Farmhouse Sanctuary

AWARD-WINNING HOME IN THE “CITY IN THE COUNTRY” HAS ITS SIMPLE CHARMS

by JOHNNIE ROBERTS photos by RANDALL PERRY

HOUSE-EXT.NIGHT-16102101_01
Dusk falls at this new farmhouse at 54 Nelson Ave. Ext. in Saratoga Springs, winner of Realtors’ and People’s Choice awards at the 2016 Showcase of Homes.

Honor abounds along Saratoga’s Nelson Avenue Extension at the roadside farmhouse crafted by Terrace Homebuilders— honor for what has come before, and for what shall grow and flourish there for years to come. Scot Trifilo has recreated the notion of a country farmstead in this elegantly understated addition to an old Saratoga location. His artistic sensibilities can be immediately noticed roadside by the typically-white farm fence painted black instead, showcasing the clean lines of these white buildings framed with the precision of an Andrew Wyeth painting. This is but one of the many simple delights at 54 Nelson Avenue Ext. in Saratoga Springs. Winner of the 2016 Showcase of Homes luxury category, in both the Realtor and People’s Choice divisions, this house offers a calm and inviting haven.

HOUSE-DINING-PLANTS-16102101_03
With plants on the windowsills indoors, and a three-way view of the garden outdoors, light and nature make the dining room came alive.
HOUSE-LIVING-ROOM-16102101_04
Off the kitchen is the living room, with built-in lit shelves by the wood-burning fireplace. Scot Trifilo, a Siena grad and owner of Terrace Homebuilders, lives in the 4,204-sq. ft. house he built, which has four bedrooms, four and a half baths and a metal roof—but is far from an old country farmhouse.

Light and space are bountiful. A palette of grey and white spreads throughout like the shades of an autumn sky and the monochromatic color scheme subtly envelopes the senses as a backdrop to the carefully appointed décor. Each area of the main floor flows into the next without interruption and areas are defined, without walls, by function. The entryway is unfettered, and the impressive dining area at the far end of the main floor draws the eye into the fully open floor plan… a fresh spin for this modern farmhouse. The use of a contemporary, open-riser stairwell artfully connects the upper and lower levels while securing the open-air feeling in the space. Rather than “industrial,” the staircase is more of a free-floating sculpture central to the impeccable design elements used to create this relaxing atmosphere.

Scot shared that his approach to building includes every element from conception to final décor, and that he visualizes and chooses every design detail with great care and consideration given the characteristics and history of each building site. For instance, this property was for many generations a functioning farm, later held as a vacation retreat by the family for many years after. Great care was given to maintain the integrity of the parcel as well as pay homage to its roots. To that end, reclaimed barn beams were resurrected and used for the fireplace mantle and kitchen island, which are positioned opposite one another in the floor plan—a quiet yet meaningful set. Likewise, the downstairs bar side-table and generously proportioned coffee table don custom-crafted maple slabs hewn from the property’s trees. Elements of design are also detailed and implemented consistently throughout the house, rendering a harmonious flow from room to room. The use of filament “Edison” light bulbs throughout the house, even in bathroom fixtures, is another detail that sets an ambiance and also evokes another time and place.

A walk through the first floor highlights the many conveniences brought to farmhouse living. One may enter from the outside garage building at the side of the house via the side porch into a large tiled-floor mudroom that also holds a high-efficiency laundry alcove, and then take the connecting hallway past a neatly tucked-away office niche (perfect for dropping the mail, out of sight) to the front door entry and main living area. The gourmet kitchen is appointed with Wolf/Subzero stainless steel appliances, and a large kitchen island crowned by a stately overhead light crafted in shades of grey. An ample pantry is steps away across the hallway. The living room area, just across from the kitchen space, offers an inviting Rumford wood-burning brick fireplace, fashioned from ceiling to floor, and flanked by backlit, recessed shelved units perfect for objects d’art and books alike.

HOUSE-KITCHEN-16102101_02
The Wolf/Sub-Zero kitchen, designed by Dawn Zarillo, has hand-built cabinetry and a wooden countertop, and overlooks the sunroom/dining room.
HOUSE-STAIRS-16102101_05
Light shines down on the floating stairway, which connects the three floors. Interior designer was Dominick Carota of Blairhouse Interiors.

Highlighting the main floor is the gardened dining room, engulfed in light from three sides. Houseplants adorn the area, and a garden lies just beyond… an “edible” garden, with fruit trees and perennials directly below, and several raised vegetable and herb garden beds on the side. Access from both sides of this atrium-like dining room may be had through thoughtfully-placed doors, allowing for quick jaunts for fresh herbs from the kitchen area or a leisurely cocktail before dinner. A large rustic, yet modern, table sets the stage for long dinners for eight, with soft light from the artistic chandelier above.

The first of four self-contained bedroom suites is also on the first level, at the far end of the front hallway. (Master bedrooms on the first floor is a definite building trend.) This master suite is positioned at the side of the house with direct access to the secondary porch. The three remaining suites are on the second floor. Each suite brings a feeling of sanctuary and peace as the palette of gray gently transitions from hues of muted blue to mossy green and seashell white. Each décor plays gently off the other, creating a holistic environment of grace and comfort. Each suite is appointed with generous walk-in closets and luxurious baths. Each bath offers an elegant freestanding tub, a Europeanstyle open shower, and two vanity area sinks. Abundant light pours in through windows that offer the tranquility of gazing into nature, while languishing in a luscious hot bath. It just cannot get any better.

Approaching the stairwell on the second floor, a custom chandelier created by iron worker/artist Joe Joslyn floats at the stairwell zenith, with light from the first landing window highlighting its artful curves. The floating staircase, coupled with the striking light fixture spiraling above, creates an artful moment in this elegant farmhouse.

HOUSE-GARDEN-PATIO-16102101_13
An open-air porch off a second-floor bedroom looks down on the garden below, designed by Randy Countermine, landscaper. An outdoor fire pit and Adirondack chairs are ready for cold weather.

Heading downstairs, a comfy family/entertaining area awaits, with a cozy sectional couch, large screen TV and full bar. The old maple logs are rooted on the lower level, grounding the past with the present, in the table tops. At the opposite side, there is room to design an exercise or work area. A second two car garage, storage space and another mudroom complete the ground floor of this farmhouse oasis.

Simplicity and serenity honor this parcel— once an old Saratoga farmstead. No ostentatious grandeur, just luxurious simple pleasure.

HOUSE-BEDROOM-YELLOW-GRAY-16102101_07
Gray and yellow striped drapes complement the gray sled bed and yellow and gray coverlet. Rustic white oak hardwood floor is throughout the house. The master bedroom and bath suite are on the first floor, but this home also has three bedroom and bath suites on the second floor, one with a private terrace.

HOUSE--BATH-TUB-16102101_08