Harmony on the Hudson: The Olsen’s Timber Home Retreat Story

olsen-interiorTimber Home Living magazine documented the Olsen’s journey to building their family retreat in the Berkshires from 2014 to completion in 2016. What happens during a custom home building project? Starting with our design team join the story from the Olsen’s point of view as we craft the timber frame, enclosure, and custom woodworking. Click through each part of the eight part series below to get the inside scoop.

The Olsen’s story, and the Welcome Home Series, begins with the land…

Part 1: From Dream to Design
The Olsen’s begin designing their dream home on land they’d been spending vacation time visiting for 10 years. Harmony with the land and the family was a must.
view-from-olsenPart 2: Laying The Groundwork
Breaking ground – an exciting day, especially with a few last minute modifications.

groundbreaking-olsenPart 3: Built to Last
Our team raises the frame and the Olsen family watches their dream home take shape.
olsen-raisingPart 4: Worth the Wait
Weather delays…but not for long!
olsen-in-snowPart 5: Lessons Learned
Communication proves vital in the build process for sticking to the plan and modifying.
solar-array-olsenPart 6: Elements of Surprise
Nearing completion, creativity and flexibility lead to modified plans.
olsen-porchPart 7: The Big Finish
Mixed materials, including reclaimed wood, make a statement on the interior and exterior of the Olsen Home.
olsen-custom-cabinetry-reclaimed-floorPart 8: The Great Escape
“I definitely think we designed the right size house with the perfect layout,” says Greg Olsen.
olsen-porch-exteriorolsen-exterior-timber-frame-reclaimed-sidingOur notes:
When Greg and Dee approached us to craft their family’s timber frame retreat we knew it was going to be fun. Their philosophy fit with ours: they wanted to strike a balanced design, a home in harmony with the site that was as environmentally conscious as possible. Eliminating VOCs, incorporating reclaimed and organic materials, and a solar array were “must have” elements. Planning on large family gatherings and lots of cooks in the kitchen, there is ample party space with unobstructed southern views of the Catamount and Butternut Mountains. Screened and covered porches blur the line between interior and exterior spaces.

The resulting home celebrates a variety of reclaimed and storied wood: the timber frame is crafted from reclaimed Douglas fir; flooring is reclaimed Walnut on the upper level and reclaimed Teak on the lower level; wall paneling is reclaimed barn siding; reclaimed beech was used to create custom bed frames, night stands, and built-ins. Much of the cabinetry and built-ins, including the Ash kitchen cabinetry, was made by our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks. The kitchen island includes a “waterfall” of walnut as a prep/presentation area while the adjacent dining table seats up to twelve.

Case Study: Lakeside Charm on the Cliff

Years of dreaming and planning culminated in Tom and Maureen’s lakeside home. Situated on a steep slope, down a drive with several switchbacks, the site was both challenging and exciting to our construction group. Porches and decks welcome family and friends to enjoy lake views from outside, while reclaimed flooring from Pioneer Millworks and custom cabinetry by NEWwoodworks offer warm elegance inside. The design takes advantage of the site with large windows and walk-out lake access on the lower level.

Location: Naples, NY
Architect/Builder: New Energy Works
Size: 3,320 sq ft

View the entire case study here.


The porte cochère of Tom and Maureen’s home has become a popular gathering space during parties and large family functions.


Inside the home, the great room offers intimate volumes while capturing views of the trees and lake outside.


Crafted by NEWwoodworks, the cherry cabinetry will continue to deep in tone and character as it naturally ages.


New Home, Deep Roots

Rochester Magazine featured one of our local, reclaimed timber frame homes in a recent edition of the publication. This lakeside home is the second timber frame we’ve raised for a couple on Canandaigua Lake. It is crafted of reclaimed Douglas fir timbers sourced by Pioneer Millworks from the deconstructed 1930’s United Embroidery factory in New Jersey. The timbers were smooth finished and treated with oil to bring out the natural patina for a rustic, yet refined look. We recreated many of the details from the homeowners’ first home, including all interior doors, crafted from reclaimed wine vat stock. Other details include reclaimed oak flooring (also from Pioneer Millworks), a live edge island top, mantle/fireplace surround, custom built-ins for the great room and office, hand-crafted entry door, and bunk beds by NEWwoodworks.

Read their take on the project below.

Lecesse - Roc Magazine, Page 1 Lecesse - Roc Magazine, Page 2 Lecesse - Roc Magazine, Page 3 Lecesse - Roc Magazine, Page 4

The Tonic of Wildness – A Family’s Dream Home

Life in the Finger Lakes magazine featured one of our homes, designed and built in Honeoye Falls, New York for a young, growing family. Read the full article below:

First spread of pages of Life in the Finger Lakes timber frame home article.

With a focus on local, natural, and environmentally responsible materials, a young family’s dream home comes to life.


interior timber frame porch

Blurring the line between modern comforts and the great outdoors, porches and balconies are this family’s favorite spaces (especially enjoyed by the family canine, Molly).


interior timber frame staircase by new energy works

“From the white pine timbers to the beehive light fixtures, each element of the home reflects inspiration from nature,” explains Ty All of New Energy Works Timberframers.

timber frame home and barn in winter

timber frame kitchen by new energy works




Custom Crafted: NEWwoodworks Fine Woodworking

Earlier this year we talked about hardware that our our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks often uses. Today we’d like to share a bit more on the use of reclaimed wood by this talented group of craftsmen.

We like to say: if you can dream it, they can make it! Curving staircases that become gradually more narrow; displays with wooden double helix features; curved and arched doors; corner cabinets; end-cut tops; live edge steps, tops, stiles, and rails, to name a few – all crafted with reclaimed wood.

curved arched reclaimed oak doors

Crafted of reclaimed oak, these custom chapel doors are both arched and curved to match the curving exterior wall.

Reclaimed wood inherently has more character than fresh sawn, with ferrous staining, nail holes, deep patina, original saw marks, and high contrasting grain patterns. For our craftsmen access to Pioneer Millworks’ entire inventory of salvaged reclaimed and sustainable wood is no small advantage when searching for that one special board. Each antique board is hand selected and fitted for a one-of-a-kind creation.

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