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EAST

COAST

HOME+DESIGN November/December 2014

ISSUE 71

FEATURES

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A Grand Design Feng Shui and environmental influences intersects with architecture to create a sophisticated space in the heart of Fairfield County.

By Jennifer Jackson - Outlaw

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A Walk on the Beach When a popular New York television personality decides to trade her big city digs for the beach, she calls on D2 Interiors to make her dated beach house a true home.

By Jennifer Jackson - Outlaw

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2014 Annual Architecture Issue Our Architects share some insite on project complexities in our Annual Architecture feature.

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DEPARTMENTS 16 22 96

Editors Letter In the Field

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Melange Kitchen Cookbook

Hidden Treasures

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Cover Photo: Michael Biondo East Coast Home + Design

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EAST

COAST

HOME+DESIGN November / December 2014

ISSUE 71

Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk mattkolk@me.com 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Tracy Dwyer, Roshunna Howard, Jennifer Jackson 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 shelley_mccormick@yahoo.com 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: www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com. For editorial inquiries: Editor, East Coast Home + Design, 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 or e-mail: mattkolk@ me.com. 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.

EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING 111 FOREST AVENUE FAIRFIELD, CT 06824 EASTCOASTHOMEPUBLISHING.COM

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EAST COAST EDITOR’S LETTER

HOME+DESIGN September / October 2014

ISSUE 70

Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk mattkolk@me.com 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Tracy Dwyer, Roshunna Howard, Jennifer Jackson 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 Penn Mutuals Walter Shanley, Shelley McCormick and Graphic & Web Design Myself at our 10th Anniversary East Coast Publishing Celebration

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his issue is all about the Architects. For this Publisher years Annual Architects Issue, we decided to Shelley E. McCormick through a little curve ball and allow them to shelley_mccormick@yahoo.com speak about “complexity ”. 203-545-7091 The amazing projects that these architects create Account are extremely complex to construct and Managers Lisato Dearborn they continue to find ways overcome these hurdles and wow us with their results. Patrick Giddings Mathews As this is the first issueLollie of our eleventh year, we would like to thank all of those who clebrated with us last month at Fairfield Business Development Antique & Design Center in Lehrman, Norwalk.Esq. The kind words that you Randi K. all shared makes all of the efforts worthwhile. Marketing & Sales Advisor to the Gold Coast Corporate Counsel We hope you enjoy this issue as must as we do and we wish F. Walsh, Esq.season. everyone a happy and James healthy holiday

Best,

Distribution Man in Motion

Matthew Kolk East Coast Home + Design

Editor in Chief 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 Fax: 203-286-1850 mattkolk@me.com

East Coast Home + Design is published six issues per year. To subscribe: www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com. For editorial inquiries: Editor, East Coast Home + Design, 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 or e-mail: mattkolk@ me.com. 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.

Correction: In the Setember Issue, the feature story “A Passage to India” was incorrectly credited to Architect George Dumitru, it should have been credited to: Robin McGarry of Robin McGarry Interior Design 11 Riverfield Drive Weston, CT 06883 203.454.1825 EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING robinmcgarry.com 111 FOREST AVENUE FAIRFIELD, CT 06824 We apologize for the error. EASTCOASTHOMEPUBLISHING.COM

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Melange

MODERN LOVE

CAROUSEL by Kenneth Cobonpue

A flurry of vibrant cotton ropes twirled around hoops, the Carousel evokes the wonder and whimsy of the world’s grandest carnivals. Naturally dyed ropes are hand-knitted into minimalist silhouettes creating a set of contemporary lighthing pieces with a touch of pop exuberance. Collapsible and packed flat, the Carousel lights are an easily charming choice for the modern home. Designbyhive.com

Ecriture II Rug

Made to order rug from our Beyond Borders Collection and is designed by Christian Astuguevielle. hollyhunt.com

ANEMONE by Olivia d’Aboville

Absinthe Side Table

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The metal side table’s focal point is its smokey quartz stone top. The table’s size is 11W x 16D x 22.5H hollyhunt.com

Resembling the aquatic flower, the Anemone Collection features hundreds of hand molded polystyrene tentacles caught in lucid motion. Each arm is woven to one another after being shaped through a heating process. Several LED bulbs creating the strong feel of underwater corals during night time illuminate every lamp. Designbyhive.com

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DRAGON’S TAIL by Luisa Robinson

Inspired by childhood tales, the Dragon’s Tail Lamp transforms the auspicious power of dragons into a unique lighting creation. The collection takes advantage of the Japanese art of Origami. Carefully handfolded paper sections are attached to each other to create tail-like forms. Designbyhive.com

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Headboard by Chris Upholestry

Upholstered in a gorgeous neutral hue, this king size tufted headboard is sure to add glamour to any bedroom. Headboard:Chris Upholstery Kravet fabric Pillows: Schumacher-Park Ave Python Chrisupholestey.com

Coltu Cocktail Table

From the Christian Astuguevieille Collection. Astuguevieille’s collection features painted cotton cord wrapped over a wood base. The table’s size is 19.7D x 25.6H hollyhunt.com

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In the Field

Door to be Different Story by Charlene Peters

If you never have had the time to look more into what must occur for companies who take ethical steps to back up safety, you must. Understanding the measures some companies will take to make sure that you have the best product possible will help you understand that some companies are lucky with their products, and others are determined. The lucky companies will sometimes make an excellent product, but a safety-driven consumer will understand more than the inventors in the measures of safety. Determined companies will make products that they understand more than the consumer. That is done by rigorous testing and not stopping until the product is the benchmark for their category. Below are two companies: Upstate Door and Steel Windows and Doors. They understand their methods. They understand your safety. They understand your value. Upstate Door Inc. Upstate Door Inc. works towards creating products that are designed 22

to give their clients what they want and need. According to Robert Fontaine, the President, “many of the things that we include as standard, which are either upgrades or unavailable with many manufacturers, truly separate us.” Upstate Door takes extra care to make sure your family is safe. They go through numerous audits throughout the year and make sure that the door meets all standards necessary to earn the trust of the informed consumer. The process to create this level of standard is an absolutely fascinating one. Below are two products that Upstate Door sells that have gone through some rigorous processes. Coastal Doors (Impact-Rated and Impact and Water Rated Doors) Upstate’s impact-rated door can withstand a speed that most highways will not allow. Being able to keep its place in 130 mph winds, the amount of the bottom of a category 4 hurricane. Considering that most hurricanes throughout the year are only category 2 and below, you might consider yourself in good hands.

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The process to additionally certify this door as water rated involves testing the ability of the door to withstand incoming water. Using Keystone Certification , the door had a maximum resisting amount of about 140 pounds of water hitting it for every foot. If you have ever been the recipient of a bucket of water being thrown at you, you could come to understand this enormous undertaking by simply taking that experience and multiplying it by 17 for every foot of you on one side. You would fall, the door would not. Fire-Rated Doors Another product that you must consider for the inside of your home is an Upstate fire-rated door. This door is the difference between fire reaching your room in a matter of seconds, or taking as long as 90 minutes. You know how long your children take to wake up in the morning. How long do you think you would need to wake them up in an emergency? The door, certified by Intertek Testing through Fyrewerks, as well as independent testing by Upstate Door, went through an extensive testing phase. In one test, a door that was certified to last a 45-minute 600-degree Fahrenheit burn had an outstanding effect. If you ever watch the video of the testing, you will realize that you would never have guessed the extent of the fire burning on the other side. In fact, only a small fraction of the door burns on your side, and mostly because of the heat of smoke. However, when the door is turned around, the entire door frame is charcoaled.

