County Lines Magazine
Friday, 31 October 2014 04:28

The Crockett House in Olde Bulltown Village

‘Tis a gift to be simple …


Crockett HouseIf your dream home tends toward images of simplicity, serenity and ease, the homes of Olde Bulltown Village—nestled in a quiet corner of northern Chester County just outside Elverson—may just fulfill that dream. And a prime example of the charm of this community is the Crockett House, which captures the feel of indigenous 18th-century Pennsylvania architecture, yet offers a full range of 21st-century amenities, including views of the championship 18-hole French Creek golf course.

Both a step back in time and step forward in green design, this newly con­structed period home mixes traditional charm with modern conveniences. It actually delivers on the promise of the best of old and new. The Crockett House is the embodiment of simple, low-main­tenance living, in a small community that’s pastoral yet convenient to the Main Line, Philadelphia and Chester County.

For stress-free, turn-key living—where the homeowner’s association takes care of lawn-mowing, snow-plowing and other maintenance—the community of Olde Bulltown Village offers more than peace of mind and sweet dreams.

About Olde Bulltown

Yes, there really was a Bulltown—founded in 1780 by Thomas Bull after his retirement from nearby Warwick Furnace on land purchased from his employers, Samuel Potts and Thomas Rutter. Another part of the Bull fam­ily’s legacy was Thomas serving as Lieu­tenant Colonel under General George Washington and grandson Thomas also serving, much later, in the Civil War.

The early commercial center of Bull­town was an 18th-century village—with a blacksmith/carriage house, grist mill, country store and other buildings. Resi­dential adaptations of these buildings form the core and create the atmosphere of today’s Olde Bulltown community.

Bull Mansion, or Mount Pleasant, was the Bull family home for many genera­tions. The home boasted 18th-century appointments—paneled and wainscoted interior walls, window seats, built-in cup­boards—as well as features unique in the country at the time: a Dutch door and open beamed ceiling in the kitchen. Res­toration of the home and adjacent barn returned them to their former beauty, and the mansion serves as inspiration for the design of Olde Bulltown homes.

The Crockett House

Capturing the timeless 18th-century design of all the homes in Olde Bull­town, the Crockett House displays classic proportions and harmony with the landscape—its site-specific location maximizes both country views and pri­vacy. Constructed of brick and clapboard, consistent with other homes, this three-bedroom, three-plus bath, two-car-garage home is an accurate reproduction design, showing varied rooflines and what looks like additions that were typically added to a home over time.

The home’s centerpiece is the spacious great room, with exposed, rough-hewn hemlock beams and high, planked wood ceiling. The kitchen offers modern con­veniences yet hides them within custom-distressed cherry cabinets and includes accents like soapstone sink and counters and a centuries-old oak bar top radiating historic patina.

An adjacent dining area, with a Rums­ford fireplace, has French doors to the covered porch, where a complete outdoor kitchen with built-in grill awaits for cook­outs overlooking the golf course and views of French Creek State Park in the distance. The main level also includes a foyer with powder room, plus mudroom and conve­nient laundry room.

With the second of three fireplaces, a bright living room is right-sized, as are the other rooms of this energy efficient, com­fortable home where “smaller can be better” is evident. Quarter-sawn oak wood floors that run throughout the first floor seam­lessly connect the living room to the master suite, with its walk-in closet and built-ins, plus a gracious master bath with marble vanity and copper-tiled shower. One-floor living at its best.

Angles, chamfered corners, bead-board cabinets and similar details reflect the crafts­manship that gives the home’s interior its timeless, traditional feel, and come together to create a second-floor guest room that is as unique as it is inviting.

Crockett HouseA large family room, home office or third bedroom and third fireplace are just part of what the lower level, with its walk-out to a patio, can hold. Storage, the mechanicals and a substantial unfinished space—for a home gym, media room, au pair bed­room—are tucked into this level.

Sustainable by Design

For Olde Bulltown, green means more than the pastoral location, lush fairways and country views. For example, the geothermal heating and cooling systems are designed to be green, comfortable and efficient. Waste water is treated and used to irrigate French Creek Golf Club, also keeping it green and “green.” Building materials used to create the historical details of the homes are recy­cled from original 18th- and 19th-century buildings, along with authentic Chester County fieldstone from local farmlands gathered by farmers centuries ago.

