Country kingdom. That’s how Sally Slater’s father fittingly described their family home. “It was my dad’s kingdom. He loved it. My dad used to talk about putting a wall up around it,” says Slater. “He never ran out of creative projects to do, from building stone towers in the stream to building a greenhouse with an amazing disappearing edge fountain.”
The home, located on Spring Valley Road in Ridgefield, became Arthur and Teddy Edelman’s sanctuary and gathering place where their children grew up and their grandchildren visited and even married on the grounds. “The land is spectacular. There’s always the sound of water from the waterfall, gorgeous sunsets, and privacy,” says Slater. “My parents loved having people around. Holidays, weddings, parties — all were held at the farm.”
Nestled amidst a secluded New England landscape, the converted barn reflects the interests of the Edelmans, originally from the West Village, who had a summer house with a barn in Weston. “I have five siblings and we were crazy about horses. We begged my parents to move to the country so we could ride every day. Most of us were in private schools and my parents finally gave in and started looking for land or a house which was private, suitable for horses, and within commuting distance to the city,” explains Slater. They found this land amidst the Mopus Brook and built a house and a stable. “My brother and I had quite a horse operation on the farm and ended up with some of the best show jumpers in the world!” Slater adds.
Built in 1968-69, the three level, 7-bedroom home is sited on 31.09 acres. The home was created from two pre-1840 pegged, vintage barns found a few miles away. The barns were dismantled, numbered, moved, and then reconstructed on its current site. Vintage exterior wood from the barns was used on the home’s interior walls. “The flooring in the living room and family room are vintage parquet oak. It’s an interesting, textural look which shows well with the barn wood,” says Slater.
During the 1960s, the Edelmans were well-known in the fashion industry for innovative color work in exotic leathers. “My parents were one of the first to employ Andy Warhol, a not-yet famous artist, to design their marketing graphics. My dad marketed their exotic snakeskin, alligator, and lizard skins using Warhol’s drawings,” Slater explains. “Over the years, they made luxurious upholstery leathers for architects and decorators that also covered their furnishings and lined their elevator.” The Edelman home represents their free-spirited taste and Warhol’s influence. “There were hand-painted lights by Warhol — white globes with snakes painted on them — that hung over the ping pong table in the lower family room. My parents had very eclectic taste, and their decor included several Tiffany lamps found in antique shops in the 50’s and 60’s. We lived among all these amazing pieces of art while growing up. Snakes, lizards and alligators were common themes.”
The living room features a massive fireplace with warm-toned barn wood walls serving as a focal site for large-scale art. An adjoining all-season enclosed 20’ x 40’ porch has a 22-foot-ceiling with a combined 60-foot sweep. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide wide views of a backyard waterfall and brook passage meandering through the property. A galley kitchen with tiled floor offers the perfect space for home cooks. In 2013, an expansive greenhouse — featuring two chandeliers, a modern fountain, and seating — adjoining the living room was built.
The lower level has a large family room with massive wood beams and walls, an oversized fireplace, and a glass-enclosed sitting area overlooking the waterfall. In addition, there’s a walk-out guest suite with vintage barn beams and barn wood walls.
Over the years, the family added a 45-foot indoor lap pool with steel girders that runs parallel to the brook; an elevator with access to every floor; and expanded the main level master bedroom, adding dramatic oversized windows with electric shades; a gas fireplace; an office area; and a huge, custom, walk-in closet.
The capacious property comprises numerous perennial gardens, an expansive front lawn, a sloping rear yard along both sides of the brook, and a stainless steel-reinforced aluminum deck that runs almost the entire rear and side of the house. “Standing on the deck you feel like you’re on top of the waterfall,” says Slater. Large, custom stone sculptures dot the brook. A wooden bridge built by Edelman leads to a small island. There’s also an in-ground, heated gunite pool with a cabana featuring a kitchen, half bathroom, and an outdoor shower. A three-car attached garage and a two-story, two-bedroom guest cottage complete the property. As a bonus, the property borders the North Salem, New York trail system.
“It’s a special home that anyone with an artistic bent would appreciate,” says Slater. “It’s a blend of old barn wood and modern steel and a lot of glass that all works together. Now the home is for sale, and I hope the next buyer enjoys the quiet and creativity of the whole property as much as we have.”