June 1, 2023


New Estate

The Great thing about a One-Bed room Home? No Room for Visitors.

4 min read

Because the founders of Haver & Skolnick Architects, an upscale agency based mostly in Roxbury, Conn., Charles M. Haver and Stewart R. Skolnick spend most of their days designing expansive nation estates. However when it got here time to design their very own getaway, they needed the precise reverse.

“We needed one thing very small, with privateness and an ocean view,” stated Mr. Haver, 64.

Particularly, they needed a house that was simply sufficiently big for the 2 of them and their German shorthaired pointer, Keeper, after discovering that sustaining a 1790s home in Connecticut was a full-time job.

“In Roxbury, we’ve got about 3,500 sq. ft in our house, and our offices are in an vintage barn that’s an extra 3,500 sq. ft,” stated Mr. Skolnick, 68. “So you’ve gotten two guys rambling round in 7,000 sq. ft.”

Seeking to construct a weekend home close to the ocean, the couple purchased two adjoining tons totaling 3.1 acres on Fishers Island, in Southold, N.Y., for $500,000 in 2012.

Deciding what to construct there took them practically a decade. “We went by way of most likely 100 totally different schemes,” Mr. Skolnick stated. “It was actually good, although, as a result of with every scheme we fleshed out what was actually vital to us with out worrying concerning the verify marks from an actual property standpoint.”

A home with a single bed room and a single full lavatory, they decided, would go well with them simply positive — though it won’t be ultimate for resale. Their builder, HP Broom Housewright, started building on the 1,200-square-foot home, tower-like home in September 2020.

The primary flooring comprises only one bed room, one lavatory and a laundry room. The second flooring feels surprisingly expansive, with a 20-foot hip-roof ceiling and water views on three sides. But it surely comprises solely a front room, a small galley kitchen and a powder room.

“The actual thrust of the design was to seize the views,” Mr. Skolnick stated. “We’re wanting on the Atlantic Ocean, however we additionally see Fishers Island Pontificate to at least one facet, and we’re surrounded by ponds.”

To maintain upkeep to a minimal, they selected exterior supplies that may climate over time, together with Alaskan yellow cedar shingles, bronze railings and aluminum-clad home windows in a charcoal grey. “The one paint that’s required to keep up the outside is on the entrance door and the mudroom door” within the walkout basement, Mr. Skolnick stated.

Inside, they put in mild oak flooring and doorways, a beamed ceiling on the primary flooring and nickel-gap paneling on the second flooring. For furnishings and lighting, they mixed finds from auctions and antiques retailers, an exercise Mr. Haver excels at, as he’s additionally an antiques seller.

“In Roxbury, we stay with Americana antiques, so on this home we needed to combine it up a bit of,” Mr. Skolnick stated. “A lot of the antiques are European, and we actually preferred the thought of contrasting vintage furnishings with fashionable summary artwork.” The lounge furnishings, for example, embrace a Nineteenth-century French fruitwood chest and an 18th-century walnut armoire together with colourful modern work by Denise Driscoll and Michael Hedges.

To open up the views, the panorama round the home required loads of work, too. The location was a part of a Twenties growth by Frederick Regulation Olmsted Jr., a son of the Central Park designer, but it surely had develop into so overgrown with dense brush and invasive vines that it was troublesome to see a lot of something.

Mr. Haver and Mr. Skolnick labored with Jeff Edwards, of Race Rock Garden Co., to return it to an open panorama impressed by Mr. Olmsted’s imaginative and prescient. They cleared out the invasive vegetation to make manner for a grassy meadow that spills from the home towards the ocean with meandering strolling paths, and so they pruned and preserved the cherry, hickory and oak bushes.

Subsequent to the home, they put in a backyard of clean rocks like these discovered on the island’s seashores. It sprouts with easy-to-care-for ornamental grasses, lavender and caryopteris.

The home was accomplished in March 2022, at a value of $1,500 a sq. foot. And there’s no room for visitors, which was the intention.

“We have now numerous visitor rooms in Connecticut, and so they’re welcome to return there,” Mr. Haver stated.

“Or they’ll come for lunch,” Mr. Skolnick added.

Their Fishers Island home — named Pointer Perch, after their canine — presents a non-public place for quiet downtime. Though that doesn’t all the time occur.

“We love the home, however what hasn’t labored out is the enjoyable half,” Mr. Skolnick stated. “We spend each weekend on the land doing varied tasks — pruning, clearing, planting — and we love that. However on the finish of every day, we’re completely exhausted.”

Dwelling Small is a biweekly column exploring what it takes to steer an easier, extra sustainable or extra compact life.

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