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Time Travel

Nick Churton of the Houlihan Lawrence London office visits a New York home that has thrown off the years.

Take an eminent colonial house - built at the beginning of the first world war and situated in what can best be described as a sylvan setting - re-envision it all and then set about making it fit for purpose in another age. That was the plan.

And what an excellent plan it was – and it has been executed perfectly.

It’s all in the detail. The magnificent front gates only hint at things to come. But as the driveway arcs through the beautiful mature garden, anticipation mounts. Finally, the house is revealed. It is pure theatre. But this is no one-act play. Everything, inside and out, has been planned to the finest detail.

With great homes it is often the little things that say so much. Of course the bathrooms and kitchen here are fabulous and the bedrooms and entertaining spaces spacious and flowing. That almost goes without saying. But I noticed the three delicate metal ceiling ties, which span the light-flooded great room. They could have been painted white and lost against the wall and cathedral-ceiling colour. But they were painted charcoal grey. At a swipe of a thoughtful paintbrush they have become things of sculpture and rustic beauty. They give the room just a hint of edge and industrial chic. It is enough.

On paper this house looks very large. But it doesn’t live very large. It lives comfortable with room for occupants to breath yet remain connected - perfect for modern family living.

Back in 1914 families lived differently. Houses followed society. But now society has changed and our homes must change with it. Those who wonder how our traditional housing stock can be adapted for the twenty-first century need look no further.

For further details of this gorgeous home click here.