Creativity And French Country Flair

The stately, French Country-style home welcomes guests through arched doorways.

Zoning requirements were the least of the dilemmas since the owners wanted their new home sited essentially in the same spot as the original so as to preserve the landscaping, trees and pool, as well as retaining walls and an existing guest cottage. Unlike many homeowners embarking on new construction, these clients wanted “to build only what they needed,” reports Sullenberger. “They didn’t want a lot of extra square footage.” The requisite two-story foyer and formal living room were not on the wish list and the couple with two sons asked for only four bedrooms. The result is a custom home with 5,500 square feet on the first and second floors, plus a three-car garage on the basement level.

An elegant cherry-paneled entry with rich walnut floors provides the perfect showcase for a striking photograph by Richard Avedon



The pool in the front yard fostered an innovative floor plan. A hallway extends across the front of the house, joined to a mud room/changing room that combines sophistication with utility to accommodate storage needs and guests coming in, dripping from a swim. An office is located to the left of the front door with a hallway and powder room separating it from the formal dining room.

 
 A clean-lined yet traditional kitchen flows into the casual dining area.

The family room, casual dining area and kitchen are integrated into one living space. French doors in the family room open out to a pergola at the far end of the house, which provides another access point to the front yard. From the dining area, more French doors lead to a screened porch. McHale Landscape Design was tapped to ensure that the existing landscape would blend with the new home. McHale’s plan called for adding features such as the front steps and refacing the brick retaining walls with stone to better complement the architecture.
The homeowner chose a light finish for the wood paneling and built-in cabinetry in his home office.



This active family with two large dogs is committed to living an orderly life, so an abundance of storage was essential. In addition, the couple has diametrically opposed style preferences; the husband leans toward the clean lines of modern furnishings while the wife prefers a more traditional approach. 

In the family room, comfortable yet sophisticated furnishings create an inviting conversation area.

Luckily, those style differences were not an issue in the master bedroom suite, where the couple agreed on a more contemporary look and hired Vincent Sagart of DC-based Poliform | Sagart Studio to create a sleek yet welcoming bedroom with dark wenge paneling and built-ins against coffee-colored walls. “They wanted a contemporary solution for a bedroom interior with traditional architecture,” says Sagart, who also designed a clean-lined dressing room with paneled built-ins to conceal clutter. Spacious his and hers baths were added by Sullenberger. 

In the bedroom, designer Vincent Sagart mounted a plasma TV on a wall of wenge paneling; the same paneling behind the bed balances the room.

Both the hallway and the family room boast dark, traditional moldings and cabinetry while the furnishings tend toward contemporary. In a reversal, the white kitchen leans toward the sleeker trends of today, but a farm sink, chandelier and hefty cabinet legs beneath the island buffer its modern attitude. Throughout the house, this counterplay of traditional and contemporary, rustic and refined, lends a subtle contrast to a neutral palette.

 A limestone fireplace architecturally defines the traditional dining room.

Exquisite walnut flooring, distressed to appear hand-planed then finished with tung oil, coordinates with cherry paneling and moldings that conceal the accoutrements of everyday living. These, along with coffered ceilings and rustic beams of reclaimed wood that have been refined and polished, create the bones of the house— “the interior architecture,” as Sullenberger notes. The stone fireplaces in the breakfast room, the family room and the porch echo a common form, yet each mantel is notable, from rustic to refined. 


The wife's bath, white with beige accents, is luxurious without being overdone.

Interior spaces were created with the clients’ outstanding photography collection in mind. Prior to the design, Sullenberger’s team measured several works—including a Richard Avedon piece now in the entry hall and three Murray Bognovitz photos on display in the hall near a powder room—then delineated and defined the art on the walls with moldings. Custom Design Concepts also designed some of the furnishings in the home, including the console table below the Avedon photograph, the storage shelf below the trio of Bognovitz photos and a desk in the family dining room.
 

No comments:

Post a Comment