A Second House Becomes a Home
It’s always a joy to be invited to work on a family’s dream. For this project, the family contacted us when they were still reviewing architectural plans, and we immediately began building a conceptual direction based on the family’s lifestyle and the unique siting of this proposed home on a wonderful parcel of land with a commanding view overlooking Quechee, Vermont. The challenge and fun in this design was create warm inviting spaces allowed people to relax and enjoy time together without trying to compete with the view.
We were fully engaged in the design and construction of this house, from the conceptual design phase with architect David Sigl of DHS Designs through the selection of the building materials—doors, hardware, stone for the exterior walls and fireplaces, paints, and lighting, both interior and exterior. For implementation it was a hand-in-hand collaboration with incredible team at Ennis Construction. We created the lighting plans, selected all the lighting fixtures, and did all the cabinetry and plumbing layouts, specification and purchasing. This required a careful balance of creativity and logistics—we made thoughtful decisions for every element that went into the house and organized the specs for all the contractors to have access to, while being available to oversee implementation.
The layout of the house takes advantage of that expansive view with an abundance of glass and light, along with tall ceiling heights that add a sense of spaciousness. With this and the open flow from room to room, we needed to pay close attention to weaving a thread thru the house to keep the interior flow and sense of connection.
The entry vestibule provides a sort of overture to what you will find as you explore more. Here, we created a space with unique details using natural materials and elements we wove throughout the whole house, but it doesn’t give it all away in the first moments. Even the views are not obvious to the guests until they have traveled through the entry, creating a great transition from exterior to interior.
We designed the kitchen as the perfect space to create meals while feeling you aren’t missing out on the family’s happenings in the great room. The great room is fantastic, featuring a stone fireplace facade as the central element. The provides a focal point for the art, lighting solutions, and cabinetry that all contribute to this heart of the house and the center of the family’s activities and gatherings, while also allowing you to soak in the view.
The sunroom, too, deserves a special mention. In early morning, this space somehow feels like a peaceful treehouse—soft textiles, natural fibers and textures, and custom lighting fixtures give this room a uniqueness. It is deceptively simple, yet certainly an most distinctive space that focuses on the world outside the house.
One of the most delightful design elements in this home are the rugs. We were able to find wonderful handwoven rugs that really reflect the airy spaces, yet give each room a sense of grounding, while adding color, texture, and movement in levels that are perfect for each space.
It’s also worth noting that a major challenge we encountered while designing this house was timing. Construction happened during the pandemic when supply chains were disrupted and many industries were put on hold. We are fortunate that we order mostly from American factories and avoided many delays, but we still encountered issues with the supply chain, labor, and transportation that slowed the process and made for multiple installation phases. However, we are very lucky to have our own in-house workrooms—we could control fabrications once we could get our deliveries of materials. Plus, the enduring relationships we’ve cultivated with a local cabinetry fabricator and stone/yard fabrication firm went a long way toward staying on schedule. And as a result, the summer of 2021 saw this house filled with the happy laughter of children and grandchildren as the family finally made this beautiful space their own.