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Modern Love

Turning an 1800s colonial into a modern gem takes a mighty vision



“It’s all been about editing, editing, editing,” says Fairfield landscape designer Diane Devore about the eight stunning acres around this Ridgefield estate. “We wanted to enhance the property, not fill it up.” Devore has been working with the owners, a producer and investment banker, to “edit” the landscape since they bought the 1800s farmhouse 14 years ago, inspired in large part by the property. For the past decade and a half, the couple, who prefers to remain anonymous, and their three (now grown) children, have enjoyed the house on weekends and vacations.

“The property has a rural feel,” the owner explains. “But it’s five minutes from town. A lot of weekenders have houses in Bedford, but they come to Ridgefield to do everything. I wanted a town.” 

Devore, and the owners have transformed the farmhouse and property into a contemporary estate.  “Once you’re in here—behind those gates—you’re in your own world,” says realtor Karla Murtaugh. With a tennis court, basketball court, outdoor and indoor pools, a winter sunroom, and an outdoor living room—there is little reason to leave. 

The first project the owner tackled upon purchase was the entryway to the house. She wanted a “clean, modern front that was welcoming and beautiful.” Devore says that the idea for the entryway landscape was to marry the old Shaker aesthetic of farmhouse simplicity with clean lines to show the roots of contemporary design in Puritan tradition. 

They recently completed a second landscape edit. “We added a grass stepped living room, a walking path around the entire property, a tree house, a swing, and a wonderful outdoor fireplace,” the owner says. “The property sits on Strawberry Ridge, and had more of an angle than we realized.” 

Devore worked with Perennial Gardens in Bedford to install stone and grass steps that would lead your eye out from the house. These steps flatten the property to create an “outside living room,” an area for entertaining that can hold a tent.

 “We wanted the landscape to be intimate enough for the owner and her husband to enjoy and to work for large gatherings,” says Devore. “During parties, old and young alike will go up in the contemporary tree house, which we installed in a tulip tree. The playful orange furniture mimics the splash of color on the inside of the tulip tree flower.” 

The firepit is another addition that would summon the kid in anyone and shows the clean lines that drive all the design choices. “We used a backless bench and no extra furniture to keep the view of the landscape,” Devore explains. 

“The one tip I have for people,” offers the owner about her outdoor furniture collection, “is to stay away from cushions. There’s so much comfortable and beautiful outdoor furniture. I don’t want to spend half my time moving pillows and furniture in and out every three months or sitting on wet cushions after a five minute downpour. It took me ten years to realize this.” 

Property manager Steve Sheriden shows how the new cedar and gravel path winds around the entire property. “People were always trying to jog around the eight acres,” the owner says. “That gave me the idea to make an official path that brings you through the woods and meadow and arbors, and flowering bushes. Everyone uses it.” In fact, she cites an evening stroll around the walking path at twilight as one of her favorite things about the house.

Another of her favorite additions is the indoor pool. “The indoor pool and Jacuzzi are magical. We have the heat pumped up pretty high so it’s heavenly to jump in and swim with snow blowing outside.” A blue tile fountain gives the whole room a Mediterranean look. 

When the owners bought the original 1800s house, they worked with the architect to open every doorway inside the house, square them off, and raise them. They replaced all the windows with large pane glass. “This gives the house a European slant,” says Murtaugh. “You can tell that the architect is European. The materials, the hardware, the windows, the lighting.” It also gives the house its modern façade, visible from Old Branchville Road. 

“This isn’t a country kitchen,” Murtaugh says of the top of the line kitchen. “I see a lot of people putting kitchens in like this now.” With two dishwashers, a Sub-zero fridge, and ample counter top and table seating—it makes a great Sunday morning hangout spot. “I love the fact that the floors are slate—it’s so practical. It’s zen-like—not formal or pretentious,” says Murtaugh, of Neumann Real Estate. 

The owner says that she always wanted the house to be welcoming and thinks the cool color palate and light maple built-ins throughout add to the calm feeling. “I’d choose these paint colors again.” 

Even after major contemporary additions, there are vestiges of the old house. In the tracery at the rear of the library fireplace there is a picture of a couple dancing. “It blows my mind to think of all the history,” says the owner, who also insisted on keeping the original glass finial ball at the bottom of the stairs.

“The ceiling of the master bedroom was brown and when we broke through we found four beautiful beams, which had been covered.” The master bedroom is her private oasis when the house is filled with guests.  

When asked about the “editing process” the owner admits, “it’s not easy keeping up with a minimal design. The tendency over time is to keep adding books, pictures, gifts, vases, etc. I finally gave in to a certain degree but I do try to pare down the rooms.” This stunning property with a house that spans three centuries will go on the market this spring.  

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October 2017

Join artist, and The Aldrich’s Education Programs Assistant, Noah Steinman for an insightful gallery tour and engaging conversation centered around Anissa Mack’s exhibition, Junk...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Lisa Brigantino is an award-winning singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. She and her sister Lori will be performing a concert of Lisa’s original songs Sponsored...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library/Friends of the Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Legendary music icons, THREE DOG NIGHT, celebrate their 4th decade bringing with them some of the most astonishing statistics in popular music. In the years 1969 through 1974, no other group...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

As seen on America’s Got Talent! Every once in a while, something magical reminds us that we all have an inner child that must be fed.  Through simple, clever and charming humor...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield , CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Bart's Tree Service Comedy Series
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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Jump start the art school application process! Present your portfolio to admissions representatives from leading colleges and universities at The Aldrich. Whether you are ready to apply, or are...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sérgio Mendes is one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time. His hit single, “Mas Que Nada,” is the...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ingersoll Auto of Danbury World Music Series
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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WCSU will hold a Community Day for volunteers to participate in mulching the university's Permaculture Garden on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. in the garden adjacent to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures Entertainment present, The Princess Bride 30th Anniversary, in select cinemas nationwide! The event also includes exclusive commentary from a...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Cohen and Wolf, P.C. Fathom Events Presents & Movies Series
Website »

More information

The Institute for Holistic Health Studies will present a lecture by Dr. Brian Luke Seaward, "Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards," at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall...

Cost: $15

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm,  Fairfield County Wedding Concierge will hold their first networking event for the Fairfield County bridal vendor community at Bespoke...

Cost: $10 in advance and $15 at the door

Where:
Bespoke Designs
5A Sconset Square
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield County Wedding Concierge
Telephone: 203-864-5084
Contact Name: Gayle Szuchman

More information

Four-time Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum selling sax-man Boney James needs no introduction to contemporary jazz fans.  The gifted saxophonist, veteran of...

Cost: $60.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine and Jazz Series
Website »

More information

WCSU will present the Midtown Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. in the Colonial Corner in the Student Center on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The coffeehouse will feature an...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Mary Wilson is one of the founding members of the Motown legends, “The Supremes,”  who recorded twelve No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969  including “Where Did Our Love...

Cost: $57.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, Oct. 21   Innovation Day, 1 – 5 p.m. Discover, Dabble, Do-It-Yourself at Wilton Library’s annual Innovation Day! Join us for a festival of making, creating and demonstrating....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Get into the Halloween spirit while exploring the ways in which unexpected household objects can be transformed into magnificent sculptures and festive decorations! Create a pumpkin using yarn,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, The Fab Four will make...

Cost: $55.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

As part of its 2017-2018 concert series, Friends of Music will host the Zorá Quartet on Saturday, October 21st. The group of artists were winners of the 2015 Young Concert Artists...

Cost: $35, Children 18 and younger enter free

Where:
Kusel Auditorium at Sleepy Hollow High School
210 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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