Having designed a home for this property that was never realized as the clients relocated to Europe enabled us to work with the new owners with extensive knowledge of its historic features as well as its subsurface challenges.
Wishing to create a more modern home that spoke to the New England vernacular, the clients requested large, open spaces, separate wings for the teenage daughters, entertainment space that transcended indoor/outdoor, and a minimum 12-foot first floor ceiling height. Never one to embrace the trendy term “Modern Farmhouse”, the design set out to bear resemblance of a stripped-down, simpler style that is symbolic of the basic forms of residential architecture – not dissimilar to the simple gabled elevation that a child would draw – complete with a well organized fenestration of symmetry – but in this case, symmetrically asymmetrical.
The resulting three-gable form is sleek and contemporary, yet well-proportioned, exuding warmth. The monochromatic forms are juxtaposed by bursts of contrasting color that celebrate both horizontality and verticality. The textures of the wood shingle are offset by the crispness of the dark grays and the geometric corduroy of the metal roofing.
The entrance is a well-defined bridge between living spaces: a glass enclosed void in fenestration that is self-defined in metals. Each side offers the contrasting white living space that is vibrant with natural light from all directions – each as if sitting in the natural landscape that introduces the changing colors of the seasons and the auras of varying skies. This is reinforced by the mechanical overhead door that is the backdrop of the kitchen, allowing indoor/outdoor interaction and the ability to serve the poolside directly from the kitchen. The furnishes – designed by Oaklee Interiors – add decorative lighting and vibrant touches of color that help to define the spaces of the open plan.
Unique to this property was a special approval that the town offers in an effort to preserve historic structures that may otherwise be demolished. At the corner of the property existed a decrepit 1892 structure that was among the “Bankside Farmhouses” of yesteryear. Through the special permitting process, the structure was completely renovated – including the reestablishment of an old porch that had been closed in decades ago. The family occupied this renovated structure while the main house was being constructed, and now serves as a preserved gust house. The restoration effort resulted in the project receiving the Connecticut Preservation Award – one of only ten in the state.