How two old oak trees inspired a home's design as appeared in Newsday April 18, 2018
By James Kindall, as appeared on Newsday.com April 18, 2018. View the original article here.
In 2006, Helena Flecker and her husband, Jason Grossman, were renovating their dream home — a Lloyd Harbor midcentury they dubbed “The Tree House” — and were told the two beloved 100-year-old oaks framing it had deteriorated to the point they had to come down.
It was heartbreaking for Flecker, 48, a designer and ardent environmentalist who wanted to maintain as much of the natural surroundings as possible. Then it hit her. The oaks could go, as long as their wood was used in their home. It would be like the Shel Silverstein’s story “The Giving Tree,” she thought, about a tree that sacrifices itself for a little boy as he grows up.
“By the time we were through,’’ she says of the oaks, “parts of them ended up everywhere.
Appreciating nature and incorporating it into her work has long been a major part of Flecker’s philosophy as the founder of HFG Design. A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and a former teacher at the Parsons School of Design, she has worked on everything from corporate offices on Wall Street to homes throughout the country, all while promoting an ecological awareness.