This vision helps make life at Olde Bull­town Village naturally green, serene and as it should be.


The three-bedroom, three+-bathroom, brick and cedar siding Crockett House overlooking the 11th fairway of the French Creek Golf Club is offered at $1,190,000. Other models of single homes are available to be customized to the owners’ personal specifications. For more information, contact Merle Stoltzfus, Stoltzfus Enterprises, 610-656-6923, or learn more at OldeBulltown.com.

Published in Home of the Month
Friday, 01 November 2013 00:00

Waterford Farm

An Equestrian Eden in Upper Oxford Township

The southern tip of Chester County is a pastoral oasis of rolling hills dotted with both Amish and modern farms mixed with large equestrian properties—horse boarding and training facilities, polo fields (Brandywine Polo Club’s home is on Polo Road in Toughkenamon), and private equestrian homesteads. This is a fitting setting for Waterford Farm, a 70-acre sanctuary near Oxford along Muddy Run Creek and a comfortable home for a family to enjoy the best of an equestrian lifestyle.

Waterford Farm boasts the privacy that would make this a perfect weekend retreat as well as a peaceful family home. Set in Andrews Bridge Hunt Country, this property is an ideal location for anyone interested in the area’s long tradition of foxhunting and its growing popularity among equestrian fans of three-day eventing (a kind of triathlon for horses combining dressage, cross country and stadium jumping).

Proximity to Fair Hill, Maryland, with its October eventing competition, and Plantation Field in nearby Unionville, which hosted a major eventing weekend mid-September, helps explain why this area is becoming a hub for eventing enthusiasts. Waterford Farm offers the complete complement of facilities for eventing training, in addition to all the amenities needed for gracious country living.

Main House
    The main residence dates back to 1780, with the stucco-over-stone original building providing a sense of history. Original random-width oak floorboards and period details add charm to the interior, which has been expanded and updated, most recently at the turn of this century by James Palita builders. Modern amenities have created a comfortable five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath contemporary home. Yet the views from the front porch across the lush fields have changed little over the past centuries.

These views can also be enjoyed through floor-to-ceiling windows in the large, south-facing living room—a perfect place to sit by the fire and watch the change of seasons. Cherry paneling and warm wood floors blend the old and new in this part of the addition to the original home.

Perhaps the most popular gathering space is the newly added modern kitchen and great room on the back of the house. The timeless design by Waterbury Kitchen & Bath makes this space functional as well as inviting. Custom cabinets, soapstone counters and double sinks, plus top-of-the-line appliances are accented by exposed beams, a wagon-wheel pot rack, and hand-painted backsplash depicting the property—complete with images of the family dogs.

Flowing from the open kitchen is the large dining space, a natural magnet for family gatherings and the perfect spot for a welcoming farm table. Dinners for the immediate family, extended family or large groups could easily be accommodated in this inviting space, accented by a wood-burning stove.

More exposed beams cross the ceiling of the adjacent den, which boasts reclaimed wood paneling from a barn. Another fireplace makes this a cozy retreat. A mudroom— complete with dog-washing tub—pantry, first-floor laundry, foyer and powder room round out this level.

The kitchen-dining-den area overlooks and opens to the stunning pool area. Nestled into a hill topped with mature trees and surrounded by a magnificent wall of flat stones, the pool, hot tub and built-in gas grill make the most of this private backyard setting. Overlooking this tranquil space is a one-bedroom pool house, which could also function as a home office or studio.

Upper Floors
Above the living room, and sharing the same southern views, is the master bedroom and adjacent spacious sitting/dressing room with ample built-ins. The large master bath has a Jacuzzi tub and overlooks the pool.

At the opposite end of the second level is a lovely guest room, with private entrance through French doors, a deck and access to the pool area. Also on this floor are a sitting area, second-floor laundry, two additional bedrooms with two baths, and a large family/game room, currently home to a full-size pool table.

The third-floor attic area has two large rooms: a children’s bedroom beneath the eaves—full of angles and hiding places—and a light-filled office with views in three directions.

