Victorian Refinement

KNOWN AS ROSEMARY HALL, this beautiful stucco and stone home was designed by Henry C. Pelton in 1902 as the residence for the Principal of Rosemary Hall School. With its fairy tale charm, it is reasonable to assume that the house fueled the imagination of more than a few students who graced the campus of this all-girls’ school. Featuring fanciful wood trim, distinctive brick chimneys, and pointed finials perched atop the steeply peaked roof, one half expects Hansel and Gretel to stumble out of the woods onto the cobbled motor court.

Despite its obvious visual appeal, however, over time the house had become antiquated and was in desperate need of updating to adequately serve the needs and modern lifestyle of its current owners. The solution required a substantial addition to the home to create multifunctional spaces for casual day-to-day living. Seamlessly woven into the charm of the original home is a spacious new family room with three-quarter height wainscoting and beamed ceilings, stylistic features often found in houses inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, and a fireplace fashioned with antique de Morgan Isnik tiled panels. Adjoining this space is the kitchen, which, with its coffered ceiling, decorative brackets, floor-to-ceiling paneling, and finely hand-crafted cabinetry, displays a reverence for craftsmanship rarely found today. Leading from the kitchen is a new informal dining area, a favorite gathering spot for the family, which overlooks the lush garden through a broad bay window. As part of the addition, Wadia added a new office and guest suite as well as a new side porch with curved brackets, barge boards, and newels that echo the details of the original home. Taken together, these new spaces have become the heart of the home — inviting and livable with all the modern amenities that today’s homeowners have come to expect. Yet, the classic style and details of the original home remain intact reminding one and all of the history of this fine old home.

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