- immaculate, French Provencal-style custom home
- true single-floor living
- thoroughly-renovated with high-end finishes
- multiple rooms suitable for home offices
- 2 wood and 2 gas-burning fireplaces
- pool & thatched roof guest cottage with full bath and HVAC
- 2 oversized 2-car garages with possible 5th garage space
- stunning established gardens surrounded by hayfields
- magnificent secluded setting on winding country road
Le Cygne, the Swan, is a unique property evoking the ambiance of homes found nestled amid the picturesque hayfields of Provence. Originally built in 1967 as a paean to traditional French architecture and landscape design, the property has been meticulously restored and updated by its current designer owners with an eye to marrying the beauty of traditional finishes with modern conveniences thus transcending individual decor selections. Thoughtfully-sited in a 6 acre retreat-like setting, Le Cygne is oriented to maximize the striking natural beauty and light of the bucolic Tewksbury countryside. It boasts a flexible floor plan and its various spaces can accommodate different needs as life in the house evolves. Restored traditional French mahogany portes-fenêtres throughout the home and a European conservatory extension boast abundant natural light and afford breathtaking vistas of the property’s fragrant French gardens and specimen trees. The fully-renovated kitchen and bathrooms, wide-plank oak floors, high wood ceilings, four fireplaces (2 wood-burning, 2 gas all with vintage mantels), inground pool, thatched roof poolside guest cottage, and extensive gardens and plantings underscore Le Cygne’s stunning aesthetic which is simultaneously elegant yet warm and welcoming.
Turning off a scenic country road of predominantly horse farms, Le Cygne is approached through a majestic allée of European Hornbeams. Situated on a pea gravel courtyard rimmed with mature boxwoods, the courtyard features an imported vintage stone fountain. Iron arbors with cascading blush pink roses lead off the courtyard to meandering brick garden pathways. A herringbone brick terrace spans the entire front of the house and a French blue wooden front door, accented with an antique bubbled glass window invites guests to enter.
The intimate foyer of the house opens directly onto an antique clay tile surround. It frames the large living room which is fashioned in a style reminiscent of a French salon. Four portes-fenêtres offer sweeping 360-degree views of the home’s meticulously curated spaces inside and out. The living room’s soaring wooden vaulted ceiling, with whitewashed pegged exposed timbers, is accented by a large brass and burled wood chandelier. Its graceful fireplace, re-proportioned by the current owners for better functioning, retains the original French carved fruitwood antique mantel acquired on travels by the home’s original owners. A hidden wood storage space in the floor allows convenient access to logs for keeping the fireplace blazing.
The spacious, centrally-located dining room features three portes-fenêtres leading to a lattice enclosed outdoor dining courtyard and walled garden area. Other dining room features include a hand-painted marble fireplace surround, board-on-board ceiling treatment, stucco walls, an iron Currey and Company chandelier, and a pair of vintage metal acanthus leaf sconces.
A swinging wooden door with etched glass panel leads to the stunning renovated kitchen. The kitchen, designed with a French bakery in mind, features neutral finishes: Super White granite countertops and custom white cabinetry with sleek, stainless steel pulls. Gleaming white subway tile extends to the ceiling and the Thermador 6-burner gas range is topped with a copper-lined, antique tile ventilation hood with terracotta frieze. The range backsplash is fashioned from decorative antique French tiles reclaimed from the home’s original kitchen. Additional appliances include a Thermador stainless steel two-door refrigerator, a Thermador stainless steel under-counter microwave oven, and a Thermador stainless steel dishwasher. The focal point of the kitchen commercial-like workspace is an island, crafted from a steel repurposed factory welding table, topped with soapstone and accented by two chrome cloche pendant lights. The wood floor of the kitchen, part of the 2015 renovation, was handcrafted onsite to match the home’s original wide-plank oak flooring complete with antique-style nails.
A hi-top marble breakfast bar area and dramatic arched ceiling open the kitchen to a glass and hardwood European conservatory addition purchased by the second owner of the home from a display at a garden show at the Rockefeller Center Promenade in Manhattan. This striking dining space offers year-round pastoral views of the hayfields that surround the home and is comfortable year-round with hot water radiant heating under limestone tile floors. Open shelved cabinets for dishes and glassware and a metal chandelier with glass accents catch the play of light through the glass, and pay homage to the distinctive wood-and-glass conservatory construction.
Adjacent to the kitchen, a mudroom/pantry in the home’s tower leads to the attached two-car garage and includes cabinets, a washer/dryer, and ample additional storage spaces. A soaring ceiling features decorative trompe-l’oeil paint detail and a uniquely designed mosaic tile floor, marks the date the original space was completed.
Adjacent to the central living room space of the home, an intimate library is thoughtfully-sited as a room that can serve double-duty as public or private space. Built-in bookshelves and cabinetry, a wood-burning fireplace, and hand-hewn beam ceiling accent underscore the room’s inviting ambiance. The library also leads to the second bedroom of the house as well as its bathroom.
