Haut Farmhouse


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The Property: 23 Baxter Road, North Salem, New York

The Broker: Houlihan Lawrence

The Agent: Angela Kessel

Nick Churton of the Houlihan Lawrence London office weighs up the pros and cons of farmhouse living and finds a perfect answer in North Salem, New York.

Most of us love farmhouses. There is something earthy, natural, comfortable and laidback about them. One can kick off one’s shoes and just go with the flow. Farmhouses are also, likely-as-not, located in beautiful, rural locations.

But for many there are two big drawbacks to farmhouse living. First is the farm. Unless one is born to working with the land and has a body clock tuned to the seasons and to the rising and setting of the sun then a farm can be a burden.

Second, farmhouses tend to be on the older side with building materials that can go back centuries. So the buildings are apt to leak in the rain and creak in the wind. They tend not to have marble bathrooms with rainfall showers. Bits keep falling off these old houses and constant, and often expensive, attention is frequently required.

What’s a buyer to do? The simple answer is to buy a modern farmhouse on several acres. The perfect example is 23 Baxter Road, North Salem, New York. Here is a traditional farmhouse renovated and extended to the pinnacle of modernity. Somehow it still retains that farmhouse feel but offers so much more. No pokey, ill-lit rooms here. Instead they are spacious and light-filled. There is flow and continuity. Then there is the maxed-out, five-star specification.

This was no accident – it was put together by an owner/designer and architect with a single, clear vision and a talented build team with an exacting brief. No stone has been left unturned. No fixture or fitting was compromised. As much thought has been put into the landscaping outside the house as it has into the interior layout.

I considered this as I sat on the comfortable veranda. What style would I call this architecture? Clearly it is Haut Farmhouse. I sipped my drink. The country views went on forever, and certainly over the neighbouring 30 acres of conserved land which belongs to someone else. That’s why you can sit back and enjoy the bucolic view with a long, cool drink, I thought, because you will never have to be up with the lark to maintain and preserve it!

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