Architect Rick Cook Designed a Home for His Family—Then Discovered Someone Had Done It Better

A ’70s residence in upstate New York by Charles P. Winter gave Cook and his wife the perfect starting point for a sensitive 20-year renovation.

In 2000, after being urged by a friend to look at homes in Snedens Landing, a neighborhood in the hamlet of Palisades, New York, that’s filled with historic residences, architect Rick Cook and his wife, Ellen, toured a four-bedroom built in the early 1970s. The exterior wasn’t especially intriguing, but then they stepped inside. "I was like, Oh my goodness, this looks like what Rick designed," says Ellen. Rick had made a similar sketch when dreaming up his ideal home, though there were a few differences in the real building. "I really liked the way the proportions were tighter in the foyer and then opened up in the living room, where you get views of the woods," he says.

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