One of the fundamental joys of being a designer is working on wonderful homes. It has been a long time passion of mine to spend weekends hunting - both houses and treasures. I absolutely enjoy studying architectural gems worth a few millions as much as I enjoy discovering an unusual sixties glass vase for a song at a flea market. In both cases, I'm equally delighted with the contemporary or modern as I am with the classical and traditional. But the best discoveries are the ones I come across when I'm actually treasure hunting but end up finding a gem not in all the things that are for sale but the house that they sit in or the one I just drove by on my way.
That's how I discovered Crisp Architects - a very well regarded and respected firm in New York. Indeed there are many architects both in Washington DC and New York who I admire very much, each for different reasons. I find the work of James Crisp of Crisp Architects very soulful and in tune with the local vernacular (New England and sometimes a little California Wine Country in spirit). In all their projects though, they seem to have a gentle approach to both the exterior and interior architecture and most importantly to the surroundings. I particularly love how the firm can bring an old house to the 21st century while completely preserving the old part of the house and yet integrating them with all the new additions and transformations seamlessly. They don't just blend them, they actually seem to capture and enhance the very soul of the old house in it's new version. Not an easy feat by any measure and something that deserves a complete and thorough study. The homes they create are the kind that inherently have a lived in feel even without a stick of furniture in it. Windows, doors, beams and rafters are all so thoughtfully placed or enhanced, naturally framing views and throwing rays of light in the most beautiful moments of the day. And they seem to do all of it while infusing a sense of humility even in a rather large home. That to me is pure magic!
All photos via Pinterest and Houzz