“My job was not to design buildings, it was to understand what a person’s or family’s dream of home is and then to make it come true,” Schafer writes. We’ll explore one of Schafer’s case studies, a lakeside house in the Adirondacks he designed and the details that make it a home.
In this region these kinds of homes are referred to as “camps.”
Both of the homeowners had long family histories of vacationing in the region, and they even had met there when they were children. Schafer dug deep to understand the region, the site, the local architecture and, most important, what it meant to his clients. We’ll look at some of the special things that made it home for them.
Siting: “I realize that a phrase like the power of place sounds like a gimmick, but in fact it is essential,” Schafer writes. He recommends careful study of a property before determining the best place to site the house. For instance, this Adirondack house faces the lake at an angle so the family can also take in views of another landmark, Whiteface Mountain.
Exterior architecture: The homeowners had a deep love of the Adirondacks embedded in their DNA. They were drawn to the local vernacular of brown cedar clapboard contrasting with crisp white trim and a green roof. They liked a certain level of formality but also wanted this to be a comfortable home.
Making it home: Beadboard evokes nostalgia for another time, while a team photo, classic clock and vintage creel hanging on the wall on the left personalized the space before they had even hung up any of their coats, scarves or hats.
Making it home: The main dining area is casual and well used. A 10-foot-long farm table anchors a bay off the kitchen, with a comfortable banquette that mixes Windsor chairs (classic) in red (more casual), as well as ginghams (reminiscent of lakeside picnics) accentuated by floral throw pillows (more sophisticated).
Making it home: The mix of favorite patterns on the cushions plus the window treatment all add softness and warmth.
Making it home: The house has carefully chosen area rugs throughout. Some of them have the nostalgic look of a grandmother’s needlepoint rug, just updated a bit for today.
Making it home: Sunny yellow walls, an Oriental rug and a traditional bench make the hallway more than just a pass-through space. It’s inviting and homey.
Making it home: Bring in familiar elements. Here details like the old-fashioned white curtains and the sweet vintage botanical print under the mirror provide personal connections to the past.
Making it home: Recessed shelves in the side of the nook stay full of favorite vacation reads.