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Steel Windows and Doors Steel Windows and Doors USA specializes in high-end customized work that can handle any of your fenestration (windows, doors, or framing) needs. Their products range from traditional style hot rolled steel, to the thermally broken units available in steel: bronze, stainless, and Corten. The custom capacities of these products will allow Steel Windows and Doors to fabricate most any unit type, including standard hinged configurations, massive pivot, bi-fold and lift and slide units. When you work with Steel Windows and Doors, you will work with true artisans who take pride in hand crafting every unit that is delivered. In fact, their units are tested to the highest standards. NFRC testing has been completed and allows them to provide complete calculations for accurate U-values. By doing so, you can have a real value for proper sizing of the mechanical systems, rather than using standard labels, which provides inaccurate results if the units are of varying sizes. Steel Windows and Doors have also tested their products to the rigorous Miami Dade standards. Tested units thus far include fixed units that are 5’ x 12’ mulled to a 5’ x 12’, a

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10’ x 6’ arched top unit, 6’ x 9’ French doors, and a true French casement unit at 6’ x 8’. If you are interested in shopping for large lifts and slide units, and safety is important, you will be pleased to know that Steel Windows and Doors is working towards testing their products for these categories. Because of the strength of the product materials, they are able to span taller and wider than most other materials, which will make this choice an excellent part of large homes. They are capable of producing units with a single piece of insulated glass that is approximately 252 SF. If your residence is on the direct ocean front, they can also install bronze and Stainless Steel 316L material that will go well with you humble abode. Both offer unsurpassed durability and require virtually no maintenance. Your safety and comfort should be important. You should not settle for luck, but for careful determination. Some companies will make claims on a product that they have tested, but they test to earn a profit. Upstate Door, Mr. Shower Door and Steel Windows and Doors takes the extra measure of an independent certification to make sure that you are not presented with a product, but with a safe addition for your home. Resources Upstate Door 800.570.8283 upstatedoor.com Steel Windows and Doors Domenick Siano 203.579.5157 steelwindowsanddoors.com

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Kitchen Cookbook

How to Find Your Kitchen Style Story by Sarah Robertson of Dearborn Cabinetry www.studiodearborn.com

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f you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, you have a lot of decisions ahead. Everyone who is design conscious suffers from a bit of “design schizophrenia”, so it is almost inevitable that you will be drawn to more than one style of kitchen. Here’s how to find inspiration, get organized and start making some choices. Keep a file Pinterest, Magazines or the old fashioned file folder—whatever works for you! Tear out every kitchen you see that strikes a chord with you, even if you’re not sure why (more on this later.) The more photos you save, the more data points you will have to help determine your true style. If you like a certain design aspect, keeps NOTES so you can watch for trends across your selections. Keep A List Before you begin the renovation, keep a list handy in the kitchen to jot down notes on how you use your own kitchen, and what could be improved upon. Are you lacking in the utensil storage department? Would you really use a mixer shelf? Extra recycling space? Write it down! 28

Hire A Professional...Early A kitchen renovation deserves a kitchen-centric approach, so why wait to bring in the kitchen designer? On more than 80% of my projects, we have to tweak the architect’s plans to get the kitchen right. Begin interviewing kitchen designers as soon as you’ve hired an architect, if not before! Keep Organized Go back through the images you have saved and organize by thread. Liked the refrigerator? Love that countertop? Great storage ideas? Make as many folders as you need to keep your images organized. If you eventually hire a designer, these files will give them a running start at understanding your style. Keep It Real Now’s the time to start editing. As you go back through the images ask yourself “Do I still love this?” or “why did I even save this?” If you can’t remember, then toss it! Next, you need to ask “Is it REALLY me?” and the kicker, “will it work with my lifestyle?” If you own several Golden Retrievers, then glossy ebony floors are NOT for

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you, unless you are ok with following the dogs around all day with a vacuum! For those great ideas that may work “someday” or for that dream second home, start another file and tuck them away. This will help keep you focused on THIS project without giving up on those hopes and dreams! Keep it in context The context of your home, that is! Your new kitchens size, layout and style should fit and flow with your existing home. Does your home really need a huge addition, or would a “micro-addition” and a fresh layout do the trick? Remember, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t “push the envelope” and put a contemporary kitchen in a 1920s tudor, but be mindful of relating to the rest of the house. For instance, crafting contemporary cabinetry from Rift Sawn Oak can tie a modern kitchen back to its Tudor roots. Keep Focused During a renovation, you are facing hundreds of choices on layout, style, organization, millwork and finishes. Now you need to return to those favorite kitchen photos to answer specific questions—“Do I really like beaded inset cabinetry?” “Will having the sink on the island work for me?” “Do I want a range hood that is wood or metal?” Focus on one issue at a time, such as hood design. You will probably spot details in your favorite photos that you hadn’t noticed before. Your designer can also help by sharing images and folders of their own—you are probably not their first client with this same design dilemma!

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TOP TEN QUESTIONS FOR A KITCHEN DESIGNER Whether you hire a kitchen designer to just draw plans or handle the entire project, there are a few key questions every homeowner should ask: 1. How long have you been designing kitchens? Just a minor detail... something you will want to know! 2. How does the design process work? Designers can work with their clients using an interactive or reactive method. I prefer an interactive process, where the client actively participates in the design of their kitchen. Other designers prefer to present several complete layouts and allow their clients to “react” to these designs. 3. How long does the process take? Two weeks? Four Weeks? According to your (the client’s) timetable? You may also want to find out if the firm has a “policy” on changes during the design process. 4. Will you give me cost alternatives during the design process? Assuming you have already received an estimate, will the designer tell you during the process where there may be costly design decisions and make an effort to suggest lower cost options? 5. How mobile are you? Is the designer available for jobsite meetings, even (occasionally) on short notice? Can meetings take place at your home, or only at the design studio/showroom? Will you respond to texts, emails, phone calls after hours? 6. How do you handle the installation? Do I need to purchase the labor through your company? Will you provide me with more than one

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contractor for estimating purposes? If you hire a kitchen designer to handle your project from start to finish, they will often have their own pool of contractors that work on their jobs. You should have freedom of choice here. 7. How do you keep up with new ideas, products, industry advancements? Does the designer ever leave the office? Does he/she go to kitchen and bath shows? Subscribe to kitchen and bath industry publications? Read interior design blogs? There are many ways to keep pace with the ever changing kitchen and bath world, but it is important that this is done. 8. May I see work samples? It is useful to see both images of completed projects as well as proposed designs. Most of my clients take a tour of a completed kitchen, which allows them to really spend time evaluating cabinetry and layout questions. 9. What will be your role after the sale of the cabinetry? Does the designer hand off the project to someone else in the firm? If so, you may want to meet the project manager. How often will you see a presence from the firm during installation? 10. What if something goes wrong? What are the policies of the firm? What issues are likely and unlikely to arise during the project in the firm’s experience? Think of your own difficult scenarios and ask questions.

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Keep it simple You may have spent months searching for the coolest pendants for over the island, and researching unique tiles for the backsplash. Now comes the moment of truth and you discover…they don’t work together. Don’t try to force too many “wow factors” into one kitchen. If you fall in love with blingy vintage pendants for the island, then consider keeping the backsplash neutral, in a “supporting” role. Pick the element you can’t live without, and save the rest for the “Vacation home” file! Keep Moving! If you are anything like me, then inertia is your worst design enemy. Set yourself goals for making decisions and stick to them (“I will pick my new refrigerator by Friday!”) This also sets an example for the other professionals you will be working with the GC, architect, etc. to do the same.

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EAST COAST HOME + DESIGN

November/ December Architect Ira Grandberg creates a balanced, harmonal home in Fairfield County. The art of living is abundant in a Westport creation by D2 Interieurs. Our Architects share some insite on project complexities in our Annual Architecture feature.

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Special care was taken to match the distinct 1930’s style brick aesthetic represented in the Fairfield County neighborhood.

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A Grand Design Feng Shui and environmental influences intersects with architecture to create a sophisticated space in the heart of Fairfield County. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw Photos by Michael Biondo

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The new construction’s more formal outside design was carefully crafted to mirror the layout of the area’s other homes without out being overly ostentatious.

