Self-taught Designer Renovates 1820 Manor Home Into a Stunning Floating Farmhouse

Posted On Mon, October 20, 2014 By

Posted On Mon, October 20, 2014 By In Architecture, Green Design, Upstate

Former advertising copywriter and self-taught designer Tom Givone took on the difficult job of resuscitating a 200-year-old homestead nestled on the edge of the Catskill Mountains. The stunning Floating Farmhouse is the result of four years of experimentation with materials, a great location, and Givone’s magnificent taste and historically sensitive restoration. A perfect mix between the old and the very new, this stunning glazed home features a cantilevered porch that makes the farmhouse ‘float’ and reflect itself on the tranquil waters of a creek.

Tom Givone, Floating Farmhouse, farmhouse restoration, glazed facade, ,Catskill Mountains, manor house renovation

It was back in 2002 when Tom Givone bought this 1820 manor home. It was totally rundown and painted in an awful neon blue. But he fell in love with its vernacular design and amazing location, right at the edge of a pristine creek, with a waterfall cascading over an ancient dam of hand-laid stone. The renovation took him four years, but the result is totally amazing and all the effort worthwhile.

Tom Givone, Floating Farmhouse, farmhouse restoration, glazed facade, ,Catskill Mountains, manor house renovation

Givone’s Floating Farmhouse is a study in contrasts. It’s now fully restored to its period grandeur, but boasts a purely modernist aesthetic, with unique custom-made elements like a glass facade for the kitchen, polished concrete floors, minimalist interiors, and a cantilevered porch that makes the home ‘float‘ on the lake. The new design also incorporates as many local and salvaged materials as possible, such as hand-hewn barn beams, a Cor-Ten steel fireplace stack, antique cast-iron radiators, and woodwork milled from fifteen pine trees that once stood on the site.

Tom Givone, Floating Farmhouse, farmhouse restoration, glazed facade, ,Catskill Mountains, manor house renovation

The farmhouse extension and renovation pays homage to both the original structure and its surrounding landscape. It was made with a minimal environmental footprint, and all the materials where brought to the site using horses and a wagons. Building entirely by hand and with plenty of love, the self-taught designer managed to bring the old vernacular aesthetic into a stylish modern present.

Tom Givone, Floating Farmhouse, farmhouse restoration, glazed facade, ,Catskill Mountains, manor house renovation

Givone’s explains the philosophy behind his design and technique: “I peel back layers, expose what is inherent to the structure, and incorporate it into the final design; add by taking away.”

See more of Tom Givone’s amazing work here.

Photos courtesy of Mark MahaneyTommaso Fond and Michael Bloom

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Neighborhoods : Catskills

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