Blog by Beebe Cline

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Fresh Update for a New York Country Home

For a family residence in Dutchess County, New York, James Crisp of Crisp Architects reconciled old and new, gracefully combining original elements and later additions with new spaces that stay true to its farmhouse origins. “The house had a very nice historic section, but like many old homes in this area, it had been added on to," he says, "and rarely are the additions cohesive or suitable for the modern family.”

“We started with the old pristine portion of the house and then worked out from there,” says Crisp. The new addition is set on pier footings so as not to disturb the roots of the existing oak trees on the property.

Wherever possible, Crisp emphasized energy efficiency, utilizing geothermal heating, soy insulation and old wood and stone. “Using reclaimed materials not only gives you a wonderful patina, it’s very green, without having it in your face,” he says.
Some antique windows were refurbished, while UV-coated, double-paned windows were installed to conserve energy. “You get winter sun that warms the house, so you don’t use as many lights,” notes Crisp. “Mature trees all around keep the house cool in summer.”
Interior designer CarolynTierney of ECOterior Solutions, working with artist and designer Diane Susoev of Red Square Studio, furnished the entrance hall with a variety of pieces, such as Italian chairs from Leggio Antiques in Pennsylvania. “The mishmash of details shows how the house evolved over the years,” says Susoev.
Featuring a massive hearth, the husband’s study occupies the original section of the house. 

More cozy dens
The designers added bookcases that match the room’s honey pine woodwork and restored the wide-plank pine floors and fireplace surround. “It’s very ecologically friendly,” Susoev points out. Also, “people don’t always consider that using antiques is one of the most ecological things you can do.” 

More traditional home photos
The mudroom was once the house’s main entrance. The Shaker-style chair is from Hickory Chair. Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue on the door underscores the historic feel.
Benjamin Moore’s Pumpkin Spice lends a glow to the family room, which is lit by Deanna Wish Design’s whimsical twig chandeliers. Crisp raised the ceiling heights and brought in old rustic beams to accentuate the space. The architect relies on sources such as Carlisle for reclaimed beams and floors. “The Internet’s amazing,” he says. “You can get beams shipped anywhere.”
Ample windows open up the kitchen, which Crisp relocated from its original spot. Custom cabinets, granite counters and a farmhouse sink join a pair of dishwashers and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Crisp installed a super-charged motor in the basement to double the capacity of the downdraft Wolf range. The pine floors are inset with limestone. Lighting is from Visual Comfort & Co.
Though the dining room is in the house’s new addition, the architect and designers took care to keep the materials consistent with the original architecture. The chandelier is from Period Lighting Fixtures.
Tierney and Susoev pickled the woodwork in the wife’s sitting room with eco-friendly products from Monocoat. Georgetown PinkBeige by Benjamin Moore covers the walls.
Family and friends often gather on the porch, where the fieldstone fireplace gets is put to good use early and late in the season. “In fall, you wrap up and sit in front of the fire,” says Susoev. Adds Crisp, who’s also co-author of the book On the Porch, “It’s rare that I don’t put a porch on a home.” The flooring is bluestone.
Barn doors over the master bedroom fireplace conceal the television and pay homage to the property’s rural origins. Benjamin Moore’s Blue Porcelain on the walls is picked up in the blue chair upholstery. "The wife is very much an aqua-blue person," says Susoev.
Thomas O’Brien’s 19th-century-style Lakehouse bed for Hickory Chair joins a custom bedside table. Bed linens are by Ann Gish. The rug is wool sisal.
An old beam in the master bath frames the view to the poolhouse. Tub is by Waterworks. Draperies are custom.
A young girl’s bedroom features sloping ceilings and new built-in cupboards.
Crisp played off farmhouse architecture in his design of the new poolhouse, which contains a sleeping loft and a kitchen. "Whether you're trying to be traditional and match the house or not, you can really have some fun with poolhouses," Crisp says. The barn at right is still used to store tractors and other implements.

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