House Lust: A Bright, Barn-Inspired Cottage in the Richmond Woods is on the Market

The hyper-efficient home was a labor of love for its architect.

Two decades ago and fresh out of Yale School of Architecture, Lindsay Suter built a house in the woods for his mom. It turns out, the place was a gift for Mother Nature, too.

“It was built as a sustainable house before sustainability was really popular,” says Christine Tanner of RE/MAX Flagship, who sold the land to the family twenty-five years ago and listed the property last week.

Efficiency and sustainability were both paramount in the design, from the radiant wood floors stuffed with pea gravel to the nine-inch structural insulated panel walls. (The two exceptions: a fieldstone fireplace and the soaring two-level great room, which were musts for mom.) All told, Suter served as architect, general contractor and, oftentimes, builder.

“Every door in the house is handmade,” says Tanner, citing salvaged wood sources — think: Douglas fir from reclaimed pickle barrels and redwood from old railroad trestles  — throughout the home, which won a sustainable design award from AIA Connecticut in 2002. “It’s a tremendously unique house. Wherever they could use recycled or sustainable elements, they did.”

The exterior is no exception. The driveway material, for example, is crushed blacktop from a demolished Route 95 off-ramp. Some of the fieldstone walls stood when they bought the land, but additional stones were sourced onsite for the foundation and fireplace. And, in nature’s purest form of recycling, deciduous trees cool the home with shade in the summer and, bare-branched, let in the light in winter.

The process, and the aesthetic, evoke a place in New England history when barn-raisings relied on materials on-hand with all hands on deck. Those structures were built to stand the test of time and, nestled into a hillside in the heart of six-and-a-half acres, this labor of love was, too.

Here’s your House Lust:

For more information on 95 Old Usequepaugh Rd. in Richmond, contact RE/MAX Flagship’s Christine Tanner at 401-789-2255 or visit


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