Reviving Tradition .......................... 50
Inspired by centuries-old timber frame constructions, a skilled craftsman melds old-world architecture with modern amenities for a family of four.
The charcoal-gray color scheme in the living area was borne out of the practicality of having two young children. Couches and chairs are covered in linen for durability, and a heavy, weathered coffee table is forgiving to nicks and scratches. Animal print weaves the home’s contemporary and natural elements together while providing pattern for visual interest. Clerestory windows above the main-floor framework draw the eye upward to the ceiling’s arresting architecture.
with their two children, they hang a sheet from the rafters of their timber frame home. Using a projector—there isn’t a single television in the house—they begin the film, dialogue echoing off high ceilings sheathed in Eastern white pine. Even more impressive than the acoustics is how the architecture came to be—a remarkable combination of traditional artisanship and modern sensibility.
Having moved from New York City to rural Berkshire County in Massachusetts, Ursula and Enore originally wanted a modern home that felt as loftlike and industrial as the Brooklyn apartments they were accustomed to. But when a friend introduced Ursula to builder Dave Lanoue, the Ceolas’ vision of their home in the countryside began to morph. “The essence of light is what attracted us to a modern building in the first place,” Ursula says. “We liked the idea of having large, open spaces, and working with Dave, we found we could have that, but in a way that blends into our rural environment.”
Lanoue, the couple discovered, already had nearly completed the framework of a home, which he could transport to their property. Based off of 19th-century swing-beam hay barns, the structure is built without modern fixtures like nails or brackets, instead using only wooden mortise-and-tenon joints to hold beams together. “The wide-open spaces in these early timber frame forms lend a distinctly modern touch to the architecture,” Lanoue says. “And they tolerate up-to-date translations of cabinetry, furnishings, kitchens, and baths very well.”
Having a kitchen that functions with ease was of utmost importance to both Ursula and Enore, given that they are both avid cooks and enjoy hosting meals for family and friends. Contemporary stainless-steel fixtures in the kitchen offset abundant wood for a clean, streamlined look—made possible by Ursula’s cunning storage. “I took inventory of every piece of cookware and tableware we owned, and had cabinets custom-made to fit,” she says. “I wanted to make sure we had room for everything we needed.”
When Ursula and Enore Ceola want to have a movie night