Fox Feather Farm
Listed by: Kelly Gordon
Fox Feather Farm was conceived and built by its current owners as a working horse farm that marries casual elegance with practical functionality. The improvements on the property were designed to appear as though they have been standing for generations, but the oldest of them was started in 1998. Inspired by features of estates and farms all over the world and breathtakingly well-conceived down to the smallest detail, Fox Feather Farm is an estate suited for someone looking for a retreat-like property that recharges the soul as it is sited to maximize one’s connection with the stunning natural setting.
Access to the property is via a private road shared by four estate properties, and the farm itself is not visible from the private road or other local roads, making it ideal for a privacy-lover. A gracefully curving, crushed stone driveway welcomes visitors to the farm, past the orchard of fruit trees and allows access to the barn complex and rental cottage that is separate from access to the main residence.
Visitors are welcomed to the main residence from the driveway through a porte-cochere access that opens up to a mews-style courtyard of entryway and garages. The formal entrance of the main residence is via a covered portico using bluestone steps. The highlight of the main entrance foyer is the primary staircase of the home which is illuminated by an upper window bringing natural light into the foyer. This central foyer connects the public and private areas of the home.
The living room of the home is designed to take advantage of the spectacular bucolic views that characterize the property. Transom windows and French doors to the veranda connect the living room with the beauty of the landscape. Additionally, a decorative Rumford fireplace with wooden mantel gives the room warmth and elegance.
The living room flows easily through stenciled pocket doors to the dining room which also connects to the verandah through French doors accented by transom windows. Plate-rail, chair rail, and stenciled walls underscore the historic feel of the home.
The formal entertaining areas — the living room, dining room, and entrance foyer — all feature nine-foot ceilings and are connected to the casual entertaining areas of the house by an elegant transitional hallway featuring subtle Classical-style decorative ceiling flanked at each end by half-round arches.
The large family room is connected to the valley views by the French doors with transom windows leading to the covered porch. The family room has a vaulted ceiling with exposed wooden structural elements giving the room a grand, yet rustic feel. A wood-burning fireplace with antique brick surround and wood mantel serves as a second focal point of the room. United by antique wide-plank pine flooring, the family room and kitchen flow easily into each other.
The eat-in kitchen features maple custom wood cabinetry topped with granite counters, and undermount stainless steel double sink with brass gooseneck faucet, stainless steel Swedish Asko dishwasher, and SubZero refrigerator. Natural gas fuels an exceptional 4-oven Aga stove. The eat-in area of the kitchen is a transition space connecting the family room and kitchen. It is separated from the kitchen by a small step down and its bay window overlooks the koi pond. The kitchen is connected to the formal entertaining areas and secondary main level entrance of the house by way of a butler’s pantry which features the same cabinetry and counters as the kitchen as well as an undermount stainless steel sink and second dishwasher.
The secondary main level entrance of the house is accessed from under the porte-cochere up bluestone steps into a small foyer with a coat closet. The foyer connects to the informal spaces of the home (kitchen, family room, butler’s pantry, a powder room with a white pedestal sink, and a turned rear staircase to the office/guest suite styled after antique turned staircases to add architectural interest.
The bedrooms on the first floor of the home include the master bedroom as well as a separate bedroom suite appropriate for use by domestic help or a family member as a bedroom or office.
The master bedroom suite is accessed through a transitional hallway from the main foyer which leads to a library overlooking the courtyard and greenhouse through French doors accented by transom windows. The library features a coffered ceiling with recessed lighting, Rumford fireplace with gas-fired fireplace and antique wood mantel, and floor-to-ceiling wood cabinetry and bookshelves.
The remainder of the master bedroom is separated from the rest of the house through another doorway and is out of view of visitors to the study. A private hallway connects the master bedroom to the transitional hallway with the study in one direction and to a laundry room, two walk-in cedar closets, toilet room, and master bathroom. The master bedroom features vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace with wooden mantle, and sliding French doors with transom windows to a section of the veranda overlooking grazing horses. The master bathroom suite features a sauna, stall steam/shower with classic marble tile, classic marble floor tiles, wood vanity with pale grey marble counter and white undermount sink, jetted tub, and access to a covered porch with rough-hewn local fieldstone step serving as a vantage point for the views or a transition space for accessing the in-ground pool.
The second bedroom on the first floor is accessible from the secondary entrance to the home and features a bedroom with a gas-fired fireplace, double closet, and a wheelchair-accessible en suite bathroom with white pedestal sink with antique top, and a no-threshold white-tiled shower.
The three second floor bedrooms of the home are accessed from the main stair in the main foyer. The largest of the bedrooms features a window seat in a dormer overlooking the views and an en suite bathroom with a vanity styled from a repurposed antique dresser and a white enamel clawfoot tub with shower. The other two bedrooms feature dormer windows and share the main bath which has a window seat in a dormer, a jetted tub-shower with subway tile, wood vanity with granite countertop and enamel undermount sink, and white tile floor with accents matching the granite vanity counter.
The second floor also includes a separate in-law suite that can be accessed in three different ways: from an outside entrance out of view of the main entrance of the house, through a passageway from one of the secondary bedrooms, or from a circular staircase adjacent to the garage accessible from the port-cochere. This suite includes an interior room with skylights suitable as a bedroom or secondary sitting room, a large full bathroom, and a main room with an efficiency kitchen with copper backsplash and ventilation hood, high ceilings, and an exterior entrance. There is antique plank wood flooring throughout.The exterior approach to this space leads from the crushed stone driveway, up a walkway of paving bricks accented by granite steps and perennials to a landing outside the entrance.
