New Old House Spring/Summer 2011
Timeless, sustainable, practical, healthy, simple, and comfortable are a few words used to describe trends in today’s home designs. Over the past recession-filled years, we’ve put our home projects on hold, but now that the economic turbulence is calming, we’re able to focus on creating better living environments for our families and ourselves. We’ve had time to reflect on how our homes look, feel, and function. We’re steering away from the cavernous living room that no one ever visits, the soulless dining room where no one ever eats, and the inoperable two-story Palladian window with no real views to enjoy. New old houses take a thoughtful, holistic approach to the way we live—creating spaces that are good for mind, body, soul—and the environment. New old rooms are comfortable spaces that connect family and friends. Quality construction trumps excessive square footage, and eco-conscious principles are put into practice more and more to protect our environment as well as our health.
Creating a house based on these ideas can sound like a tall order, but with care, good planning, and a strong team in place, homes can reflect all of these ideals. Whether you’re building new, renovating an older home, or simply adding a screened porch consider bringing these words to life to create a home that works for your twenty-first century lifestyle. In this issue we feature architect Peter Zimmerman’s design of a Federal style house in Connecticut based on the state’s rural and cultural past. Builder Timothy Hine brought Peter’s renderings to life in a home that is handsome, well crafted, and timeless.
Architect Tom Bollay also looked to the past to create Casa de la Torre in Montecito, California. The home is a breathtaking example of an authentic Spanish Colonial. Bollay took cues from an existing historical farmhouse in Spain for his inspiration. The house is well built and designed beautifully to take advantage of California’s warm climate—both protecting the interiors from the hot sun through deep eaves and white stucco exterior walls as well as offering courtyards and balconies to extend the living spaces outdoors.
A farmhouse in Virginia designed by Patrick Farley of Watershed Architects brings the idea of the sustainable, healthy house to a whole new level. Homeowner Morgan Bartolini wanted to create a house that fit well in its rural countryside setting. She also wanted the home to be “healthy” for her and her family. Farley and Bartolini collaborated to design a place that was eco-conscious and pushes the limits of the healthy house concept. The home reflects the region’s design traditions and offers a comfortable, contemporary open plan that works for Bartolini’s family.
We hope this issue of New Old House helps you get back to basics when tackling your own design projects this spring.
Nancy E. Berry, Editor of New Old House