East Coast Home + Design - November 2013

East Coast Home + Design

November 2013
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Please tell us why you choose this space for your photo-

graph?  This is the most comfortable room in my residence.
The room is filled with family heirloom furniture, art work
that Ann and I have collected for almost 30years. Each piece
tells part of our story– whether it came from an art gallery,
a find at an antique show or a tag sale. I found the pair of
leather French chairs at an antique store in Westport. They
are the most comfortable chairs in this room! The oriental area rug
was a commission from one of my first jobs. The coffee table and side
table are my designs–they have been staple designs for furniture we
customize for different projects.  Our house was built in 1860.
When we purchased it our family just shook their heads.
It was a huge project that took more than five to complete, but
I still consider it a work in progress! I opened up the house to lots
of natural light and the orientation was turned away from the street,
overlooking a formal courtyard and six acres of trees.
What do you see in today’s market for home design that you didn’t
see 25 years ago other than technology? The use of reclaimed materi-
als – especially beautiful woods and stones. Better quality new materi-
als of all types- from tile to glass to paints.
Where in this world do you think the most awe inspiring architec-
ture exists? Although I am still working on seeing the whole world,
I admire the architecture in Italy, the formality and exquisite plans,
but I also love the farmhouse in the French countryside: the way they
were built to allow families to live almost off the grid; they included
a pigeon house to provide eggs and pigeons, a terraced garden to grow
food, and a barn for farm animals. These structures influence my
work- they allow a scale and proportion that fits together well, and
let very large structures look like series of buildings built and joined
over time.
If you weren’t an Architects what would you be? A veterinarian
Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from
the materials I choose to work with, the natural environment, my travel
experiences in different countries and the space where the project will
be built- how far can I push the envelope?  What other materials can
accomplish the same result and how to maximize the project within
the surroundings. I rely on historical precedent, not magazines- I am
intrigued by mixing the old with the new. JMKA I architects views
each project as a new canvas. We integrate the client’s vision and aspi-
rations, work within a budget and provide hands-on management of
the details and the craft. A unique, personal architectural process is
the hallmark of our firm.
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