The intent of the design-build-furnish-landscape professional was to create a classical residence of naïve simplicity that one might find in the countryside of Europe where the classical language was in the bones of tradition and the natural materials spoke of beauty.
Centuries old materials were imported from France: reclaimed limestone floors, antique fireplace chimneys, terracotta floor tiles, chunky turn-of-the-century tubs and sinks, rusty espagnolettes refinished and cut to size, Bourgogne roof tiles, and building stones and wooden doors from a convent that was demolished in Bourg-en-Bresse, Bourgogne, France. To compliment these ancient materials, new craftsmen provided insulated French windows and doors, hand-forged door hardware in the 17th century style, custom cabinetry and paneling and hand-turned and pierced railings. Traditional St. Astier lime plaster and mortar was used with the limestone. Ceilings were constructed in the French ‘plafond à la française’ manner using reclaimed American oak timbers.
The new house emerged over an existing 1950’s slab foundation embedded in rock and was sited and designed the old fashioned way - to capture light, garden views, breezes, and winter sun. And, as we are in the age of enlightened technologies, the old was combined with the new: LED lighting; sixteen inch exterior walls with foam insulation; radiant floor heat; geo-thermal air handling and insulated glass.
The landscape is integral to the house to create a strong sense of place. French doors lead to pea gravel terraces and a boxwood knot garden, all surrounded by pleached Linden trees, hornbeam hedges, topiary Yews, perennial beds and lawn. Below at street level, native grasses bend among flowering fruit trees and native oaks.
The manor overlooks century old homes and quiet lanes. As a new construction, nothing like it has been built in the neighborhood in nearly 100 years.