Architect Paul Harris Is Moving From Spec Homes to Bigger Projects Paul Harris gets worked up. He’s a man of enthusiasms: wine, films, the state of the Union. Meeting in the kitchen of his Weston home, he insists on standing, pacing back and forth behind the island, choosing his words carefully, like a younger, caffeinated version of John Houseman’s Professor Kingsfield in The Paper Chase (minus the patrician accent). “Obviously, you don’t go buy a $4 million piece of land and put a $2 million house on it,” he says. “You need to leverage the property.” The West Hartford native has set out to do just that with the two adjacent spec houses he’s built on Darien’s Brush Island, one listed at $7.25 million and its neighbor asking $7.75 million. The properties represent a new venture for Harris, but he’s no newcomer to the spec home business. Harris launched Westport-based Cole Harris Associates (Cole is his middle name) in 1991 and made his reputation designing substantial custom homes for private clients. In 2004 he built his first spec property, a five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot home on Near Water Lane in Darien, which sold for the asking price of $1.35 million in just four days. Christening his new venture Archetype, he bought another parcel, razed the existing house, and hasn’t looked back. He recently acquired three lots, part of a six-acre estate on Old Farm Road in Darien’s Tokeneke enclave. Read More Empty Entry: The Making of an Entryway By Tori McBrien McBrien Interiors I’ve always found it funny when people say to me, “Your home must be amazing!” It seems to be a common misconception that an interior designer’s home is as perfect as his/her clients’. Well, when it comes to my home, that hasn’t been the case, at least not yet. My husband and I bought our first house and spent years renovating and designing it, turning it into the home we wanted. It took us four years just to finish our basement due not only to our penchant for perfectionism (we’ve both been cursed with the affliction) but also because we have busy work schedules and decided to start our family during the process. It was the addition of those two beautiful kids that nudged us out of the recently perfected home we had created. So, this past summer, with a little reluctance to leave after seven years of blood, sweat and tears, we sold it to move into a new house which we hope will be our “forever home.” This new house is one that needs a major overhaul. Yes, the bones are great, the property is fantastic and it is nestled in a great neighborhood within walking distance to the local elementary school. Many visiting our house would think, “This is amazing. There’s no need to renovate.” However, the layout and flow are….let’s just say interesting. Read More Image credit: Jane Beiles Don’t Miss! - Stephanie Rapp’s amazing work including original ”An Emperor’s View” profiled in the pages of @ athomefc magazine’s May/June Color issue! JANUARY 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 13

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