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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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August 2018

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Have fun and get your hands dirty! Build and decorate your own box, container, vase, or vessel out of clay in this afternoon workshop inspired by the tabletop objects currently on view. All...

Cost: Free for members or with Museum admission

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

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Nina Stemme, one of opera’s greatest dramatic sopranos, takes on the title role of the proud princess of legendary China. Tenor Marco Berti is Calàf, the brave prince who sings...

Cost: $15-$25

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


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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 »

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Create a work of art that channels the warmth and fun of summer! Use both real and artificial leaves, flowers, and summer foliage embossed into wet clay to create your own one-of-a-kind...

Cost: $15; $12 member

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

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The unforgettable harmonies and classic sound of The Beach Boys will bring Good Vibrations back to The Ridgefield Playhouse after their sold-out performances in 2015 and 2017! It’s a night of...

Cost: $125

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


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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 »

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Enrollment is now open for the next Stamford EMS Safe Sitter class. Children in grades 6-8 will learn the skills needed to care for themselves and young children so they may become safe and...

Cost: $75

Where:
Stamford EMS
684 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: Stamford EMS
Telephone: (203) 252-2193
Contact Name: Laura Roberts
Website »

More information

Explore the fun and wild world of color in this workshop focused on creating patterns and designs that trick the eye. All ages

Cost: Free for members or with Museum admission

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

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

  Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for an Italian wine tasting by Pera Wines and an art exhibit! Gramophone music in a smartphone world…Contemporary pop and rock tunes...

Cost: $77-$110

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


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Trace the life cycle of food at Grace Farms with Community Garden Manager Ashley Kenney, Pastry Chef Leah Jones, and Director of Operations Adam Thatcher. From produce and cut flowers used in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K) are teaming up to present an important summer safety event: a Bike Safety Roundup on Saturday, August 18th at Chelsea Piers from 9am – 10am.  ...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Chelsea Piers Connecticut
1 Blachley Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K)
Telephone: 203-968-1118
Contact Name: The Loft at Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Website »

More information

Visit The Aldrich for FREE the Third Saturday of each month! See the latest in contemporary art and participate in family-friendly art-making workshops in The Studio. Family Workshop: Back...

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

InSitu is an eight-acre sculpture garden where nature and art dramatically interact. Nestled in the rural countryside near Redding, the property is surrounded by the 312-acre Saugatuck Waterfall...

Cost: $7 per private garden; children 12 & under free.

Where:
Redding, CT


Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: Open Days program staff
Website »

More information

Join us for the 4th Annual RidgeCon, a Pop Culture celebration for all ages! A superhero tea and storytime with Mike & Kristin Garguilo, crafts, scavenger hunts, Quidditch practice, VR...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main St
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of the Ridgefield LIbrary
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Lewisboro Library’s Nightclub Concert Series has a special treat on Saturday, August 18 – a “Beatles Night” featuring a Beatles tribute band and a Beatles Trivia...

Cost: $30/per person

Where:
Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Lewisboro Library
Telephone: 914-875-9004
Contact Name: Liz Gabriele
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Hiking and practicing yoga outside in the fresh air leaves you feeling uplifted, centered, and peaceful! In warm weather months, we meet regularly in various parks and trails. Each event starts...

Cost: Three and Five Class Packages (3 times for $33, 5 times for $42)

Where:
Vary with each class
, CT


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

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

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