“First Snow on the Beach”
This renovation of a hundred year old grand shingle style house on the Long Island Sound bends the rules to accommodate a polyglot world. The clients’ passion for a country style Japanese Inn led them to travel far and wide, before deciding to bring the best of that world, home. This, though, is not a minimal Japanese sensibility pasted on to a traditional American home, but rather a confidence in the free forms of nature which are found in artisanry when freely harnessed to that idea. The rich intarsia of the natural wooden floors, depicting fallen cherry blossoms, koi carp, lily pads and the stepping stones meander throughout the house, and is echoed in many of the finishings. All the fittings recall Japanese traditional cabinetry, from the ceilings to the floors, to the site specifically designed furniture. This floating garden interior is warm, and complements the original layout of the structure. There is a journey to be found in every room: Italian craftsmanship (wood finishes, flooring), Japanese detailing (hammered ironmongery, shoji cabinets, ceiling and wall treatments), hewn stone and vintage American and French icons of furniture design. The house was expanded to provide a separate apartment in the gabled attic, completely fitted with marine barrel vaulted ceilings, and a giant porthole overlooking the sound. Throughout, the most avant-garde technology making for ‘green’ energy use, and computerized living systems.
Never did staying home at the seaside feel like so magical a journey.