually is, I think, kind of cool. Rob Sanders: We see it more in the decision of what spaces to have, and how they’re arranged. Not that many specialized function-spaces, but idiosyncratic layouts that meet their patterns of

Michael Black

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Ed Parker

It’s very easy to do a bad contemporary house and it’s very hard to do a good one. There is an art to doing good contemporary houses that transcends--I’ll stick my neck out here-the art of doing a good traditional house. living and family needs. On the other hand, Laundry Rooms are the new ‘must-have’ spaces, outfitted beautifully to take the edge off the drudgery of the task. They’re the follow-up to the super storage Mudroom. WHICH BRING US TO QUESTION 3 Matt Kolk: It seems that the homes we (ECH+D) are being presented with are getting larger in size. While the trend over the past several years has been towards smaller, more “smart-sized” homes, the trend we’re now seeing is toward larger scale homes. Is this a sign that potential clients are lowering their caution economically? What do you feel the mentality of the client is today? Chris Pagliaro: I built my own house, it’s 4,400 sq. ft. I moved into a 7,000 sq. ft. house for a year while I was building it. I walked in and said, “Gee, I’ve never lived in anything this big in my life.” We only lived in a third of that house. Peter Cadoux: What my office is getting is, “I want a house that’s comfortable for the two of us, but can also house twenty-two.” How can you do that and make it small? Chris Pagliaro: Young people think about their friends, old people think about themselves. I had a guy pay me a 5% bonus if I could keep his house under 3,000 sq. ft. He

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Rob Sanders

didn’t think I could do it. I did. And then they put an addition on. (Big laugh.) MATT SAW THE NEED FOR AN INTERVENTION… Matt Kolk: I’m going to interrupt for a second… everybody hold up their hands if they are building a 7,000 sq. ft. house. (Most hands go up.) How about 8,000? (Most hands go up.) 10,000? (A good number of hands go up.) 20,000? (A number of hands go up.) 30,000? (A smattering of hands are in the air.) (Matt laughing.) We’re getting smaller? Jonathan Wagner: The way I see it when you go from a 5,000, or 6,000 sq. ft. home to anything larger, it shifts from being a home to just being a big house. George Dimitru: But Jonathan, what do you tell a client who says “I need 10,000 sq. ft.? Peter Cadoux: You tell him how much it costs. (Big burst of laughter.) Scott Hobbs: I think we do a disservice if we don’t find out what our client’s needs really are. We built one 30,000 sq. ft. house that was one of the best homes because the people were really nice. They knew what they wanted and they had fun with it. We’ve built much smaller homes for people who really were building it to impress other people, and it was just a cold, very scary type of place to be in. Dinyar Wadia: In my home of 5,000 sq. ft. I only use a third of it. So when my clients tell me they want to build an 8,000 sq. ft. house that grows to 14,000 sq. ft. overnight, I make them come to my house. I say, my house is 5,000 sq. ft., take a look, do you really need to have 34

Robert Keller

a larger home? Foster Lyons: There’s no doubt that Fairfield County, Westchester County, Metropolitan New York, are this magnified microcosm of what is going on nationally. You can’t deny the statistics, when the average house size has gone up even since the downturn. We’ve always built bigger houses here so they are that much bigger. Ed Parker: Regardless of the size, our job is to provide something that works for the client. Some of them are really quirky ideas, but maybe it’s something they’ve dreamed about their whole life. You’re designing to the personality of your client. You’re using your expertise to make it work and to make it beautiful and to make it watertight. We debate the size but that’s the choice of the client. The bigger the size means you have to inform them about the maintenance and the utilities and all those things. The point that Jonathan brings up is important, and that is a societal argument about building these giant structures and is that irresponsible? But that is a separate argument. Susan Alisberg: And it’s irrelevant to the client. What I’m saying is that it is not an irrelevant conversation, but it is a separate conversation. Jonathan Wagner: I know I’m the wrong architect for some people perhaps because of my idealism, but I’m the perfect architect for others. If I was going to build a big, beautiful house in Greenwich, I’d hire Chuck Hilton to do it or Dinyar because I couldn’t do it as well as they could. But hopefully all of us have established a persona and a style that we’re really, really, good at. Ross Tiefenthaler: In reference to specialty rooms, that’s a reflection that as architects you’re meeting specific needs. People come up with

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Dinyar Wadia and Jonathan Wagner

Joseph Theriault

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Howard Lathrop

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Ryan Fletcher and Lucian Vita

Scott Hobbs, Mac Patterson and Dinyar Wadia

their dreams and we’re fortunate enough that we get to build those for people. Tony Savino: I’ll say from a long-term perspective I’ve been building in Greenwich for about 18 years and I’ve built multiple house for the same clients. I’ve built 10,000 to 12,000 sq. ft. houses and 3,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. houses. I think in general over a long period of time, the people who live in the 3,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. houses have been happier with their houses and have lived there longer than those who lived in 8,000, 9,000 and 10,000 sq. ft. homes. I’m sure Scott and some of the other builders here could speak to the fact that we build houses long after the architects are gone. And, we’ve remodeled houses that they’ve done and… you guys made a few mistakes. (Laughter.) But I do think the trend should be toward smaller houses. Ira Grandberg: The reality is that when you do a bigger house, the sheer need to create circulation for all the rooms is mind-boggling. Chuck Hilton: In 1970 I think the average house was 1,500 sq. ft. in the country. In 2000 it was 2,100 sq. ft., and now it is 5,000 to 36