Horse Heaven
One of the most striking features on the property is the large bank barn, renovated in 2005, housing 12 spotless stalls, a wash stall and tack room. A large central area with rubber brick mats allows space for walking horses to cool them down. The huge space above, currently used for hay storage, could easily be converted into a party barn with limitless entertainment space.

As befits a property that was once home to racehorses and foxhunting—Cary Jackson was a prior owner—there are more equestrian amenities. For eventing training dear to the hearts of current owners Luke and Sarah Allen, you’ll find a covered automatic walking ring, outdoor sand ring, dressage ring, plus fences set for cross-country jumping, and fenced paddocks.

Even the large pond, suitable for boating and marked with a gazebo on a small island, has been designed to allow the horses to swim.

Waterford Farm offers unparalleled privacy in a distinctive property. ♦

This property is available in two tax parcels: 71+ acres with two tenant homes, or 56+ acres with one tenant home, for $2,450,000 or $1,950,000, respectively.  For more information, contact Bunny Meister, James A. Cochrane Inc. Realtor, 610-793-1219 or 610-469-6100; CochraneInc.com.

Published in Home of the Month
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 00:00

Country Living

Country Living At its Best

With 18 acres, a pond and stream, this updated, historic farmhouse provides the perfect setting for a country lifestyle. 

     Little Washington Road, you’ll turn on to the long driveway winding uphill to the original 1780 farmhouse built by the owners of a large parcel of land in this northern corner of Chester County near Marsh Creek State Park. The approach provides a fitting transition to this bucolic setting, as you pass over Culbertson Run—which joins Brandywine Creek—past the pond big enough for swimming, beyond fruit trees, mature hardwoods and evergreens, an old root cellar and ruins of a grist mill, then up to the main house. It’s not surprising to learn that a covered bridge—Larkin Bridge—once stood nearby.

    

Originally a classic two-over-two stone farmhouse (two rooms on each of two floors), the home has grown through additions—in the 1940s, 2004 and 2006—that have preserved the feel of a charming farmhouse yet updated the home for the 21st century.

To read about this beautiful home, subscribe now.

Find out where you can get a free copy of County Lines, here.

 


Published in Home of the Month
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 00:00

Radnor Hunt Family Home

  Just a mile as the crow flies from Radnor Hunt, on winding White Horse Road, sits a charming custom-built Belber Colonial that has been home to only two families in its 50-plus years. This distinctive Willistown Township neighborhood boasts an abundance of conserved open space and farms—Kirkwood Preserve is down the road on which you’ll pass alpacas, ponies and belted Galloway cattle.      

  A quiet corner of Chester County mixes horse country ambiance with easy access to the Main Line, Center City (on the R5 train), and distant points via new access to the turnpike.

  Pony Clubbing, beagling or fox hunting are popular in a neighborhood with streets named Rabbit Run and Fox Chase. Watching visiting bald eagles, returning pairs of geese or a strolling fox adds to the appeal of this 2.5-acre property bordered by Crum Creek and surrounded by larger parcels of land, including a 250-acre homestead, Rockhill Estate, to the north.

 

Belber-Built Family Home
  Since 1939, Belber Builders has been known for quality construction of custom homes and craftsmanship in the details—hand-forged reproduction hardware, old paving bricks—producing the solid feel of buildings that last for centuries. The stucco-over-stone exterior in the hoof-print style (a few stones peek through the stucco), lets this Home of the Month blend into its environment.

  The appeal of a classic Colonial family home is timeless. With five bedrooms, three full and two half-baths, formal living and dining rooms, library, family room, home office, breakfast room, screened porch, patio and unfinished attic, there’s all the room that’s needed for a growing family, plus a little extra for future needs. And the combination of classic details, such as bountiful built-ins and four fireplaces with thoughtful upgrades of a modern kitchen and sun room/breakfast room, make the home move-in ready for its next family.

 

The Tour
  Approaching on the flagstone walkway, past mature rhododendrons and climbing wisteria framing the side porch, you’ll find a solid wood-paneled door opening to a gracious foyer and convenient powder room. Here begin the random-width hardwood floors that run through most of the first floor. These beautiful floors have been waxed—not polyurethaned—for a warm patina.

