Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snow in April

The winter that keeps on giving -

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I'm not sure whether to be flattered or annoyed.  Years after I pick a hobby, or collectible, or passion, - before too long here comes the NYTimes, or Brooklyn, or NBC nightly news or some other trend arbiter to tell me how popular what I do is.

Take for instance last week's Times article on the old school draw of Thank you notes.  Thank You Notes.  One of my favorite Sunday night pleasures.  I've run out of people to thank half the time so I've resorted to following achievements in the newspaper and writing people I'm lightly acquainted with.

And my 60 odd piece typewriter collection is about original as a Carhart jacket anymore, though when I started in 1990 or so, you couldn't give a typewriter away.  Now an old typewriter adorns any well designed set.

New Old Homes were quite an original thought in 2003 when we produced Farm #1, but have since made mainstream ubiquitously.

Right -Sized homes -meaning the anti-mcmansion - has been our mantra long before the WSJ dedicated an entire section to the 'new idea'.

Letter writing, or at least the claim of letter writing, is very vogueish, but I don't believe it.  Too much work.  Those days are over, with texts and emails stripping communication of subtle meaning and importance and just the general appreciation of the effort of a letter.  Just the idea of waiting 3 days for someone to get your thoughts is outlandish anymore, let alone the whole process of stationary, posting, and waiting.

And the roaring 20's and The Great Gatsby and its author Fitzgerald - whose solitary fiction critique section I used to study silently in random old town libraries- have been thoroughly celebrated and gone Hollywood.  Sadly, a girlfriend of old gave me a first run copy of the Gatsby, which I haven't seen in years.  She gave great gifts, many times not even on an occasion, but I was so country I had no idea that a Coach bag, a Canali suit, prada shoes or a beach front home in the Hamptons held much import.

It's not as though I hold the discovery of these pleasures against those who find them - it's just, idk, just was kind of more meaningful when they were less celebrated and more quietly personal.  Now, to the casual observer, like my original Eames lounger in my office, its hard to know if I'm following or leading.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Barn House in Olivebridge NY

2200 sq ft - inspired by several of our homes.

Built in the middle of the harshest winter in memory.

The sun rays deceive, and fool.

The diesel engines barely turn over.

The air guns barely nail.  Nose hairs frozen.

But we are getting her done.

With the sheetrock up and now some salvaged wood in the mudroom and one of the bedrooms.

And the neighboring farms with the two horse buds.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hillside School House article (and cameo from Cottage 45)

NY Post features Bronson and Courtney Bigelow and their 2 room inn in Barryville.  We built Cottage 22 with them back a few years ago and then helped them design and build the old landmark schoolhouse.  If I knew how to copy a picture from my website and repost it, I would do it.  Bronson dropped out of the City rat race and now builds one off furniture pieces for sale.  Few things in the recent past have caught my attention like his furniture has (ok, ok, maybe the bikinis in Miami did, but that's pretty good company).

Hillside Schoolhouse Inn

Bronson's Furniture

Design Sponge

Then over to Cottage 45 today, where Tom and Ben are settling in nicely.

Houzz Reposts

Design Principles for Home Fronts


50 Dog Photos Worth a Wag

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Demo Day - Lucas Plays Hookey (and Loves Bikini Bread)

Since I'm sure most people don't read to the end, just a quick tale about how Lucas was telling his mom he now really likes Bikini Bread, which he was confusing with zucchini  bread.  Too much Miami for him I guess.

It's not everyday that we tear down a house - most times we salvage them - but sometimes they are so poorly built and added on to and a mix of hodgepodge over the years
, that it's just better to start from scratch.  Many times when you try to do something like this you also run into zoning issues which prevents you from doing it.

Well, not on this one, so I pulled Lucas out of school for the day, and we drove up to the demo site in Olive NY, just a few miles west of Woodstock.  Cute house, but the Owners know the deficiencies, and they were structural, cosmetic and a host of other issues.  But it did have character (nice euphemism).

Let Lucas run around breaking windows which was pretty cool for him, though the windows won half the battles with the golf club ricocheting off dangerously.

Then take the first ceremonial swipe with the excavator.


There she lies.  Where a family enjoyed their weekends and holidays and raised a son now in college.  RIP.
Cue Next Life Chapter.