Just Listed: Norman-Inspired “Carriage House” in Haverford
The owners of this Haverford Reserve mansionette figured out how to put the “custom” in “mass customization.”
In the five-plus years I’ve edited the Real Estate & Home section here, I’ve featured several houses for sale in The Carriage Homes at Haverford Reserve, the upscale Goldenberg Group/Guidi Homes subdivision in Haverford.
And as the number of such features rises, it has become increasingly clear to me that this partnership has produced a luxury Levittown.
It quickly became impossible for me to tell one Carriage Homes at Haverford Reserve house for sale from another, for on the outside, all five of the models that were built in this development have the same footprints, and all of them have the same Norman-inspired exteriors. I doubt that any actual European village’s houses would all look alike.
So how do you tell Haverford Reserve houses apart? By going inside them. And when you step inside this Haverford Norman-style house for sale, you will find yourself in one of the most attractive and strikingly stylish houses of the lot.
Its owners worked closely with the builders and designers to do this ”Pembrey” model house up right, with a design that puts the “custom” in “mass customization” with its contemporary take on traditional style.
They didn’t opt for all the bells and whistles Guidi offered: This house lacks the optional elevator that could be installed in the two models with second-floor primary bedrooms, and the owners also opted not to add a fireplace to its living room. But it has the best of just about everything else.
Even though the house’s exterior is Norman, the front rooms of the main floor are colonial in arrangement, with a living room and a dining room bracketing a central foyer But the non-aligned archways give it an off-center-hall twist.
(Noteworthy about this house: all the entrances from the outside employ French doors. But since this house’s exterior is inspired by French design, perhaps this could be expected. You will see as we continue this tour, however, that this house’s owners appear to be particularly fond of French doors.)
Both of the colonial main-floor rooms are painted a cool, subdued blue-gray; the shade looks like one known as New Providence Navy.
Large front windows flood both front rooms with light. And the generous archway leading to the butler’s pantry will make serving food in the formal dining room much easier.
To the left of the butler’s pantry, a hallway and enclosed porch connect the house to its two-car garage. To its right, the kitchen serves as the hinge of the commodious everyday living suite.
The kitchen is equipped with Viking appliances that include both a wine fridge and a beverage fridge in addition to the French-door (yup, again) refrigerator-freezer. They also include a five-burner gas cooktop, a double-wall oven, a built-in microwave and a dishwasher. You will also find in this kitchen plenty of storage cabinets, lots of granite-topped counter space and bar seating for three at its island.
This everyday living suite has an open plan, but archways divide it into its three distinct components. The second one is the breakfast room next to the kitchen.
French doors connect it to a rear deck.
And both the kitchen and the breakfast room open onto the great room, whose soaring beamed cathedral ceiling gives it a note of grandeur while its fireplace contributes warmth, both literally and figuratively.
Around the corner from the great room lies the study. Connected to a short hallway by French doors, it has built-in bookshelves set up for audio and video. The owners opted to add French doors leading to stairs to the rear patio from this room.
That patio spans the back of the house and also connects to the deck off the breakfast room. The combination of indoor and outdoor spaces for entertaining means you could throw one helluva party here if you so desire. You will also be able to supply music from a Sonos sound system and calm down with a relaxing waterfall. A large side yard — one of the largest in the development — offers even more room.
The owners opted for a more restrained foyer than the two-story one offered with the base model. The extra second-floor space got incorporated into the primary bedroom suite as a huge walk-in closet.
One enters the primary suite via French doors (pardon me, am I getting repetitive here?) that lead from the second-floor hallway to its bedroom. That bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and a large Palladian window — a design element that’s more Georgian than French — overlooking its backyard.
A corridor with two walk-in closets and a dressing area connects the bedroom and the bathroom.
The fully-tricked-out primary bathroom has two vanities flanking its entrance, a soaking tub across from that entrance, a toilet closet and a walk-in shower.
A door between the shower and one of the vanities leads to that additional walk-in closet. Two bedrooms that share a Jack and Jill bath and the laundry room round out the second floor.
Haverford Reserve sits in Haverford Township’s tonier northern reaches, and if you enjoy recreation, you will find it at your doorstep: this house backs onto the Southbrook Trail, one of a network of recreational trails that meander through the surrounding 120 acres of woods and meadows. You can follow this trail to Haverford Reserve’s community park, a playground and three athletic fields, all located adjacent to one another. Then you can go exploring those woods and meadows via the trails across Parkview Drive from the complex.
The Merion Golf Club, Haverford College and shopping along West Chester Pike are also all an easy drive from here.
By now, you should have also figured out why I put “carriage house” in quotes in the headline: this Haverford Norman-style house for sale not only does not look like an actual carriage house, it’s also larger and grander than one would expect when hearing that phrase. Buy it and your friends might get a bit confused picking your place out from its neighbors. But you will be more than able to make up for that once they walk through those French doors.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 2 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 4,160
SALE PRICE: $1,325,000
OTHER STUFF: The house has a full unfinished basement that currently serves as a golf practice room, and if you want to, you can add that elevator yourself. A $709-per-month homeowners association fee covers maintenance of the roads and common areas, lawn and building exterior maintenance, management services, snow and trash removal and a reserve fund.
238 Valley Ridge Rd., Haverford, PA 19041 [Leigh Anne Ambrose | The Ambrose Team | Compass]