Fourteen Shades of Grey

Plese click on image for more details.

Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty visits an old friend but a new house in New Canaan, CT.

It was good to be back inside the head of Max Abel. Last year I looked over another of his house creations. This one is a little smaller. But the thing about Max is that each house he builds is a little better than the last. He says he will never stop in his quest for perfection.

Of course Max’s view of perfection is more finely tuned than even the most demanding homebuyer. In most people’s eyes Max reached perfection in his houses some time ago. But he just keeps on improving them. He is not doing it for the owner-to-be. He does it because he thinks it is right.  Better, for Max, never stops.

So I tried to find fault with his latest house. It defeated me. You will have to visit to decide for yourself. The brochure can tell you about some of the detail but it won’t show you the hours of thought and the love that has gone into creating this house. Fourteen different shades of grey were painted onto the walls until Max found the one that worked best with the natural light in that particular location.

The living spaces seem huge and the open plan kitchen is dominated by an island unit with a vast marble top that was both quarried and fashioned underground in Vermont – before it ever saw the light of day after millions of years of waiting for Max.

Each bedroom has a closet and a full bathroom – all expertly finished. The roof space contains a massive area that you could well imagine could house a large gym and media room. That is, until you see the basement! Max didn’t fit a door to the basement. Instead he put in a wide elegant staircase that makes the basement another living floor and not just the basement. Simple really. But why don’t more developers do that?

Nor did Max stop with the house itself. Years ago, parcels of land hereabouts were marked out by their owners with walls made out of large, locally sourced rocks. One such wall inconveniently bisected the new rear garden of this property. So the large rocks were carefully scooped up and each split and re-used as the front boundary wall of the property. It is a work of art. Just like this house. I like the fact that Max’s houses are works of art. It means they are as rewarding to visit empty of furniture as they are fully furnished. And you can’t say that about many homes.

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