In Rockland County’s Snedens Landing, just over the Hudson River, about 25 minutes from Manhattan, is a 1957 Georgian-style house beautifully updated by its previous owner, a well known interior designer who transformed the house into a jewel box with something of visual interest around every corner. Ernest De la Torre, who has been included in Elle Décor’s list of 25 Top Interior Designers, the Luxe Gold List and the pages of Architectural Digest for his decorative handiwork, paid attention to the homes smallest details. For example, past the stone walls at the front of the house, the entry features charming natural gas lanterns.
Sold by the designer less than a year ago, for $3.1 million, according to tax records, the still glamorously appointed 3,200-square-foot house is back up for sale via Richard Ellis at Sotheby’s International Realty. Located just a short walk to the Hudson River and set on a three-quarter-acre parcel that includes a tennis court, the 3,200 square foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom house is asking $3.35 million.
A magazine-ready blend of classic and contemporary touches, the house features a hip roof with a decorative balustrade that is echoed in the gate to the property as well as a European-style clock above the front door, from which the house derives its name, The Clock House.
The house is filled with amazing architectural details from around the globe, such as walls stamped in gilded leather from Paris, an 18th century Adam-style fireplace mantel from London and wood beams from a 19th century barn in Pennsylvania. Two 19th-century steel and brass balconies, from a robber baron’s Long Island estate, overlook the great room, and a fabulous 19th century iron staircase came from Brooklyn. Floors are made from Indian sandstone, walls from waxed, textured plaster, and reproductions of early 20th New York City glass subway grates (as seen throughout SoHo) are used on the bespoke staircase. The den offers custom designed French marquetry and handcrafted grasscloth on the walls with a subtle dragonfly design.
In the dramatic, 20-foot high living room, an elaborate fireplace anchors one side of the voluminous space, while a two-story wall of steel casement windows frame pretty views of the gardens. The eat-in kitchen is more modern, with old wooden barn beams that flank counters embellished with petrified wooden inlays and geometric Cuban tiling. French doors open the very snazzily dressed kitchen onto a patio for easy entertaining.
The three bedrooms are also simply lovely, with the main suite featuring upholstered walls and a coved ceiling covered in tea-leaf silver paper. The dual ensuite bathrooms are pretty great, too. If three bedrooms aren’t enough, the family room could be converted to a fourth.
The Clock House is in the Snedens Landing Historic District, a romantic, private community steeped with American history and favored by high-profile people looking for a low-key place to hang their hats. The first community along the west bank of the Hudson River, north of the George Washington Bridge, the area saw considerable activity during the Revolutionary War. More recently, residents drawn to the bucolic and artsy enclave have included Björk, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Al Pacino, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. History, beauty, proximity to Manhattan and maybe an Oscar winner or two to borrow an egg from every now and then. Pretty Nice!