Monday, December 18, 2006


Here is the view of our house looking southeast. I am finally fiddling around with a 3D modeling program called Rhinoceros, which is what was used to create what you see above. As you saw from our plans, we would enter the house from inside the garage, but a guest could just park in front of the garage, climb the steps you see beside it, and enter through the front door. They're really not going to be white, I just haven't finished the model yet. The land is also not so grassy, and there are tons of trees everywhere. So just look at this as a basic collage of sorts - I'm still figuring out the quirks. Here are some more views:

This is just around the corner from the first view - looking southeast. The porch above the garage allows you to either enter the front door, or just come around the back to our yard area, which won't really be a yard, just a rough play landscape, hopefully with a pool.

This is the view northeast. I'll keep working on the interior of the model, and post those later.

Friday, November 17, 2006


On Wednesday night, Nina and I received final approval from the Stanford Planning Board for the relocation of our development envelope. Simply put, this approval will allow us to place the house in a better location on the site. Yesterday, we got Board of Health approval for the revision and filed the new drawings with the County Clerk's office, concluding a process that began about six months ago. This is the map we filed, with a closeup of our copy of the signed approval from the planning board chairman.

As our drawings were being accepted by the County Clerk, the radio in the office started playing "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang. Kinda funny.

Nina and I are diligently working on finishing drawings and specifications, and once they are complete, we'll be sending them out to contractors to get bids. We'll post some more images soon.

Monday, November 13, 2006


so, finally, here are some drawings of our new house. for a while we had two buildings joined by a bridge, as we have shown some of you. this layout had a few quirks that we decided to resolve by a full-on redesign. now it's one long dramatic volume, which we feel will be more energy-efficient, and will as well be easier (read: less $$$) to build. it has changed what feels like a million times, but i think we are set on this one. that is, until we get our pricing back.

above is the ground floor. you can either enter from the garage, or, if you park outside, you can climb the stairs and enter through the front door above the garage, which is shown in the first floor plan below. the south end of the house sits on a hill, so only a small chunk of land will need to be excavated for a foundation. the land slopes downward (hence the need for stairs to climb up to the main level) so we can have a full basement without needing to do too much site work.

above is the first floor, which is flush with the ground level to the east (where the patio + pool are) so, as you see, the garage is bumped out enough to form a path to take you to the front door. you enter through the mudroom (labled on the plan - click to enlarge) where you hang up your coat, hat, shoes, etc. on the north end, is the tv room / playroom. we didn't want to have a tv in the main space, but wanted to have one to watch dvds, so we relegated it to the north end of the house. this will also have a pull-out couch in case we have a lot of guests, and can be closed off by those large doors / partitions you see in front of the mudroom cubbies. the main space consists of the kitchen, dining room, and living room with a gas fireplace (on the south wall) and is one big open area. outside, there is a patio for grillin' and outdoor dining, and a pool out in what will become a kind of yard area. beyond that (not shown) will be a firepit. and scattered through the property will be the miniature golf holes, yoga pavilion, and ski jump, as some of you have already requested.

this is the second floor, which has two guest bedrooms, a guest bathroom, the laundry closet, and the master bedroom + bath. pretty self-explanatory. at the north end is our rainy summer day hangout area. this is an outdoor porch with a roof.

this is the front elevation. most of these windows will be operable awnings for cross-ventilation. as i said earlier, the south end (on the right) is at the top of a rocky hill, which slopes north (toward the garage), so under the house, to the right of the garage will be (if we can preserve them) the existing outcroppings of mossy shale. not sure if you can see the lines on the drawing, but we'll be hopefully using reclaimed barn siding to clad the house, and if that proves too cost prohibitive, we'll be going with yellow cedar. the roof is a standing-seam metal roof, and the garage will be poured concrete, like the rest of the foundation, and we may try to clad the garage door in cor-ten steel (fast-rusting steel), but this is still up for discussion. we're also going to try to run ivy or some other climbing plant up the exposed sides of the garage.

