Year: 2016

September 18, 2016

I walked into the study and looked out north toward the barn. The red board-and-batten through the wavy historic glass reminded me of looking at my grandmother’s old postcards. She would hide them way in her well-locked hutch and show them to me as a treat during our afternoon chats (accompanied by a contraband savory from Greece). It was Albania…everything was warped.
One could easily fall in love with the massive granite stone walls, the elaborate scroll-sawn balustrade, the striking red barn…or perhaps the original slave quarters now in ruins. This historic property and its landscape including the rolling slopes and the pond are a testament to the value of historic preservation and efficacy of land easements.
Our clients wanted just that: something old, something adventurous, something to love: a restored farmhouse, two new pavilions set off by discrete hyphens and a stabilized slave-quarters outbuilding.
Current outbuilding conditions reflect a more Ruskinian approach of ruins in the landscape – though we are advocating for a more contemporary preservation approach of modern steel bracing allowing the historic language to sing in harmony with the new.
And just for fun, if you thought historic can be only traditional….check out the playfulness of Philip Johnson’s Pavilion in the Pond….after all, a synergy between architecture and historic preservation can become a charming melody.

Pavilion in the pond


August 12, 2016

2D0V3489 copyOur project, natural haven is featured on Houzz in the ideabook Stone’s Throw: Wonderful Ways With Pebbles.
An except from the article in reference to our project:
“Even a small space can be enhanced with the addition of pebbles. While a bathroom is the obvious choice for a playful use of pebbles, a mosaic border could also enliven an entrance hall or home office. Other ideas include making a pebble ‘frame’ around an island bench in the kitchen. Or take the idea outside and edge a patio area with complementary pebbles.”

August 3, 2016

Thank you to all of our clients, colleagues and friends for your support after the Ellicott City floods. It is so sad to see the devastation of this beautiful historic town. Our building seems to have faired well but we are not able to go back in for the foreseeable future. We are setting up temporary operations in Rob’s Catonsville home and will continue to service our clients in full capacity. Please email, message or call our cell phones for contact!
Rob, Carri, Lili and Kathryn

May 26, 2016

We are helping to realize a sculptor’s design of the Honeycomb House.  The project is designed to meet Passive House Standards, be Net Zero Ready and will be completely FOAM-FREE. It is a pleasure and a challenge to be part of this creative venture with Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive and Daniel Gantebein, sculptor!
We are thrilled that this project is now under construction.  The owner is serving as general contractor and has overseen the successful initial pour of the basement wall!

As well as the install of our foam-free foundation using perlite under the slab.

The StegoWrap vapor barrier was used and the slab was poured.

Given that this was our foundation plan, I’d say so far, so good!
Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.17.57 PM

April 19, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 4.13.10 PM
Our project, a house in a garden is featured on Houzz in the ideabook Dynamic Duo: How to Pull Off a Two-Tone Exterior Color Scheme.
An except from the article in reference to our project:
“Of course, two-tone schemes need not be limited to contemporary-style homes. And you don’t necessarily need to go bold, either. A subtle color contrast is a good option for a more traditional home. Pick a house color you like and simply go a couple of steps lighter or darker on the swatch card to find your coordinating hue.”

March 2, 2016

Carri and Michael’s home renovation is being featured as a Guest Blog on Green Building Advisor!
CarMic exterior 3

February 26, 2016

Framing is complete, plumbings lines have been run, electrical has been wired, ducts have been installed, and we are moving ahead at full throttle!
In the past few weeks Hayes Construction has put up drywall in all the rooms, installed flooring, given the tile guys the go-ahead, and is in the process of painting the rooms with the colors we chose last week. And the cabinets are in!
The rooms are light-filled and spacious. The family room has a beautiful view of the the water, and a canopy view of the trees, which makes for excellent birdwatching from the windowseat. IMG_0273
The dining room is filled with light and has beautiful patio doors that will open onto back deck. And even the basement has a beautiful concrete floor and plenty of light.
The mason did a superb job on the chimney, capturing Carri’s vision to blend the stone into the brick like a french country villa.
Hayes has been wonderful to work with thus far and communication has been great. Anytime they hit a snag we talk about it at our weekly meetings  to come to a solution, which makes the process much smoother.
That’s all for now folks, until next time!