For years, people have filled their homes with plants — umbrella plants, African violets, all kinds of plants, big and small.
Twice Revived in the Tudor Tradition
Nearly a century ago on a knoll accented with mature trees and a stunning view, a homeowner erected a brick house built in the 1920s Tudor Revival tradition. Fast forward to the 21st century. With nine children, three pets and
modern needs, the current homeowners wanted to reinterpret this quaint residence into something that would meet the design and lifestyle demands of the next 100 years.
The process was transformative. By incorporating historically significant elements of the 15th century Tudors but reflecting the charm and grace o a traditional English manor, the new revival created a home and landscape that feels magical … as if you’re stepping into an elegant fairy tale.
“We selected what to keep and made everything work better,” says Patricia Bailey, of Bailey & Harris Architects. “We wanted it captivating but realistic in functionality. This is a family-friendly home.”
The original brick exterior was replaced with stone and creamy stucco highlighted with traditional Tudor wood detailing. Three new dormers maintain window proportions and patterns. The former attached two-car garage is now a semi-detached three-car garage and carriage house giving dimensional interest to the footprint. Inside, the original layout consisted of many small rooms with specific uses and distinct identities. The revived version retains the small cottage personality but comfortably accommodates the traffic of a big, active family. Bailey explains, “It’s one large connected space with interrelated rooms and great paths of circulation, not an undifferentiated open floor plan. The rooms feel intimate and each has its own special qualities.”
The kitchen is now part of a great room. The formal living room with original, Tudor paneling was preserved but redefined as a music room. In place of an awkward-looking solarium, a library emerged, embraced by a cathedral ceiling, mahogany spiral staircase, and window seats surrounded by bookcases. The original fireplace and series of three narrow French doors along a gallery were retained and duplicated along the opposite wall creating pleasing symmetry. These doors lead into the library. Outside, an old wisteria vine was preserved. A stylish circular arbor was built outside to support the wisteria’s growth and provide natural, softened shade.
Splendid details and a magnificent use of textures create an enchanted setting of understated elegance. The richness of the materials – wood beams, twisted brick chimneys, ironwork – are all timeless, durable materials. Mark Taylor of Mark Taylor Interiors describes the flooring as, “something out of a castle.” Creamy, aged white marble extends to the end of the foyer into the library where it runs into a wide plank, slightly distressed walnut. The kitchen is reclaimed hexagon quarry tile of warm earth tones – terracotta, ambers and sands. Gorgeous Motawi tapestry tile comprise the backsplash. Earth tones continue with the dining room’s multi-species, parquet floor. William Morris drapery fabric and wallpaper embellish the interior’s regal yet relaxed elegance.
It’s an environment that emulates another place and time. Mature groves of trees and the quiet setting feel private. Tasteful gargoyles, guardians against unwelcome spirits, are incorporated throughout the architecture and interior design. In the library, is a Matawi tile mural of a little boy reading a book with Medieval characters coming to life.
Multiple niches and alcoves invite discovery. “Our home stimulates your imagination,” says the homeowner.
True to authentic Medieval Tudors, architectural details describe what’s important about the site. Millwork corbels are carved with oak leaves and acorns in honor of the library’s emblem, the resident old growth oak. Woodland beauty is mirrored in the plaster ceilings with animal carvings including a plaster relief of a floral ring with a sky blue interior. Family details are found in the floor-to-ceiling diamond patterned windows where nine panels are stained glass, one for each child’s birthstone color. A Roycroft artisan designed the square-shaped centered panels featuring the first initial of each child. Of course, not everything is symbolic. The pool, guest suite,basketball court, and laundry rooms on every level will remind you that this is a lived-in and much-loved family home. A home where everyone can live happily ever after.