this is our back elevation. this is what you'd see from the patio, the pool, the outdoor hangout areas. this faces east, so the sun will creep right through those top floor windows into the bedrooms as soon as it rises, summoning everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. that is why you'd be there, isn't it?

there are a few things up for discussion on the north and south elevations, so they are not done yet. but as soon as they are, i'll post some 3d renderings i'm currently putting together so y'all have a better idea about what this thing will look like on the site, with its actual materials.

also, check out some of our new photos.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

mountain cat

that's a chunk of our land modeled at 1/16" = 1'-0". each of the topos is 2 feet high. cat is not to scale.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In The Vicinity...

As many of you have noticed, the google maps link we posted leads you to Jameson Hill Road in Clinton Corners, whereas our place is actually in Stanford. This location is just approximate. We actually have no address yet. But when we do get one, if you were to mail us a postcard, it would say Clinton Corners, as this is the nearest post office. Stanford, scenic and lovely as it may be, doesn't have much to offer in the way of commercial activity, save a so-so pizza joint and a fire station with a really loud siren. As for our yet-to-be-determined address, we may possibly have a say in our future street name. so far, the front runner is Badonkadonk Boulevard, which of course is named for the native american populus that once inhabited nearby Wappingers Creek. But we're waiting for your suggestions in the comments below. Maybe we'll award a prize to the winner...

We have been up to the property numerous times already for design-related trips, but have not really explored the neighboring towns too much. A few weeks ago we took a day trip up north to see what else dutchess county has to offer. It is about 1.5-2 hours north of nyc, straight up the Taconic Parkway. From our newly-posted photos, you'll notice that our first stops were the local wineries, which offer super tasty wines of many different varieties, not to mention spectactular scenery. All the vineyards are open to the public and have tastings (am to pm) for a small fee. Yeah, that's pretty much all we got out of that first day trip, but there will be more to come. Also in the food arena are the numerous farmers markets in Hyde Park, Millbrook, and Rhinebeck. One of the reasons we were so attracted to this particular area is the plethora of outdoor athletic activity we are so lacking in the concrete jungle. There is plenty of camping, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, horseback riding, and fishing. Actually, right down the street from our future house is a stocked trout stream. I think it's Wappingers Creek. For the shopper, pretty much the entire Hudson Valley is peppered with cute little antique shops, but a few times a year, Rhinebeck has a giant antiques fair, and also a general crafts fair featuring local artists. There are also estate auctions in Beacon for those in search of upper crusty home furnishings and such. For culture hounds, the center for performing arts in Rhinebeck offers theater, dance, etc, as does Bard college (the theater building was designed by Frank Gehry). There seems to even be some live music at Bardavon Opera House (the calendar shows events all over the Hudson Valley, and is not just opera) and in Millbrook. For fine art, there is dia:beacon, which was recently opened by dia (a contemporary art institution in Chelsea) in an old box factory, and features such artists as Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin, to name a few. It's right on the Metro-North train line and worth an entire day trip. A bit further west is Storm King, which is a sprawling outdoor sculpture park. I haven't been yet, but i've heard it's amazing. Also in the vicinity (but further north in Saugerties) is this place called Opus 40, which I've never been to, but my aunt Judy pointed out to me. It's this ginormous masonry sculpture/landscape built by one dedicated artist.

That should be enough to keep you occupied til the next post...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Our First Post

Welcome. We'll be keeping this blog as we attempt to navigate the process of designing and building our Stanford, NY weekend home. We hope you'll join us for what promises to be a long and bumpy, yet completely exciting ride. Nina will try to update the blog once or twice a week with new info, although it may be less frequent in the beginning. Bill will do his best to add snarky comments to Nina's posts.

Above is one shot of the land, with some nice glare. You can see more photos by clicking the link to the right, or by clicking here. Please check back often, and don't hesitate to leave your comments. We look forward to sharing this experience with everyone.