Joseph Theriault and Michael Black

10,000 sq. ft. I think it’s just a trend that’s on the uptick. Our technology is making it more affordable to build bigger houses. And there was so much more, but we’ve almost run out of space. So just how do you determine what shape, style or size home is the right one for you? There are inventions in the works that will take us from the magic of alchemy to the tantalizing technology of an actual Star Trek-style holodeck; Project Hololens, Oculus Rift and the still shrouded in mystery, Magic Leap backed by Google, among them. Until you can walk and interact in a virtual reality version of your potential home, the best advice is to make an appointment with one of the talented visionaries of our Roundtable and have a conversation. A very special “Thank You” to Sam Gault of Gault for hosting the event and to Foster Lyons of Horizen Builders who graciously sponsored the After Roundtable Dinner at Rive Bistro in Westport.

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RESOURCES Alisberg Parker Susan Alisberg Ed Parker 222 Sound Beach Road Old Greenwich, CT 06870 203.637.8730 AP Savino Tony Savino 1 Park Avenue Old Greenwich, CT 06870 203.698.1147 Austin Patterson Disston Architects Mac Patterson 376 Pequot Avenue
Southport CT 06890
 203. 255.4031

George Dumitru, Ira Gandberg, Jonathan Wagner, Jeff Kaufman and Chris Pagliaro

Charles Hilton Architects Charles Hilton 170 Mason Street Greenwich, Connecticut 06830 203 489-3800 Fletcher Development Ryan Fletcher 5 S Church Street Redding, CT 06896 203.858.0703 Gault Stone Sam Gault 11 Ferry Lane West Westport, CT 06880 203.227.5181

Cate Tiefenthaler, Steven Mueller and Howard Lathrop

Grandberg & Associates Architects Ira Grandberg 117 East Main Street Mount Kisco NY 10549 914.242.0033 Hobbs Inc Scott Hobbs 27 Grove Street
 New Canaan, CT 06840

Lisa Dearborn, Lollie Mathews and Matthew Kolk

East Coast Home + Design

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Horizen Builders Foster Lyons 2131 Espey Court Suite 3 Crofton, MD 21114 800.726.4876 J&M Construction & Son Joseph Theriault 70 Cummings Avenue Suite 201 Fairfield, CT 06824 203.256.5785

Sam Gault, Pter Cadoux and Howard Lathrop

JMKA | Architects Jeff Kaufmann 17 Kings Highway North Westport, CT 06880 203.222.1222 Jonathan Wagner Architects Jonathan Wagner 11 Riverfield Drive Weston, CT 06883 203.454.1825 Keller Eaton Architects Diane Eaton Robert Keller 510 W Boston Post Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543 914.835.0095

Rob Sanders

Koala Development Michael Black 1700 Post Road Fairfield, CT 06824 203.815.4096 Michael Smith Architects Michael Smith 462 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 203.563.0553

Celie Campbell, Chrissy Theriault, and Joseph Theriault


Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects Chris Pagliaro 3 Pine Street Norwalk, CT 06854 203.838.5517

Peter Cadoux Architects Peter Cadoux 35 Post Rd West Westport, CT 06880 203.227.4304 Rob Sanders Architects Rob Sanders 436 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 203.761.0144 Sellars Lathrop Architects Howard Lathrop 1 Kings Highway North Westport, CT 06880 203.222.0229 Steven Mueller Architects Steven Mueller 32 Field Point Road Greenwich, CT 06830 203.869.3758 Studio Dumitru George Dumitru 49 Richmond Avenue Westport, CT 06880 203.226.5156 Tiefenthaler Ross Tiefenthaler 314 Wilson Avenur
 Norwalk, CT 06854
 203.857.0055 Vita Design Group Lucian Vita 57 Main Street Westport, CT 06880 203.283.1561 Wadia Associates Dinyar Wadia 134 Main Street #1 New Canaan, CT 06840 203.966.0048

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Dinner at Rive Bistro following the Roundtable Discussion

Ira Grandberg

Foster Lyons

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Outdoor Tech

Realm of Norwalk

OUTDOOR TECH TRENDS ECH+D talks “tech” with Conor Coleman of Realm and Glenn Levinson of Westfair TV


Story by Lollie Mathews

ked to the eye and blend in with the landscaping and plants. “Subwoofers are buried underground to provide deep bass,” states Conor Coleman of Realm Design in Norwalk, CT, which also creates A/V systems, “and small, landscape light-shaped satellite speakers tuck into gardens and plant beds.” This allows homeowners to play their music subtly and evenly from a number of hidden sources.

he days of bringing your stereo outside or opening up your windows to hear music are over, as are the days of going inside on a beautiful day to watch your favorite TV show. It is amazing how far outdoor technology has come in the past few years, all while being so obtainable and effortless for the homeowner. It makes perfect sense: why build an amazing backyard oasis and not include technology that is equal to—or better than—what you have indoors? Besides, after our long winters, we New Englanders deserve to enjoy the best possible outdoor experience when the weather warms up. Glenn Levinson of Westfair TV in Fairfield, CT, which specializes in custom audio/visual systems, ensures that projects such as these are seamless and give the flexibility to listen to something different in each zone if they desire.” The outdoor speakers are virtually na40