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aving the chance to work with clients who have sophisticated architectural edge knowledge can be a rare luxury for most architecture firms. However, for the team at Grandberg & Associates, knowledgeable clients are part of a carefully cultivated key to their success. “We actually prefer working with individuals who have previous project experience with architects. For that reason we have been fairly selective in the clients that we have collaborated with over the years, “said the firm’s president Ira Grandberg, AIA. “Then they can compare what we’re doing to what their experiences have been in the past. Plus it gives us a chance to learn from them.” So the team must have been pleased when contacted to design a new home in the heart of Fairfield County Connecticut. The Clients had an extensive appreciation of the design process. The couple sought to work with Grandberg after viewing some of their projects online. Of particular interest to them was the need to be mindful of the neighborhood’s setting. The other neighboring homes were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. So the couple wanted a firm that not only understood the challenges of building a larger house without

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being ostentatious, but also one that would respectful of the local architectural environment. Luckily, Ira had a lot of experience balancing design excellence with challenging site constraints. “We’ll very much look at the environment surrounding the site. We try to understand what the fabric of the neighborhood is as far as the types of homes. We then combine that information that we receive from the client and from the style of architecture that they are comfortable with. “ “What we don’t want to do is to simply build a house in a formulaic style. Blending in One of the project’s biggest challenges was the varied architectural style of the neighborhood. Many of the homes were early 20th century brick structures. Therefore, there was a concern as to how to pay homage to the regional aesthetics without abandoning the individualistic design that the client was looking for. “We didn’t want to necessarily design a 1930’s-looking home,” Ira explained. “But, we wanted use brick as the vernacular befitting the

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All of our residences use the axis system as a backbone, if you will. We realized that if there were either selective views or portals at the end of corridors that it makes the space a more pleasant place to live. fabric of the neighborhood.” So, the group very carefully detailed the brick so it appeared to match the quality and workmanship found during that era, in such a way that managed to compliment the casual living spaces inside. Inside Influences As for the interiors, one of the interesting features for the house was the floor plan. The home was created with one central axis going right through the middle of the home. In addition, there are selective cross axis coming together at three points throughout the home. Although this sounds like an odd design approach, it is actually an or40

ganizational plan that is utilized in many homes designed by Grandberg and Associates. “The floor plan is one of the project’s strongest features,” Ira explained. “So as you go through the house, you’re actually experiencing selected focal points and vistas. This structured floor plan approach was one that evolved over time through trial and error. In fact, he found that homes with a well defined circulation system were favored by their clients. “In all of our homes the floor plan is the backbone. We realized that if there were either selective views or portals at the end of corridors or an entry points to rooms, the overall experience of living in the home

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The axis layout of the vaulted main gallery is demonstrative of the key strategy behind every Grandberg & Associates design.

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is significantly enhanced. The floor plan itself wasn’t the only unique component to the home design. The family had previously worked with a well known Feng Shui consultant. Later, he was brought in to review the home’s blue prints and subtle changes were made based on his recommendations. “Many of the final design elements that went into the creation of the home were the result of integrating Feng Shui considerations within the architecture. As an example - making sure that there was morning light coming through the attic to the master bedroom and installing a skylight that went from the roof right down to the central circulation core so that natural would be present at this central axis.” A Group Effort Because of the often conflicting ideas that goes into building a home of this stature, Grandberg and Associates takes special care to identify the Client’s needs before settling on the size of the structure. To do so, his team asks that their Client complete a very detailed questionnaire covering everything from desired spaces to family habits. Once the form is completed, not only can the team evaluate the project requirements, but better assist them in determining the true size of the home. Because of the scale of the project, it was important to bring together The potting room, connected by axis to the mud room, offers the client a relaxed setting to indulge in a little gardening. The open flow design of the kitchen, allows for entertaining guests while preparing meals. The wallpaper in the mudroom lavatory features a nautical map of the Long Island Sound that was especially made for the client.

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a team of people who know the area while respecting the design concerns of the Client. Debra Blair, (Blair Design Associates) the interior designer, was someone the Client had worked with on previous projects. Hollander Design, Landscape Architects were chosen based on a competition the Client held among four well-known national firms. Sasco Farms of Fairfield Connecticut implemented the landscaping. The project took about two years to complete. “As an architect, no matter how much you put things on paper, you experience the house and its environment in unforeseen ways. During construction, you begin to feel the spirit of the home. So it’s important to have a builder that you can make minor course corrections with as well as a Client that understands why it’s necessary. You can intellectualize something and put your ideas on2-dimensional docu-

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ments. . When you are out in the field and see, for instance, an unexpected view, it leaves you with a feeling that something extra is needed. It’s what makes the completed home truly special.” makes the completed home truly special.” Resources Grandberg & Associates Ira Grandberg 117 East Main Street Mount Kisco, NY 10549 914.242.0033 grandbergarchitects.com

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Several rooms were strategically placed so that the home could naturally flow from the axis design. Here, the library connects seamlessly to the study with warm colors and furnishings allowing for easy transition between the two spaces

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The clients relied heavily on elements of Feng Shui influences throughout the home. Here, the direction of the bed in the master bedroom was carefully laid out to bring harmony and wellbeing. The timber and slate materials that make up the pool house were chosen to extend the informal design sense to the outside space. The lush landscape was developed as to minimize disturbances to the home’s ecological setting. The client selected the winning landscape architect by competition among four of the area’s leading firms.

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Debra Blair Design Debra Blair 505 West End Avenue, 11D New York, NY 10024 917.717.5020 blairdesignnyc.com Hollander Design Landscape Architects Principal-in-Charge: Maryanne Connelly Project Architect: Will Harris 200 Park Avenue South, Suite 1200 NYC, NY 10003 212.473.0620 hollanderdesign.com Sasco Farms Landscape Design P.O. Box 488 Southport, CT 06890 203.345.5758 sascofarms.com The DiSalvo Engineering Group Principal-in-Charge: Trevor Hill Project Engineer: Joaquin Denoya 63 Copps Hill Road Ridgefield, CT 06877 203.436.9581 tdeg.com Tucker Associates Glen Tucker 52 B Federal Road Danbury, CT 06808 203.748.6224 tucker-associates.com

The lush landscape was developed as to minimize disturbances to the home’s ecological setting. The client selected the winning landscape architect by competition among four of the area’s leading firms. The winning firm were selected in part for their dedication to maintaining the wooded area that defined much of the historic neighborhood.

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An abstract painting by Kerri Rosenthal serves as the perfect complement above the fireplace.

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The happy client, Ann Craig, sharing a tender moment with her daughter and dog.

A Walk on the Beach When a popular New York television personality decides to trade her big city digs for the beach, she calls on D2 Interiors to make her dated beach house a true home. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw Photos by Debra Somerville

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hen D2 Interieurs was first approached to redesign a beach front Connecticut home, they knew that they had their work cut out for them. The property, which was built in the 50’s, was in desperate need of a complete overhaul. A task made all the more interesting by the fact that the high-profile client and her husband had very different ideas regarding the designing theme of the home. “The husband and wife were amazing to work with”, said D2 Interieurs owner Denise Davies. “But part of the challenge was

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melding together their very different design aesthetics. The wife, a local television personality, grew up in Kentucky and wanted to have her southern roots reflected throughout the home. Her husband’s aesthetics were considerably more contemporary.” The clients eventually settled on a theme that allowed for the blending of both distinct styles while embracing the laid-back atmosphere that defined the beach-front community they now called home.

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Using Color as a Guide In order to help blend the family’s diverging styles, Davies, her assistant Stephanie and the rest of her team decided to use neutral colors throughout the home. The creams, grays and whites served as a canvass in which to display the pop of color that would be prominently featured in every room. “They really wanted a space that was both sophisticated and comfortable,” explained Davies. “The good thing is the clients trusted me to really take their ideas in order to create a space that is uniquely theirs”. “We were really inspired by the landscape in terms of what color was used. Because it was a beach home, we wanted to reflect the locale without being kitschy. Many designers, when working on a similar space, typically use items such as corals and shells. Instead of using such props, we instead relied on the earthy colors you find outside instead.” Shades of blue plays an important role throughout the home as Denise wanted to give the feeling of being on the beach. From the deep blue front door to the navy and white wallpaper kitchen accents, visitors are constantly reminded of the clear water that awaited them only steps away from the house. To add to the sensory experience, Davies also worked in lush green elements throughout most of the home as well. Dark green plants are prominently display in several rooms, including the master bedroom. A comfortable lime ottoman awaits story time next to the chair in the nursery. And the guest room showcases a playful pair of bright green lamps on the side tables. But perhaps the greatest use of green in the home lies in the powder room, where Denise took delight in creating a funky space. “For me, the powder room is like a jewelry box where you can really have fun. Here, I love the Palm Spring kind of feel. The leaf wallpaper was extremely popular in the 70’s and I love to mix different decades. It was just fun and organic and really added to the beach-like feeling.” And the ceiling? “It’s an organic grass cloth, “recalls Davies with a laugh. “I love taking chances to create a special space and it just all came together in there.”

The table’s metallic finish adds a modern touch to the traditional living room setting. While Linda Colletta’s painting elicits thoughts of the cool blue water just steps away.

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Bright blue and white wallpaper accents add a unexpected pop of color to the kitchen.

