Evening of Traditional Craft


An evening we always look forward to attending and supporting is North Bennet Street School's Annual Evening of Traditional Craft. This fundraising event revolves around an exhibit of the wonderful craftsmanship of NBSS' students and graduates. KR+H's Alan Haigh went with his wife Alison Smith and met up with old friends and customers. Paul [Reidt] told me that he and KR+H's Karla Monkevich "went right into some satisfying conversations with fellow attendees. Carla and Mark HutkerAllison Iantosca, and John Tittmann kept us talking for much of the night. We left feeling fully conversed."

The exceptional craftsmanship of North Bennet Street School's students and alumni provides a rich environment for enjoyable conversation. The exhibit remains on view at Two International Place in Boston until May 30.

Style: Connection or Constraint


Our builder/architect/designer community gathered on March 27 for the third B/A/D Talks. It was a friendly, relaxed gathering exploring fresh, inspiring ideas around the evening's topic of Style: Connection or Constraint.

 

 Kyle Hoepner

Kyle Hoepner

Kyle Hoepner, editor-in-chief of New England Home, once again displayed his super talent as moderator, engaging both audience and panelists throughout the discussion.

 The speakers' last minute review of the talk before presentation.

The speakers' last minute review of the talk before presentation.

We want to share with you ideas given in this evening's talk. It's just a sampling of the generosity of our speakers as they offer their knowledge and their experience and their passion for their work.

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MODERN

"...if [clients] want a high performance house in terms of function and design they tend towards the modern house., which is the great objective."

TRADITIONAL

"On the other hand if they value creating a stronger connection to their community in terms of cultural and social connection they tend to go traditional."

HYBRID (eclectic/transitional)

"These things are very important. They're not mutually exclusive. And most of our clients want a combination of both of those things. That results in hybrid architecture...So hybrid houses arise from a strong respect for cultural and historic continuity coupled with objectives that lie well beyond the limits set by tradition. They're innovative but they're comfortable and familiar, while pushing the technical and cultural envelope.

"But very importantly a hybrid is not an ad hoc combination of traditional and modern. It's a synthesis of highly successful and valued design elements. They're expressions of continuity in concert with evolution."

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ENJOYMENT IN ECLECTIC

"We talked about words and 'transitional' kept coming up. We never actually use that word in our office...We use 'eclectic.' And that's kind of what we do - we like to mix periods, styles, origins. Our 'transitional' work is some of our best work. And I think that's probably what we find the most enjoyment in."

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  Kris Horiuchi, landscape architect / Horiuchi Solien, Inc.

Kris Horiuchi, landscape architect / Horiuchi Solien, Inc.

GRANDMOTHER'S WHITE PEONIES

"So I think in our work...It's about wrapping you into a story that engages your spirit and tugs at your memory. It's about the birthday parties and the quiet moments that we share. And in the end style I  think is less about what is traditional and modern and more about your grandmother's white peonies."

WHEN STYLE BECOMES CONSTRAINED

"I think there's a difference in style and individuality - the notion that 'style' is something that's familiar but not formulaic. I think that when it becomes that, that's when we get trapped, that's when we get constrained, that's when the individuality that you're talking about, you know is lost. And I think when you loose that connection, you know, either it's not very fulfilling for us intellectually as designers - and certainly I think our clients are not as engaged, their not participating as much, they don't hold and cherish these things as much."

FOUR THEMES

Kris transcends the constraints of style with attentiveness to her client's stories and by exploring four themes, which she brought alive for us in her talk:

  • Nature and Materials
  • Culture and History
  • Craft
  • Movement

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THE STYLE OF OUR TIME

"Given that all three of you [Marcus, Jim, and Kris] have said here tonight that you prefer working when possible in either a transitional or - kind of how ever you want to put it - sort of an eclectic style - I would suggest just from what we've done at the magazine [New England Homethat that kind of eclecticism and this kind of interpenetration of all these different eras and geographic influences and everything may end up being one of the defining stylistic characteristics of our time when people look back on it."

 l to r: B/A/D Talks speakers Kyle Hoepner, Kris Horiuchi, Jim Gauthier, and Marcus Gleysteen.

l to r: B/A/D Talks speakers Kyle Hoepner, Kris Horiuchi, Jim Gauthier, and Marcus Gleysteen.

And a few more thoughts from our great panelists...

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Marcus Gleysteen

SIX DESIGN PRINCIPLES

"...pay attention to six things, and they're not original to me, and these aren't in any particular order:"

  • Observing and responding to environment
  • Observing and responding to culture and context: who we are, who are our clients
  • Using materials responsibly (that's sort of a new one)
  • Pursuing excellence in execution
  • Excellence in function
  • Most importantly: Pursuing beauty and delight. I feel very strongly if you do that style is irrelevant because you're going to end up where you need to be.

