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Simply Modern

A dramatic home overlooks Long Island Sound



Photographs © Peter Aaron/Esto

How does a couple who looked at countless center-hall colonials and then decided to build a shingle-style arts & crafts home end up buying a pyramid-shaped glass-sheathed house with a 12-foot-deep swimming pool in the living room? The fact that the husband grew up in Florida and the wife grew up in New Mexico might explain part of it. 
 
Set on top of a spectacular hill in Wilton, yet not visible from the road, the house offers sweeping views of Long Island Sound and the surrounding landscape. “Because the site is so incredible, and the house so unusual, I think Tom expected we’d tear it down and build the shingle-style house we’d been talking about in its place,” says the wife, referring to their architect, Tom Kligerman. “He was surprised when we decided to keep it and build an addition instead.” The couple loved the views and the feeling of the space—the soaring ceilings and the fact that the rooms were so open and flooded with natural light. They hired his firm, Ike Kligerman Barkley, to renovate the existing structure and design an addition that would include a new master bedroom suite as well as guest bedrooms, a family room, fitness room and music studio.  
 
The exterior of the new wing recalls the strong vertical lines of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, yet seamlessly complements the original pyramid-shaped structure. Despite its commanding size, the house also shares Wright’s respect for nature and interest in integrating interior and exterior spaces. It hugs, rather than dominates, the hill upon which it sits. Inside, a long hallway provides a transition from the old to the new part of the house. On the main floor, a frosted glass bridge leads to the new master bedroom. “We thought the hallway below might be too dark. Using a glass floor would allow more light in, although it turns out that light is not an issue,” the wife explains. Sun streams through the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors along the south-facing side overlooking an outdoor pool and the native wildflower meadow. The owners replaced all the aluminum windows and doors in the original structure to match those in the addition.
 
The interior of the existing house underwent a significant renovation that included stripping the stained-wood ceiling, which had darkened to almost black, in the main living space and installing new skylights that would allow in more natural light. Dark brown tiles covered most of the original floors. The owners removed these and put in large limestone pavers. They replaced the rustic fieldstone wall in the foyer with a plaster wall. “We wanted to keep as many original elements as possible while reflecting our own tastes and the way we live,” says the wife. They also completely renovated the pool, which occupies a large area of the living room, sheathing a wall bordering one side with shimmering glass tiles. The couple never considered filling it in. “We hadn’t been looking for a house with a pool in the living room, but it was an integral part of the space. We use it mostly as a plunge pool after taking a sauna. In fact,” she adds, “there isn’t a room in the house we don’t use.” 
 
The renovation also involved removing some original walls to reconfigure several rooms. The owners cut into a small area of their daughter’s bedroom to install a minimalist wood staircase. It replaces a spiral one that lead to the glass-enclosed office, which appears to float above the dining room. They incorporated a tiny front bedroom into the foyer to create a powder room and larger hall closet, and enlarged the kitchen. “My husband is a serious cook, so he picked out all the appliances,” says the wife, pointing to the stainless-steel professional ovens and warming drawers, built-in wok, and refrigerator. Custom concrete and stainless-steel counters offer ample workspace. The blue lacquered cabinetry made by Snaidero, an Italian company, injects an intense burst of color in an otherwise muted color palette, and evokes the wide expanse of sky visible from almost every room. “From the time I saw an ad for these cabinets in a magazine, I knew I wanted them. They come in great colors like Ferrari red; in fact they are designed by Pininfarina, the firm that designed classic Ferraris.” Windows form the exterior walls on two sides of the kitchen and overlook a juniper hedge. “Looking out these windows is like watching a nature movie—so many animals live in those hedges,” says the wife.  
 
The interior design includes many other eclectic finishes such as pearlescent Venetian plaster walls rubbed with beeswax in the dining room and living room. “They’re very durable and easy to wash down. When they finished the walls, the whole house smelled like honey,” says the wife, with a laugh.  Built-in cabinetry in the dining room provides storage space; crafted from claro walnut and topped with a slab of striated oil shale, its doors are covered in a silvery mesh phenolic board, a material used to make circuit boards. An expansive yellow ocher-colored wall—providing another burst of color—creates a dramatic backdrop for the grand piano and the seating arrangement in the living room. 
 
With so much glass, maintaining the optimal interior temperature could be a challenge, but the house has been retrofitted with a geothermal heating and cooling system and a solar hot water system. The addition’s large overhanging roof allows the sun to shine in during the winter, warming the rooms, and blocks most of the direct sunlight in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky. And while many of the rooms have window treatments, the owners don’t pull them closed often because they enjoy the views. “I love being surrounded by nature, and being able to look out and see the seasons,” says the wife. “Philip Johnson made a comment about how living in a glass house was like having ever-changing wall paper,” says the wife. ” I now understand exactly what he means.” 

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September 2018

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....

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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
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
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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...

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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

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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 »

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
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Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

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Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
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View map »


Website »

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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...

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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Francisco Fullana, Violin Soloist Join us for three masterpieces representing important moments in time for orchestral music.  Arvo...

Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

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Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
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Sponsor: Norwalk Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 203-956-6771
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Cost: $10. suggestion donation to Circle of Care

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Sponsor: Goldenberry Devonshire
Telephone: 203-972-5887
Contact Name: Goldenberry Gourmet & Gift
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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

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


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
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View map »


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

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Top of the Hill: New Paintings,” a solo exhibition featuring new work by Brian Rutenberg. The show will open with a reception for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


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

More information

Francisco Fullana, Violin Soloist Join us for three masterpieces representing important moments in time for orchestral music.  Arvo...

Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

Where:
Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
NORWALK, CT  06855
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 203-956-6771
Contact Name: Sandra Miklave, Executive Director
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


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 “Top of the Hill: New Paintings,” a solo exhibition featuring new work by Brian Rutenberg. The show will open with a reception for...

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

Francisco Fullana, Violin Soloist Join us for three masterpieces representing important moments in time for orchestral music.  Arvo...

Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

Where:
Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
NORWALK, CT  06855
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 203-956-6771
Contact Name: Sandra Miklave, Executive Director
Website »

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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

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


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 “Top of the Hill: New Paintings,” a solo exhibition featuring new work by Brian Rutenberg. The show will open with a reception for...

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

Francisco Fullana, Violin Soloist Join us for three masterpieces representing important moments in time for orchestral music.  Arvo...

Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

Where:
Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
NORWALK, CT  06855
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 203-956-6771
Contact Name: Sandra Miklave, Executive Director
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Top of the Hill: New Paintings,” a solo exhibition featuring new work by Brian Rutenberg. The show will open with a reception for...

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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Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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More information

Francisco Fullana, Violin Soloist Join us for three masterpieces representing important moments in time for orchestral music.  Arvo...

Cost: $50; $37.50, $25, Students $10

Where:
Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
NORWALK, CT  06855
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 203-956-6771
Contact Name: Sandra Miklave, Executive Director
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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