Arts and Crafts House based on Birdcliffs Woodstock

New house design based on Birdcliff Cottages of Woodstock

New house design based on Birdcliff Cottages of Woodstock

Efficient, economical and just the right size. This home, based on the Arts and Crafts style of the Birdcliff cottages in Woodstock, was designed for a local builder. It is a simple rectangle with economical plywood board-and-batten siding, has two bedrooms and a (multi-use room), and is only 1400 sq.ft. A well thought out open plan makes this a good example of the less-is-more movement in home design. Last year was the first time in 75 years that the average home built in our country decreased in size. Home buyers are understanding that quality is more important than additional square footage. Within the current economic crunch and tight-money environment, it is possible to build a great house if careful design decisions are made. Energy efficiency is one benefit of the small house. Combine this with 21st century insulation and appropriate (shell tightening) and your life in this home would be sustainable for years to come.

Historic Stone House Addition in New York

Addition to Historic Stone House in New York

Addition design to historic home

Addition design to historic home

Addition to historic stone house in New York

Addition to historic stone house in New York

Architecturally accurate addition designed for historic stone house in New York.

This early stone house has been well-loved. One wood frame addition had been added but the new owners were looking for extra space and more contemporary accommodations. The design included an entrance foyer, (the existing entrance was directly into the living room.) dining space, kitchen, master bedroom suite and a sun space. These spaces wrap half-way around the stone structure shielding it from the weather and creating total view of the former exterior from the interior of the additions. Exterior finishes mixed stone and wood siding to match the existing and are used to define the basic functions within.

A Well Thought Out Floor Plan

Slate and copper roofs also define these functions, slate on the steeper slopes and copper on shallow slopes. It is always an interesting challenge to respect a beautiful existing structure while adding on and renovating. The solution here is to mix the whole range of shapes and materials of the style and let a well thought out floor plan decide how they are assembled.

Studio Design That Inspires Creativity

Studio Design Is An Architect’s Creative Refuge

Studio Design As A Creative Refuge

A creative sanctuary for architect

A creative sanctuary for architect

An architect's light-filled studio design

An architect’s light-filled studio design

In 1984 I was firmly relocated to the Hudson Valley. In typical fashion I built my own studio, and used locally sawn wood, recycled windows, and a tiny wood stove in just enough space. One of the guiding principles was from Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” Sheltering Roof. The goal is to have the building embrace you as you enter.

My 100 foot commute to work was just enough to separate me from household life.

I have enjoyed many years in this studio and relocated it to our current property next to our barn-home in Saugerties. It’s current occupation is another from “A Pattern Language” – Teenager’s Cottage. A separate structure on a property offers many options: teenager’s cottage (get them out of the house, but still in view), office, guest room, yoga or napping space, or just a get-away. This solidly built structure has been very easy to maintain. In total I have had to paint the windows and door once in 24 years. That’s it. It’s all in the details.

Studio designs for different creative types which reflect your good taste.

Finding a quiet space for inspiration can be difficult. For many artists, home studios mean an unused guest room or garage. David has built several unique studios which are detached literally and figuratively from the distractions of every day life.

Sweeping meadow is inspiration for new home

Natural Landscape Inspires New Home Design

A sweeping meadow was the canvas which my client had purchased for his new home. How to work with a site is an early decision in the architectural design process.  One of the “patterns” in Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” recommends that the best parts of the land be maintained;  in this case the meadow was left open. With that in mind, I [and my client] reviewed many ways to place the house to work within the surrounding environment.