Realm of Norwalk

Westfair TV uses rock speakers and Landscape Series speakers, both at different price points, with rocks being on the lower end. And, regarding the installation of the system, Conor explains that “because there are no walls or ceilings to contain the sound, we typically use more speakers than we would in an interior space.” Both firms are finding that, with so many new homes being built and others being renovated, a growing number of homeowners want to hear their music from all parts of the

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house and, most importantly, in the outside living areas where they also entertain. Outdoor weatherproof TVs are another popular item being added to alfresco living areas. One can only imagine the convenience of sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather while watching the game or your favorite television show! These TVs are sleek LED screens that are mounted either above a fireplace or in a pool house. “Outdoor TVs and outdoor theaters have their own independent systems,” Glenn says, “meaning you can watch any source you like—cable, satellite, Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, etc.—while someone inside the home can watch anything he or she likes.” It is an added luxury that seems to be catching on. With all of these high-tech specialties, Conor emphasizes, “Most of our systems today utilize our constant companion, the smart phone, for complete system control. We simply ensure that Wi-Fi is strong around the pool area, and the clients can choose their music, raise their hot tub temperature, and turn on their lights from anywhere.” Glenn reminds homeowners that, while planning an outdoor A/V system, working with your electrician or builder might seem like a good idea at the time. But “customers end up having so many problems with the project and paying much more overall to fix the sub-par work,” says Glenn. “If they just came to a professional, reputable audio/video company at the start, they would save money and get the results they like.” Resources:

Westfair TV of Fairfield

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Realm Conor Coleman 140 Water Street Norwalk, CT 06854 203.552.5272

Westfair TV Glenn Levinson 1961 Post Road Fairfield, CT 06824 203.255.1671

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May/ June Interior Designer Barbara Feinstein shares her mastery of color in a soothing Westchester home. Our “Outdoor Spaces� is bursting with the colors of the new season. Architectural firm Austion Patterson Disston creates a classic home with a modern twist while being responsible to the environment.

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Opposite: The living room, soothing dy design includes light blue chairs from Kravet, circular light fixtures and a cocktail table by Swaim and a gray-themed painting by Lawrence Kelsey.

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Master of Color, Master of Design


When readers visit the website of Barbara Feinstein, owner and designer at B Fein Interiors, they will likely come across a glowing quote from one of her clients, claiming that Feinstein is “a master with color.” In reality, color is only one aspect of her design expertise. Feinstein speaks with the ease and confidence of a woman who knows her craft inside and out, and is taking her clients along for the ride. She has been transforming upscale homes for her clients in Westchester and Manhattan since 1999, and, while interior design is clearly an art, the focus and attention to detail that Feinstein brings to her work make it seem like an exact science—one that always produces exquisite results.

Story by Lisa Gant Photography by Scott Morris

Her primary goal is deceptively simple: to reflect the personal style of her clients in beautiful, pleasing ways. She often incorporates furnishings her clients already own into her designs, pairing them with vibrant colors, textures and accessories to make the home feel comfortable and livable. Her approach is a methodical one, using design elements such as rhythm, repetition, balance and shapes to enhance her clients’ preferences. “I work with a lot of first-time homeowners,” she says, “so I often combine their personal style with my ‘designer’s toolbox,’ which are concepts we learn in design school that homeowners might not be aware of on their own. These include subtle ways of making a space East Coast Home + Design

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come together and feel more cohesive.” One example of Feinstein’s aesthetic at work is in a home she recently designed for an executive couple and their family who had been transferred back to the U.S. from Dubai. Feinstein was asked to create a space that was reminiscent of the beach, since that was where the clients first met. In this home, the color palette is inspired by various shades of sand and sky, and therefore features a number of browns, blues and grays. While the project appears simple on its face, achieving a beach-inspired look without the use of traditional clichés such as shells and boat anchors proved to be a challenge. It was a challenge, however, that Feinstein was eager to tackle. The two-story foyer showcases several of Feinstein’s signature design elements, such as the use of color in unexpected places. She painted the ceiling light blue, a soothing hue that is suggestive of the sea. It is the type of bold choice that can elicit skepticism from her clients, yet, when matched with other flashes of blue in the room’s accessories, creates a cohesive look that is particularly striking. Feinstein also chose to fill the volume of the space in a way that felt pleasing, featuring circular objects such as a large, round chandelier from Currey & Company, an entry hall table from Hickory Chair and a patterned rug. The tension between the light fixture and the table is evident here, with the floral arrangement adding a softer touch that makes the space feel cozy. At 600 square feet, the family room is an impressive space that, in the wrong designer’s hands, could either feel cramped and overstuffed with furniture, or empty and intimidating. Feinstein, however, achieves the perfect balance of roominess and comfort by creating two separate, well-defined sitting areas: a grouping by the fireplace and another in the enterEast Coast Home + Design

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The family room has multiple focal points and includes two separate, well-defined sitting areas: one by the fireplace and another in the entertainment area of the space.

