Archive for the ‘Emotion’ Category

Living Well in Westchester

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Eating dinner in our dining room with my wife and children. I think that might be my favorite part of our newly renovated house in Chappaqua.

We added a new second floor design studio for Annmarie and space for a new kitchen (temporary cabinets are serving us well while we again save our pennies for the kitchen of our dreams). We renovated the bathroom, converted the basement into a playroom for the kids and expanded the obsolete 6’x8’ dining room.

Our stucco cottage in the woods of Hardscrabble was built as a nine hundred square foot summer retreat for a Manhattan physician and his family. The New Castle building department dates the house to 1934. Used during summer weekends, the original house had a minimal kitchen and no need for a dining room.

Annmarie and I bought the house in the summer of 1997 from its second owner. For nine years we lived with the original kitchen and ate our meals on a card table set with a tablecloth in the corner of our living room. This situation was fine for a young newlywed couple, but became a bit crowded as our family slowly grew to eleven (two boys, two dogs and five cats).

In August of 2005 we moved out of the house and in with Annmarie’s parents. Today we are back in Chappaqua and almost finished with the project (except for the kitchen). A few doors need to be cased and we have plans to install paneling on the dining room walls within the next few weeks.

It is great to be home. Annmarie has a great place to work. The boys each have their own bedroom, and even though the kitchen is temporary, it works so much better than the original space (the 1934 kitchen was so small, we had to locate the refrigerator down a flight of stairs in the basement). The insulated walls and new windows are doing a great job of keeping us warm during cold December nights.

The warmth. The convenience. The architecture. Our stucco cottage in the woods is more than we ever imagined. We are very blessed. But more than any of that which I may see or touch, most of all, I love sitting down in our new dining room for a warm meal with Annmarie and my boys. For me, that’s what “Living Well in Westchester” is all about.