Design Confidently, Live Comfortably
A gardener and an architect collaborate to create a house that blurs the lines between indoors and out
|by Jack Hyland and Larry Wente
Our house in the picturesque town of Sharon, Conn., was wonderful -- a center-hall colonial with white clapboards and green shutters, surrounded by beautiful gardens. A seemingly small quibble: The house and gardens always seemed separate. The few exterior doors and smallish windows shut us off from the outdoors when we were inside.
Still, it was an idyllic existence until one afternoon when we saw an unobtrusive "for sale" sign on a gigantic cornfield at the top of a large hill. To the east, at the foot of the hill, is Indian Lake, the signature landmark of the area. To the west, on the crest of the next hill, is a large red barn with three distinctive silos, and beyond are hills that seem to go on forever.
On a hot August day, we hauled a stepladder to the site, pushed aside rows of 7-foot-high corn, and stood high on the ladder to see what the views would be. Spectacular. By the end of October, the house in Sharon was sold and the cornfield was ours. We were on to the task of designing a house and gardens that connected to each other.
NEXT: Beginning the Design Process
PHOTOS EXCEPT WHERE
NOTED: JOHN GRUEN
TOP PHOTO: MICHELLE GERVAIS