Midcentury modern ranches have not always been very popular in the east coast’s upper-middle-class suburbs, where the aesthetics lean traditional; hence all the center-hall colonials and Dutch gambrels found up and down the eastern seaboard. Plus, what are now called midcentury ranches — small, unassuming, three-bedrooms-one-bath places — were being built by the millions for the lower middle classes, so those with greater means did not see them as reflective of their success or status.
All of which makes this 1966 modern ranch, in the snooty New York City suburb of Scarsdale, that much more rare and interesting. Set on 1.4 acres of land and listed with Jacqueline Raynor at Houlihan Lawrence, the generously sized 5,600 square-foot-home is asking $3.5 million. And with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, plus a powder room, there’s plenty of room for a good sized family.
The sellers are sculptor Anne Cecile De Villemejane — examples of her work may be seen around the house — and Pierre De Villemejane, president and CEO of Heritage Home Group, a large furniture conglomerate comprised of famous names such as Hickory Chair, Pearson, Broyhill and Thomasville, and which has recently gone bankrupt.
The sprawling single-story house is laid out in two meandering wings on either side of a square entrance hall; a small basement is used for laundry and wine storage. On the left side are ample dining and family rooms, along with an eat-in kitchen. There are two large bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet, and a shared bathroom clustered together beyond the family room, and another en-suite bedroom for guests or staff is nipped behind the kitchen.
On the right side of the house, the vast living room features a minimalist fireplace and walls of windows. Beyond the living room are a small art studio, another en-suite guest bedroom, and the master suite, which offers a dressing room, a walk-in closet, and a double-side fireplace opposite the soaking tub.
Notable in the home’s décor is the sensitive way in which the midcentury elements have been updated with the best of today’s design trends. The kitchen and bathrooms all appear to be new, in clean-lined contemporary styles that complement original architectural features such as the unconventional fenestration, quirky built-ins and niches (perfect for the home of a sculptor), and the natural brick and stone on the exterior.
Enormous windows bring natural vistas indoors but for actually being outdoors, there are bluestone patios and, perfect for long, hot suburban summer days, a swimming pool set against a dense wood that ensures absolutely privacy.