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Given that Denise is an avid collector of mid-century art, it’s not surprising that she revels in using aged pieces to add an enduring element to her work. In fact, it’s definitely one of the hallmarks of D2 Interieurs. A Space for All Ages Denise’s desire to experiment with different decades within the project was also evident with her use of vintage pieces throughout the house. In the entryway, a mirror made of reclaimed driftwood greets all those who enter. Below it sits the bench built by D2 Interieurs with distressed wood. While in the master bedroom, a 50-year old art piece is perfectly perched above a custom bench covered in a funky turquoise velvet embossed fabric. Given that Denise is an avid collector of mid-century art, it’s not surprising that she revels in using aged pieces to add an enduring element to her work. In fact, it’s definitely one of the hallmarks of D2 Interieurs. “I really try to use a vintage piece to every room I do, “explained Davies. “It gives the room character and history. For a lot of decorators, it really seems that that they simply buy everything new and leave it in the home. Like the room itself was finished yesterday. I take a different approach, which I want the space to appear timeless. So when you are looking at one of my completed space, you can’t tell if it was done two days ago or two years ago. So it won’t easily look outdated.” 56

The ability to create a timeless space also provided a unique opportunity to accommodate a growing family without having to make major stylistic changes to their home. This idea is most evident in the playful design of the guest bedroom. The family wanted a guest room that could also serve as their daughter’s room should they add another child to the mix. Denise therefore chose bright colors and plush fabrics in the bedroom that would appeal not only to adults but would be fun and welcoming to a young child. “My challenge was making the room adult enough for their frequent guests. But, within two to three years, it could be ready if the daughter moves in. So I needed to make it sunny and inviting without looking dated when the transition occurs. ” This concept would also be applied to the nursery, as they were careful to use subdued colors and gender-neutral elements so that it would be appropriate for a new baby regardless of its sex. However, they were sure to use bright colored accessories such as the yellow window treatment or the elephant pillow to add warmth.

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An organic grass cloth ceiling and leaf wallpaper transforms the powder room into a Palm Springs getaway

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Finishing Touches As in common with many of her projects, the project details were fully designed and approved by the client in advance. However, the fixtures and art pieces are added last in what she commonly refers to as her “signature last layer.� To achieve this, her team loads up a moving van with everything from coffee table books to furnishings for the client to review. The idea is that once the bones of the room is completed that she is free to add any finishing touches she needs to ensure maximum impact for the space. Many of the pieces selected come from Denise’s own collection, an idea that she relishes as her chance to create a lasting personal imprint on the home using her own personal finds.

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Bottom Left: Vintage art work and textured lamps establish a sense of timeless beauty in the master bedroom. Left: Linda Colletta’s painting provides a striking accent against the room’s more conservative furnishings. Top: Bright colors and furry fabrics help to establish a space that is fun for guests of all ages. Above: A simple porch swing allows the clients to savor quiet time outside with their daughter after a hectic day.

“You’ll be surprise how many accessories are things that were not necessarily picked up specifically for the customer at the start of my projects. Often times, it’s something that I bought and kept because I just loved it a lot. But brought into another space, it’s really transformative.” Utilizing locally sourced art is another hallmark of Denise’s work. Over the years, she has cultivated a close relationship with many of the area’s artists. Which gives her the ability to bring in some unique pieces for her clients to enjoy. Two of the artists Denise relied for this project are Kerri Rosenthal and Linda Colletta. Both are popular artists know for their expressive use of color. Linda’s painting displayed in the living room further added layers of character to the space. Another of her work hangs in the guest room. Kerri’s black and white abstract gives the living room a modern feel. The clients were truly thrilled with the end results-a truly warm and

sunny retreat for their growing family. And although care was taken to ensure that every room was truly representative of them, there was one area that exclusively created for the wife. The porch swing. “She had always wanted a porch-swing, “Denise said with a smile. “It was really something that she had dreamt about for a long-time. Mainly because she really wanted to be on the swing with her young daughter. So when we were finalizing plans we knew that was the one space that was non-negotiable. But seeing how thrilled she was, I was happy to be able to include that in the project.” Resource D2 Interieurs Keri Rosenthal Denise Davies 646.326.7048 d2interieurs.com East Coast Home + Design

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2014 ANNUAL ARCHITECTS ISSUE

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CAROL KURTH ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS Carol Kurth

carolkurtharchitects.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? The entry foyer design for a New York City apartment located on the 37th floor in a building near Lincoln Center. The overall apartment started as three separate units and were combined into one “puzzle-like” space with with gorgeous panoramic views of Central Park. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The breathtaking “skyscape” views are captivating, yet the challenge was to create an entry foyer with a welcoming sense of arrival “home” as a transition between the building hallway and the apartment entry. Carol created the accent wall to add architectural drama, provide a place for keys, mail and the dog leash in the concealed drawer. The textured wall complements the modern backdrop of the open, airy living spaces. How did you evaluate or design the site? Carol envisioned a design that was bold, textured, and grounded the space upon arrival. While sourcing product for another project at Ann Sacks, Carol came across some gorgeous, chocolate brown soap dishes. She had a flash of inspiration and envisioned a wall made from stacking the soap dishes, creating undulating waves of subtle texture. Inspired by the city’s

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steady stream of yellow cabs below, she designed a contrasting shelf with a pop of “taxicab” yellow to mark the entryway. What was the most difficult part of this project? How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? Convincing the client that using soap dishes would be an awesome design element! The client jumped on the idea and was on board with the concept! Once we went forward with the “out-of-the-box” solution, the next challenge was being able to acquire enough soap dishes to complete the wall. The soap dishes needed to be sourced from multiple sources due to the limited production of the pieces. We waited many weeks to stockpile enough! What special materials were used in this project? Robert Kuo soap dishes are resin, sourced through Ann Sacks. The yellow ledge is custom lacquered wood. Concealed lighting. Other information Coincidentally, Carol and her team had already specified several Robert Kuo pieces throughout the home and it was all the more serendipitous when they discovered that the soap dishes were also designed by Robert Kuo! Synchronicity! It was meant to be!

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JONES, BYRNE, MARGEOTES & PARTNERS Cormac Byrne jbmparch.com

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BMP were hired to design a very unique and client specific mini family compound on a lake in a private community in Greenwich, CT. Our clients were soon to be empty nesters and were looking to create a home that would suit their needs while still being very flexible when the kids came home from college. The design brief called for a “Cotswold� cottage of a manageable scale that looked like it had lived on the property for some time but still providing eth spaces needed when all the family was in town. JBMP came up with a design that assembled 4 distinct structures connected and wrapping around a pool and pool terrace overlooking the lake. From the street the house appears to be very modest in size with

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large roofs and dormers reducing the scale of the house. Main structure is a 3 bedroom cottage with the informal spaces such as Kitchen and Family room opening up on the rear to a large covered stone terrace. Connected by a glass breezeway on one side is the Master Bedroom structure also opening out to a grass lawn with a view of the lake. On the other side is a Garage and Guest apartment connected by a covered breezeway overlooking the pool. At the end of the Pool is a modest Poolhouse with outside firepit and terrace. All are connected in a crescent shape around the disappearing edge pool. Materials selected for this project included River Rock from a quarry in Massachusetts, roughhewn timber beams on the exterior inset into

the stone veneer. A handsplit wood shake was used on the exterior walls as well as the roof to add a maturity to the look of the structure. JBMP worked with Rutherford & Associates landscape Architects to blend these new structures into a beautiful property and maximize the location and the vistas. 3d rendersings were provided by JBMP to show the client how this was all going to work before construction started.