The spacious, finished walkout ground level adds significant living space to the home and is finished with the same quality as other areas of the house and includes several rooms suitable for entertaining or personal use. A bright corner room is currently used as a billiard room and features a wood-burning fireplace with floor-to-ceiling flagstone surround and rough-hewn wooden mantel. It can be accessed through multiple French doors overlooking the covered patio area that runs along the south side of the house. This room connects easily to a large room suitable for many different purposes currently used as a recreation room. Adjacent to the recreation room is a media room with retractable screen and adjoining full bathroom with stall shower and white fixtures and tiles. Hardwood floors and oak wainscoting are featured throughout the ground level area. An additional full bathroom with similar finishes is accessible from an outside entrance at the rear of the house for pool guests but can also be accessed from a small hallway leading from the recreation room. In addition to direct access from outside doors on the ground level, the area is accessible from inside the house through either a staircase from the formal spaces of the house (in between the foyer and living room) or from a staircase near the intersection of the secondary main level entrance to the house, kitchen, butler’s pantry, and secondary first floor bedroom. The finished ground level spaces also include a mudroom with ground level access through an arched doorway which features storage in under and over-counter storage, second washer and dryer, additional refrigerator/freezer and free-standing freezer, and rough-hewn country-style bluestone floor. This room is also accessible from inside the house through a discreet door in the corner of the room currently used as a billiard room.
The inground Gunite pool has an adjoining spa and tile accents is tucked behind the residence and overlooks expansive views over pastures and preserved land. A paving brick patio surround provides ample space for dining and sunbathing areas.
The European-style courtyard area of the main home features 4 garage bays with custom garage doors each with automatic openers, a heated greenhouse with planting benches currently used to raise orchids, and a stone storage shed elegantly-styled as a well-house.
Systems of the home include 200 amp electrical service, 5-bedroom septic system, well water, four-zone gas-fired forced air heating, multi-zone central air conditioning, gas fired hot water heaters, hookup for a portable generator, central monitoring security system with temperature feature, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, all of which add to the ease of living in this elegant country retreat.
Exterior features of the main residence include a lower level covered patio with a concrete flooring surface finished to look like bluestone tile, a main level veranda that runs along the entire south side of the home which is covered in parts and provides multiple spaces for dining, relaxing, or simply enjoying the view. Additionally, cedar clapboard siding, hand-split cedar shake roof with copper cricket detail, brick chimneys with decorative brick detail, half-round gutters, 21 acres dedicated to pastures and hayfields fenced with split-rail fencing, and fruit orchards including apple, peach, cherry, and pear trees complete the elegant exterior features. Perennial gardens include extensive mature specimen, heirloom apple and flowering trees, shrubs, and plants including: Japanese maples, dogwoods, white lilacs, purple lilacs, roses, peonies (different species), irises, pulmonaria, philadelphus, and ferns.
A generously-sized rental cottage is connected to an oversized three-car detached garage. It features an open living/dining room area, 2 bedrooms, one full bathroom with tub-shower, full kitchen, laundry, hardwood flooring throughout, ample storage space, and exterior deck. It is accessed from outside via a deck. The garage doors each have automatic door openers, and the cottage’s services include 200 amp service, natural gas fired forced hot air heat, central air conditioning, gas fired water heater, well water (separate from main house), 2-bedroom septic (separate from main house), smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers.
The 30’x40’ bank barn is a 1830’s Pennsylvania dairy barn which was relocated to its current location and modified for use as a stable with 8 stalls with sliding doors, a tack/feed room, and wash stall. This historic barn has been showcased and featured on barn tours and in magazine articles. The hayloft in the upper story of the barn is supported by beautiful hand-hewn oak beams and mortise and tenon joining. The barn was built on a new foundation, and the vintage exterior sheathing was replaced with a standing-seam metal roof and white pine board-and-batten siding.
The outdoor arena (100’x200’) has 6” of rubber and sand footing over crushed stone and clay and a drainage system with a shaded observation bench.
The indoor area (70’x180’) has 4-inch slanted kick-board, 6” of rubber and sand footing over crushed stone and clay, wall mirrors, sliding paned windows (which can be opened while mounted), translucent panels in the roof and upper portions of the walls for natural light, vapor lights, large ventilating fans, and a sound system. The interior ceiling has been protected with wire netting.
The perimeter of the grounds is marked by a half-mile pathway wide enough and suitable for walking on foot, on horseback, or on a golf cart or ATV maximizing the recreational uses of the property and also adding to ease of maintenance of the property.
The property is located one hour’s drive from New York City in the estate section of Tewksbury just outside the historic village of Oldwick — one of the most prestigious areas of Hunterdon County and a town renowned for its natural beauty, private estates, and upscale lifestyle marked by the popularity of equestrian sports related to the nearby Essex Hunt Club, United States Equestrian Team Foundation, and private polo fields within the township. It is convenient to shopping, golf courses and country clubs (Hamilton Farm, Trump National, Fiddler’s Elbow), commuter highways (Interstate 78 and 287), NJ Transit trains and TransBridge Lines buses to New York City, and airports including Newark Liberty International Airport and smaller regional airports (Morristown Airport, Solberg Airport, Somerset Airport). The property is near private schools (Willow School, Pingry, Gill-St. Bernard) and is served by Tewksbury Elementary School, Old Turnpike Middle School, and Voorhees High School.