  Catching the afternoon sun and views of Crum Creek, the cozy wood-paneled library off the foyer is anchored by a deep fireplace with brick pavers and a distinctive coat-of-arms fireback, as unique as it is functional. Built-in bookshelves and cabinets make this space useful as well as a quiet refuge for an afternoon sherry by the fire.

  The spacious living room, centered around another large, working fireplace, has views of Crum Creek and, when the windows are open, enjoys background burbling from the creek. A wall of built-in shelves provides the perfect space to showcase collections, now featuring the owners’ 40-some teapots. Classic moldings and wainscoting details abound, including built-in bookshelves by the fireplace.  A folding door separates the living from dining room, allowing the table to be set and cleared in private.

  The dining room’s wall of display shelves, mirroring those in the living room, and cabinets for linen and other storage, make it a well-appointed space conveniently located between the kitchen and screened back porch. Features of the porch include old-paver brick floor, carriage-style lamps, and beamed ceilings updated with skylights that bring light into this airy creek-side space leading to the patio. Views from the patio take in a magnificent 60-plus-foot tulip poplar, sugar maple, a pear tree (the owners are named Partridge, so …), and a special tree with a beloved rope swing for crossing the creek.

  With their sunny southern exposure, the county kitchen, hearth room and newer breakfast room are natural gathering spaces year-round. The kitchen renovation was hands-on by the owners, to preserve details like the Villeroy & Bosch tiles, recycled wood, and old paver brick floor and to add features like a granite island and updated appliances. The cozy adjacent hearth room has an oversized fireplace, with old cooking arm, a perfect spot for tea. The breakfast room has seven Pella Architectural Series Windows, creating a circle of sunlight year round.

  A back hall, laundry room (with laundry chute from the second-floor), powder room and multi-purpose mudroom/gym complete the lower level. There’s access to the lower level and partial basement, back stairs to the family room, pull-down access to the attic, and entry to the over-sized garage (with room for two work benches) and adjacent storage room. Outside, a detached Quaker shed with room for two cars, plus storage for a wood pile, garden tools provides more space.

 

Second Floor
  Five distinctive bedrooms and three baths fill the second floor. Although spacious, the master bedroom, with fireplace, ample closets and master bath with large Jacuzzi tub, could easily be expanded into the adjacent bedroom to create a stunning suite.  Special details, like Sanderson English Rose wallpaper, built-ins or creek-views, make each bedroom unique. The layout allows privacy, with one bedroom perfectly situated for an au pair.

  Above the garage is the large family room—once a playroom, now perfect for a media and music room (the piano stays). A convenient game closet and captain-style office (compact space with everything within arm’s reach) with a view of Crum Creek add to the space.

 

Crum Creek
  The sounds and views of Crum Creek make this property an oasis, nature sanctuary and perfect spot for a family home. 

 

This special Willistown property is offered at $1,195,000 by Prudential Fox & Roach/Devon/Fine Homes, 610-651-2700. For information, contact Missy Schwartz, 610-888-3349, Website.

 

Published in Home of the Month
Monday, 01 April 2013 00:00

Simplify, Simplify.

 With its crisp white structure echoing the iconic design of a classic Chester County farmhouse, this sleek contemporary offers many surprises. The architect-designed transformation is far closer to a shelter magazine stunner—feel the Dwell Magazine vibe—than the original 1950s ranch-style house that was its foundation.

  Just a glance around the main living space makes clear why the owners hope to replicate this same look and feel when they relocate to the West Coast. Lucky new owners can reap the benefits of the meticulous care taken in creating this family home—from details like the welcoming tangerine front door (painted the 2012 Pantone color of the year) to the walls of white lacquered closets that keep life’s details in their place.

Life Made Easy
Begin in a quiet, family neighborhood with a country feel in the Chadds Ford/Unionville School District. Choose a location just minutes from major highways for easy commuting to Philadelphia, Wilmington and other points. Design a home with quality construction, high-end and “green” materials that’s easy to care for, inside and out. And then have the owner/designer pick the details for his dream home.

