On the Market: Colonial Mansion in Lower Gwynedd
This house, designed for 21st-century living and entertaining on a grand scale, nonetheless does a good job of channeling the 18th century.
Until the agent marketing this Lower Gwynedd Colonial mansion house for sale sent me its listing, I didn’t think it was possible to build an over-the-top house without going over the top.
Yet the people who had this house designed and built for them in 2002 managed to pull off that neat trick. This house packs all sorts of modern bling in a dignified, restrained package.
Make that “restrained for the most part,” for this house does have some really showy rooms in it.
Starting with its two-story foyer, a production in itself with its dual curving staircases and grand chandelier. Were this located in the South, Scarlett O’Hara would look absolutely fabulous coming down those stairs to meet Rhett Butler.
But they didn’t build stone Colonials in the South — they built them up here. And Tracy Lord is no Scarlett O’Hara, so you’ll just have to conjure up some other wealthy socialite to command this stage.
Just beyond the foyer lies the soaring family room. Or at least that’s what this room is called in the listing copy. I usually think of family rooms as cozier spaces than this one, which I would say truly deserves the moniker “great room.” But again, this is a great room filtered through an 18th-century lens, as those huge half-moon windows make clear. The foyer stairs lead to a balcony overlooking this room from the second-floor hallway.
A wet bar sits just off the family room, making it suitable for entertaining on a grand scale.
You will note as you examine the rooms of this house that a great deal of care went into the millwork and trim. Some of it, like the dining room ceiling, is at once intricate and simple.
Like the great, er, family room and the dining room, the kitchen is also designed for living large and entertaining in the same manner. It has a center island bigger than some entire kitchens I’ve seen. Around it are arrayed many cabinets and a full complement of top-drawer appliances, including a Thermador double wall oven, a restaurant-quality cooktop and fume hood, warming drawers below the cooktop and two built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator-freezers. And it has a radiant heated stone floor.
And the breakfast room attached to the kitchen is, if anything, an even grander space than the dining room thanks to its second-story clerestory. A large butler’s pantry serves these spaces and the dining room.
The first-floor home office offers a respite from all this grandness. Yet it too offers a little something extra in the form of the British bar nestled amid its ample built-in bookshelves.
The sunroom, which lives up to its name, offers the sort of cozy environment I would associate with a family room.
Upstairs, the house has five bedrooms, each with its own full bath.
The primary bedroom suite boasts the same elegant millwork as the downstairs rooms in the corridor leading to the dressing room and bathroom.
And its opulent bathroom has radiant heated onyx floors, a spa shower and a whirlpool tub.
The basement has even more room for entertaining and relaxation. It has a game room and its own bar.
It also has a home theater with three-tiered seating. Also on this level is an in-law or au pair apartment with its own bedroom, kitchen and separate outside entrance.
A large flagstone terrace overlooking the backyard sits on top of the walkout basement. Its built-in grill makes it ready for outdoor dining. And the ample backyard makes a great place for play, leisure or a garden party.
Given that this Lower Gwynedd Colonial mansion house for sale is clearly designed for living large, it should come as no surprise that it contains a load of interior space — more than 10,000 square feet. Its lot, however, is a surprisingly modest 1.98 acres. Still, that’s enough space for decent outdoor living and entertaining. And when you want something a little more urban, Spring House and Ambler are close by. Or you can drive over to Gwynedd Valley Regional Rail station and catch the train up to Lansdale or Doylestown or into the city.
Big house on relatively small lot? That’s a quality most McMansions possess. But this house is too properly proportioned and faithful (enough) to its architectural tradition to warrant that label.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 7 full, 3 half
SQUARE FEET: 10,801
SALE PRICE: $2,600,000
901 Brushtown Rd., Lower Gwynedd, PA [Mike Patel | Equity Pennsylvania Real Estate via Zillow]