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Jim Gauthier

SCALE / FUNCTION / BEAUTY

"I can only add scale to that. Constant thing we're thinking about is scale, but otherwise I think what Marcus said is constant in design work. Those elements have to be there. Function: huge. Function has to come first...The beauty of something to us - it's adding that unexpected thing, it's making you smile or making you just have a good feeling. It's about creating something that's lasting and timeless and that kind of transcends any sort of 'trend.' We don't use the word 'trend.' We don't use the word 'trend' in our office hardly, if ever, because we don't do trendy work.

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Marcus Gleysteen

STYLE, CONSTRAINT, AND THE UNIVERSE

"The [title] of this conversation was "Style: Connection or Constraint." Style becomes a constraint when it prevents you from taking full advantage of all the opportunites that surround you...I've mentioned before about client's wanting 10 foot by 10 foot lift and slide [windows and doors] that open up to the universe where they can commune with nature flawlessly. That to me is taking advantage of technology."

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Jim Gauthier

STYLE TREND: TAKING CARE OF THE EARTH

"They're going to look back at us a hundred years from now and say, 'Oh, this is when they really started to think about taking care of the earth and doing things more sustainable, and thinking green.' That's to me the trend that we're experiencing now the strongest. It's not about a color, a fabric, a material; it's about the whole concept. Style just goes right along with that, and I agree with Marcus that we just kind of use that and it's a great stepping stone to help us get to better environments that we're all living in."

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Kris Horiuchi

INTUITIVE ETHICS

"I think as a landscape architect - the nature of what we do - there's an ethic. And sustainability and thinking about being wise - that's just a part of what we do intuitively. I agree with you [fellow panelists] there's always the introduction of elements, of new things, and again I like to step back and say, 'Is it purposeful? How do we use this? How do we craft it well?' All the things that go into how the other people of the past approached technology or new things, we try to do now. Hopefully they're not aberrations, but yet they're woven into our work seamlessly."

 Good food, good drink, good company at B/A/D Talks.

Good food, good drink, good company at B/A/D Talks.

You can watch the video of this talk at www.badtalks.com. Event photos by Anastasia Sierra.

Something to Talk About: a year in review


As I began to contemplate the subject of this post, as we come upon the year's end, lyrics from a Bonnie Raitt song popped into mind, seemingly out of nowhere..."Let's give them something to talk about...how about love, love, love." Great lyrics...and what do they have to do with this post?

Well, as we enter a time that promotes peace and good will (hopefully), I'd have to say there's a wonderful spirit here at KR+H that's been cultivated over the years and seems to grow steadily.

 Maureen Simoes, KR+H's wonderful office manager

Maureen Simoes, KR+H's wonderful office manager

While our office manager, Maureen, keeps us all together efficiently and with one big unconditional hug, KR+H's group of talented people earnestly and enthusiastically engage in their work. We sometimes might be annoyed and have off days like everyone, but there is an overall atmosphere of caring about each other and a confidence about our work together. And this does seem to be a powerful equation for producing a heartfelt appreciation from people whose homes our design and craftsmanship enters.

Perhaps, too, a look back over this year's happenings support the lyrics "something to talk about."

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JANUARY was a great start with KR+H's Best of Boston 2013 award. Yay!

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In FEBRUARY, we talked with one of our wonderful customers and received inspiring and useful lessons on this passionate cook's careful and loving approach to the design and renovation of his small South End kitchen. See and Read more...

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In MARCH, three (3!!!) of Boston's home magazines published KR+H projects. As Paul Reidt's daughter Aliza says, "holy dog!" See and Read more...

March 2013 3 Magazines 3 KR+H Projects
March 2013 3 Magazines 3 KR+H Projects

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MAY showered us with two of our favorite events: The Newton Historic Annual House Tour, in which one of our favorite homeowners opened her door to show her family's loving restoration of their Victorian home that included a kitchen by KR+H. See and Read more... And another favorite event we love to support and attend was as great as ever: North Bennet Street School's Evening of Traditional Craft. See and Read more...

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Over the SUMMER, we brought KR+H to followers of Houzz and Pinterest. There's an element of delight in seeing our work displayed on these two sites and having people like or follow us.

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JULY produced a new and engaging book, Classic & Modern: Signature Style, that includes in its pages a home in which KR+H's custom cabinetry resides. This home has received national recognition for being a notable passive home. We love that it also reflects a sensitivity to the architecture and craftsmanship that sustains our every day lives. See and Read more...

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SEPTEMBER allowed our passion for our field of work to shine through in the first B/A/D Talks event that we co-produced with John Kilfoyle of United Marble Fabricators and Kyle Hoepner, editor-in-chief, New England Home. It's great to see the enthusiastic reception by our fellow colleagues who agree there is "something to talk about."See and Read more...

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In NOVEMBER we gave thanks to much, including a lovely article in New England Home magazine on another one of our favorite homes with a KR+H kitchen. This feature article was appropriately titled, "Storybook Ending." See and Read more...

