Northshore Home

Northshore Home Fall 2018

Northshore Home magazine highlights the best in architectural design, new construction and renovations, interiors, and landscape design.

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100 outdoor deck is that you might use the whole thing only a couple times a year. "Most decks are designed for the Fourth of July," says Andrew Sidford, principal of Andrew Sidford Architects in Newburyport. "The rest of the time, it's just blocking your view." The challenge, he says, is to create something that you can enjoy whether you are entertaining or sitting alone. So, when creating the deck for a historic Newbury- port carriage house, Sidford suggested a curve. "It packs in so much more than what you think is com- ing," he says, explaining that the deck is meant to be a sculptural statement as well as a functional one. "It's meant to hover in the trees," he says. "A curve sug- gests movement much more than a straight line." Sidford likes to think outside the box—quite liter- ally—and that sometimes pushes homeowners out of their comfort zones. That was certainly the case with the curved deck, which Sidford says took some convincing. "I always tell clients, 'My job is to push. Your job is to decide,'" Sidford says. "So I'm trying to push them out of their comfort zones in many places." As is the case with most of Sidford's clients, the pro- ject and relationship with the client evolved over time. The curved deck came after a series of creative sugges- tions that accentuate the house's unique character but initially gave the homeowners pause. Sidford's first challenge to convention was triangles of glass built into the sides of a bedroom dormer, bring- ing the occupants outdoors without leaving the house. "There's a connectedness I want them to feel to the wind, the sun, but also to the architecture," Sidford says. "The triangular glass makes it feel like you've popped right out of the roof and you get to see the slate up close. It's a much more visceral feeling of the archi- tecture than is typical, and that's quite intentional." Once the client experienced the reimagined dormer, he developed more trust in the journey, which led to the striking deck. "It was a great artistic dialog," Sidford says. "If the homeowner hadn't seen the difference the dormer glass made, the deck never would have happened." That dialog crafted a home that is full of surprises while being very livable. "As you move through the house, there is a constant sense of awe and wonder- ment about what is coming next," Sidford says. "Each of the rooms is designed to have its own unique experi- ence in terms of light and in terms of view." The key to energizing the historic carriage house was to bring in more light and more nature while re- specting the original building and maintaining privacy. "It looks like a solid structure, then develops into a tree house," Sidford says. "Natural light comes into the house from all sides at all times of day…. From inside, it's hard to tell where all the light comes from." A few of the architect's tricks? A modern bay win- dow between two original windows over the sink in the kitchen, and transom windows in the halls. "Everybody says they want more space and they want more light, but that isn't true," Sidford says. "No- body wants to live in a glass house and nobody wants to live in a gym. Our craft is finding that balance." Indeed, while the home might be small, square- footage-wise, by modern standards, smart design makes it feel much larger. "Perception of space is much more important than actual space," Sidford says. "Even though some of these rooms are remarkably small, they are incredibly comfortable and inviting to stay in." The trouble with a great big Below, The curved deck accentuates the house's unique character. Opposite, Sidford respected the intimacy of the home by including as much original detail as he could, such as with the Douglas fir ceiling in the kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in.

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