2115 Elandon (1982)


Visual treats and treasures spring from every corner and surface of this large English cottage style house built around 1915. Brick, wood, stucco, embossed tiles, a new "ruin," a Victorian fainting couch and a nine-foot giraffe are among the distinctive elements of design and decor that co-exist most pleasingly here. The architecture reflects several influences: an English Renaissance style recessed entryway, traditional half-timbering, and Arts-and-Crafts suggestions in carved animal figures and wooden arborwork along the front of the house. The animal motif may have been a "signature" of the architect, for it is repeated in stone carvings and tiles in the "pub room" just off the main hall.


The current owners seem almost intuitively to have understood the unique nature of the house and have extended and amplified this label-defying style as they restored, remodeled, constructed, and "gave a home to things that we like for many different reasons."


At the north end of the front hall is the music room, containing a 130-year old Chickering piano, two inlaid wood eighteenth century English plant stands and the fruits of several digs in Greece by these self -described "homemade archeologists." A main floor ballroom, added after the original structure was completed, juts out into the park-like grounds at an angle to the main house. Its magnificent walnut paneling, all cut from a single tree, was discovered by the current owners under an incredible shade of blue paint. Here resides the giraffe as well as a splendid partners' desk, an elephant umbrella, and a thirteenth century Northern European chest.


At the opposite end of the front hall is the dining room, whose glazed walls are the product of an exacting process rarely practiced today, but insisted upon by the current owners. Behind the kitchen, itself a highly personal statement, is a walled garden reminiscent of those found in very old European villas. The garden is quite new; its masonry and ironwork are the products both of present day craftsmen who still practice uncommon trades and of the special vision of the owners, who designed the area from memories and dreams. The garden invites both quiet individual contemplation and large, sociable gatherings. Instead of assuming this to be one more large house in a neighborhood of large houses, one discovers upon entering a true treasure house where each object has a story and where value is derived far more often from aesthetics and sentiment than from monetary worth.