Because the founders of Haver & Skolnick Architects, an upscale agency primarily based 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 wished the precise reverse.
“We wished one thing very small, with privateness and an ocean view,” stated Mr. Haver, 64.
Particularly, they wished 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, now we have about 3,500 sq. ft in our dwelling, 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.”
Trying to construct a weekend home close to the ocean, the couple purchased two adjoining heaps 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 means of most likely 100 completely 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 examine marks from an actual property standpoint.”
A home with a single bed room and a single full toilet, they decided, would swimsuit them simply nice — though it may not be supreme for resale. Their builder, HP Broom Housewright, started building on the 1,200-square-foot home, tower-like home in September 2020.
The primary ground accommodates only one bed room, one toilet and a laundry room. The second ground feels surprisingly expansive, with a 20-foot hip-roof ceiling and water views on three sides. However it accommodates solely a front room, a small galley kitchen and a powder room.
“The true 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 Hold forth to 1 facet, and we’re surrounded by ponds.”
To maintain upkeep to a minimal, they selected exterior supplies that might 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 ground and nickel-gap paneling on the second ground. For furnishings and lighting, they mixed finds from auctions and antiques retailers, an exercise Mr. Haver excels at, as he’s additionally an antiques vendor.
“In Roxbury, we dwell with Americana antiques, so on this home we wished to combine it up a bit,” Mr. Skolnick stated. “A lot of the antiques are European, and we actually appreciated the concept of contrasting vintage furnishings with trendy summary artwork.” The lounge furnishings, as an example, embody 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 improvement by Frederick Legislation Olmsted Jr., a son of the Central Park designer, however it had turn 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 approach for a grassy meadow that spills from the home towards the ocean with meandering strolling paths, they usually pruned and preserved the cherry, hickory and oak bushes.
Subsequent to the home, they put in a backyard of easy 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 price of $1,500 a sq. foot. And there’s no room for friends, which was the intention.
“We now have a lot of visitor rooms in Connecticut, they usually’re welcome to come back there,” Mr. Haver stated.
“Or they’ll come for lunch,” Mr. Skolnick added.
Their Fishers Island home — named Pointer Perch, after their canine — gives a non-public place for quiet downtime. Though that doesn’t at all times 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 initiatives — pruning, clearing, planting — and we love that. However on the finish of every day, we’re completely exhausted.”
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