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 wished the precise reverse.
“We wished one thing very small, with privateness and an ocean view,” mentioned 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, we’ve about 3,500 sq. ft in our dwelling, and our offices are in an vintage barn that’s an extra 3,500 sq. ft,” mentioned 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 heaps totaling 3.1 acres on Fishers Island, in Southold, N.Y., for $500,000 in 2012.
Deciding what to construct there took them almost a decade. “We went by in all probability 100 totally different schemes,” Mr. Skolnick mentioned. “It was actually good, although, as a result of with every scheme we fleshed out what was actually necessary to us with out worrying in regards to the examine marks from an actual property standpoint.”
A home with a single bed room and a single full rest room, they decided, would swimsuit them simply advantageous — though it won’t be best 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 rest room and a laundry room. The second ground feels surprisingly expansive, with a 20-foot hip-roof ceiling and water views on three sides. Nevertheless it accommodates solely a lounge, a small galley kitchen and a powder room.
“The true thrust of the design was to seize the views,” Mr. Skolnick mentioned. “We’re wanting on the Atlantic Ocean, however we additionally see Fishers Island Pontificate to 1 aspect, 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 mentioned.
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 supplier.
“In Roxbury, we stay with Americana antiques, so on this home we wished to combine it up just a little,” Mr. Skolnick mentioned. “Many of the antiques are European, and we actually favored the concept of contrasting vintage furnishings with trendy summary artwork.” The lounge furnishings, as an illustration, embody a Nineteenth-century French fruitwood chest and an 18th-century walnut armoire together with colourful up to date 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 Nineteen Twenties improvement by Frederick Regulation 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 method 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 timber.
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 friends, which was the intention.
“We have now numerous visitor rooms in Connecticut, they usually’re welcome to return there,” Mr. Haver mentioned.
“Or they’ll come for lunch,” Mr. Skolnick added.
Their Fishers Island home — named Pointer Perch, after their canine — affords 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 stress-free half,” Mr. Skolnick mentioned. “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.”
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