Upper Makefield Township, Pa. | $2.975 Million
An expanded and updated 1840s farmhouse with four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, on a 4.49-acre lot with a barn and swimming pool
This late Federal house is in a luxury subdivision in Upper Makefield Township, a historic community in Bucks County in which 40 percent of the picturesque land is preserved. Most of the single-family homes in the enclave were constructed in the last 15 years by a custom builder, who also worked with a local architect on the renovation of this property, from 2006 to 2009. All of the systems were upgraded, and an interior designer made substantial additional contributions to “lighten” the home, the listing agent said.
The property is about 30 miles northeast of Philadelphia, 70 miles southwest of New York City and three miles west of Washington Crossing, where George Washington traversed the Delaware River on his way to winning the Battle of Trenton. A knot of shops, restaurants and inns in Newtown, the area’s commercial center, is about five miles south.
Size: 5,185 square feet
Price per square foot: $574
Indoors: The stone farmhouse has a perpendicular frame extension, creating an ell, and there are entrances from both parts of the buildings. The principal entrance is now at the end of a bluestone path at the side. It opens into a large, tiled foyer that flows into a huge eat-in kitchen through one doorway and a long butler’s pantry lined in cabinets, with a powder room at one end, through another.
The kitchen has vintage floorboards, a stone fireplace wall, traditional-style cabinetry with granite countertops, and contemporary lighting. Among the appliances are a Wolf six-burner gas range, three dishwashers and a pizza oven. A lineup of French doors along a rear wall opens to a covered flagstone patio looking out to the pool, and there is a breakfast banquette in a corner.
The formal dining room is to the right of the original entrance. It has bright, skim-coated plaster walls; wide, antique floorboards; and a massive fireplace, converted to gas. To the left is a living room, with a fireplace and similar finishes. The powder room across from the front door is wallpapered in irregular gray stripes resembling trompe l’oeil masonry grout.
A second living room is upstairs, with a fireplace, grasscloth-covered walls and access to a long deck overlooking the pool. Next to it is a windowed laundry room with a sink and closet. The primary bedroom has a cathedral ceiling, a marble fireplace and deck access. The en suite bathroom is entirely covered in white tile or marble and includes radiant-heated flooring, a steam shower, a vintage-style tub and twin sinks.
A guest room on the second floor opens to the deck, as well, and has use of a bathroom tiled in tiny marble squares on the walls (including in the steam shower) and big marble squares on the radiant-heated floor.
Two additional bedrooms are on the third floor, including a guest suite with a bathroom that includes a claw-foot tub with a shower head, and a sink balanced on four turned legs.
An extension of the stone house off the kitchen has a ground-floor room with a cathedral ceiling and open beams and a semi-subterranean, temperature-controlled wine cellar. The exterior door opens to a brick patio.
Outdoor space: As part of an extensive landscaping project, the sellers removed a koi pond and added a firepit to complement the in-ground pool with an infinity edge and circular spa. The grounds are large and lush. A four-bay garage incorporates a gym and playroom or exercise studio. (It has a mirrored wall.) There is parking for two cars in the two-story barn. Next to the property are 160 acres of protected land.
Contact: Louise Williamson, Keller Williams Luxury International, 215-262-0077; louisewilliamson.kw.com
Denver | $2.95 Million
An 1890 brick house with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, on a 0.28-acre lot
Isaac Slade, a founder, pianist and lead vocalist of the Denver-based band the Fray, bought this house in 2009 for $950,000, and did some badly needed renovations. It is in West Highland, a tree-lined residential enclave about three miles northwest of downtown, with Victorian hulks and Craftsman bungalows, highly regarded schools and a commercial district called Highlands Square.
Size: 5,285 square feet
Price per square foot: $558
Indoors: A foyer with hardwood flooring and trim leads through pocket doors to a double parlor. The front part of the parlor is wallpapered in a Western-themed pattern with what appear to be Native American dwellings; it is hung with a teardrop-shaped, glass-and-wrought-metal pendant light. The fireplace has a stamped-metal cover surrounded by reclaimed tiles. Wood doors with a lacy, carved header open to a small reading room at the base of the tower.