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GRANDBERG & ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS Ira Grandberg

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hat is the subject of your complexity? Our office was commissioned to design a home in Cold Spring, New York situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking Bear Mountain Bridge. At the edge of a valley with no other structures in sight. The design’s complexity was related to both the site challenges as well as the integration of energy efficient sub system within the home. The result is a 3-dimensional “Tree House� with rooms (branches) off a central trunk (Atrium). Each space maximizing the views while interrelating to the interior programmed areas. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The interaction of scale and compositional balance to create a dynamic living environment. How did you evaluate or design the site? Attention to the precipitous grade with respect to the integrating the design of spaces within and orienting the house to maximize the view thru the valley to the Bear Mountain Bridge beyond. What was the most difficult part of this project? To organize the interior volumes so that their location was respondent to the program while the same time being expressive within the exterior composition. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? A constant balancing of interior space relationship as they relate to the exterior massing. What special materials were used in this project? Careful attention to passive solar opportunities were incorporated in the selection of materials throughout. What outside resources did you bring in for this? Our office worked with the energy consultants and mechanical engineers to evaluate the use of geothermal, photo voltaic, passive solar and green roofs as being included in the overall architectural approach to the project

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AMA ARCHITECTS Anthony Manchetti amaarchitectllc.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? Our project consists of the complete renovation of an existing residence that lacked the “soul-full” design to effect maximum utility to meet the needs of a growing family. We felt that the most logical solution was for an oversized great room, opening directly towards a new kitchen, seamless and simple in transitions. Please explain what was so complex in this project? The residence consisted of a maze of small rooms that felt confining, dated, and abrupt. Our vision for the great room space required attention to the exterior as well as the interior architectures; we participated in all aspects of the interior design selections to ensure the vision was cohesive throughout the great room, kitchen, and dining room areas of the residence. How did you evaluate or design the site? Our site was restrictive in allowing for additions to the existing footprint of the house. Therefore, we were compelled to be creative from within the existing square footage to create grandeur of space that would meet the family’s lifestyle.

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What was the most difficult part of the project? When working with large spaces it is important to maintain a sense of welcome and intimacy. We did this by creating multi-purpose gathering areas and seating arrangements within the expansive room. Large sofas flank the oversized custom stone mantelpiece, and club chairs are easily moved aside to allow for open floor space for children’s play or video gaming while viewing the large screen television. A game table with built-in display cabinets doubles as the homework/study area. In addition, the feature of the built-in beverage console allows for quiet conversation and lounging for the adults. How did you go about finding a solution to tackle the complexity of this project? Since we were creating a custom cabinetry for the kitchen, we also created custom furniture pieces and built-in case goods for the adjoining areas to organize activities and fulfill storage needs. The banquette seating of the eat-in kitchen incorporates drawers below, and the room-dividing console behind the lounge club chairs stores wireless printers and workbooks for ease of access while doing homework on the adjacent tabletop. The transition space between the kitchen and dining room was another challenge. We designed full wall panels that complement the

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kitchen cabinetry details within the passageway, which, in turn, camouflage access doors to the powder room and butler’s pantry. Regardless of where one is seated or passing through, our layout aligns circulation of space through views of natural light, which reinforces the sense of spaciousness. All lighting fixtures were selected and placed to highlight furnishings, art, and sculptures that we sourced specifically with our client’s brilliant personality in mind, keeping the home truly authentic to them. Special materials used? Steel and glass were specific materials essential to the creativity and designed expansiveness. New steel girders support the floors above and taller, more slender, windows were added to accentuate the feeling of height in the rooms. Glass countertops and backsplashes used throughout are the perfect alternative for keeping surfaces flawless from natural wear and tear of daily use from an active family.

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DOUGLAS VANDERHORN ARCHITECTS Douglas Vanderhorn vanderhornarchitects.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? The subject is an 1898 home which, in the 1970’s, suffered a fire that destroyed the second and third floors. Afterward, an unimaginative restoration was realized, leaving a substantial but nondescript home on a lovely site with generous water views. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The complex task at hand was to recreate an elegant upper story as the natural complement to the rustic stone first floor while avoiding contrariety. The original home was shingle style, so we set out to produce what might have been the original form for the home. Shingle style often features symmetrical yet varied elements. From the water, this theme prevails at the master balcony and at a bay window, each similarly positioned below its matching gable. How did you evaluate or design the site? The most prominent site element was the water view, our response was to improve accessibility to this feature. We restored the existing second floor deck, replacing the solid railing with an open wood balustrade design. We added a balcony to the master bedroom and a large bay window to another bedroom. What was the most difficult part of this project? Creating a balanced yet diverse facade for the front of the home without adding an aggrandizing effect was the biggest challenge. The clients did not want to enlarge the already spacious home so we utilized a porch, interlocking gables and a variety of windows to create a balanced composition with a central focus around the existing front door. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? As always, we rely on our extensive library for inspiration. We review hundreds of similar style homes, trying to place ourselves in the period, then we sketch, sketch, sketch. What special materials were used in this project? We very rarely use steel in tension for residential work, but we had some real structural challenges here. The new master bedroom gable and balcony were constructed above a beautifully paneled living room. In order not to disturb the lower space, we devised a system of cantilevers and tensile rods to hang the structure from the attic level. Each balcony column contains one of these rods. What outside resources did you bring in for this? We utilized specialists to help with a few things. The lower chimney was very old with a leaking flue. We found a company who could mechanically break the old flue pipe out and cast a new reinforced flue without disturbing the chimney structure. An elevator contractor helped plan our very tight elevator and of course an engineer helped size and detail the hanging balcony structural components.

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hat is the subject of your complexity? Remodel and Addition of Cape in the Fairfield Beach Area

Please explain what is so complex in this project. The challenge was threefold: First, we had to raise the house to meet the new FEMA requirements after Super Storm Sandy. Second, we were working on a non-conforming lot—meaning it was a small, narrow piece of land in the beach area where the houses are very close together. Third, the clients did not want a big house that looked like a box or a house that resembled a cape but rather something unique with an open floor plan and a nice size backyard for their kids and entertaining. How did you evaluate or design the site? First, we started with the design of the floor plan. The clients needed to be satisfied with the layout and space. Then, the challenge became to align the design of the interior with exterior of the house while balancing lot coverage. One has to dictate the other it most cases people think in terms of square footage and end up building a large box in order to get their space. We successfully designed the interior and exterior of the house while maximizing the green space of the lot. Again, making sure the scale of the project was accurate contributes to the overall success of the design. What was the most difficult part of this project? The most difficult part of the project was the same with every project— the details. Every aspect of this project was closely tied together. The interior plan affected the exterior elevations, and the exterior elevations affected the property, and vice versa. In addition, because the houses are so close together—we took the time to make sure that my client’s kitchen window wasn’t looking into their neighbor’s bedroom or the driveway would be able to fit two cars instead of one—things like that. We also took the time to build a house that fit into the neighborhood while giving it character and flare. It was one of the first raised houses in the area so we wanted to “fit in” not just meet my client’s needs. So, we adjusted the dimensions of the house so that it would not appear too tall building the tallest part of the house in the back instead of close to the street. Scale is everything, so if one dimension is off in any direction, it affects the entire project in a negative way. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? There are always solutions! With this particular project we didn’t follow the “norm” and we spent a lot of time planning the project—you need to have time to think through every step of the project and how one little change can affect the entire project. Even though the clients were very eager to remodel after Sandy, we stayed focused and concentrated on our initial goals & objectives for the house and spent time on the details. Remodeling and building can seem like a long process but it is the end result that matters and sometimes it takes time to get it right. If applicable what special materials were used in this project? We used everything from a high efficiency heat pump and triple pane windows, to foam sheathing and cement siding. These are seen as “special materials,” but they really should be standard in all new designs and builds. The house was designed to be low maintenance, environmentally friendly, and extremely energy efficient. If applicable what outside resources did you bring in for this? I find that GreenBuildingAdvisor.com is always a great resource.

