gail ravgiala, editor
we feel a bit cavalier in calling this issue
“Laid-Back Living.” A lot of planning and hard work
went into creating the spaces where the proud homeowners can now live, eat, sleep, play, and relax. That is
the point of well-thought-out design. Put the effort in
upfront, and the work will pay off in spades. The details
that make a house special won’t seem forced or extraneous; the visual and spatial harmony will put everyone who enters the house at ease. Even casual observers
will savor moments of encounter with a well-designed
house, room, or garden. And when the final coat of paint
has dried, the homeowner can put his or her feet up, but
the gardener is another story. Because no matter how
detailed the design of the landscape, the gardener still
needs to trim, weed, plant, and water. Even in the dead of winter, his or her mind is sorting
through plant species and thinking about a new grid for the vegetable patch. Sure, one can hire
people to do these chores, but for the gardeners we feature in this issue, from Milford Cushman and his towering pines and 1,100-square-foot vegetable garden (Visit, Page 26) to Gordon
Hayward and his straight lines and lush plantings (Garden, Page 130) to Jill Nooney and her
20-acre sculpture park (Design Focus, Page 60), the work of taming Nature is a soothing salve.
lori ferguson is an art historian and writer who delights in sharing the visual
arts with others. She is the sole proprietor of Scribo Consulting, a freelance
writing business based in southern New Hampshire. “From the moment I first
encountered Craig Mooney’s work, I was hooked,” she says. “His ability to evoke
a feeling of deep tranquillity with a few simple brush strokes is captivating. His
work pulls me in and brings me a sense of quietude that I find incredibly
comforting.” ‘where i’m supposed to be,’ page 78.
warren jagger studied photography at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in
Providence, the city where he now has his studio. He shot our cover story, a house
and pool house in Bristol, Rhode Island. “RISD taught me to trust my eyes,” says
Jagger, “and I’ve since learned that my first visual impressions of a house and
landscape are the strongest elements from which to compose good photographs.
The Bristol house’s impressive location and the responsive architecture were
what I sought to capture.” change of scene, page 122.
robert benson believes that the essence of successful architectural
photography is the blending of ideas, philosophy, light, and art. For this issue, he
photographed a house by Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects that does much
the same kind of balancing. “Merging these elements,” says the Hartford,
Connecticut, photographer, “into a two-dimensional image that communicates
the architect’s intentions and emotions is where the art of the photographer
comes into play.” connecticut yankee, page 102.
from the editor
lisa prevost, author of Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate (Beacon
Press, 2013), has seen her fair share of stunning interiors writing about real estate
for The New York Times. The Spanish Revival house she visited in Darien,
Connecticut, was particularly captivating because the owner’s recent renovations
so lovingly enhance rather than engulf the well-preserved property. “Fairfield
County, Connecticut, is the epicenter for tear-down-and-build-new,” says Prevost,
“so Leslie Sutton’s determination to guard the integrity of this unusual home truly
stands out.” made to order, page 48.
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