Just Listed: Contemporary Traditional House in Bryn Mawr

This very accommodating house proves once again that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical front courtyard

Even though the Colonial aesthetic dominates the Main Line, one can find many attractive contemporary houses scattered about it too. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, this house at 1220 Round Hill Rd., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010, is not one of them. | Bright MLS images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Take a good, long look at the photo above.

Looks like you’re about to enter one of those striking contemporary houses that dot the Main Line, doesn’t it?

Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s what greets you once you step across the threshold:

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical foyer


Yes, f0lks, you have just entered a contemporary house that thinks it’s a Colonial, or maybe a French Provincial, despite having a layout that completely flies in the face of any ancient tradition.

This Bryn Mawr contemporary classical house for sale has to be one of the best domestic-architecture drag shows I’ve run across in quite some time. If you can’t decide whether you prefer the informal casualness of a contemporary house or the formal elegance of a traditional one, then this house has your name on it, for here, you don’t have to choose.

house for sale Bryn Mawr colonial contemporary living room

Living room

Take a look at the two-story-high living room, for instance. Its volume, huge floor-to-ceiling windows and balcony overlook all say “contemporary.”  On the other hand, the fireplace mantel, bookcases, furniture and rug could hardly be more traditional.

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical dining room

Dining room

And the only traditional design elements missing from the dining room are a chandelier and wainscoting, or at least a chair rail.

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical breakfast room

Breakfast room

You couldn’t put either of these in the breakfast room, however, and its two-story light well features decidedly contemporary trim.

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical kitchen


The breakfast room, whose windows look out on the backyard, is part of a trio of rooms joined by the traditional-yet-modern kitchen. That kitchen, which is nicely outfitted, may be the one traditional room here that doesn’t look like it clashes with the house’s contemporary bones.

house for sale Bryn Mawr contemporary classical den


first-floor balcony

Main floor balcony

No, scratch that. The cozy den next to it also fits its space very comfortably. Its sliding door leads to one of two balcony decks from which you can take in this house’s lush, tree-studded backyard.

primary bedroom

Primary bedroom

So, for that matter, does the primary bedroom, located directly over the kitchen and den. The balcony overlooking the breakfast room leads to the second of those balcony decks, which it shares with another bedroom on the upper floor.

primary bathroom

Primary bathroom

The primary bathroom, also done up in classic Main Line traditional fashion, has all the accouterments one expects in a luxury bath.

basement rec room

Basement rec room

Downstairs, the basement rec room opens directly onto the backyard. It and the adjacent guest bedroom and bonus room are the least traditional-looking of this house’s interior spaces, but even here, you’ll find a touch of the traditional in the wood stove in its fireplace.

rear elevation and backyard

Rear elevation and backyard

In addition to the guest bedroom, this house also has an in-law apartment behind its garage; you can see a glimpse of it on the other side of the stone wall that separates its deck and backyard from the main house’s. That accessory apartment has its own kitchenette and full bath.

As the listing agent’s description calls this Bryn Mawr contemporary classical house for sale in the Hermitage Estates subdivision a “turn-key home,” I assume that you can buy it with the furniture included. I’d probably decline the offer and replace all the 18th-century stuff with something more in keeping with this house’s soul, but hey, this is the Main Line, and the Main Line aesthetic tends to run from rather than towards the contemporary. If you love modern architecture but have a traditional heart, this house lets you have your cake and eat it too.



BATHS: 3 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $1,029,000

OTHER STUFF:  This house has a backup generator and a Tesla charging station in its garage. A $1,200 per month homeowners association fee covers maintenance of subdivision roads and common areas.

1220 Round Hill Rd., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010 [Michele Hopkins | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]