From the Portfolio: A Woodland Hills Estate Designed in the Grandest of Traditions
Set high on a hill with commanding views overlooking a thick forest of trees, Woodland Hills evokes memories of estates from the grandest traditions. The home is constructed from Wissahickon Schist, a special stone imported from Pennsylvania, and is accented further with Indiana limestone and traditional English roof tiles. Some of the windows are filled with leaded sashes using hand-blown bottle glass, while the larger arched windows are steel frame with German Restoration Glass. The impressive limestone front door surround protects the heavy oak door and its leaded glass panels and hand-carved linen-fold panels.
The entry hall is paneled in thick quarter-sawn oak wainscoting, its deeply recessed panels trimmed in wood roping, with the hall’s Elizabethan-inspired ceiling is made from wood, painted to resemble plaster. The centerpiece for this hall is the magnificent oak staircase with its 2-inch-thick panels in period style. Each panel was designed and drawn in full scale to accurately adjust for the different length and run of the staircase as it rises.
On one side of the foyer is an English pine-paneled study with an elaborate plaster Tudor rose ceiling. The limestone mantle repeats the pointed arch motif found throughout the paneling of the room. On the other side of the foyer is the dining room which has a lofty cathedral ceiling banded by heavy timbering. At one end of the room, accessed by a hidden door from the second floor, is a minstrel gallery that provides a place for musicians to play during dinner.
The house is designed for comfortable outdoor living as well. The vaulted family room provides a comfortable family sitting area adjoining the kitchen and breakfast room. Its antique wooden beams add warmth and texture to the space. Immediately outside this family room is a covered open air porch fitted with a fireplace and barbecue grill for more casual entertaining.
Off the master bedroom is a small enclosed flower garden providing summer color that can be enjoyed from both the porch and the expansive rear lawn. A bluestone terrace and pool surrounded by lush landscaping completes this area, where privacy and elegance abound. The landscape embraces subtle blends of textures and colors to complement the rich hues and materials of the home.