An extensive renovation and expansion enhance a historic manor’s splendor
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The home’s formal dining room was designed around the wallpaper, which depicts Vue de l’Amérique du Nord—Views of North America. The panels had been damaged from sun, water, and age, so the owners called in decorative painter Darril Otto, who spent weeks bringing the scene back to life by carefully painting over it. The corner china cabinets in the room are original, with new LED rope lights to give them a glow at night; a pair of crystal chandeliers by Dennis & Leen twinkle over the Theodore Alexander table and 19th century Hepplewhite-style dining chairs.
Beyond the dining room, Farview’s original footprint essentially stops at the kitchen, where the house was gutted and expanded. A 5-car garage was added, along with a new wing including 4,000 square feet of recreational spaces, a mudroom, laundry room, and additional bedrooms and bathrooms. “We wanted the house to flow, so you wouldn’t be able to tell where the old and the new joined,” says Charles Cook, the architect. He smartly added a porte-cochère—a pass-through where a vehicle’s occupants might alight under shelter—that leads to the rear of the house and breaks up the mass. An equestrian cuopola makes the tucked-away garage look rather like an old carriage house.
The kitchen was also opened up so that the breakfast and family rooms are one, connected by a porcelain checkerboard floor which stands up to pet and kid traffic. Side-by-side farmhouse sinks make it easy to wash dishes and wash hands simultaneously; and the giant German silver servants’ sink was reinstalled in the pantry to use for entertaining or cutting fresh flowers from the garden. A generous dog bed was tucked into the built-in cabinetry along the eating area so the family pets can gather for meals too.
Upstairs, each bedroom has its own color palette and design. The master suite is swathed in slate blue and ivory—Phillip Jeffries silk covers the walls, and an unlined linen scrim billows softly over the windows. The companion bathroom features a dramatic barrel-vault ceiling that frames the custom marble bathtub and his-and-hers vanities.
In updating the kids’ bedrooms and baths, Hallberg was able to restore many original details to preserve the home’s unique character. Old almond-colored bathtubs were refreshed with white surfaces; new penny tile flooring suggests the same era as the antique wall tile. “We wanted everything to look like it fit into this vintage time frame, so we kept and reused as much as possible, or found pieces that had the look of the era,” Hallberg says.
When the family moved in, each child found a surprise in his or her bedroom: one of the boys received a headboard fashioned out of gates from the Queen Mary ship, and one of the girls now sleeps under a painted cloud ceiling that, with the flip of a switch, lights up a fiber-optic galaxy. Every detail was carefully thought through, from those as big as the kids’ surprises to those as small as the sly fox knocker on the front door, which the homeowners found on a trip to London.
Cook chose to expand the home’s semi-circular portico and add extra columns to give the entry a grander presence. “This is in keeping with the way the couple lives,” he explains. “They love to entertain and throw parties and I wanted it to accommodate a bunch of people arriving at the front door.” Like a modern-day Nick Carraway or Daisy Buchanan, perhaps, ready to clink glasses with family and friends.
Megan Kaplan is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer.
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