Project Gallery: Places to Play
Games and Family Time
This 19-ft. by 22-ft. lower-level room in a coastal Connecticut home is a favorite gathering place for a family of four. In addition to watching television, the family also enjoys spending time here entertaining friends, reading, and playing board games. Shelves for speakers flank the television; a pullout rack in the corner closet houses components. A shelf above the built-ins displays the family’s collection of Broadway posters. Quartersawn sapele, an African hardwood, was used for the cabinetry and millwork and then sealed with a clear-finish conversion varnish. Reminiscent of mahogany and a member of the same family, this wood was selected for its rich color and for the way its interlocking grain produces light and dark stripes that coordinate with the floors, which are made of the same material.
Music and More
Architect Evan Vause created this custom wall unit to serve as his home office, music room, and refuge. Constructed from Douglas fir and Douglas-fir veneer, and finished with boiled linseed oil, the furniture’s simple rectangular proportions give the room an uncluttered, modern look. Vause added a dry bar to the bookcase on the left. Rather than install pulls, he notched the cabinet doors and drawer to maintain a sleek look. Under the 6-ft. 3-in.-long leathercushioned window seat, Vause built two custom file cabinets set on casters and topped with matching leather cushions. When rolled into the room, they’re just the right height to sit on when playing guitar. Vause calls the space his “magical retreat”; it’s a place where he’s improved his guitar-playing, honed his singing skills, and “spent some great time with great friends.”
Safe in the Sound
Located in the Thimble Islands of Long Island Sound, this playhouse on stilts was designed and built by Clinton, Conn., contractor Mike Simmons. Accessible only by boat, the tiny island getaway of Exton’s Reef is used by a local couple for relaxation and family gatherings. Outfitted with a kitchenette, a dining area, and a sleeping loft with two captain’s beds, the compact retreat features nautical touches such as a working porthole window by the dining table, a ship’s ladder, and boat cleats as drawer and door pulls. French doors open onto a deck that wraps around all four sides of the house, allowing expansive views in all directions of the surrounding islands, mainland, and open sound.