Blurred Lines

By Paula M. Bodah

Creating a connection between a home and its surroundings is a recurring theme, turning up in our feature stories time and again. To wit: “… the enormous windows help blur the line between outdoors and in…” (from the winter 2015 edition of New England Home Connecticut).  “I like to blur the line of where architecture ends and landscape begins…”(from our May-June 2011 issue). “The terraces were also elevated… to help blur the line between Mother Nature and the indoors.” (from our May-June 2015 issue).

And why not? We live in a beautiful part of the world, and smart architects, designers, and landscapers all want to create dwellings that let homeowners revel in the beauty of their interior and exterior environments at once.

Enjoying the outdoors even when we’re in the house is especially welcome in summer. The homes featured in our July-August issue are perfect examples of the idea of blending the built and natural worlds almost seamlessly.

As you can see, this house on Lake Champlain in Vermont sits in magnificent surroundings. Architect Milford Cushman designed it with cedar shingles and copper roofs so that “the structures harmonize with nature,” writer Megan Fulweiler noted.

Lake Champlain

Photograph by Jim Westphalen

The indoors, done by interior designer Monica Bodell of MCID,  harmonizes with nature, too, especially in the dining room, where it almost feels like the room floats on the river.

Dining Area

Photograph by Jim Westphalen

In this Martha’s Vineyard home designed by architect Brian Goodridge of Thor Studios with interiors by John Stefanon of JFS Design Studio, writer Maria LaPiana noted that “Balconies and French doors are plentiful throughout the house, giving the owners easy access between indoors and out.”

Martha's Vineyard Estate

Photograph by Michael Partenio

The homeowners are in close touch with the outdoors even when they’re sleeping or bathing.

Photographs by Michael Partenio

This Rhode Island house was a bit too in touch with nature. Architect George Penniman moved it back fifteen feet  and, while he was at it, had a new foundation built and rotated the house a bit to take even better advantage of the stunning views.

Photograph by Tria Giovan

Interior designer Nancy Taylor kept things simple, so as to complement, rather than compete with, the outdoors.

Photograph by Tria Giovan

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