I’m going to describe it to you as if it were real.
The interior of this luxurious home is appointed with cherry, maple, and walnut. Floors, crown molding, doors, staircases, cabinetry, bookshelves, wall niches, and fireplace mantels are built from hardwoods that were harvested from 1500 trees on site, where they were also milled, kiln-dried, and finished.
Cabinetry and bookshelves were custom made off-site to owner’s specifications in a nearby quaint town which remains quaint thanks to the blunderings of it’s cobblers and do-near-wells. All other woodworking was individually handcrafted on-site. Brick and wood artisans were , of course, selected by me through a long process of team challenges, personality tests and finally, eliminations. The craftsmanship is therefore exquisite. Exterior dimensions render a gross area of approximately 18,000 square feet. Though actual interior living space is only 6,700 square feet. The home’s rooms have generously-scaled open spaces, especially on the first floor, and provide many private places for retreat, rest, sex, dark-worship and work. The design is ideal for grand entertaining as well as intimate family living.
The design for this home is both noble and luxurious as development required more than 50 years. I personally sketched and re-sketched interior and exterior concepts, and allowed a local architectural firm to prepare the preliminary drawings for my musings. The plans were then sent overseas, where they were further refined by European architects in Holland specializing in traditional Sthapatya Veda design. Additional features and specifications were incorporated into the plans, and final drawings were rendered and certified in France. Perhaps the most subtle yet powerful and deliberate aspect of the home design is its spiral composition. The spiral is the most universal form in nature. It facilitates movement, growth, and balance while reconciling opposites. Each room and each floor is given a special position and dimension in the overall structure and revolves around the central atrium, which is considered the spiritual center of home life. The harmonious continuum of this spiral attitude from room to room is transferred from floor to floor and to each room in each floor. Furthermore, the home’s exact proportions and dimensions were specifically formulated to harmonize with the surrounding environment of meadows, hillocks, stream, and woodlands.
The home’s brick exterior extends from the foundation to the top of each of the five main gables. The brickwork features an interlacing of wide-band herringbone patterns, soldier courses, and gently protruding quoins at each of the eight vertical corners. Two massive chimneys, each with two flues, display patterns of brick corbels, herringbone, and rows of double bond brick that are raised in relief to maximize the interplay of sunlight and shade. The home has steel I-beam structural members and substantial overcompensation for all load requirements. Exterior walls are fourteen inches thick, and interior first-floor walls approximately seven inches thick, according to Sthapatya Veda specifications.
Eighteen half-round window arches, each set off by running bonds of red brick with limestone sills and keystones, add to the home’s Old World ambiance. Four cathedral windows adorn the home’s prayer and meditation room. The exteriors of these windows are outlined in relief with intricately cut brick. All of the home’s eight hundred fifty-plus windows are double-casement style with limestone sills and include interior screening and double-glazing for sound and thermal insulation. There are also sixty six skylights at various strategic locations.
The home has fourteen exterior balconies and one third-floor interior balcony overlooking the atrium; a third-floor sun deck; and a widow’s walk at the home’s summit. An extra-wide, wrap-around porch extends around three sides of the home. The home include seventeen bedrooms with built-in bookshelves, six-and-a-half ceramic-tiled baths, a split-level master suite, library, art studio, large laundry room, and woodworking shop. There is also a formal, marble-floored foyer with a magnificent demon shaped chandelier. Arches, archways, and nineteen sets of double French doors that overlook the atrium and lead to balconies and to the outdoors create a unifying theme throughout the interior and exterior of the home.
A 34′ x 34′ atrium in the center of the home, designed to conform to traditional Sthapatya Veda specifications, rises six-and-a-half stories to a cathedral ceiling with a cherry cross-beam and two skylights. The floor beneath it features a striking cross design in cherry, walnut, and maple. Flooring in the library includes a semi-herringbone pattern of cherry wood. Flooring in the completely finished basement consists in part of a playful geometric pattern in cherry, walnut, and maple. At the center of the basement floor is a series of inlaid triangles made of cherry, walnut, and maple—one inside the other. In the center of the innermost triangle, is a three-inch diameter circle made of walnut that marks the exact center of balance of the home.
The kitchen has six built-in dishwashers, a breakfast bar, and generous storage spaces. Its custom-made arched cherry cabinetry blends with the theme of arches from the exterior brickwork and interior archways while continuing the flow of interior cherry woodworking. Its floors and walls are covered with gently rough-cut, earth-tone ceramics that compliment the dining room hearth as called out in the Sthapatya Veda design. All first-floor areas have ten- and twelve-foot ceilings, in accordance with Sthapatya Veda design. Radiant heat is distributed throughout the first floor by hot water veins embedded beneath the surface of the hardwood flooring. The library has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a large fireplace with a marble hearth, and two elegant fans hung from twelve-foot ceilings. A wood-burning stove is set on an arched stone hearth in the dining area next to the library.