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KOALA RESIDENTIAL Michael Black

koalaresidential.com

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JMKA | ARCHITECTS Jeffrey Kaufman jmkarchitects.com

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small compact lot, in an otherwise large over scaled 1980’s neighborhood, is the setting for this site at the end of dead end street that overlooks an overgrown abandoned railway track. The existing 400 square foot stone structure is the last remaining cabin built as a retreat for the employees of General Electric in the 1930’s. The program was an acknowledgment of simplicity, low site impact and a “green” focus. The existing lot was not large enough for a septic design for a 3-bedroom house. There was a sliver of land, 500 square feet, which was donated to the Archdiocese of Bridgeport. The Archdiocese was approached and they agreed to sell the 500 square feet. There is also a “paper” road along that continues from the street owned by the Town. It became a permanent 35” vegetation screen along that side of the site. Given the non-conforming site, after the setbacks were placed there was an area of 25’ that could be built on. (see existing site plan) The site had a large area that was ledge. The parti was to create an inner courtyard, shielded from the neighboring structure. The site is a rolling terrain of rock outcroppings. The new structure with the existing created a “U” shape space that was focused towards the cliff over the former railway. The center structure was lifted up off the ledge outcropping to avoid blasting and therefore creating a “bridge” from the existing structure to the sleeping quarters. This also created the “wall” separating the pedestrians from the automobiles. The interior has a scored concrete floor with radiant heating. The floor also provides a thermal mass for collecting the sunlight heat. Bio-based plywood was specified for the walls and ceilings. An important goal was to minimize any impact on the site and use products that were local. The horizontal siding is milled from salvaged beams. The slats provide the rain screen for the structure as well as shielding in front of some windows for privacy from the neighbors but allowed natural light through. There are retractable doors on the first floor to allow the outdoor “rooms” to be combined with the interior rooms. The live roof will be partially watered using the grey water from the residence

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WADIA ASSOCIATES Dinyar Wadia

wadiaassociates.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? This historic New Canann home was built in 1929, designed by New York architect William B. Tubby, who rose to prominence during this period for his outstanding designs which included Waveny House in New Canaan, Dunnellen Hall in Greenwich and the Greenwich Library. Yet for all its beauty and gracious bearing, the home lacked sufficient living space for the family to gather comfortably together. The Kitchen was in the basement (just like Downton Abbey), a remnant from the days of servants - and there was no family room, just a very formal drawing room. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The challenge with this project, was that the coverage (allowed buildable area) was already maximized - meaning that this was not just a case of designing an addition to the home. As a historically significant home, we wanted to maintain the architectural integrity of the existing house, which prevented demolishing part of the home which would have enabled us to add, and maintain the same coverage. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? We successfully argued to the Town that the lack of a family kitchen

and family room - the heart of every modern day house - deprived the owners the full enjoyment of the home, and were granted permission to add these rooms to the house. To ensure a seamless transition between the old and the new, we had the Indiana limestone used on the exterior of the house power ground to give it the same texture and patina as the existing stone. Ultimately, the addition included a new kitchen, great room, outdoor courtyard and a playroom. Providing the inspiration for the great room was Castle Duart located on the Isle of Mull, and featured in the 1999 movie Entrapment in which Sean Connery and Catherine ZetaJones, playing art thieves, practice their moves for a high- tech heist. Smitten by the stylish setting, the clients asked us to recreate a similar sort of room for their new addition. Featuring a double-height ceiling, massive stone fireplace with intricate carvings, and custom bronze handrails leading up to a second-story mezzanine, the great room has become a treasured place for the family to gather. Linking this room to the main residence is a glass-paned corridor featuring iron frames and true divided lights. Stunning views of the garden terrace are on display on one side, while the new kitchen is visible through the courtyard, which flanks the other side of the corridor. Together with the roof lights in the kitchen and double-height bay windows in the great room, the new space is drenched in sunlight. East Coast Home + Design

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hat is the complex project you have selected for this issue? The clients for this house wanted a Modern design that recalled the “spirit” of places they had visited, lived and loved - ranging from Mexico, the Mediterranean, and the Texas Plains. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The challenge was to design a large modern house on a street of new, “traditional” homes... a design that is as progressive in design as the clients wanted, but sited on the property in such a way that it could sit quietly and discretely on the street, hidden from view (the entire property was enclosed with a 8’ solid fence to further the privacy). How did you evaluate or design the site? The site was a large field, formerly occupied by a school. There were no restrictions on architectural style, important to the clients and why 78

they chose this location What was the most difficult part of this project? As is always the case, trying to address a clients’ specific goals in a wonderful and thoughtful way is the biggest, and most enjoyable, challenge. Here, the house’s forms and materials all make reference to the ideas and places the owners wanted to incorporate. The light and shadows inside, the colors and wall texture of the interior spaces all capture the spirit of those varied places ( and make the interior rooms truly comfortable and amazingly intimate!). It’s a different kind of house, and not so easily appreciated at first glance of the exterior. It all makes sense when you are inside! How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity of this project? As Modern as the house looks, it is built very conventionally- wood framed just like the neighboring houses. But with a large glass win-

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JONATHAN WAGNER AIA ARCHITECT Jonathan Wagner jwaia.com

dow wall...and galvanized metal siding! Whether Traditional or Contemporary, it is important to me to design houses that are straightforward to build with standard materials (although often used in unexpected ways) , usually by contractors who most likely have not built something so unique (but who always tell me how much they enjoy working on something that’s different from every other house around). Making a unique home “complex” to build is the last thing I want to do (thus keeping the construction costs down!)

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MICHAEL SMITH ARCHITECTS Michael Smith

michaelsmitharchitects.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? Rowayton Beach House project renovation and addition to small beach cottage on .05 acres. Please explain what is so complex in this project? The complexities in this project had to do with the extremely tight non-conforming property, house, and zoning regulations. The entire property that the old beach cottage was built on was a corner lot in Belle island and was only 2,390 SF or .05 acres. (about the size of the first floor of a typical new home). The existing cottage actually was attached to the neighboring house behind it and only 20� from the house next to it. After meetings and discussions about the project with the City of Norwalk, we had to create an expansion plan that utilized only the existing house footprint and had to maintain 50% of the value of the existing structure - which means it could not be torn down or expanded significantly without triggering zoning violations. Needless to say there were severe limitations on what we could and could not do to achieve the clients goals of expansion and renovation. We also felt very strongly about creating a project that would fit in the with character of Belle island neighborhoods which meant keeping some porches, setbacks, and not simply creating a large three story box. How did you evaluate or design the site?

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As discussed above - the site was very small so every inch of the site had to be thought out and utilized. The existing driveway area was renovated and it doubled as an outdoor patio with grill. The small area of landscaping along the stone wall of the street was maintained to create a softer corner. What was the most difficult part of this project? The approvals for this project were the most difficult and complex thing about the project. Designing within the parameters set forth by the city and the client was challenging. The approvals for this project took as long as the construction of the house. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? We simply took what the house gave us and worked with it. We first had manage the expectations of the client with regard to the size of the spaces and how that would translate into the overall architecture and the floor plan. We kept the first floor wraparound porch at the corner. We opened up the existing first floor to be primarily one big casual living space and then added three small bedrooms on the second floor. We also decided since we could not expand outward that we would go up to capture the views.The second floor has a deck and higher ceilings (than the existing first floor) and the attic is a wide open vaulted living area with a deck and view of the sound.

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TR BUILDING & REMODELING Todd Drury \ Rick Krug trbuilt.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? TR Building & Remodeling’s complex project was to meet our clients’ needs and priorities for an addition while maintaining the historic integrity of their 1700s home. The addition included a two-story garage with a playroom and gym.

they often use with a ceiling-mounted rack to transport luggage and equipment. This vehicle needed to fit in the garage along with 2 other SUVs, in addition to gardening and sports equipment. Traditionally, historic homes have notoriously low ceilings and the height of this tall vehicle was an issue; therefore, constructing this garage with the needed height was a complex matter.

Please explain what is so complex in this project? This project was so complex because of five major issues. 1. First and foremost, the project required a variance from the town of Stamford because the proposed structure was to be built in very close proximity to the property line. 2. The lot consisted largely of wetlands, which eliminated many options for where the garage could be placed as a detached structure. The most logical (and most difficult) option was to build it as an attachment to the existing structure, which was a more functional approach. 3. Because of the wetlands and location of the structure, a considerable amount of drainage was needed for the new footprint. A huge cistern that collects water was installed under the driveway with dual purpose. Water is carried away from the house, then stored and could be pumped so the homeowner could use the water for gardening. 4. Another complexity was working on a home built in the 1700s. The old timber frame structure settled over hundreds of years. We found a crooked floor system in the original home; so, creating passageways to the new structure on 2 different floors was complicated. The construction had to be level and seamless without any awkward transitions, not to mention within code. Measuring had to be exact – there was a considerable amount of calculation analysis with no room for error. 5. Additionally, the family owns a 1997 Land Rover Defender that

How did you evaluate or design the site? In order to evaluate and design the site, it was critical to understand the clients’ needs and frustrations with their current situation and what their top priorities were. Understanding which points were flexible and which were not was crucial. Additionally, we had to evaluate the present 1700s structure and see if the variance would gain approval. To tackle the variance, we created a preliminary schematic 3D design of the footprint and exterior components for the Planning & Zoning Board. This was necessary to convey the intent and look of the proposed structure without going into extensive detail in the event that it didn’t get approved. We also had to indicate the hardship this family faced and why they should be allowed to build right up to the property line. Our explanation was that they live in a beautiful 1700s historic home that adds beauty to their neighborhood. They take pride in their home with extensive gardening and upkeep; however, there is no storage for vehicles, garbage cans, kids’ toys, tools, etc., so this excess of “stuff ” becomes an eyesore. Without this structure, the charm and beauty of this house and neighborhood is diminished, and the proposed design would enhance the value of their home and neighborhood. Another important factor was the house’s prime location and proximity to wetlands. Because of this, there was no other suitable place to locate the garage. Another location that was further away would have severely limited its functionality.