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So it does feel like a year of something to talk about. And we would say it springs from our customers who bring us their talents and enthusiasm along with their great projects...and from the craftspeople at KR+H who are in love, love, love with the process of designing and making beautiful cabinetwork for people's homes.

Here's hoping the New Year brings all of us something to talkabout that enriches our lives and the lives of those around us.

B / A / D Talks: managing large residential projects


The first of the B / A / D Talks, "Managing Large Residential Projects," proved to be the engaging and conversational talk event that we had hoped for! (See also, A New Talk Series: B / A / D Talks.)

First of the b/a/d talks series at Club 342 Boston Design Center
First of the b/a/d talks series at Club 342 Boston Design Center

The Boston Design Center's 342 Club, designed by Marcus Gleysteen, MGA, provided an atmosphere that greatly supported the open and interesting dialogue among the presenters and those attending.

 Paul Reidt and John Kilfoyle

Paul Reidt and John Kilfoyle

KR+H's Paul Reidt (above photo) introduced the first B / A / D Talk and its presenters with John Kilfoyle of United Marble Fabricators standing nearby.

 Adolfo Perez, Manuel de Santaren, Jim Youngblood and Kyle Hoepner

Adolfo Perez, Manuel de Santaren, Jim Youngblood and Kyle Hoepner

Adolfo Perez, Adolfo Perez Architect; Manuel de Santaren, MDS, In., and Jim Youngblood, Youngblood Builders showed their fine skills of listening and offering thoughtful, intelligent responses, guided expertly by the exploring questions of B / A / D Talks moderator, Kyle Hoepner, Editor in Chief, New England Home.

 Stefano Efstratoudakis, far right

Stefano Efstratoudakis, far right

Stefano Efstratoudakis, Stefco Builders (above photo, far right) offered relevant insights and questions to the discussion.

 Marcus Gleysteen, second from right

Marcus Gleysteen, second from right

Architect Marcus Gleysteen, MGA, (above, second from right) also brought interesting and pertinent ideas to the discussion. Throughout the evening there was a wonderful give and take between the audience and the panelists.

 Adolfo Perez and Manuel de Santaren

Adolfo Perez and Manuel de Santaren

Manuel reflecting on a project experience with Adolfo (pictured above).

 B / A / D Talk presenters

B / A / D Talk presenters

B/ A / D Talks presenters agreed that successfully managing a large residential project greatly depended on excellent collaboration among the professionals involved.

 B / A / D Talks Moderator Kyle Hoepner

B / A / D Talks Moderator Kyle Hoepner

B/ A / D Talks moderator Kyle Hoepner (above photo) artfully and skillfully kept the conversation flowing. THANK YOU KYLE! 

www.badtalks.com

 

A New Talk Series: B / A / D Talks


This Thursday begins the first in a series of B / A / D Talks for builders, architects, and designers involved in residential architecture.

FOR THE FIRST TALK, "Managing Complex Projects," Moderator Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief, New England Homewill be joined by three panelists: Adolfo Perez, Adolfo Perez Architect; Jim Youngblood, Youngblood Builders; and Manuel de Santaren, MDS, Inc. Learn more at www.badtalks.com.

THE IDEA FOR B / A / D TALKS grew out of a simple observation that professional networking events contain a frustrating feature: participants often have to sacrifice complete conversations in order to maintain the quantity of connections offered by our large community of builders, architects, and designers. John Kilfoyle of United Marble Fabricators and Paul Reidt and Linda Kochman of KR+H developed B / A / D Talks to provide our community with a forum for shared interests and an opportunity to have full conversations in a non-commercial setting. We sought the skills of an editor and journalist to facilitate our topical conversations and Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief, New England Homekindly accepted the role of moderator of the B / A /D Talk Series.

B / A / D Talks logo and web design by Anna Kochman
B / A / D Talks logo and web design by Anna Kochman

North Bennet Street School's Evening of Traditional Craft


This year, North Bennet Street School's Evening of Traditional Craft was held Tuesday, May 14, at Two International Place.

It's a really wonderful, well-attended annual event and we were pleased to be a patron this year as in past years. Not only can you view the exceptional work by students and graduates of North Bennet Street School but also meet the artisans, ask them questions, and find out about their craftsmanship.

We also enjoy saying hello to homeowners we've worked with as well as professional colleagues. As Finley Perry, F. H. Perry Builders, said to us, "It's been fun finding more and more industry friends involved with the School. I think there's an important mission there."

 Aliza Reidt, Paul Reidt are in the first photo. The middle photo is Paul talking with Eric Hill of Booth Hill Construction. And last is a photo of Aliza and Paul with Allison (Haigh).

Aliza Reidt, Paul Reidt are in the first photo. The middle photo is Paul talking with Eric Hill of Booth Hill Construction. And last is a photo of Aliza and Paul with Allison (Haigh).

Congratulations to all involved in bringing about this truly worthwhile event!