Kunihiko Matsui Architects

Designing extraordinary residential and commercial architecture since 1999


To Be Continued

Posted by Kunihiko Matsui on June 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

To Be Continued



When I met my clients, Jeff and Jackie at a Lackawanna Home Builder’s Show in 2007, they told me they had a project in mind for a while and were collecting information.

Jeff asked, “We have many ideas and we’re collecting pictures, etc., but we don’t exactly know what we should do. How can you help us?”

I told them my job is to reach into their heads and pull out their ideas, interpret them, and put them on paper so we can build a tangible plan. To this day, Jeff quotes what I told him.

A few weeks later, Jeff and Jackie invited me to see their existing house and discuss their project. They were in a quandary whether they should renovate and add to it, or tear it down and start from scratch. After they interviewed a few more architects, they called me to tell me I had their job, but when Jeff told me his brother “is going to build the house,” I thought this contractor is going to come in and just take over. That never happened. We established our boundaries and trusted each other and the result has been an outstanding relationship that has grown into a friendship built on mutual respect.

Fast forward nine years. Jeff and Jackie and I met yesterday to review our goals and determine what project we should complete next. Yes, after nine years, their 7,000 sq. ft. home is still in progress. One of the projects on our list is to complete a steam room downstairs. A driving force for this amenity was a steam room they experienced while they were at their annual getaway to Mirbeau Inn and Spa, an award-winning spa destination in Skaneateles NY. My wife and I also had an overnight stay at Mirbeau.

As Jeff and I discussed what needs to be done to finish the steam room, we recalled the aroma of eucalyptus and rosemary from our trips to Mirbeau and look forward to smelling that same welcoming therapeutic “greet you at the door” fragrance when their stream room project is completed. This serves as a reminder that architecture is not just form and function. It is also a sensual experience.

One of the must-have features I incorporated into their master bathroom design is a his-and-her vanity that will also serve as Jackie’s make-up table. Initially, they wanted a large wall-to-wall mirror, but when I suggested a sandblasted etched pattern on glass that simulated vanity cabinets, after some convincing, they were on board. Jeff and Jackie are thrilled with the results and their reactions to the finished piece shown below; put a smile on my face.

Jeff and Jackie’s project epitomizes the most ideal venture an architect can have and although their dream home is still a work in progress, our journey together continues.


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