Over two decades ago, Charles Haver and Stewart Skolnick founded an international award-winning architectural firm. Since then, their projects include new homes, renovations and additions, and a full range of architectural design, interior design, and landscape architecture services—with many of their designs nodding to New England history while incorporating the modernity of the 21st century.
What inspired you both to become architects?
In my sophomore year in college I attended a “Semester at Sea” program. When you arrive in a country by ship the skyline is a very powerful and informative image. I knew then that I wanted to create architecture.
When I was five, my father would give me the cardboard from his laundered shirt each day so that I could draw a picture of a house for him. I’ve been drawing houses ever since.
How did you discover Litchfield County?
Thirty years ago, we went looking for a small weekend country house, not too far from NYC where we both worked full-time. We knew the first time we came to Litchfield County that it was a magical place that we hoped could someday be our home.
What do you love about Spring in Litchfield County?
There’s nothing more joyful than seeing “snow drops” pop up in early March. It means Winter is finally over!
What types of projects are your favorites?
Projects where we can get involved in every aspect: architecture, interiors, and certainly the landscape.
Can you describe your style?
“Connecticut Country Casual.” Our architectural designs respond to the historical Connecticut vernacular buildings, while still being comfortable, inviting and playful.
Where are most of your clients located?
The majority of our projects are in Litchfield County, often second homes for clients from New York, California, and Chicago. We also do projects within a two-hour radius, including Fairfield County, New York City, Upstate New York, and currently Fishers Island.
How is your firm different than others in the area?
We look at the totality of the property, not just the built form, but the entire site and all the natural landscape features. We don’t make a distinction between interior and exterior; the entire design has to flow and has to represent the client’s point of view.
Of the awards you’ve won, which means the most to you? Why?
The Palladio Award is a national award presented once a year for traditional design excellence. Projects from all over the country are submitted by a very distinguished group of Architects. We have been fortunate to receive this honor twice within the past few years.
Tell us about your antiques shop. How did it come about?
Charles has been collecting Americana since age ten, and as with many avid collectors opening a shop provided a perfect excuse for continuing to constantly search for unique treasures. Charles’ first shop was a tiny nook in Lakeville but now occupies the entire first floor of our restored barn, also home to our architectural studio.
What are some tips on designing a beautiful outdoor space?
We love to create gardens as an extension of the architecture, creating a series of “outdoor rooms,” linked together with meandering pathways, stone walls, pergolas and arbors. In designing exterior spaces, we always try to respond to both the expansive scale of the property while still creating intimate spaces and a sense of discovery.
Haver & Skolnick
3 Southbury Rd