Monday, January 25, 2016

Because I Could Not Stop For Death

An early evening stroll through the Athens, NY cemetery behind our house was filled with gothic brooding and contemplation.  With many headstones from the late 19th century into the early 20th, the history of this town's inhabitants is a keen reminder that our life is a fleeting reflection of a moment in time.  Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) provides the appropriate words to match this sentiment.

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me –  
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility – 

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –  
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –  
We passed the Setting Sun – 

Or rather – He passed us – 
The Dews drew quivering and chill – 
For only Gossamer, my Gown – 
My Tippet – only Tulle – 

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground – 
The Roof was scarcely visible – 
The Cornice – in the Ground – 

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads 
Were toward Eternity – 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Apartment Therapy Challenge

 After a much needed edit

 A messy cleaning process

Order restored 

Chaos remains

Are you a fan of New Year's Resolutions?  I am, and yet every year I seem to make the same ones. Top of the list oftentimes is to get organized.  For the past few years, I've signed up for Apartment Therapy's new year challenge to get the house under control.  Who knew my cabinets were a virtual graveyard for expired medicines and tasteless spices. I mean, when you've got medicine in there that expired in 2009, it's time to clean house.  And as for saving every mug I've ever owned, some can certainly make their way to the church's thrift shop.  The daily tasks Apartment Therapy suggests are a great kickstart to getting the house in order.  Every day, an email inches you one step closer to housing Nirvana and before you know it, you've made some progress, at least until next year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

In Praise of the Old

Athens, NY, circa 1875 

Eastlake details on the porch railing 

Original bannister and front door 

 Incredible Hudson Valley light

Jackson and Clara enjoying a moment on the antique couch

What is it about old homes that makes so much sense? Is it the attention to detail, or the efficient use of the site?  Having chronicled the Hudson Valley for several years now, I'm impressed at how the area never ceases to offer up fascinating discoveries in terms of charm, character, aesthetics, and history. One of our recent finds is this house, situated on top of a hill in Athens, NY with a view of the Hudson River.   
The house is a new journey for the Bouler family as we explore every element, sort out what's less than resolved, and get to know our new neighborhood.  Built in 1875, it survived a fire 30 years ago and several ill-conceived renovations.  Walking around the rooms, we envision those who built it, wondering their names and careers.  Were they in shipping, maybe exporting ice, as many did in the Athens area? Perhaps an artist from the Hudson River School? How many servants did they have?  When did the home get electrified? Snooping through town records can certainly help piece together the answers, and we are grateful and thrilled to be adding our family's history to the genealogy to the house. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Expressing Support for Architecture

San Sulpice

Notre Dame 

 Musee D'Orsay

Eiffel Tower


One of the great highlights of a recent trip to Paris was seeing how architects over the course of history dealt with the issue of supporting their structures.  From Romanesque arches to vaulted ceilings, these buildings express their physics in ways that are both functional and beautiful.  The awe-inspiring feats of holding up the roof are a testament to the complex relationship architecture and engineering have with a desired aesthetic outcome while pushing the limitations of reality.  Each of these structures redefined architectural possibilities and in turn, defined a magnificent city.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Things We Carried

I've run hot and cold with decor that celebrates objects and curiosities. Some houses cry for collectibles on the shelves, while others need the clean, clear expanse of an empty countertop.  Many objects in our homes serve as tangible reminders of the past, nostalgia for a moment in time.  Nosing around this antique store in Hudson, NY over the weekend, I enjoyed the complex mix of colors and textures, the sleek lines of mid-century furniture juxtaposed against handcrafted sculpture of a head.  The effect was a space so cohesively dense that it was seemingly impossible to separate one item from the bunch. Thus I was content to simply snap some pics.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Andrew Geller's Westhampton Pearlroth House

 Pearlroth house in Westhampton, NY, facing south.

Entrance into house

Jonathan Pearlroth with a view of the copper roofing

Geometry in the roofline

Built- in bunk beds

Guest blogger  Jane Jagger is no stranger to LI architect Andrew Geller's work.  Having restored a Geller-designed home with her husband, Steven, in Huntington Bay, NY, Jagger was gracious enough to photograph Geller's Westhampton gem for me-- the Pearlroth house. While celebrating the release of a new book by Jake Gorst,  Andrew Geller: Deconstructed, Jagger captured the angles and geometry of this iconic beach house.  As luck would have it, Bouler Pfluger Architects has been commissioned to design a beach house right next door. Certainly Dune Road has changed since Geller designed this pure, minimal geometric design; however the spirited architecture remains a tradition.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Statement Furniture

When James worked with sculptor Richard Anderson on this chair for a fellow architect, the hope was that the chair would not only reflect the function of providing seating, but serve as a sculptural element in the gentleman's home. The same principle holds true for the new BPA office furnishings in both Bay Shore and Brooklyn.  Using a combination of steel and beautiful selections of wood, James and Nick designed free standing and built-in furnishings that express the materiality of construction while serving the functionality of the office.