  This livable home has what modern families need, in its five bedrooms, three full and one half baths, with in-law suite and four car garages on over an acre of level land.

  The main living space flows from the open, sun-filled great room through the dining area with gas fireplace and uninterrupted to the spacious kitchen. There are no formal living or dining rooms collecting dust until the holidays, no walls to prevent adding tables for large family gatherings or major entertaining. Instead, the space is open and flexible, with walls of windows on one side and walls of cabinets on the other so only what’s needed is in view and all else is easily stored.

  Even the magnificent open kitchen, anchored by an 80-square-foot counter, was designed for ease. The professional-grade double refrigerator, two dishwashers, coffee station and massive amount of built-in storage make cooking a pleasure.

  Design and materials work to minimize maintenance and maximize simple living and efficiency. Radiant heating is comfortable, energy efficient and eliminates radiators and vents. A metal roof gives 50 years of life. Other eco-friendly choices include James Hardie plank siding, Azek trim material, Timber Tech deck, and hardwood and polished concrete interior flooring. Added insulation, high-end energy efficient windows and multiple heating and cooling zones keep energy costs in check.

  White walls add brightness as painted accent walls add a pop of color for interest. Here is space that’s clean and uncluttered, a perfect respite at the end of a hectic, stressful day.

 

Master Suite
  Above the great room is the private master suite, separate from the open, communal space below. Four panels of floor-to-ceiling windows flood the suite with light (more windows on two other sides) and provide a view over the rear deck and property. The simple design downstairs continues in this bedroom and adjacent dressing area, where 14 white lacquered doors enclose the closets (several closets hide enough custom shoe racks to satisfy Carrie Bradshaw).

  A pristine master bath continues the clean design, with white tile and gray floor. High-end Grohe fixtures look like sculpture in a gallery  setting. An oversized German-made Duravit whirlpool bathtub, inspired by the owners’ honeymoon, propels bubbles up from the bottom surface for a soothing soak.

 

Kids Wing and More
  Just a hint of the prior home remains in the kids’ wing that’s off the kitchen. There, you’ll find a child’s bedroom, playroom, guest room, completely updated bath and more storage.

  Off the opposite side of the kitchen is a well-designed laundry room with built-in appliances, all crafted by Chester County Custom Woodworking & Remodeling, which did the major construction on the renovation. A large, dry, unfinished basement remains to be transformed into a home gym, media room, or other space.

 

Separate Suite
  Currently used as an in-law suite with a separate entrance that can be closed off from the rest of the home, a second-floor suite includes a living and dining area, kitchen with full-sized appliances, bedroom and full bath, with grab bars and shower seat. Filled with light from windows on three sides, the living room would charm any guests or an au pair with the view. The oversized picture window suggests other uses—studio space or the best home office. Well-designed space is always flexible.

  Spring is a time for new beginnings. Consider beginning a simple life in a thoughtfully crafted setting in southern Chester County.

 

Offered at $845,000 by the Kit Anstey Real Estate Team at Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors. For more information, contact Kit Anstey, 610-836-2348; Email.

 

Published in Home of the Month
Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

Holly Hill

A stately Georgian manor house has been lovingly coaxed into the 21st century.

In a hilltop setting as bucolic as its name, Holly Hill is a masterfully restored grand stone manor house in what was once part of Longwood Gardens. The owners’ plan: “To have people walk in and think nothing has been changed, while everything has been updated.”

  Originally built in 1930 for Pierre du Pont’s close friend, horticulturalist Malcolm Farquar, the home is surrounded by almost six acres of manicured grounds highlighted by specimen plantings similar to Longwood’s heirloom plants. A towering five-story American holly accents the front of this gracious home.


Three Families, Eighty Years

  Holly Hill has been home to only three families in its over 80 years: the current owners being stewards of the 17-year renovation project to transform the elegant mansion into a comfortable family home with 21st-century amenities. Conceiving of their role as “caretakers of this special home, until its next owners come,” the owners relied on “the home’s good bones,” as they restored, expanded and upgraded to create six-bedrooms, five full and two half-baths on four levels and ten thousand square feet of comfortable, sun-filled space.

