Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty looks at an enduring style in American architecture while savouring a beautiful home in New Canaan, Connecticut on the market with Barbara Cleary’s Realty Guild.
Broker: Barbara Cleary
I like American houses. They are done very well. They may borrow architectural styles from other places but, hey, everyone borrows architectural styles – the Romans borrowed from the Greeks and the Georgians borrowed from the Romans. Two hundred years ago this year, when Wellington was borrowing Germans, Dutch and Belgians to help him finish off Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, American architects were busy borrowing designs off the British – and the French. But then they did something else. They tweaked the Georgian look. This elegantly interpreted style became known as Federal and they have been doing Federal very well ever since.
In New England especially examples of this style both new and old can be found. They add to the elegant streetscape, they have become part of the vernacular.
So I was delighted to see this fine example of modern Federal – recently renovated under the watchful eye of the award winning local architect, Louise Brooks, of Brooks and Falotico. She has brought out the best in this beautifully proportioned house and dealt discreetly with all the things in a home that one wants to remain discreet and has, with élan, perfected a home that perfectly blends modernity with classicism.
Like many other American architects, Brooks adds something extra special to her homes that the Georgian architects of Great Britain missed – comfort. Old Georgian houses were draughty, damp affairs with miles of freezing corridor between the kitchen and the dining room. Typically an elderly retainer had to survive this marathon while whatever food was under the enormous silver-domed plate he was carrying became steadily colder. Perhaps this is where the UK’s erstwhile reputation for poor cuisine came from. But here in Brushy Ridge Road, New Canaan there will be hot food. That is because the beautiful dining room is where it should be – right next to the superb kitchen. But of course this is only the beginning
Here then is a house which brings together everything one really wants in a home – it is lovely to live in and beautiful to look at. In short it is fabulous to own. Put it on your list to see.