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Modern New England Retreat
Country House by Thad Hayes in Westport, MA

Hayes was asked by a renowned landscape architect and his partner to design the interior for their weekend house in southeastern Massachusetts, sited on forty-two acres of meadows, wetlands, and low-lying woods, with a tidal river running through the property. The project was emotionally resonant for Hayes: the landscape was reminiscent of southern Louisiana, where he was born and spent his formative years with his client, who had been a college roommate and remained a close friend. The client, the architect, and Hayes were further united by their training and interest in landscape architecture; for all three, the site with its natural vistas dictated the approach and design. "It was just assumed that anything that distracted from the site would be inappropriate, distasteful, even vulgar," explains Hayes. "The house, interiors, and landscape had to be quiet, elegant, sensible, and, most important, posses an economy to the total design."

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Photography: Scott Frances