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The greatest joy I experience as a designer is when a client walks into the room and is completely floored by how much the space has been transformed. That’s the moment I work toward every day. tainment area of the space. A custom beige sectional with a mixture of custom and retail pillows makes the entertainment space ideal for large family gatherings, while a cluster of light blue accent chairs near the fireplace allows for more intimate socializing. Even the extended coffee table, with its cut corners and welcoming shape, was designed with child safety and easy movement in mind. Feinstein also tied in unique accessories, opting for an octagon-shaped light mixture and mirror hanging over the fireplace. A custom, light blue gray rug from Delos Rugs pairs well with a Trowbridge Gallery triptych featuring a pier. Finally, she retrofitted a coffered ceiling into the room to add a sense of elegance and comfort. The kitchen and kitchen eating areas presented concerns similar to those in the family room. Both of Feinstein’s clients come from large families, so ample entertaining space was a must both in the family room and the kitchen. Although Feinstein didn’t design the room’s

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layout, she did change its function so it would accommodate a crowd when necessary. For example, she added a bench-made table from Bausman & Company and secondary seating at the kitchen counter area—custom leather barstools with decorative ring pulls—which allow the counter to function like a second island. In addition, silver crab accents are displayed on the kitchen shelves, a nod to more conventional beach design. Lastly, Feinstein established a flow to the home’s exterior, and used shades of blue and cream to tie in with the color scheme throughout the rest of the house. The formal dining room features even more of the atypical design choices that Feinstein used to enhance the room. Since continuity and flow are critical factors in her designs, she paired a nontraditional pale blue rug sourced through Kaoud Carpets and Rugs with gray window treatments that resembled the color of wet sand. She also added subtle details to the furniture, monogramming the names of

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East Coast Home + Design

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A comfortable sitting area in the master bedroom includes a Star of India ottoman from Pearson Furniture, along with custom pillows featuring fabrics from Zimmer & Rohde.

her clients on the back of the host and hostess chairs to make the space feel more personal. The silver gray chenille chairs complement the window treatments and add texture, and the four-sided seating area is conducive for pleasant, inclusive conversation. Delicate accents like a tree-themed triptych, a circular gold mirror, hurricanes by Dessau Brass, Inc. and a chandelier from the Lillian August Collection add just the right color contrast to make the room feel rich and inviting. The master bedroom, unlike much of the rest of the home, was an area that required more restraint. Here, Feinstein created a feature wall using a dramatic silver and gray wallpaper within a frame. Limiting the design to one wall makes the look feel custom and intentional without being overwhelming. A simple four-poster bed from Hickory Chair with cream and beige linens from Legacy Linens complete the space. Like any experienced designer, Feinstein takes pride in noticing the little details that others might miss. Every space in her clients’ home is attended to, she points out—even transitional spaces that might otherwise be ignored. A back hallway that serves as a pass-through between entertaining spaces becomes a place to feature a table and mirror from Chelsea House and decorative gold vases. A sitting area created in the guest bedroom uses a chair and mirror with similar shapes, creating a pleasing and calming effect. No corner is neglected by Barbara Feinstein, who saw and capitalized on the potential in every area of her clients’ home. Feinstein’s newest venture, in Bedford Hills, requires her to make even 54

more bold choices, using reds, yellows and other unusual colors to bring out the best in a space. She insists, however, that she is enthusiastic about every job she undertakes. “Every project has its own unique elements,” she says, “but I always enjoy having clients as my inspiration, and turning their homes into a successful reflection of who they are. The greatest joy I experience as a designer is when a client walks into the room and is completely floored by how much the space has been transformed. That’s the moment I work toward every day.” Resources Designer: Barbara Feinstein, Allied ASID B Fein Interiors, LLC 51 Greenacres Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583 914.261.1114 Floral Arrangements: Rob Sloop Colonial Village Flowers 1515 Weaver Street Scarsdale, NY 10583 914.723.2888

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OUTDOOR SPACES Move outdoors with this inspiring collection of outdoors spaces created by our areas top creative talents.

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Classic architecture mixed with modern sensibilities served as the inspiration for the outdoor hideaway recently completed by the full-service design team of Alisberg Parker Architects. The clients, a young couple with three young children, wanted to add both a pool and pool house as part of renovation on their weekend home. Referred to firm by their long-time interior designer, they were looking for a traditional structure that would pay homage to the contemporary interiors of the existing property. “We wanted to create a Greek revival folly in the landscape,” explained Firm Principal Ed Parker. “The “The pool and pool house was considered a destination from the main house and also had all of the amenities for a relaxing day by the water.” Because of the area’s tough regulatory environment, the team had to work at length with the client’s town to obtain approval for their ambitious construction project. Once granted, they began work on designing the columns and entablature that provided the property with its more old-world charm. Everything from the light fixtures to the copper roof was custom-created for the home owner. In addition, they used a palette of cream colors to elicit an airy feeling throughout the space. East Coast Home + Design

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Interior Designer Janet Hiltz prides herself on creating beautiful rooms with the flair of the unexpected. So when she was approached by her existing clients to design a vibrant outdoor space that was both family friendly and dramatic-she jumped at the challenge. Her clients were a family of five (parents with three teenage daughters) who were looking for a place that was large enough to entertain their friends and family at their primary residence. However, in completing this project, they had some unique requests in mind. “The pool house was to have Nano doors, which folded in such a way that it appeared that you are sitting outdoors even when you are inside, “ said Janet. “The client was also very specific about having beautiful flowers that not only lined the parameter of the property -but also having large urns placed strategically throughout the patio areas that would be filled with gorgeous flowers blooming for the Spring to Fall season. 58

