Explore Incredible Mountain Views at this Berkshires Retreat
The views of Mount Greylock are surely screensaver worthy.
Despite the undercurrent of sophistication evident in this Berkshires getaway, it’s the playful moments that tend to stay with you. The bright orange ski lift chair suspended from the mudroom will be sure to catch your eye. The indoor basketball court with its pitched wallpapered ceiling just might sway your judgment as well.
“We live in a small apartment in New York City, and we wanted a place where the kids could play sports, and friends and family could visit and not worry about putting their feet up or needing a coaster,” explains the wife, admitting she and her husband also considered building in the Hamptons. The enthusiasm , however, of their offspring for skiing over surfing tipped the scales. Also, the property’s enviable views of Mount Greylock where the couple got engaged 16 years prior might have played a small role in the decision.
By the time they met with designer Andrew Kotchen of Workshop/APD, their priorities were clear: Comfort was key, rooms with views were essential, and adequate play space for three children was a must. The latter would ultimately result in a separate structure for the entertaining amenities. This includes the aforementioned basketball court along with a golf simulator, billiards room and fitness center.
A clearing in the midst of the heavily wooded 35-acre property was the obvious locale for the residence. Kotchen envisioned four boxes—a primary living/dining/kitchen space, main floor master bedroom pavilion, tri-level field house, and the garage. They would all come together to create a courtyard on the entry side, with huge glass walls opening to Mount Greylock on the other.
About the design Kotchen says, “The architecture is not trying to be shingle style or ultra-contemporary. It’s meant to be a modern interpretation of a mountain cottage.”
A simple palette of white oak and dark steel defines the interiors. “Some surfaces are heavily wire-brushed to create a cross texture, while others have lighter brushing,” explains Kotchen, noting the same cut granite used outside repeats on the living room fireplace. “Everything is a brighter, airier version of the exterior.”
But in Kotchen’s hands, simple does not translate to boring. The overall neutral color scheme is intentionally offset with impactful accents. You can witness the contrast simply by looking up. “I wanted to activate the ceiling planes,” says the designer. He does this with the cathedral version in the living room and master suite, and varying wood treatments used throughout. “The variety of beams and trusses creates a hierarchy and a language so each space has a sense of individuality,” Kotchen adds.
In the living room, the double-height geometry with windows to match also signals a slightly elevated, more formal status. Following suit, the light-colored upholstery and prescribed seating arrangement complete the ornate space. A white ceramic antler chandelier, however, is a playful reminder of the home’s overall intent. That sense of whimsy continues in the family room where chair swings and a live-edge coffee table are part of a more casual ambience.
In the master suite, Kotchen took advantage of the headspace with a vertical height headboard before bringing in tactile elements.“We used a lot of texture and pattern to create a resort-like feel,” he says. “The bedroom is like the bow of the ship— from there, they can look out and see the mountains and the entire site.” He notes that similar to elsewhere in the house, it’s all about the Mount Greylock views.
The print version of this article appeared with the headline: The Perfect Getaway.
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