Archive for the 'Modern' Category

A Modern Shed

Last year we were commissioned to restore and renovate a fantastic 1969 Modern glass house in Chappaqua. When we completed that project, the owner asked us to work on two more little projects; a storage shed and a fence enclosure for the existing pool equipment.

They’re not quite 100% yet, but I thought I would share a few progress images. Our photographer is scheduled to shoot photography of the exterior this summer. So, we’ll post more then.

Stay tuned.



Bornholm Kitchen

Bornholm Kitchen is launching this week at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. I have known the company’s founder, Susan Serra, a.k.a. The Kitchen Designer, since 2007 when we went head-to-head, Kitchen Designer vs. Architect (boy, did we get some heated comments on that blog post).

Since that time, Susan’s been working on developing a new company that does kitchens differently; “warmly modern, with great social skills”. This week, she has most certainly succeeded.

From Bornholm Kitchen:

BORNHOLM IS A MAGICAL PLACE.  A small island off the coast of Denmark, Bornholm, its architecture and its interiors are the epitome of classic Scandinavian style. The landscape and design aesthetic are, at once: rugged, soft, clean, simple, fresh and so very green. Bornholm Kitchen is an expression of Bornholm, the island’s point of view.

Strong and sturdy construction details create the legacy and determine the longevity of a Bornholm Kitchen. Natural, high quality wood species and oil finishes add uncompromising beauty. Bornholm Kitchen is proudly American made.

Bornholm is designed to be a flexible collection of kitchen and bath furniture. It can be customized as required. The collection is seamlessly interpreted in any theme or style, transitioning between open spaces with ease.

Susan Serra & Kelly Serra Donovan
Founders of Bornholm Kitchen

Made in America.
Inspired by the spirit of our ancestors’ birthplace.

Congratulations Susan! From Fivecat Studio, I wish you the very best with your new endeavor.

Update: Montauk House 021411

We just posted a few progress photos of John Whalen’s latest project in Montauk over on our facebook. The framing is just about complete.

Be sure to “like” us while you’re there, so we can keep you updated on our latest news and updates.

New Montauk Project: A Modern House on Faraday Street

John Whalen has started construction on his latest project; a new modern house on Faraday Street. Click over to our facebook for a collection of progress photos showing the basement’s radiant tubing layout and the concrete slab pour.

Be sure to “like” us while you’re there and stay up to date on John’s progress.

Usonia For Sale

When our clients came from Brooklyn to the idyll of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia community here Pleasantville, they fell instantly for the Aaron Resnick-designed house they found on Orchard Brook Road.  With a bold composition and blurred transition between inside and outside, they new they had found something very special.

Over the next eight years, they meticulously restored and respectfully enhanced the original house.

Bjorn Slate, Fivecat Studio‘s Director of Architectural Services, had the privilege to work with them on an exterior renovation. The project included straightening and reinforcing the house’s deep pronounced roof projection, swapping out inadequate pipe columns under the “cantilever” with new i-beam columns and steel-rod X-bracing, and adding a new Ipe deck overlooking Usonia’s thick green forest of trees.

Our friends are moving on, and we’re sad to see them go, but we’re grateful to have had the unique opportunity to work on such a wonderful example of mid-century modern architecture.

For more information on the house, or to inquire about it’s purchase, visit Houlihan Lawrence broker, Tom Goddard at

For Sale: A Little Piece of Heaven

Last summer I posted about the obituary for Theodore Nierenberg, the co-founder of the Dansk brand of housewares.

Today, I received an email from one of our clients sharing a Trulia link for the property. It’s for sale for $7,500,000.

I hope that whomever purchases the property will value not only the unique Scandinavian modern architecture, but will also love the gardens as much as Martha and Theodore did.

My family and I have enjoyed several visits to the Nierenberg Gardens through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days. Will the new owners continue the tradition of sharing their little piece of heaven with the public? Stay tuned.


Thanks again Elizabeth.

Westchester County Modern Homes

We’ve been busy at Fivecat Studio.

This month, we launched two new projects. Both, coincidentally, are renovations of classic modern homes.



Stay tuned for background and progress.

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Richard Meier Architect: Douglas House

Douglas House

Richard Meier has always been one of my inspirations. The way he orchestrates natural light to play with pure white modern forms is nothing short of genius.

He also designed one of my favorite houses.


The Douglas House is dramatically situated on an isolated site that slopes down to Lake Michigan.  So steep is the fall of the land from the road down to the water that the house appears to have been notched into the site, a machined object perched in a natural world.  The entry to the house extends beyond the building envelope.  Here, as the sharp downhill grade of the land requires the house to be entered at roof level, it takes the form of a flying bridge that seems to shear off the top of the frontal plane.

Read more.

Living Well | House of the Week: The Douglas House

A Home Theater by Fivecat Studio

This is a recently completed home theater, designed for a family in Bedford Corners. Actually, we designed an entire lower level for their house, starting with a raw unfinished walk-out basement.

The space you see here started life as a concrete bunker located under the existing two-car garage. It had a concrete ceiling, concrete walls, a concrete floor and one ceramic-based incandescent light bulb installed in the middle of the room.

We worked with Mark Britton of Media Stratego for the audio, video, acoustics and the most awesome iSky ceiling panels. Chuck Morgan of Morgan Construction headed up the construction for the entire project, including the stained cherry woodwork for the theater. The client did an excellent job of selecting furniture, fabric and carpets.

For Sale: “Green” CFL Light Fixtures

If anyone is interested in purchasing a set of the sconces we specified for this project, I am running an ebay auction for a whole lot of eight (8).

The contemporary style opal glass fixtures were custom fabricated by Vermont’s Hubbardton Forge and have special order “green” CFL lamping. The fixtures list for $230 each (that’s $1800.00+, if you buy them retail). Bidding starts at $200 (plus shipping) for all eight (8) fixtures.

If you are within a 30 minute drive from Pleasantville, I will even hand deliver them for free.

Don’t miss out on this incredible bargain.

The fixtures are currently stored in my garage. I need to make room for my classic 1969 Camaro RS. It’s finally coming home (that’s a long story for another post).

Marissa’s Kitchen… Finito

So, we finally had Marissa’s kitchen photographed. Philip Jensen Carter did a great job with the images. (Click the images for high resolution).

John Whalen was Project Manager for this project. He developed Annmarie’s designs, agonizing (in a good way) over every corner and every connection. The island’s cantilevered counter and floating light cloud is all him. His pride, commitment and dedication to the success of this project is evident in every detail.

Marissa Hardie is a great client. I have written many times about the keys to a successful project. Trust tops the list. Marissa gave us the parameters for her kitchen; modern, professional, functional. Then she trusted us to create the kitchen of her dreams.

Thank you, Marissa (and David too).

A few specs:

Download the floor plan of Marissa’s Kitchen.

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