The overall design was intended to be reminiscent of the family’s travel through Europe. So when the customer specifically requested black furniture with a sleek grey fabric covering it-the design team had to import it. “That was the biggest challenge as very few manufacturers of outdoor furniture made a black rattan at the planning stages of this project,” she recalled. To solidify the illusion of being transported to a European square, the team used colorful accessories in order to make the space come alive. “I like a pop of color in every design scheme I create. I feel it brings an energy and happiness into the space and makes it unique,” admitted Hiltz. “In this case the inside of the pool house was decorated in warm tones and then hit with a spray of color in pinks and yellows, and black for drama, with the art and the pillows to bring our outdoor scheme inside.”

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The prospect of enjoying the great outdoors served as the catalyst for a recent project undertaken by Ryan Fletcher of Fletcher Development. His clients, a young couple out of New York City with three young children, was in the process of building their first home in New Canaan, Conn. “Having previously lived in apartments, they were really looking for an outdoor space that they can enjoy with their kids. “ Fletcher said. “So it was important that we built a place that was appropriate for both adults and children to hang out.” The full-service firm handled everything in the process-from designing to constructing the patio. In a nod to the lush backyard just steps beyond, he used natural and sustainable materials whenever possible. So, the structure was reinforced with steel and cement. The handrails were created using mahogany wood and glass. And the walls were aligned with New England Fieldstone. The project’s biggest challenge? That would be the waterproofing of the floor made of rustic blue stone. Due to the material’s porous nature-Ryan had to take care to seal the floor to make it more resistant to the elements. East Coast Home + Design

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When it comes to designing memorable spaces, Interior Designer Lynne Scalo draws her influences from the modern glamour of her globe-trotting background. “I’m inspired by iconic people who dare to do more and embrace life,” Scalo said. “Which often translates into glam-chic inspired designs.” So when she was approached by clients looking to convert a newly con-

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structed pool house into a chic yet family friendly space-she jumped at the chance. “The clients were a young family with children,” Scalo explained. “This is their main residence so the space will be used frequently, especially over the summer as they will spend more time outdoors.” To assist in the pool house’s transformation, Scalo utilized fun shapes for

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the light fixtures and furnishings. She also used muted tones throughout the home to bring a sense of elegance to the space. Finally, she incorporated metallic pieces throughout the house, giving the location a modern touch. All the materials were kid-friendly, which kept the homeowner’s main ob-


ject of creating a fun space that the children can enjoy for years to come. “The client wanted to make sure that their children could enjoy the space and asked that the design accommodate for that. This was something we kept in mind throughout the entire project.”

The challenges of constructing a dock upon the Long Island Sound can prove to be a tedious task for most people. However, doing so has become a labor of love over the years for Cormac Byrnes-Principal at JBM Partners. “As a person who competitively races outrigger canoes up and down the East Coast, I am on the water daily,” Cormac said. “Therefore I am extremely sensitive to how we treat this resource.” So when two clients recently approached the architecture and interior design firm for assistance in constructing a dock as part of new construction projects-he was just the person to guide them through the process. “Because of the complexity of the approval process through the Town & the Department of Environmental protection, it is a lengthy and involved process,” explained Byrne. “As permitting docks is a tricky undertaking they tend to be competed at the very end of a major construction project as it can take over a year to get a permit from the state.” Once approved, the team at JBM Partners got to work to custom build each port based on the homeowners’ needs. One was erected for a couple with young children-so the function was largely for small sailboats and jet skis. The other waterfront project was for a family with older teenage children who was looking to launch small motorboats from its base. Each location was created sustainable materials such as stainless steel that was designed to be both sturdy and weather resistant. More importantly, Cormac also worked to ensure that the process would not disturb the landscape he has come to love. “The dock and bridge are designed in such a way as to cause minimal impact to the sensitive coastal environment. Which, in turns, creates a space that our clients can use to access this amazing resource.” East Coast Home + Design

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When Tropical Storm Irene hit out of nowhere in the late summer of 2011, the homeowners were in the midst of making plans to revamp their garage to accommodate building racecars. But, as they say, the best laid plans…Irene toppled a colossal tree right into the outdoor shed and pool, destroying the vinyl liner and many surrounding trees. This event changed their renovation plans drastically. Thus began this dramatic transformation. Brian Cossari, Landscape Architect for Hoffman Landscapes, states “the goal was to add to the pool space, incorporating both a spa and a water feature, having the ability to operate independently for year-round use, and to connect better to the outdoor dining room. The concept was to expand the feeling of the yard, stretching it out into the previously wooded areas and to make the water features feel in unity as one entity.” For aesthetic reasons, the completely recessed spa was constructed out of stainless steel, acting as a museum quality work of art. The slope of the backyard needed to be brought to the new gunite pool’s edge, so stone steps were added on the hill for access. The wandering garden allows you to circulate and provides a formal introduction to the waterfall via the 62

footbridge. Made of Brazilian Ipe hardwood, it creates an immediate focal point. Feel the inner peace when walking across the bridge, and listen to the calming sound of the waterfall while you switch into relaxation mode. Many challenges needed to be overcome. Working in tandem with local health officials was critical to ensure spa placement was appropriate in relation to the septic system. The sloping property required re-grading. New retaining walls created levels for a destination terrace on the centerline with the kitchen door. Care and thought were given to the materials. Original stones were salvaged and re-used, with matching resources brought in for continuity. They were deliberately placed on site with all the natural features of lichen and moss kept intact. Native plantings were used to assure acclimatization in the environment. Some plants were transplanted and re-used, thereby ensuring a link to the “before.” When an unforeseen catastrophe occurs in your backyard, it can lead to a total transformation that can make your landscape even better than imagined. Go from imperfect to a perfectly magical oasis right outside your door.

