I am a longtime fan of architect Gil Schafer, founder of G.P. Schafer Architecture & Design in New York City, a firm renowned for creating traditional architecture for modern life. With a proliferation of McMansions and generic white boxes popping up like weeds, Schafer’s love of classic houses is evident whether he is renovating a historic home or building historically accurate new old homes. “We try to find that balance between a sense of connectivity and the ability to maintain the character and soul of an old house,” said Schafer.
And that’s exactly how Schafer approached the design for this house in Middletown, New Jersey—where early Dutch colonists built homes that resembled the ones they left behind in Europe. Despite its large size (7,500 square feet), this Dutch Colonial has a subtle presence on its deep, narrow lot with a view of the Navesink River. For Schafer, character is key, and for this home he incorporated early 19th century-inspired architectural elements and millwork with rooms small enough to feel cozy.
Photography by Eric Piasecki and captions by Debra Steilen for the September 2017 issue of Traditional Home. Interior design by Libby Cameron and landscape architecture by Miranda Brooks Landscape Design.
If you share my passion for old homes or are considering building a “new old home,” I highly recommend Schafer’s book The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live Now. His second book, A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House will be released next month and is available now for preorder.