Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Award for Innovation in Design


Connecticut Cottages & Gardens has awarded Christopher Arelt, Nautilus Architects, for Innovation in Design. Chris’ award winning projects in Architecture and Kitchen Design are featured in the July and August 2012 issues of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens.

Details take this kitchen from good to great. Mortised chrome edge pulls leave the anigre drawer and door faces unblemished. These are contrasted with integral pulls carved into mahogany cabinetry. Clunky European hinges are replaced by elegant, smooth-working offset pivot hinges with invisible magnet catches embedded in the doors. Outside cabinet corners are mitered so there is no evidence of a door or drawer edge from any angle. A small reveal at wall bases, achieved using matte black plastic laminate, eliminates the need for applied baseboard, and indeed the interior is entirely “trimless.”


Constructed of steel, wood framing, and a structural insulated panel (SIPs) roof, the house stands three stories high, with living on the lower level, kids’ bedroom above, and open-plan master suite on top. All three floors of the 1,800sf structure have decks and panoramic lake/sunset views through aluminum-frame, storefront windows and sliding doors. By working around the tall, existing oaks, the feel is as much treehouse as lake house. The soft, green hue of the butterfly-shaped roof and deep brown of the Western Red Cedar shingles steer the bold shape into harmony with its surroundings. At the lower, living level, ipe is used as decking and flooring, thus blending interior and exterior. The thin profiles of the galvanized steel railings seem to disappear so the gaze travels out to the view. The modern kitchen features ash cabinetry and white concrete countertops, accented by polished chrome hardware and fixtures. At night, the Kiley House comes alive with uplighting set into the decks and balconies that illuminates the underside of the roof and bounces light off the white stucco eaves and ceilings to the interior. As such, a typical evening usually includes some Q&A with at least a few curious boaters.

Featured here on Connecticut Cottage & Gardens