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Sometimes, one of the biggest hurdles to a successful renovation project is just knowing how to begin it. Such was the case for the homeowners who approached the design experts of TR Building and Remodeling for help in establishing a new patio on their property. The clients, a middle-aged couple with two young children, was looking to create a space that would essentially serve as an outdoor space to their existing Redding, CT home. “They were really looking for an outdoor living room,” explained the firm’s owner Todd Drury. “However, they didn’t know what to do in terms of getting started.” After attempting the project using landscaping contractors, they met with Todd and his team to assist them with their planning. It was during these initial conversations that the design team were able to uncover a few initial challenges to the project. Rarely using the main residence’s front door, the family chose to use the back entrance instead. However this presented an issue because the area reserved for the connecting patio was several steps away from the driveway. They also wanted a way to update the landscaping to establish the area as a separate space for the home. Drury resolved the driveway issue by fashioning a plant-lined pathway with small footsteps down every few feet. Once visitors arrive at the patio, they are greeted by a beautifully crafted area that was 2 feet lower than the main house. Todd decided to use Pennsylvania Blue Stone for the flooring with Connecticut Field Stone Rock for the border and stone steps. While planters were placed on top of the terrace built into the masonry walls to match the walkway. The project only took two months to complete. But for the clients who finally got their dream veranda, the family memories will last a lifetime. East Coast Home + Design

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When a young couple with three children from New York City wanted a country retreat in Briarcliff Manor, NY they looked to Kevin Ambrosio, from Ambrosio Landscape Solutions out of Redding, CT to get the job done. Kevin prides himself on building a “trust with his clients” and “handles the whole project from permits to design” making him a one stop shop for his clients. Homeowners appreciate not having to work and collaborate with too many people and they are able to build the project they want with a loyal and trustworthy Landscape Designer. The land where this backyard play land was built was a very rough site full of rocks and wooded areas. Kevin “only had a certain amount of space to play with and wanted to incorporate all the spaces that the homeowners had envisioned.” This all started with having to do some major rock clearing and removal and making a flat leveled yard for the play set area. The homeowners wanted “ four major components, an outdoor entertainment area, a pool, a play court/batting cage and a play set.” The family wanted their weekend home to have a country club resort feel with all the amenities young kids and parents alike would enjoy. This 64

started with a soft acrylic cushioned basketball/play court that has the measurements of a tennis court. It mimics the US Open Blue and green colors and seems to blend into its environment. It sits next to a fenced and netted batting cage with artificial green turf. The white picket fenced in pool is framed with Chinese granite and the surrounding grey toned travertine stones form a pattern. Kevin made “sure that the pool also came with an automatic cover to help with protection and insulation.” Just outside the pool sits a well-appointed play set that lies upon a leveled yard for catching and throwing a ball. Kevin was very mindful of the close proximity that the homeowners were to their neighbors and he planted arborvitae trees for privacy. This sort of privacy allows the clients to enjoy some down time next to their large inviting fire pit with lava rocks and a gas fire. This extends to a stoned path that brings you to a round entertaining eating area with a grill. It is clearly evident that Kevin Ambrosio really listened to his clients and was mindful of their vision and made them his priority. He built them an escape from the city all while surrounding the specific areas with flourishing plants and flowers.

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For over 40 years, the experts at the family-owned Aqua Pools and Patio have prided themselves on being able to translate their client’s vision to a personalized outdoor haven. And according to company president Mike Giannamore, this unique ability is based largely on one question that the team poses to every client: What do you want your pool to look like? “Our inspiration definitely comes from the homeowner’s knee jerk response to that question,” Giannamore explained. “Are they someone who needs all straight lines? Or do they feel comfortable with a more natural shape? Depending on what they initially say, it gives us a chance to understand what their needs really are.” In the case of firm’s more recent projects, the team worked with two similar customers looking to add a pool to their primary residences. “Both were families with middle and high school-aged children, who was interested in having a place outdoors to entertaining guests” Mike said. “However, the family with the rectangular pool was very specific in their desire to automatic cover to secure the pool. While the one with the natural shaped pool wanted a waterfall to be part of the final design.” Due to its lasting durability, the team constructed the pools utilizing Gunite. The unique material allowed them to easily create the unique shapes that the clients are looking for. In addition, the pools were also given a hot tub as well as computerized functions that could be easily activated by any smart phone. Finally, Mike’s team installed a self-cleaning option to allow for the convenience of worry-free care for years to come. East Coast Home + Design

