April 6, 2013

.: This is the house that will haunt me {part three}

{The Final Chapter}

I know, I know....I've been going on about this house as if it's the greatest thing ever built, and you're probably thinking, "What the heck?  It's only a house!"

But a house is never "only a house" to me.  It is always the sum total of its physical being, its history and its future potential.  This house stands its ground on all three counts.  True, its physical being currently shows signs of age and leaves a little to be desired.  But it has the square footage, layout, and location that make it worth the investment.  Granted, it boasts 4 bathrooms that literally haven't been touched since the house was built in 1964.

Back in those days bathrooms were small, and foil wallpaper was a "thing".  But luckily, the master bath and the upstairs family bath are back to back and sandwiched between two huge bedrooms, which makes updating and enlarging them both (by stealing square footage from the bedrooms) easy-peasy.  And the powder room yields this little gem.

A gilt French Provincial console vanity with green onyx counter (and faucet accents) and a gold leaf Greek key pattern on the basin!  Are you kidding me?  (Oh how I'd love to get my hands on this little jewel-box of a powder room.  The gold flocked wallpaper is maybe a little over the top, but that's easily remedied with a spray bottle and a scraper!  A few coats of Chinese red lacquer color on the wall will make that stone sing like it's the emperor's own basin.  A new mirror, some carefully chosen antique art pieces for the wall, and....ah, sorry.  I got a little carried away....)

Anywaaaayyyy.  Getting back to the physical being, there are some other cool little features in this house that I haven't mentioned (besides the three bucolic acres and, of course, the dumbwaiter):  an indoor pool (floor needs major repairs, but...), sauna, greenhouse, stained glass inserts in the interior doors, a nifty wrap/paper towel holder built into the kitchen backsplash, skylights, built-in stone barbeque pit on the patio...and that's just what I saw on a quick walk-through.  There might actually be more that I don't even know about.

The three acres are located in one of the nicest neighborhoods in our town...a small, conveniently located  lake community with a mix of cottages and larger homes, all of which consistently fetch a good price at resale.  The recent history of the home is just about as fabulous as that onyx vanity.  It is the property of Ernest and Hedy Dichter.  Ernest (1907-1991) was an Austrian-American psychologist and marketing expert who was known as the father of Motivational Research.  He conceived the term "focus group", and was instrumental in putting the "tiger in our tank" and bringing the Barbie doll into existence.  (Google him -- there's some very interesting information out there!)  Apart from being Ernest and Hedy's residence, the house was also home to his Institute for Motivational Research.  After Ernest's death, Hedy continued to live in the home until just a few weeks ago, when she was moved to a local nursing home.  At the age of 102!  I hear she swam in the pool and used the sauna every day, right up until she moved.  No doubt that's why even though she uses a walker, she's otherwise still quite agile.

So, there you have it.   A home that combines some amazing features, great location, passionate and intellectual history, a great deal of love and the potential to be an exquisite abode.

If I hit the lottery, you'll know where to find me.  And if not, well....I'll still be here.  Still addicted to looking at houses and sharing with you.  But if it just so happens that you decide to buy this house, you might need a good interior designer.  And if you need a good interior designer (who already loves the house!), you know who to call!    ;-D

If you'd like to see the original listing for this home, please visit Coldwell Banker. 

~ Leigh

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