  Respecting the “right-size” proportions of the original living, dining and bedrooms, while updating with spacious new kitchen, family room, great room, guest wing and gym, the renovation incorporated key architectural features and details of the original design. Archways that grace the transitions between the living and dining rooms are repeated throughout the home—in the family room, great room windows and elsewhere, adding charm and character. Crown moldings have been repaired and replicated in new spaces, with meticulous craftsmanship by Jeff Knudsen Designs.

  This sparkling gem of a house is a fitting showplace for the owners’ extensive collection of contemporary art that fills the space with color and life.


Original Space

  As befits the symmetry of a classic Georgian home, the entrance to Holly Hill is through a grand central hall, opening at the back of the home to stunning views of the property, punctuated by original sculpture. To the right, through the archway, is a sun-filled living room, anchored by one of five fireplaces and boasting windows on three sides. A south-facing solarium expands the brightness.

  To the left, Mr. Farquar’s original study has been updated with tiger-maple built-ins and magnificent crown moldings. Past the central staircase is an archway to the large formal dining room, with arches repeated in the built-in china cabinet and door to the addition.


Modern Life in the Addition

  The arch theme is immediately in evidence with a wall of arched windows in the new family room, bringing light and views of the property into this heart of the home. Window seats, built-in bookcases, gas fireplace and a TV that disappears below floor level are details that create a comfortable gathering space.

  Overlooking the family room is the gourmet chef’s kitchen, with distinctive granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and exquisite custom tiger-maple cabinets. The open flow from family room to kitchen is classic modern living. A spacious butler’s pantry, with wine cooler and original glass-front cabinets, is bigger than many kitchens, maximizing entertaining and storage, functions that have been thoughtfully integrated throughout the home. A convenient mudroom from the front drive connects the kitchen and great room.

  For more family time, the renovated great room (formerly a three bay garage, reflected in the three arched windows) provides additional space for relaxing and entertaining. A built-in custom fridge-and-freezer combination are hidden by paneling.


Lower Level

  Ease in entertaining continues with the lower level’s preservation of the original kitchen fixtures, creating a prep kitchen convenient for caterers and parties. Just steps away are two—yes, two—walk-in, climate-controlled wine cellars housing a collection better than many local State Stores!

  A large, open, carpeted playroom with a wall of built-ins and cozy equestrian themed den with original stone fireplace and wet bar are at the opposite end of the lower level.  Both have ample natural light from well-placed windows. A laundry area, pantry, more storage and the modern systems room (for the amenities) complete the space.


Upper Floors

  Taking the elevator to the second floor means missing the elegant staircase and spacious landings. The sanctuary of the master suite is at one end of the hall, above the living room and mirrors the three-sides of windows and fireplace layout. A dressing room, walk-in closets and mahogany and marble custom bath add luxury.

  Well-proportioned bedrooms with custom details and baths are perfect for a family. A large second-floor epi wood deck, with custom Chippendale railings, was constructed above the new family room as outdoor space.

  Above the great room is another private wing with two more bedrooms, full bath and more storage.

  The plush carpeted third floor is currently used as a gym. A walk-in cedar closet and more open storage are found at either end of this luxurious level.


Grounds

  The grounds continue the gracious-living theme, with a landscaped stone swimming pool, with hot tub, bocce ball court, with viewing terrace, and out buildings.  The four-car garage has enough storage space to add an apartment or separate office. And a former stone springhouse is now a Terrain-style garden shed, as befits the property’s Longwood legacy.

Holly Hill is offered by Country Properties, Prudential, Fox & Roach. Contact Georgianna  Stapleton (610-322-0833), Cindy Orr Van Putten  (610-864-3096), Amy McKenna (610-470-7138); TheCountryProperties.com.

 

Published in Home of the Month
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 00:00

Rushton

Atop one of the highest points in Willistown Township, sits Rushton, a premier country property in our area. This magnificent Georgian manor house was named after 15th-century Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire, England, a distinguished estate frequented by Charles Dickens and the inspiration for his Haversham Hall.

