Renovations / Additions

The Little House West Amwell, New Jersey. Like the pet name this family calls this house, the project was “little.” Once an old outbuilding that was moved in the 1930’s to its present site; then remodeled into a garage with a caretakers apartment above; then remodeled into a weekend house for a publisher’s son and his family.

The house stood very quietly and a little homely next to one of Michael Graves’ renovations. The Owner’s sought to freshen up the old house a bit, and in so doing, gave it a sweet personality of its own, which complements that of the larger barn. The awkward rooflines gave way to a simple large gable end presenting a unified front. The oversize casement windows which had filled the garage door openings were replaced with French door which open to a new bluestone patio, formerly bituminous paving.

A pergola with steroidal wisteria provides a datum for disparate doorways and helps to step the large gable down to street scale. Simple pendant lanterns, stock lights modified by the manufacturer for the architect, light the pergola adding a festive touch. Within, a former laundry/clutter room made way for a dining room affording view to the porch beyond and a “formal” path to the upstairs that had hitherto been entered only through the kitchen. The original decorating by Mario Buatta was expanded by the Prince himself.

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