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This tranquil pool area retreat is situated in the side yard of a Westport, CT home constructed in 1920 by Donald P. Hart, a New England architect known for his country homes. In order to maximize the use of this long and narrow space a linear site design was developed to integrate the pool, pool house and entertaining spaces, as well as address a significant site drainage problem. The resulting design and installation seamlessly integrated pool house, pool and gardens into an elegant outdoor living space, in keeping with the overall architectural characteristics of the site and receiving a 2014 HOBI award for the ‘Best Not So Big Pool House’. The pool house and pergola were designed and constructed by Miro Builders in keeping with the Dutch Colonial style of the main house. The pool house’s profile, with its bell- shaped gambrel red cedar shingle roof is a nod to one of the most notable historic architectural elements of the main house. In contrast the interior of the pool house has contemporary styled penny-spacer paneling, with matching vanity and chrome fixtures in the built-in powder room. Special consideration was given to the selection of the interior materials due to the warm weather only use of the structure, incorporating EnduraWood, a product designed to withstand varying weather conditions for the trim and paneling. The substantial timbers of the clear cedar pergola are reminiscent of the homes authentic post and beam construction, while integrating modern stainless steel brackets to meet the towns’ coastal wind zone requirements into its timber structure. The bluestone patio beneath was designed as if it were a carpet, its exterior border integrates with the pool coping and the running bond pattern of the stone within the field adds to the linear characteristics of the site. The view from beneath pergola frames the entire space, accentuating the long lines of the pool’s bluestone coping and the vista of the fieldstone fire pit. The simple but elegant lines of the pool created by Mee66

han and Ramos Pools, integrates a spa within its rectangular form, the adjacent steps provide a transitional seating and play space for young visitors, as well as an automatic pool cover. Set within the lawn panels, the pool coping creates the definitive shape for the space, its long lines repeated in the adjacent walls and linear plantings. The effect of the water color created by the interior pool finish and tile, perfectly compliment the jewel tones of the adjacent garden. Austin Ganim Landscape Design, LLC developed the landscape plan to blend elements of both the older landscape and new plantings and masonry to create a space to compliment the pool and pool house. An existing field stone wall was partially removed and reconfigured, carefully blending the new sections of wall in a seamless transition to frame the pool and new fire pit. An Emerald Green arborvitae hedge provides the backdrop to a repeating pattern of dwarf mop head hydrangeas, iris, miniature fountain grass, geraniums and succulents in the space above the wall. On the opposite side of the space a similar planting pattern was used incorporating full-size hydrangeas. A picket fence separates the pool area from the adjacent garden room and children’s play area. The backdrop for the fire pit incorporates a combination of boxwood hedge and mixed ninebark and viburnums; where as a European hornbeam hedge creates the buffer at the rear of the pool house with the adjacent properties. In addition to providing screening and colorful summer flower display the plantings in this space also discretely hide the extensive drainage system that was install to resolve significant run-off problems from properties uphill of the site. The spaces is delightful at any time of day, but at night the pool area becoming enchanting in the moonlight, with a crackling fire and accent lighting adding to the charm, as the pool house reflects across the still pool water. This design collaboration has resulted in a space that the family will enjoy for years to come.

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The Gilded Box

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Nature and modern design come together when the architectural team at Austin Patterson Disston creates a unique getaway within the wetlands. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw Photography by Keith Scott Morton

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hen is a box not just a box? That was the question posed recently by McKee (Mac) Patterson, partner at the architectural firm of Austin Patterson Disston. In this case, the “box” was actually a rectangular-shaped home that was purchased by his clients in Pound Ridge, NY. The space, originally built in the 1960s, overlooked a pond that was part of the area’s environmentally protected wetlands. The homeowners, a family with school-aged children looking for a quiet weekend retreat, wanted to keep the home’s distinctive modern feel but make the space welcoming enough to invite family and friends over for a swim or barbecue. It seemed like the perfect property, yet it presented some challenges when the time came to renovate the structure. The clients were looking to completely rebuild the home, but due to existing town regulations, they were not permitted to do so. Environmental Challenges “We did have a lot of limitations with this project, yet it was completely understandable given the location,” Mac explained. “The pond was so clean, immaculate; there was no algae growth. So the town was really cautious about maintaining that.” Although they were largely forbidden to make any significant changes to the landscape, Mac and his team were given permission to selectively clear the area. Doing so allowed them to maintain the older trees while


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Interior designer Ken Alpert combined striped furniture and checkered flooring to transform the living room into a modern haven.

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The beautifully sleek galley kitchen features quartz countertops and stainless-steel fixtures.

cutting back the many seedlings that had overtaken the space. Once the land was cleared, they were able to take inventory of the property. The structure itself was still incredibly sturdy, but it was badly in need of an update due to years of neglect. Both the siding and windows needed to be replaced. Nearby was an abandoned tennis court and dilapidated shack. And due to the condition of the subsoil, there was no visible garage or parking area. Raising the Roof Yet, with all of the seemingly glaring problems, the odd shape of the home was seen as the biggest issue. “Aesthetically, it looked like a giant white box,” Mac said. “So I decided to make into an ornamental box.” One unique design feature of the space was that the first-floor ceiling was originally only eight feet high. Meanwhile, the basement boasted a 12-foot ceiling, making for an odd dynamic in terms of laying out the renovation. To help address this, Mac decided to take the unusual step of lowering the first floor. Doing so provided some much-needed overhead in the main living areas. Plus, there was still plenty of space below to create a playroom for the children once the work was completed. The attic was then opened up to allow the family to benefit from the fantastic views of the pond. Dormers were added to the roof, while strategically placed windows of various sizes lit up East Coast Home + Design

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The screened-in porch provides year-round comfort while affording views of the wetlands, just steps away.