  Built in 1933 by Atwater Kent, a prominent Philadelphia inventor and radio manufacturer, as a wedding gift for his daughter who was starting married life in Chester County, this grand estate has been home to only two families in 80 years. Another measure of this legacy property: the land on which Rushton sits has had just four owners since William Penn.


Heritage of Conservation

  Originally comprised of 180 prime acres of gently rolling hills, Rushton was one of the first local properties to go under conservation easement. Fortunately, surrounding properties, including neighboring Rushton Farm, the centerpiece of the Willistown Conservation Trust, followed and are now also under conservation easements, thus ensuring privacy and tranquility are protected in perpetuity.

  Now a manageable 25-acre estate, Rushton’s sunrise views from the east porch and master suite can never be changed or obstructed. Set on an east-west axis, the home’s broad southern exposure ensures afternoon light will continue to illuminate the big sky vistas from living room, dining room, library, family room, and bedrooms.


Historic Renovation

  When the current owner bought the property in 1994, he commissioned renowned restoration architect John Milner to undertake a thorough updating to modernize the home, while respecting its unique character. Exterior features were enhanced, such as adding the distinctive two-story portico on the south elevation.

  And interiors were modernized throughout. An industrial-style kitchen used mainly by household staff became a family-friendly gourmet chef’s delight. Internal systems were also completely updated during this top-to-bottom renovation.

  Combining Milner’s unerring sensibility and impeccable eye for detail with interior designer Bunny Williams’ classic style, the result was simply stunning. From the three-story entry to the folding pocket-style doors, every aspect of this seven-bedroom, seven-full-two-half-bathroom home is perfectly elegant, and yet a livable home in which to entertain and raise a family.


Arrival and First Floor

  The gentle curve of the driveway allows the view of Rushton to unfold as you drive past the Audubon Woods and approach the top of the hill to the artful symmetry of the Georgian façade. Grand and stately, with beautiful proportions, the house is a gem placed in an exquisite setting of level, terraced lawns, punctuated by a majestic cut-leaf beech tree brought from Newport by the original owners. The house has the permanent feel of an ancestral home, yet its more recent origin and renovations afford it modern amenities and conveniences.

  A striking three-story foyer, with Palladian windows, is movie-set perfect for the grand entrance of a bride down the stairs or welcoming guests to a stylish party. There’s even a bar tucked beneath the stairs and situated as a welcome station.

  A gracious fireside living room boasts large windows on three sides, the better to frame the country-side views. The mahogany-paneled library glows with the hue of the warm wood and southern exposure. Similarly, the dining room, with padded, fabric-covered walls, and casual family room echo the feel of well-proportioned, well-used space—not overdone, sterile or fussy.

  This home feels welcoming and livable, with obvious care taken in every detail. Decorative crown moldings, hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, ample built-ins plus tech and media upgrades, and a warm yet state-of-the-art kitchen (two SubZero refrigerators, two dishwashers, two sinks, Garland stove) and butler’s pantry are just a few enviable features.


Upper Floors

  Sharing the living room’s sunrise views, east-facing porch and three-sides of windows, the master suite is a private retreat with his-and-her baths and dressing areas large enough for desks and a daybed. All expected amenities are provided, plus another porch off one dressing room.

  The main hall is lined with four more bedrooms, with ensuite or Jack-and-Jill baths, each with modern upgrades, views of the grounds and distinct personalities.

  At the end of the hall, near a back stairway down to the mudroom, is a large laundry room (double washers and driers) and separate staff quarters with bedroom, bath, living room and kitchenette.

  The third floor has a large guest suite tucked under the eaves, with window seats perfect for enjoying the view from this higher vantage point. Another large room leads to the gym, with full-mirrored wall and equally large cedar closet, sporting built-in drawers and six bays of glass-fronted closets.


The Grounds

  A swimming pool with surrounding stone wall, tennis court, artist studio, gasoline and diesel station, and emergency power generator make for a self-sufficient property. 

Just 45 minutes from Philadelphia and Wilmington, this stunning property in Willistown Township is offered by Country Properties, Prudential, Fox & Roach. Price upon request. For information, contact Rob Van Alen, 610-347-2067, 610-212-5470 (cell); Web site. 

 

Published in Home of the Month
Page 2 of 2