Ask Peter Cadoux to design a coastal or country home, large or small, traditional or modern, and his core philosophy – that thoughtful design should enhance people’s everyday lives – will come shining through.
“Once a home is completed,” he says, “the greatest satisfaction for me is to witness the way in which my clients interact in their new home.
“Each and every home I design is customized for a particular lifestyle and detailed in a particular way to enrich their daily experience. That’s what I love about what I do, and what I expect to see at the end of every project.”
While many architects move swiftly onto their next commission, Cadoux has become friends with the owners of this elegant waterfront home in Westport, Conn., and loves calling by to see how they are enjoying it.
“The home is set on a navigable inlet with stunning views of Long Island Sound,” says Cadoux. “There’s an outdoor covered porch at the back, a beautiful lawn, seawall, sandy beach and deep-water dock.
“The couple has a sailboat and a powerboat; they love the water and teaching their two young twin boys to sail. It’s a wonderful, active and outdoor lifestyle. It’s a full-time home, but it’s like they’re on vacation every time they come home.”
And that’s exactly what his client – who works in the financial sector and moved from the countryside of England to a new life on the coast of New England – wanted for his wife and family.
“The owners were comfortably familiar with a more formal English Cotswolds vernacular,” says Cadoux, “and desired a home that subtly addressed their love of steeply pitched roofs, prominent chimneys and arched doorways.
“But they also wanted the clean lines of a New England beach house with the details and interiors. This home is a customized blend of both sensibilities.”
The result is a beautiful and distinctive home of approximately 5,000 square feet that strikes the perfect balance between old English charm and New England contemporary waterfront living.
While the front of the home suggests a timeless symmetry, with natural wood roof shingles and siding, chimneys made of native New England fieldstone and deck rails in a classic English Chippendale design, the back is a different story.
Here, the house connects the owners with their beloved coastal lifestyle by way of a more asymmetric look designed to capture and frame the water views with expansive glass windows, balconies and porches with French doors.
The uninterrupted view as you enter represents the initial balancing act between the two merging styles. “The view provides a sense of drama as soon as you walk in,” says Cadoux.
The first floor comprises a spacious living room, formal dining room that segues through a butler’s pantry into the kitchen, a family room and an orchid room off the kitchen (the client has a passion for growing orchids).
A second level contains a master suite with a balcony, children’s play area and three more bedrooms, all en suite.
Thanks to the roof’s steep pitch, a third level accommodates a private library/office decorated with nautical flair. A strategically placed balcony delivers a view of the New York City skyline.
“The kitchen and bathrooms are detailed with full slabs of Carrara marble and glass tiles, offering elements of surprise in the interior aesthetic,” says Cadoux.
But it’s the rear of the home that constantly draws the eye with magnificent coastal views best enjoyed from the deck and lush lawn leading down to the beach and boat dock.
This talented and widely published architect – who founded his eponymous and full-service design firm Peter Cadoux Architects in Westport, Conn., 18 years ago – brought all of his coastal knowledge and experience to the commission.
The son of a builder, graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and active member of the American Institute of Architects, Cadoux is an expert in the complex and often challenging building codes and regulatory processes imposed on homes in this area and throughout coastal New England.
Sited on a half-acre block, the original home had no historic value, was below flood elevations and didn’t meet FEMA regulations, so the decision was taken to raze it and start afresh. But one key element remained.
“The owners were very fond of an existing large copper beech tree at the rear of the house, so we made some design alterations to protect it,” says Cadoux. “It’s not only beautiful but provides shade and doesn’t take anything away from the views.”
There goes that balancing act again, with Cadoux listening carefully to his clients’ wishes and then creating a design solution that pleases everyone.
“I’d rather work for people than for projects,” he insists. “These clients understood the value of good design and quality construction, and that makes for a much more engaging and enjoyable experience.
“I can work to all different scales and vernaculars, but great people, coastal waters and heavily regulated areas – these are my passions.”
For more information, visit cadouxaia.com.
Image Credits: Photos courtesy of Peter Cadoux Architects.