Modern Farmhouse Guilford, CT

This family friendly residence in Sachem’s Head, a peninsula along the Guilford, CT coast, is home to four young boys including a set of triplets, two very busy parents and a 1-year-old dog. The design program was an ambitious one: an efficient six bedroom home with room for the boys to play and the parents to entertain and host large gatherings of friends. The center of the home is an open living space with the kitchen, dining and living room in a bright, window filled space with a wood burning stove that can be rotated to face the three seating areas.

In order to accommodate the family’s wish list in a slightly less than 4,000 s.f. building, we created several spaces that could do double duty. When the boys aren’t hanging from the climbing wall or swinging from the ceiling, the room can easily be converted to the party barn. A pair of mahogany double doors opens up onto a patio in the front of the house and a second pair swings open to a deck overlooking the pool and the rocky Guilford coastline. Parties flow through all these spaces and can comfortably fit dozens of guests.

The side entrance to the home serves as the pool house or summer mudroom. The entry door adjacent to the outdoor shower leads to a bathroom/laundry so wet clothes and towels can be offloaded and sandy feet don’t track a mess into the house. A second laundry room is located between the master bedroom and the boys’ bedrooms and functions as both a laundry room and efficient home office. The two car garage tucks under the house and opens into a mudroom with cubbies for shoes, coats and backpacks keeping clutter out of the main living space.

The exterior is elegantly simple. The two gable roofed structures are connected by a sloping shed roof in a composition often associated with the New England farmhouse. Traditional materials such as board and batten, cedar shingles, metal roofing and locally quarried pink granite are used in a progressive way by scaling back on the costly and hard to maintain details. The result is a timeless traditionalism that allows this family enjoy the house rather than maintain it.