Maybe not your dream house…
but how about now?
A couple weeks ago someone told me there was an article in Country Living about a Berkshire couple, Bobby Houston and Eric Shamie, who together created Hauswork Design, a firm that transforms old residences into vacation rentals.
Interestingly, I first got to know Bobby and Eric through John Gruen, the photographer for my soon-to-be-published book — Love Where You Live (out in September!). The home we feature in our book is their “permanent” Berkshire residence in Alford, MA. As it happens, John was also the photographer for the Country Living article (click here).
After reading the story I called Bobby to ask him if Auntie M and I could come for a visit to see this beautiful rental property (and their sometimes weekend home) in Southfield, MA in person. Even though the house is currently rented, Bobby kindly arranged for us to tour the house.
When I was first scouting for homes for our book, we looked for homes that had a personal aesthetic and reflected the book’s title — homeowners who clearly loved their homes, used their homes, cooked in their homes, found peace in their homes, read and entertained in their homes. When you have that combination of authentic living and genuine style, you have a home that is truly special. That is what Bobby and Eric have done–with all the homes they’ve created. And this lovely home in the woods with the sound of a rushing stream nearby is no exception.
It has a beautiful, clean, zen-like quality but also has warmth and soul. You could see the thought they put into every decision and detail. Clearly, renovating homes is an act of love for them…no wonder they turned their passion into a successful business.
Many of the materials and components are sourced from interesting places as well. The cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms, for example, come from Green Demolitions (an organization which supports sustainable building by recycling tax deductible donations of luxury appliances and fixtures, cabinets, etc. and selling them to builders and the public at deep discounts.)
In this amazing renovation they started with a one season summer camp comprised of a one bedroom ranch house, a shed and a garage…set in a beautiful location. I have to say, I think this transformation is extraordinary and the fact that Bobby and Eric design all of these renovations themselves — most of them detailed enough to use as a building plan — really speaks to their combined talent, thoughtfulness and creativity. Bravo gentlemen!