Residence Redux: Reaping the harvest
Bilowz was involved at a very early stage of the overall process, and that seat at the table has influenced the rest of his efforts. Builder Ralph Cataldo, principal of Cataldo Custom Builders in Falmouth, assembled his project manager Peter Sarkinen, architect Denise Bonoli, engineer Tim Santos from Holmes and McGrath, both in Falmouth, along with Bilowz to determine key decisions as they related to how the home would be sited on this special lot.
Most homes are 24 inches above grade requiring at least a couple of steps to transition from the house to the yard. Deliberate efforts expended by Cataldo and the team allowed the architectural plans to set the floor joists into the foundation, thereby making the home only 8 inches, or one step off the exterior grade. The result is a sublimely casual transition between the inside and the outside. That kind of attention to detail, a commitment Cataldo makes to his clients, is what sets this project apart from others. Bilowz sums it up when he explains, “The expansive deck off the back of the house doesn’t feel like a barrier. Instead it facilitates movement from the house, over the decking areas and easily to the natural landscape.”
The front of the house also benefits from careful consideration. “My wife Judy was a city girl,” Laverty says. “She grew up sitting on the front porch and interacting with the neighbors as they walked down the street. This house has been so well conceived—that is exactly what we do.” Bilowz says, “The front porch of the home is just one of many ‘rooms’ that we have created throughout the property. It softens the approach from the expansive driveway and parking area so people feel welcomed.” Framing the entrance of the driveway are two Rosa meiggili ‘Coral Drift,’ one of the many varieties of roses throughout the property. The soft peach clusters of blooms, punctuated by a profusion of day lilies, encourage friends and neighbors to stop by and catch up. “Charlie loves the whole process of choosing the various plants,” Bilowz says as he recounts stories of Charlie boasting about exactly how many one-gallon pots he can fit into his car after a visit to the local garden center. Bilowz says that when he presented Laverty with the 1,000-specimen plant list, Laverty quickly said, “Double it.”
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