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What was the most difficult part of this project? The most difficult part was obtaining variance approval because the other aspects of the project were interconnected and hinged on the garage. Another significant hurdle was the installation of radiant heat in the driveway – several contours and layers had to be built to maintain level asphalt over insulation tubes. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? In an effort to tackle the variance issues headon, we hired an attorney who specializes in planning and zoning to shepherd us through the process. This was invaluable. Additionally, we created many rough 3D models to flesh out options on how the new rooflines would connect to the old. This characteristic requires serious attention to detail because the intrusion of water from leaks or ice damning could be disastrous. When designing roofs on flat paper, it’s hard to see how everything interconnects. The use of 3D models allows us to spin the model around so we can view all the angles. The other thing that helped us find solutions was meticulous field measuring of the existing conditions. This took an inordinate amount of time as compared to a newer, conventionally built home, but was well worth the efforts. If applicable what special materials were used in this project? We used a burial-certified cistern with a filtration system for drainage, so that water could be pumped out for gardening. Additionally, we designed a custom double garage door with a facade of carriage house doors for curb appeal. If we didn’t design a door like this, the homeowners would never have been able to fit their 3 SUVs plus equipment in the tight garage space. Plus, the rear of the garage has a large elevation drop, so we created two barn doors and an old farmhouse masonry ramp made out of fieldstone and bluestone. This ramp serves as an easy access ramp to wheel equipment in and out of the garage. In the playroom, we used random width, hand-hewn oak floors, which added to the charm of the new structure. If applicable What outside resources did you bring in for this? Attorney: Sandak, Hennessey & Greco LLP from Stamford, CT) Cabinetry: Kountry Kraft custom cabinetry sold through TR Building. Hand Hewn random width oak floors from Kellogg Hardwoods in Bethel. East Coast Home + Design

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CHARLES HILTON ARCHITECTS Charles Hilton

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hat is the subject of your complexity? The design of a very large walk-in fireplace in a new home.

Please explain what is so complex in this project? The central Great Room in this new residence was designed as a 35 foot square space with a 30 foot high ceiling. The room’s volume required a massive fireplace that fit into its oversized character. The resulting design was a carved-stone fireplace with a 9 foot wide by 22 foot tall interior and an 8 foot wide by 6 foot tall walk-in hearth. The firebox size required a 26 inch diameter chimney flue. (One Santa could actually come down.) Both the function and the aesthetics were particularly challenging aspects of the project. Project parameters that affected the fireplace design included a truncated chimney, a highly insulated and efficient house, and infrequent use. Centuries ago, chimneys of this scale would have been many stories tall, in drafty houses, and in constant use for heating and cooking needs. In a traditional chimney, the open flue allowed heavy, cold air to pile down the chimney pushing smoke back into the room until the fire was hot enough to support natural convection from the inside out. Three solutions were implemented to promote natural convection in this chimney: a top damper, metal flue, and preheating coils. The top damper, rather than one located in the smoke chamber, allowed the flue to stay at or around room temperature rather than dropping all the way to outside temperature. The metal flue heats up more quickly that traditional masonry, and the preheat coils in the custom metal smoke chamber can be turned on a few minutes before the fire is lit to heat the flue and begin the natural convection process. The tight, modern insulation of the house starves the fire of generous make-up air required to replace that going up the chimney. Make-up air ducting was integrated at the face of the firebox, and a make-up

air system was specified in addition to the central HVAC system. The result was a magnificent, walk-in fireplace that functions just as a traditional fireplace would. The aesthetic of such a large scale fireplace presented its own set of challenges. The goal was a rustic, yet refined, authentic French limestone fireplace. This design required the coordination of an architectural team located in the U.S. and a quarry team located in France. A French Camargue limestone was selected for its color, malleability, and available surface texture. The team’s architectural drawings were used to cut, carve, and antique the surface texture of the limestone pieces at the quarry in France before they were shipped to the U.S. for installation. This process required the dedication and clear communication from both teams, and the results speak for themselves. What was the most difficult part of this project? Getting the right partners to design and fabricate the fireplace. Coordination of the concrete shell, manufactured components, and finished veneers was also very challenging. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? Finding good partners and consultants: Walter Moberg, a prominent fireplace expert was critical in designing the functioning components of the fireplace. Marble Crafters helped us source and fabricate the interior stone veneer. Our mason, Mauro Fidaleo, was also instrumental in the successful construction of the fireplace. If applicable what special materials were used in this project? French Camargue limestone veneer inside, Connecticut granite on the exterior, custom made stainless steel interior components from Moberg Fireplaces. East Coast Home + Design

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KELLER/EATON ARCHITECTS Robert Keller Dianne Eaton rkdea.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? The subject of our complexity is a residential home located on the cliffs of the National Seashore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Please explain what is so complex about this project There were several challenges with this project. The first challenge was to blend the residence into the site which included forests, dunes, and sheer cliffs. This needed to be achieved with as little site and environmental impact as possible. In addition, we wanted to maximize the view of the shore and ocean beyond. How did you evaluate or design the site? The solution to evaluating and designing the site was constricted due 86

to the rules and regulations of the town, the National Seashore and the complexity of cliff erosion on such a delicate parcel. We initiated the design process by looking at the approach of the site from the road. The home’s visual impact needed to be minimal and unobtrusive out of respect for the surrounding National Seashore. In order to make the home have the smallest visual impact from the road, we wanted to blend the roofline into the site, making it reminiscent of the surrounding dunes and design the shape of the façade to welcome the visitor. The resulting “V” shape results in a smaller front façade but a large one on the water side maximizing the view. In addition, following the contours of the site allows for a one story home in the front, and a stepped structure on the ocean side. This solution provides unobstructed views of the northern, eastern and southern exposures along the ocean.

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What was the most difficult part of this project? The most challenging aspects of the project were four fold. These were to fit the owners’ program into a building with minimal impact on the environment, allow the home to blend into its surroundings aesthetically, address the cliff side erosion, and find a solution to all of these issues within the rules and regulations of the town. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity of this project? To solve the complexities of the cliff side erosion issues, we calculated the erosion rate of the site, situated the house on the property to accommodate a 250 year erosion plan, and located the home in a way that would allow it to be moved forward on the site should that become necessary in the future. In order maximize the view and outdoor living space, a plan was developed to allow for decks and rails to drop below the view line from inside the house. This solution also allowed for maximum beach and ocean viewing. If applicable, what special materials were used in this project? In order to reduce potential noise levels from rain and wind, a rubber roof, Sarnafil, was installed to mimic the look of a standing seam tin roof. Many interior surfaces are framed in wood to evoke a Japanese Zen-like aesthetic. Finally, elements from the site and seashore below were incorporated into the finishes. This included sand from the beach that was used in the poured concrete countertops and fireplace, sea glass that was used in the acrylic countertop conglomerate, and polished beach stones that were pressed into the bathroom vanities.

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NEIL HAUCK ARCHITECTS Neil Hauck

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hat is the subject of your complexity? A summer home on the Rhode Island coast for a couple from northern California.

