House in Chester

Designed by the architect for his own family of four, this efficient and economical home – built on a mere 39-by-28-foot footprint – boasts four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and an open and elegant first floor – all within three pyramiding floors plus a basement. A stone terrace kitty-corner from the front porch offers islands of colorful plantings to welcome the visitor and gracefully connects the house with the two-car garage nearby. The architect describes the house’s cheerful exterior stucco as “creamsicle orange.”


Private Residence

Location Chester, CT
Size 2,350 Sq. Ft.
Year Completed 1998
Photo Credit Robert Benson Photography
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The living, kitchen and dining areas on the first floor create one interconnected, flowing space with each space defined by dropped beams that pinwheel out from a four-sided bookcase. Here, the color palette transitions from terra cotta, which accents the cherry wood of the kitchen cabinets, to golden maize, then a paler yellow, and finally white ceilings that seem higher than their 8 feet 4 inches.

Multiple shed dormers front and back create ample interior volume on the modest footprint, while a rear deck looks out on the terraced backyard gardens and nearby woods on this two-plus-acre hilltop lot. A bocce court shaded by trees graces the front yard. The architect and his wife contributed considerable sweat equity: he some of the finish work and furniture and she the stone terrace, stonewalls (with rocks collected from site work), and landscaping.

The house has been featured in two books: “The House You Build” and “Small Houses that Live Large,” both published by Taunton Press in 2004 and 2007 respectively, as well as in several periodicals: Connecticut Magazine, Cottage Living and Fine Homebuilding. It also garnered an honorable mention in the AIA Connecticut Alice Washburn Awards for traditional house design.

“It's a cliche to tell someone who wants to build a custom home on a limited budget to use stock materials. But almost every aspect of this house uses standard materials in ways that make sense while belying their commercial origins.” The House You Build, 2004
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  • Honorable Mention, Alice Washburn Awards, Connecticut Magazine/AIA Connecticut