The master bedroom suite is tucked away in its own wing of the home, surrounded by gardens on three sides. Cathedral ceilings, access to the back courtyard French garden through portes-fenêtres, and a gas fireplace with an antique carved white Carrara marble mantel enhance the distinctive style of the home. A walk-in closet features built in custom storage units and provides a window view of the hayfields through an espalier apple tree and an allée of Bradford pear trees. The master bathroom features custom white cabinetry, double oval undermount sinks, polished chrome fixtures, and white Carrara marble countertops. The marble counters are custom-formed to accent and accommodate the freestanding white Victoria and Albert soaking tub. The stall shower has expertly thought out finishes including a visual extension of the sink countertop to create a shallow shelf within the shower enclosure as well as substantial rimless French-style glass doors custom-designed to maximize space in the shower while minimizing intrusion of the door swing into the bathroom space. The marble basketweave tile pattern of the shower pan matches the flooring in the bathroom and provides visual continuity.
The generous second bedroom of the home is nestled beyond the library and could serve as a secondary master suite. It features raised ceilings accented by a metal candelabra chandelier, a walk-in closet with built-in storage areas, an additional reach-in closet, and a suitcase storage closet in the attic space. Portes-fenêtre doors lead from this room to a brick terrace covered by a mature, producing grape arbor overlooking the pool, surrounding gardens, and hayfields in the distance.
The third bedroom of the house is accessed from the central space of the home near the master bedroom. This cozy sanctuary with decorative paint finishes and a reach-in closet has views over the backyard garden and pool. It could also serve as an alternative office space for residents of the home.
The second and third bedrooms are served by a “Jack and Jill” bathroom with white subway tile walls, a Carrara marble countertop punctuated by two undermount white ceramic sinks, polished chrome fixtures, painted white cabinetry with stainless steel pulls, two articulated chrome-framed mirrors, and a stall shower with frameless glass doors. Black and white marble basket-weave pattern tile floors add a stylish flair which can enhance many styles of decor.
A powder room tucked off the entrance foyer has elegant features reminiscent of a Parisian apartment. A toilet partition wall was crafted from wood repurposed from the home’s library and accented by antique leaded glass windows. A storage cupboard with doors fashioned from repurposed wood from the library creates a warm, vintage feel. The powder room’s intricate carved pedestal wood vanity is topped with marble and fluted brass fixtures. The muted earth tones of the Thibault wallpaper add rich dimension and texture to the powder room.
The attic of the home is easily accessible from a pull-down stair in a board-on-board plank ceiling panel discreetly hidden from view. The floored attic is suitable for storage and includes two cedar-lined closets.
The immaculate, unfinished basement includes a sink, wine refrigerator, French drain, and space for the mechanical systems of the home, including the oil tank servicing the home. An additional crawlspace with poured concrete foundation
Painted wood shutters typical of homes in the Provençal countryside accent the painted blue windows and cream-colored hard coat stucco of the home. Additional decorative elements adorn the exterior finish including corbels from the original Metropolitan Opera House (no longer standing) in Manhattan. A roof (2014) of hand-split cedar shake shingles tops the entire home and half-round galvanized steel gutters underscore the rustic design of the home.
An inviting swimming pool with brick surround edging detail is integrated into the brick paths winding through the layered garden areas offering one of many focal points in the gardens at the home. A non pareil cottage next to the pool with fanciful thatched roof, cedar shakes and leaded glass windows has a covered patio dining area with rustic wood loggia. The interior of the cottage has a raised, pine-panelled ceiling, exposed structural beams, ceiling fan, and full bathroom with tiled shower stall and tile floor. The polished features of the pool cottage offer an inviting shelter with a range of possible uses. Currently used as a home office and changing space for pool visitors, the cottage could also serve as an independent space for overnight guests. The space is heated by electric baseboard heating and cooled by a wall unit tucked unobtrusively into the gable end of the structure so as not to compromise the use of windows.
The exterior perimeters of the gardens are defined by a rustic, three-rail split rail wood fence with subtle vertical extensions making it inaccessible to hungry deer without obstructing the views of the hayfields beyond the gardens. Multiple interior garden areas serve a range of purposes for relaxing, dining, or entertaining. In addition to the pool area, patio, and pergola outside the second bedroom, a pea gravel dining area defined by low brick walls and painted wood lattice work is just outside the dining room’s portes-fenêtres. This peaceful space is adjacent to a centrally-located formal French garden with established boxwoods onto which the living room and master bedroom suite enjoy views and access. Multiple secondary garden areas adjacent to the home and lawn areas offer verdant and various accents, including espalier fruit trees, climbing flowering perennials on latticework, flowering annuals, evergreens, and drystone walls.
The property is located in Tewksbury Township nestled on a scenic country road near the historic villages of Mountainville and Califon. Tewksbury is one of the most prestigious areas of Hunterdon County and 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 and United States Equestrian Foundation, miles of scenic riding trails in the Tewksbury Trail System. Nearby outdoor recreation areas include Christie Hoffman Farm Park, Ken Lockwood Gorge, the Columbia Trail, and Round Valley Reservoir. It is served by Tewksbury Elementary School (designated a Blue Ribbon School in 2011), Old Turnpike Middle School, and Voorhees High School (designated a Blue Ribbon School in 2015) and is convenient to private schools (The Willow School, Gill St. Bernard, Pingry, Far Hills Country Day) with nearby shopping, golf courses and country clubs (Hamilton Farm, Fiddler’s Elbow, Trump National). Commuter highways (Interstates 78 and 287), TransBridge Line buses and NJ Transit trains allow for convenient access to New York City and Newark Liberty International Airport as well as smaller regional airports.
Le Cygne is perfect for a buyer looking for a high-quality and architecturally-distinctive home.
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