Please explain what is so complex in this project? My clients wanted to create an outdoor living space off the third floor of the house that included a seating area, a hot tub, an outdoor shower and stairs to a Widow’s Walk one level above. How did you evaluate or design the site? The site abuts a 200-acre bird sanctuary. Six families purchased the land and donated it to the local Land Trust to preserve the rich ecosystem. However, they also preserved six building sites along the periphery … one for each of them. One of my challenges was to develop the land in such a way that it minimized impact on the adjacent wilderness. What was the most difficult part of this project? Finding a way to resolve conflicting stylistic and programmatic issues. Specifically, my clients had fairly modern tastes, but felt it was important to relate to the local vernacular … the traditional Shingle Style architecture prevalent along the Rhode Island coast. This 88

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proved to be most challenging when addressing the design of the third floor outdoor living space. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? I began by establishing a simple roofline with local symmetries along the western-facing elevation. By removing a portion of the gabled roof at the southern end of the house, I was able to create the third floor roof deck that offers views of the ocean and an inland pond. The hot tub was integrated into a projecting dormer, and is therefore concealed from view. A circular stair leading to the Widow’s Walk was housed in a rectangular element that recalls the chimney mass one would expect to see at the gable end. If applicable, what special materials were used in this project? By wrapping the shingled roof around the third floor roof deck, a vessel for collecting rain and snow was created. Therefore, it was essential to design an effective way to keep the spaces below dry. This was accomplished by using a single-ply EPDM membrane over sloping rigid insulation in order to drain water to a perimeter trough located below the surface of the Mahogany decking. This trough funnels into leaders concealed in the exterior walls of the structure below. East Coast Home + Design

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STUDIO DUMITRU George Dumitru studiodumitru.com

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hat is the subject of your complexity? Years ago our clients decided to bring an old classic new england home up to date. In the process of some additions and alterations they also wanted to accommodate a home theater. The family is very private and cherishes the family together time. The only space available was the basement. The challenge of course was to (re)create a space proper enough for a small home theater. Please explain what is so complex in this project? A home theater requires not only horizontal space abut vertical as well. (in order to negotiate the home theater seats staging.) Since we were dealing with a common basement situation the challenge was to increase the vertical height. How did you evaluate or design the site? In order to capture the vertical space we needed we came up with the idea of lowering the basement slab to the maximum before a rebuild, or more intricate underpinning solutions would be necessary. A little 90

bit of slab and footing exploration saved the client a lot of money and gave us enough height to achieve our goal. What was the most difficult part of this project? Where there is a will there is a way. We always start with the approach that of we want it we can do it. We just have to decide how bad we want it, and how costly it will be in the end. The final decision will always come back to the client. The most difficult parts of the process were just builder technicalities in the end. Architecturally the difficult part is always finding the proper solution for each task. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? Once the task came in front of us we went directly to drawing board. Experience told us how the house basements are traditionally built. We first made the assumptions, which turned out to be correct, and then we did the existing conditions exploration. Afterwards we had to adjust the parameters to the existing situations. We ended up gaining

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enough height so that the seats staging worked out. If applicable what special materials were used in this project? The materials we used were irrelevant to the difficulty of this project, but we made sure that everything works and matches the existing house. We tried to give the space a home feel, and also make it a fun place for the kids as well. We kept the paneling to a minimum due to space restrictions too. If applicable What outside resources did you bring in for this? The home theater technical design was handled by an audio video specialist and the wall treatments and colors were done with the help of an interior designer.

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ALISBERG PARKER ARCHITECTS Susan Alisberg Ed Parker

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alisbergparker.com hat is the subject of your complexity? An addition renovation of a 1920s Bronxville tudor.

Please explain what is so complex in this project? Stone Tudors are complex compositions. They use material patterning, hierarchy, rhythm, and proportion to create an asymmetrical design that is well balanced. This particular project was an addition to a beautiful stone and brick tudor with rich existing detailing on the front facade. While the house had wonderful street presence, the rear and sides of the house did not continue that exuberance. Our challenge was to expand the tight interior plan towards the rear of the residence expanding the kitchen and family room areas as well as adding additional bedrooms. The addition to the rear was designed with careful consideration in melding the new and existing volumes. A gothic breezeway with a trefoil railing above added access and light to the finished basement. A timbered overhang was embellished with varied brick patterning. We completed the house by extending the

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volumetric complexity around the house and adding rich architectural details. How did you evaluate or design the site? The shortcomings of the existing house were obvious. We set out, not only to correct the exterior but to create a more modern open interior that fit the lifestyle of the house’s new owners. The existing house did not take advantage of the expansive rear and side yards of the property and hid behind it’s street presentation. What was the most difficult part of this project? The most difficult part of the project was to continue the rich volumetric complexity of the front façade around the house. This was most challenging in the roof design. The existing house was rather narrow with a single main roof pitch. As we expanded toward the back and filled in the area of usable space, the volumes of the new addition made the roof water shed an incredible complex 3-dimensional

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puzzle. We had to model and remodel the volumes and roofs to create something that worked with our volumes but also kept the rain out in a sensible way. How did you go about finding the solutions to tackle the complexity to this project? Design rigor. We designed and re-designed each item until it all worked as a whole. This is the secret to successful design, complexity is not easy. If applicable what special materials were used in this project? We were fortunate to have a rich palette of materials to pull from in this project. Stone, brick, wood, copper and slate, the classic materials of Tudor homes. East Coast Home + Design

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PAGLIARO BARTELS SAJDA ARCHITECTS

Christopher Pagliaro, Roger Bartels Nicholas Sajda pbs=archs.com

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Considering our experience as waterfront architects, we have been inundated with projects that require the home to be raised above FEMA flood elevations. Immediately after Sandy, most of the calls were from homeowners who experienced damage and inconvenience. Several years removed from the storm, the discussion now centers on the current status of an existing home, with most inquiries from those interested in purchasing a home on the water. Each property differs for many reasons. Not only does the designated flood zone vary, often within the same property, but the existing conditions of the home pose individual concerns. Homeowners who have card for their home through the years are faced with the reality that their values have been diminished by changes to the flood regulations; the potential buyer is unsure of what to their limitations are, and what their possible exposure is, and how much it will cost to bring a structure into compliance. For example, the western side of Rowayton Avenue has now been placed in a velocity flood zone – meaning the structure is now exposed to not only rising waters, but wave action that can cause lateral damage. The solutions are complex, often expensive, and require great physical change to not only the structure of the home, but the aesthetics. Though many towns

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have made slight adjustments to zoning regulations as a result, building height limitations, and lot coverages remain restrictive and pose challenges to bringing a home into conformance. How does one now enter a home? What becomes of the relationship of the structure to grade and the surrounding dwellings? If raised, how does zoning height restrict as-of-right conformance, or do we seek a variance? If an existing 2 ½ story home is raised, does it become a 3 ½ story home, and if so, that usually does not meet the zoning limitation? How does one treat the “open” lower level of a garage that is in a velocity zone? Is the vernacular of a charming New England seaside community about to become the Outer Banks with homes on stilts? We can drive through some of these communities and see the utilitarian approach: more steps to the entry, and a home that is disconnected from its property. We believe in a more holistic solution, overlapping consideration of many things. Gracefully creating the human experience from street to front door by sculpting the grade, subtly rising through a series of walkways and steps. Using building codes to avoid the need for a sea of guardrails. Creating building forms and rooflines that introduce a scale that avoids the 3 story vertical wall.

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Hidden Treasures

Francine Home Collection: Luxurious Custom Design Italian Woven Linen and Towels

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nterior designer Francine Murnane is founder and president of Wilton, Connecticut-based Francine Murnane Interiors providing beautiful, client-centric interiors in a range of transitional, classical, and modern styles. Founder, interior designer Francine Murnane is known for her diverse style and commitment to clients has earned her projects in Los Angeles, Miami, Manhattan, and abroad. In addition to local projects, her work includes a sprawling multi-family residence and villas in Saudi Arabia; a penthouse in Cairo; luxurious apartments in Dubai; a waterfront residence in Virgin Gorda; and residences in Beverly Hills, and Montecito CA. Francine Home Collection is a line of custom, high quality bed linens, sheets and towels for the bed and bath made from the highest quality, 96

percale weave sateen cottons and linens, with thread counts ranging from 400 to 1000. Textiles are manufactured and woven in Italy, but the embroidery of the bedding is all completed here in the USA Francine Home Collections offers a variety of colors and designs, as well as standard and custom embroidery, monograms and appliquÊs Lead time is 2 – 3 weeks on standard items and 5 – 6 weeks on custom embroidered items. To ensure satisfaction with color selections and avoid any color or design dissolution on embroidered items, it is recommended that customers purchase a color card before ordering. For more information, visit: www.francinehc.com

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Our expertise, like that of a fine orchestra conductor, makes all the pieces fit seamlessly and turns a client’s vision into sharply focused reality.

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Profile for East Coast Home Publishing

2014 Annual Architects Issue  

East Coast Home + Design EastCoastHomePublishing.com

2014 Annual Architects Issue  

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