In The Heart Of Greenwich
THE HOME & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY
PRESENTED BY THE HOUR NEWSPAPERS
An open footprint in the formal dining
room is framed by a columned entry,
which allows the fully extended table
to accommodate large gatherings.
12 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 www.fromhousetohome.com
Life A custom colonial in
the heart of Greenwich
TEXT MARY NESTOR
IMAGES GREG ALBER
E van Goldenberg draws a ﬁne line and swings a mean hammer.
In 1990, Goldenberg made a professional decision that allows him to blur the
distinction between designing a home and bringing it to life. He combined his dual
background as a licensed architect and assistant construction manager to form Design Build
Consultants Inc. “I sort of fell in love with being able to work on a set of drawings and then
take oﬀ my architect hat and put on a construction hat and build on a design we just cre-
The dramatic sweep of the staircase against
ated,” he explains. the checkerboard pattern of honed limestone is
One of his latest projects takes the concept a step further. In this case, it was design, build, like a life-size puzzle full of beauty and drama.
and move in.
Mixing antique finishes and keeping colors
A 1950s expanded cape with an L-shaped footprint oﬀered the perfect location in a desir- light helps create a more casual ambiance in
able Greenwich neighborhood, but it needed to be completely reinvented, so before he could the kitchen.
www.fromhousetohome.com From House To Home 13
put it together, he had to take it apart. Initially he had
intended to keep the L-shaped layout, but after two
revisions, he decided against it.
Instead, he squared up the foundation and created
a lovely center-hall colonial, which he shares with his
wife, Rhonda, and their daughters, Lindsay and Amanda.
The ﬁnished home captures the spirit of the historic
period without being old-fashioned. It is both elegant
Quarter-sawn red oak in the breakfast area is matched with
a handmade cherry table and red accent walls.
Two high-backed tufted leather chairs lend a contemporary
edge to the cozy family room.
What had initially been specified as a crawl space was
accidentally made deeper during excavation, but the mistake
was fortuitous. The crawl space became a 2,000-bottle wine
cellar complete with a custom humidor.
and completely livable, and Goldenberg knows every inch—from the temperature
in the wine cellar to the width and depth of the Alaskan yellow cedar shingles on
“Longevity” was the watchword for the materials that went into the home’s construc-
tion, but rather than relying on durable synthetics for easy maintenance, Goldenberg
speciﬁed the most-appropriate natural material for each particular application.
On the exterior, for example, in addition to the Alaskan cedar shingles, he used
lead-coated copper gutters and a combination of mahogany and Spanish cedar exterior
molding. Marvin extruded aluminum-clad windows were used throughout.
Each piece of wood was painted twice and sealed tight to form a waterproof barrier
against what Goldenberg refers to as “capillary action.” The front door is 42 inches
14 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 www.fromhousetohome.com
wide and 7 feet tall and made from thick Honduran
mahogany with real lead caming in the glass on the
head and sides.
Inside, he combined the same attention to detail with
an extensive knowledge of which materials will last the
longest. In the foyer, for example, the lovely checkerboard
pattern of Gascogne beige and misty blue limestone is
supported by a “mud job” tiling method that insures
against cracks and supports the mechanics of the radi-
ant heating system. The ﬂoor is beautiful and virtually
maintenance free. “I thought I’d have to hire my kids
to get on their hands and knees with a stiﬀ brush,” he
jokes, “but we’ve never cleaned it. Just vacuum, damp
mop, and it’s perfect.”
The kitchen is also a study in durability and natural
beauty. Two large slabs of Juparana Bordeaux granite
form the top of a massive pie-shaped island on top of
clear-lacquered cherry cabinetry. Handmade harlequin
tiles form the backsplash, and around the perimeter, During excavation, a crawl space beneath the new mudroom was accidentally dug
painted maple cabinets evoke an old-fashioned sensibility to full depth, but Goldenberg is an optimist, and he made lemonade from lemons.
in keeping with the colonial ambiance. More accurately, he made vino from vine. He added a refrigeration system, humid-
In the formal living and dining rooms, the ﬂooring is ity control, a custom humidor, and low-voltage xenon lighting before framing the
high-end rift-and-quartered red oak, but in the more space in African mahogany and mosaic stone for a wine cellar that is his signature
casual spaces of the kitchen and family room, Goldenberg statement.
speciﬁed quarter-sawn red oak for contrast and durabil- Then, in just the same way he speciﬁed every beautiful architectural detail through-
ity. Every doorknob, handle, switch plate, and bracket out the large custom home, he set about ﬁlling his perfectly detailed wine cellar with
used in the home is un-lacquered brass from Baldwin the ﬁnest gifts that Mother Nature has to oﬀer.
Hardware’s Estate Collection.
Ironically, one of this talented architect’s favorite
See additional photos at www.fromhousetohome.com/articles/16309
places in the home wasn’t supposed to be there at all.
Custom cabinets are A beautiful sleigh bed This elegant yet cozy
finished in clear maple, anchors the master suite, living area fulfills the need
and the walls are covered which is finished in lustrous for a formal space without
with a Swedish paint that hardwoods and custom trim. overwhelming the floor plan
is engineered to repel of the home’s main level.
moisture and resist peeling.
www.fromhousetohome.com From House To Home 15