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Westchester Home & Garden

Westchester Home & Garden

Guest House with a Mission

When the clients called on architect Ralph Mackin to build a carriage house near the pool that sits on their four-acre Bedford property, they wanted their stand-alone addition to reflect their passion for Craftsman style, famous for its emphasis on simplicity, craftsmanship, sparse ornamentation, and the use of high-end materials. “This artistic movement’s focus is on quality materials and a wealth of understated details,” Mackin says. “The whole point here was to show off the work of the artisans—carpenters, metal workers, and masons—that the contractor [Bill Hoadley of H & Y Construction in Brookfield, Connecticut] hired to create the design.”

To link the independent structure to the main residence, Mackin added stepping stones and a cantilevered, redwood pergola with Mission-style lanterns. Inside the structure, which stands behind three garage bays (one of which serves as a potting shed), is a 400-square-foot great room that doubles as a pool cabana.

The Craftsman style also is famous for its simple, solid-wood furniture with straight lines, and the Cohns do the style justice with their furniture selections. They’ve collected quite an assortment, including a Stickley-inspired chair, a Craftsman-style oak rocker, and a period-style floor lamp with inlaid amber glass. Yet despite its handsome interior, the carriage house is designed to invite guests outside. French doors at either side of a brick herringbone fireplace framed by bronze tiles open to a field-stone patio with a huge Tusan-oven fireplace. There, spectacular views of the free-form gunite pool and adjacent Howland Lake create an outdoor scene as appealing as the one indoors.

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Reused with permission of Westchester Home & Garden.

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