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Verdant Vısta

Moving on from a hilltop adirondack-style retreat



Photos by Bryan Haeffele & Jay Graygor

Climbing the windy drive to this spacious and airy hilltop retreat, guests pass a well-designed, tucked-away guesthouse, verdant natural landscape, and an alluring infinity pool. Entering through the front door of this Adirondack-style home, the eye is drawn out, over the just-ascended hill into South Salem and the endless beyond.

The main entryway to the home feeds down a few wide steps and into a sitting room, with a 20-foot wall of windows framing that magnificent view. Hemlock and pine walls and bluestone details define this main living space. To the left and up a few steps is a spacious, sleek, and modern kitchen, with a grey-granite center island and a dining peninsula that blends in with an eating nook nearby. The kitchen borders a glass wall leading onto a four-season porch—its removable windows transform this into a six-month screen porch—creating a cozy and private spot for morning coffee or a postprandial drink. To the right is a game room, punctuated in the center with a billiard table, and surrounded by sofas.

An open and austere staircase leads up to five bedrooms. The corner master suite features a new and renovated bath and private deck. The other, more modest bedrooms also boast westward views and shared renovated baths. 

Just out of sight, down the hill from the pool, is the 3,500-square-foot guesthouse, which has as its lower level a state-of-the-art car storage space, with lifts, workshop, and room for—count ’em—18 to 20 cars. A hidden marvel, indeed.

The owners Robert and Veronica were living in Bedford in the early 1990s, with a new baby and plans for more, when they fell upon this peak of undeveloped Ridgefield land high up on Oscaleta Road. “We really had a vision for this house when we saw the property and view,” says Robert, himself in the construction business. “We really wanted a space where we could enjoy this location with remarkable privacy.” 

As the family grew, the two sons and daughter progressed through the Ridgefield public schools—playing lacrosse, football, and field hockey—this was their place to hang with friends. The guesthouse, in addition to room for the cars, has a basketball court and lots of space, and opens out onto a tennis court. “They’d spend hours shooting hoops with friends and relaxing by the pool,” he says. “They’d never leave.”

The two boys took up go-kart racing but lost interest in the tween years. Then the youngest regained the racing bug at age 15 and now at 19 is pursuing it professionally. As so with him focused on racing and the other two children into their own careers, it’s time to move on from their hilltop retreat. “I built this house, and so I know it’s well-constructed and crafted by people who care about doing things right,” says Robert, pointing out elements of the design, the newly renovated details in the kitchen, and the clean and tidy mechanical systems that still look freshly installed.

As his pickup rolls down the drive, he leaves the keys in the hands of Karla Murtaugh (karlamurtaugh.com) of Neumann Real Estate to tell the story and find a new family to call this space home.

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