Stony Brook, an amazingly unique home designed by Cole Harris Associates, was built in the heart of a historic district in Westport, CT. The clients wanted their modern farmhouse to fit in with the colonial-era neighborhood but did not feel comfortable with a typical, conventional approach.
Our answer may seem out of the ordinary to all of the strict traditionalists out there, but at Cole Harris Associates, we love to push the limits of customary design. We created Stony Brook with history as a primary influence, but driven by the imagination of modern day living.
Four separate structures define this home’s layout. The two small, white structures are backdropped by a large, gray farmhouse and garage. The visual separation suggests a contemporary addition which pays homage to the classic, conventional styling. The decision to deconstruct was bold because each of the four structures had to be connected to satisfy the family’s lifestyle. What it allowed for though, was a unique separation of space, great interior light and a floor plan unlike anything we’ve ever done before.
In the picture below, a private study in front is connected to the main house by an open-air porch. This retreat is a place to work, think or have a bit of reflective solitude while the rest of the family is only a few feet away, but out of earshot. All other parts of the house are connected by internal, contiguously heated spaces. This building is differentiated by its standing seam, painted metal roof, while the other nearby structures are topped with Alaskan yellow cedar.
The three-bay garage is an extension of the main house but with a contrasting exterior style. Two of the bays are windowed while the third is designed to look like a barn door. The design breaks up the monotony of three identical bay entrances and adds to the rustic feel.
The main building is a large, barn-like structure and provides primary living areas of the home which incorporates the kitchen, family room and bedrooms. The back of the house is more playful as the main barn opens up onto covered porches and the pool area. The orientation of the buildings is designed to make each unit look unique while still fitting together visually and functionally.
A small clapboard structure in the back of the home mimics the study in the front and provides a second, quiet place to work. From this convenient room, you can see who is coming and going through the driveway and there is a complete view of the pool. The family parking court and guest parking court are separate but nearby, which also comes in handy for friends, while keeping an eye out for the children.
The Stairs & Hallways
The inside is all about rustic, yet comfortable living. Here a minimalist iron railing slopes upstairs to the bedrooms. A sliding barn door and rough-hewn ceilings create unique farm style looks that unite the formal and playful areas of the home. Spacious, long hallways allow for clear lines-of-sight throughout the home.
The Master Bath
Upstairs, we find the bedrooms and a stunning master bath containing a large soaking tub with custom, inlaid, herringbone tile.
The generous kitchen is fragmented into work, play and cleanup areas. The stone center island area is large enough for making dinner and doing homework at the same time. Stainless steel appliances and fixtures accent the white and gray country kitchen. Ample views of both the front and back yard fill the kitchen with natural light and keep the kids in sight.
Unique subway tile and white oak floors have a pristine, clean look while the porcelain farm sink reinforces the modern farmhouse aesthetic. The kitchen has sliders out to the front garden while the back sports a breakfast room with windows that overlook the pool and the expansive back yard. We oriented the family areas to take advantage of the light and garden views, which was of primary importance to the family.
The Living Room
The living room or “adult room” is a connected, stand alone structure situated prominently in the front of the house. It has a traditional, formal feel both outside and in. Built-in shelving to showcase family memorabilia and photos are appreciated by the adults who use this room for quiet conversation. This room also boasts 4 distinct views of the property, one on each side of the room.
The Family Room
The family room, on the other hand, is much less formal. A large fireplace is surrounded by a custom-concrete mantle hearth and built-in television. This large open area is perfect for gathering the family together even when they want to engage in separate activities.
The client wanted something fun, functional and different. This vision took shape by tapping into the trendy modern farmhouse concept to create something new and bold. The Stony Brook is unlike any other floor plan and was ultimately dubbed a “deconstructed modern farmhouse” as a tribute to its various influences.