The Fischer House

I spent a lovely weekend with friends in a home I had been hearing a lot about located on a gorgeous lake in Connecticut.  It was special for many reasons, one being the home itself.  A modernist gem built by an architect who himself has a lasting mystique surrounding him.  Norman Jaffe was known as an architect who approached each design with respect of its site and in harmony with its environment.  Modern, albeit modest comfortable spaces with well thought out details were part of the charm.

The Fischer House

"Houses like this put Norman on the map. Respectful of the site, harmoniously proportioned, beautifully crafted. Modest, comfortable spaces filled with light and surprises. These kinds of experiences were often lost in later, larger houses.
Still lovingly maintained by the original owners."

An original drawing of the home.  His cantilevered, shingled architecture and seamless glass window corners were paramount to his early award winning designs.

While there, all you need do is relax and unwind.  A sheet was wrapped around the 2 poles on the deck for outdoor movies.  The night was beautiful and watching the movie outside brought with it childlike glee!

The original honed slate table was in extraordinarily good condition, as was almost everything built into the home.  They don't make things like that any more!  I can't seem to get more than 10 to 15 years out of anything in my home.

Like a snapshot in time.  Nothing has changed, and there is something really magical about that!

When not relaxing on the deck, life revolves around a pristine lake.  Water lilies and wild water flowers hung the shore.  I really never saw a lake so clean and beautiful (which is why no motor vehicles are allowed).

On the morning of August 19th, 1993, Norman left his clothes folded neatly on the beach in Bridgehampton and was never seen again.  It is assumed he drowned, but it also has been speculated that he took his life.  We will never know.

Manifestation Monday

We all have dreams, aspirations for ourselves and our future.  Why do some of us reach our goals and see our dreams come true while others never reach theirs?  Can you change your path  Can you manifest your dreams into reality?  How?

This seems obvious, but I am seeing many of us say we want to change, but we really (really) aren't willing to do the work!

SAY IT, be as specific as possible.  WRITE IT down.  VISUALIZE IT ~ become it (the goal).
LIVE IT ~  like you already accomplished it.  CREATE A VISION BOARD.  And most importantly, and I think the hardest thing to be is ~ LET IT GO ~ be unattached to the outcome.

That has eluded me.  I am learning you must come from a place of peace!  I was always grasping, trying to will things to happen.  All that yearning doesn't work.  You have to be completely at peace with the outcome and then (I am told), your dreams may actually come true.  The universe hears you and responds in kind.

My education into life coach-dom continues to fascinate me.  That's another beautiful thing about growing and learning new skills.  It helps you live life to it's fullest!

Elle, The Sultan and Me

A couple years back I was in Aspen for the Food and Wine Festival, see story here, and my girlfriend invited me to a TYKU sponsored party at an estate on Starwood Mountain.  I jumped at the chance because Starwood Mountain is VERY exclusive, and I was dying to get a glimpse at whomever or whatever presented itself.

A driver brought us up to an almost hidden entry way.  A thick grove of Aspen trees barely giving way to the stairs down,  and unfolding in front of me was the Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan's or the Sultan of Brunei's home.  Honestly I am not sure which now ~ but seriously, does it really matter?

This 66 acre mountain hideaway, or as Elle Macpherson calls it Star Mountain Ranch, looks an awful lot like a small part of the estate I was visiting.  She and her husband must have bought it from the Sultan and it is now on the market for a cool $35 million; which sadly, sounds somewhat reasonable given the cost of real estate in this very special little town.

The party was not in the main house, but was in what I would call an entertainment lodge on the grounds.  It was magical ~ filled with stuffed wild game, a pool table, amusement games, guest suites, etc., decorated exactly as you would imagine a magnificent, no expense spared, authentic game lodge would look out west!

Elle must have redecorated the place, but I never did see the main house.  The great room features a floor to ceiling hand carved Italian limestone fireplace with French limestone floors to match throughout.

The 14,000 square foot main house boasts seven bedrooms, ten baths, a spa with juice bar, 2 pools (indoor and out) 2 elevators, gym and home theatre.  There are plenty of guest cottages on the property to keep those near and dear close, but not too close.  I found 2 sets of pictures, so this house was redone several times

Arched ceilings and paneled white oak walls give it that authentic chic ski chalet feel that you would expect from such an estate.

Party Time ~ on the wrap around deck

The Roaring Fork Valley is laid out before my eyes ~  magical!

I think of this as a little piece of heaven.

photos via Curbed, CLI, Douglas Elliman

Cool Pool (House)

Pool houses are like little jewel boxes.  They can be a sculpture or exclamation point at the end of a pool. 
They serve as entertaining spaces that need to look good, feel good, function well, and are a breeze to maintain.

I am always enthralled by Reed and Delphine Krakoff's designs.  Their aesthetic, individually and as a design duo, is top notch.  The pool house in their Southampton home (above and below) get the same attention as their homes.  Great art and top tier designer pieces occupy indoor and outdoor real estate.  As it should be!

Free standing or literally an extension of the main home, most would say it should maintain the same aesthetic, keeping in mind cohesiveness and connectedness to the home and grounds.  I reside in that camp, but a strong argument could be made for having the look be complimentary rather than matchy, or have a distinct design flair of its own.

The living roof helps this pool house blend right into the landscape.  These "auxiliary" spaces have  evolved from changing rooms to in some cases  fully functioning guest homes with kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, gyms, theaters, gaming areas, etc.


If the construction, materials, fittings and fixtures are the same, you can include this very valuable extra space as added square footage to your home's footprint.

Commune Design, ph:Roger Davies

ph:Adrian Gaut

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's much published pool house in Shelter Island.  They talk about long lazy days spent relaxing with friends and watching the sunset.  These  moments, made more comfortable, improve one's quality of life and are priceless!

Tortorella Pools

Doric columns, stone, stucco, and bamboo transport you overseas.  That's the beauty of a pool house. ~ its possibilities are limitless.

ph:Oberto Gili

Greenhouse turned pool house ~ it just makes sense

Timothy Corrigan,

The inside or inside/out decor run the gamut from luxe to laid back.  Again, a reflection upon you, but by nature pool houses do tend to be a little more relaxed.  I think the most successful designs have a seamless look from inside out and vice versa.

A powder room and changing room look positively posh in this European inspired twin tower pool house in Lyme Connecticut.  A black bottom pool doubles the drama.

phs: Kindra Clineff

An artist studio is housed on the second floor of this pool house proving once again that you can use it for ANY activity when you need a little extra space.  I love the idea that this "outer house" becomes seasonless.

Tom O'Donoghue Assoc.

Some pool houses can be mistaken for the main house!

For those in the camp that a pool house can be what ever you want it to be; a fantasy, inspired by something you saw on a trip, of another time or place; go for it!  Inject a little of your personality into your property!

ph:Chris Meech

This rustic pool house was designed to co exist with the converted barn on the property, not compete.

Mala Sanders, ph:Michael Heller

There's no right or wrong, no dos or don'ts.  Statement making pool houses, no matter the style make a splash!