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the space in a playful manner. The team even managed to add a gigantic screenedin porch and a separate family room off the back of the house without increasing the footprint Because the home’s total dimensions were non-traditional, the team created a galley-style kitchen that ran the length of the space. One end covered the butler’s pantry, while the other covered the attached living space and dining areas. Mac made sure to use contemporary building materials such as bamboo, metal and glass whenever possible to give the space a more modern façade. However, he utilized wood (in floorings, furnishings and cabinetry) as a way to add depth and personality to the home. “In my mind,” he explained, “the more you mix those elements—the wood surfaces and stone surfaces—the more warmth you get out of it, so it’s not just a monotone box. The wood goes a long way towards softening that up.” Nowhere in the home is this design theory more evident than within the master bathroom, where the solid wood cabinetry plays a prominent role alongside the porcelain and sterling-steel fixtures. “Adding the wood makes the master bathroom feel like a modern space,” said Mac, “yet it also helps to blend naturally with the surroundings, to bring an almost earthy element to it.” The Steel Sash With all the changes, it was perhaps the addition of the steel sash that commanded the most attention once the renovations were complete. The structure, which created a grid-like pattern for the entire home, was largely inspired by the designs commonly seen on prewar buildings in New York City. “I always think something can be modern as long as it has textures that feel comfortable,” explained Mac. “It’s part of why we used the steel sash with the frosted windows. The sash is frosted, so the sunlight gets diffused as it is coming through. You can see a room beyond it, but you can’t see everything, so it made the box a little more spacious. It was a great way to warm the space without making it feel too industrial.” All the interior changes served to meet the clients’ goal of creating extra space without it seeming too overly fussy. “The clients wanted it to feel like an East Coast Home + Design

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The steel sash with translucent windows artfully divides the home into separate spaces.

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The couple wanted a separate swimming pool area, but it had to be located a certain distance from the pond to maintain the water’s ecological balance.

Above: The team added a screened-in porch and a separate family room off the back of the house as part of the renovation project. Right: : The patio atop the roof provides a perfect view of the pond.

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open plan, but not look like one,” said Mac. “So they didn’t necessarily want the kitchen to be totally connected to the dining area or the living room. That’s when the partition came in handy.” Beyond the Box Along with the work on the main home, the architects had to tackle the issue of driving up to the garage area. Because of the marshy wetlands surrounding the property, approaching vehicles could descend into the landscape itself. Ultimately, Mac cleverly resolved this problem by installing a buried driveway leading to the nearby garage. “We basically utilized these little cups that held topsoil, but were strong enough to sustain the load of a car or lightweight truck,” he said. “This way, you can drive across the lawn and not sink in and damage it. The nice thing is that when you look from the house, all you see is green as opposed to driveway.” Team members removed the abandoned tennis court and shack, allowing them to clear away some poor subsoil and other materials in the process. The couple wanted a separate swimming pool area, but it had to be located a certain distance from the pond to maintain the water’s ecological balance. So Mac placed the pool in the cleared area along with a new pool house/guest house. Finally, a special garage building was added that would not only provide storage for cars and summer gear, but also house a barbecue area just above, on the roof. This layout gives visitors a chance to take in some of the property’s most scenic views. It also allowed the design team to build up the house without disturbing the wetlands that the homeowners had come to cherish. The project took about a year to complete, during which time the

original family of four expanded to include a baby daughter. This development gave the architects an added incentive to create a memorable space that would serve as the family’s respite from their fastpaced life in New York City. “What we felt was really important was adding texture and color. And, that it was the clients’ house—the thing they were looking forward to. They couldn’t wait for Friday nights when they could come up,” Mac concluded with a laugh. “And I know it’s been successful because periodically I hear back from them.” Which means that the earlier riddle about the box had turned into a long-lasting solution. Resources: Architect: Austin Patterson Disston Architects Southport Office 376 Pequot Avenue PO Box 61 Southport CT 06890 203.255.4031

Interior Designer: KA Design Group Ken Alpert 595 Madison Avenue 8th Floor New York, NY 10022 212.223.0314

Quogue Office 44 Quogue Street PO Box 1707 Quogue NY 11959 631.653.1481 East Coast Home + Design

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Hidden Treasures


MIX AND MATCH What’s not to love? When it comes to outdoor furnishings, we believe you can mix styles with ease. With its twist on traditional design, the elegant Regence Wing Chair would bring a luxe feeling to any outdoor space. Animal prints in the right dose are always classic and chic. We imagine using City Kitty indoor/outdoor fabric on pillows or an accent chair. For a real wow-factor, we adore the streamlined aesthetic and ingenuity of how the Equinox blends a firepit with a coffee table. The simple geometry of repeating diamonds blends with graceful curves on the Melbourne Daybed. It is so lovely and inviting, it provides the perfect perch for a summer siesta. The sculptural form of the Topiary Collection furniture would enhance any outdoor setting.


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