At the other end of the parlors, through pocket doors, is a dining room. Beyond that is a living room with built-in, glass-front bookcases and red walls described by the listing as exactly matching “the vintage cover” of “Crime and Punishment.” (No mention of the edition, or even century.) The inspiration for the room’s dark green ceiling is also mysterious. (Possibly an 1877 copy of “Black Beauty”?)
The kitchen hides most of its high-end appliances behind white cabinetry, but not the lipstick-red AGA stove or the pasta station. The central island is topped by a slab of black walnut. There is also an antique wood china cabinet that almost skims the high ceiling. A laundry room off the kitchen might have been a butler’s pantry, with its narrow proportions and venerable slop sink.
On the second floor, the primary suite spreads over a few rooms. The sleeping chamber is at one end, with an open doorway crowned with a carved header. It flows into a long sitting room that has a fireplace with a patterned-tile surround and an antique bathtub set on Mexican tile in a window bay. French doors open to a marble bathroom with a steam shower, a painted floral vanity and a cut-glass ceiling fixture. This level also has a guest room, a kitchenette and a bathroom with a green-painted wainscot, marble-tiled floor and claw-foot tub with golden paws.
Two additional bedrooms and a bathroom are on the third floor, including a room used as an office, with decorative woodwork from the demolished Denver house that belonged to David H. Moffat, a railroad tycoon. The basement has a stage and a bar with a ceiling partially covered with the Fray’s airplane tickets.
Outdoor space: The deep front lawn is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. A sun porch off the living room steps down to a grassy backyard with a patio and an Asian wood pavilion. The detached garage was used by Mr. Slade’s wife, Anna Slade, as an art studio.
Taxes: $7,396 (2020, based on a tax assessment of $102,566)
Contact: Mckinze Casey, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, 303-893-3200; sothebysrealty.com
Lopez Island, Wash. | $2.98 Million
An energy-efficient house built in 2017, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 3.52-acre lot with water views and 100 feet of water frontage
Built as a vacation rental to showcase the sustainable design practice of the neighbors next door, this house is on the most rural of the San Juan Islands, a place with about 2,500 year-round residents and 63 miles of shoreline that is accessible only by ferry, plane or private boat. (The trip from Seattle takes slightly less than three hours and includes a 45-minute ferry ride; a seaplane ride is about 40 minutes). Built with structural insulated panels on the footprint of — and with reclaimed materials from — a 1970s cabin (the cedar siding was cut from the floor joists of the old house), the property is near parks, farms and nature preserves and about five miles south of grocery shopping. It is a mile south of the Lopez Island Golf Club and the local airport.
Size: 1,619 square feet
Price per square foot: $1,841
Indoors: The main entrance is to the side, across from a large, cedar-clad rainwater cistern (there is also a well). The pivoting door is made of reclaimed white-pine planks that are three inches thick.
Inside is a large room with concrete floors; textured-plaster wall surfaces; 12-foot-high steel-framed windows and glass doors with views of San Juan Channel; and a slick red kitchen. Reclaimed-wood boards cover the fireplace wall at the far end of the room, and steel doors conceal both the firebox and the television screen above it. (The house also uses HRV and heat-pump technologies.)
The two bedrooms beyond the kitchen have split-bamboo built-in storage with antique Asian chests. The bathrooms (one en suite, the other available to guests) are faced in Italian porcelain tile with a subtle pattern echoed in sandblasted-glass partitions; each bathroom has a shower and a tubular copper towel warmer. Full-size laundry appliances and a sink are behind folding doors in the hallway. All lighting in the home is LED.
Outdoor space: The great-room doors open to a water-facing deck. An outdoor kitchen is fashioned from Corten steel and concrete. The property has a rain garden for filtering storm-water runoff; fruit and woodland trees; and meadows with poppies. It is approached by a path through a forest.
Taxes: $6,989, plus a 1 percent land-bank tax applied to the acquisition of open space, conservation easements and beach access
Contact: Mary Clure, Orcas Island Realty, 360-961-7523; orcasislandrealty.com
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