The National Association of Realtors has suggested that home ownership boosts a child’s confidence level. No surprise there, but if the statement holds any truth, imagine the sort of cultural “smart” home that not only teaches kids but gives them an unwitting edge over their peers simply by growing up there.
Homeowners Debbie and David have created such a place 23 miles west of New York City in a private upscale enclave called Bel Air Estates in Livingston where David works in the real estate industry. The couple wanted a home that was completely livable and one that reflected their international experience.
Together, they had traveled the world with their three children, collecting fine oil paintings, etchings, sculptures and lithographs that today adorn the walls of their home. Whimsical artistic prints dance over door transoms, a collection of blue and white antiques fills the living room, and a pair of whippet statues greets the visitor at the end of a serpentine drive.
For their children, the Romeo and Juliet balcony overlooking the grand courtyard is a teachable Shakespearean moment. Playing hide and seek in gardens of diverse horticultural splendors and noteworthy sculptures resembles a trip through a botanical garden. A music niche for the Baby Grand piano floats graceful notes up to a cathedral ceiling, while artful places for homework, meditation, exercise and entertainment inspire subliminally.
The children would never know that playing among those specimen plantings and learning their exotic names was anything less than a blast. Or that they would sit around the breakfast table eating their Cheerios with a wall of lovely artwork as their morning backdrop. Or that a slide down the sleek banisters of exquisitely turned twin bridal staircases would land them in the ‘art gallery’ that was their indoor playground.
Their children could not imagine that in later years, they would be able to identify a famous painting on a museum wall just as easily as they could pick out Eli Manning or One Direction from the crowd. They would never imagine that those staircases might one day serve as the perfect wedding venue for a descending bride.
And… they could never have imagined that every detail of the home, from concept to completion, was meticulously and ingeniously worked out for them!
A home. A work of art. A way of life. A blast!