Kimberton Sanctuary

County Lines

01 September 2012

Although it’s not on the Chester County Day Home Tour, this historic Federal mansion — with modern addition and designer details, set on 55 bucolic acres dotted with a pond, stream, pool, manicured gardens and patios, plus guest house, polo barn and party barn — is exactly the kind of fascinating property that attracts long lines of tour-goers searching for a dream house. 

The 150-year-old fieldstone manor house in Kimberton has historic roots, so valued in Chester County properties. Yet it’s the thoughtful addition of the great room, master suite, state-of-the-art kitchen and other modern amenities that make life here serene and comfortable. A mix of period details — beamed ceilings, brick floors, original millwork, walk-in cooking fireplace — with updated features added by area craftsmen and artisans — built-ins with faux finishes, entertainment units and seating nooks, gleaming inlaid cherry floors — show the influences of the home’s recent owners, an artist and earlier, the family of a well-known fashion designer. 

Main House 
A curving drive, lined with sycamores brings you over a stone bridge, up a hill to an open space revealing the manor home and several stone outbuildings—four-car garage with copper cupola, one-bedroom guesthouse, multi-story barn with entertainment space and six horse stalls. The tree-lined drive is echoed by the tree-lined walkway, laid with large local stone, leading to the historic home’s elegant entrance. 

Preserving the best of the original structure, the well-proportioned living and dining rooms are each anchored by fireplaces and feature original wood floors, custom moldings, large windows, and special touches, like the living room’s hand-painted wallpaper. An adjacent cozy family room includes the original walk-in fireplace, beamed ceilings, custom daybed and modern built-in entertainment center. Two half-baths, one tucked under the front stairs, are along the hall. The gourmet kitchen’s custom cabinets, professional-grade appliances (six-burner Viking stove with double oven, double SubZero fridge), large granite island, and eating nook with scenic views, plus a convenient butler’s pantry, make for a dream kitchen. 

A large mudroom / potting room with brick floors, double sinks, custom cabinets and granite counters leads from the kitchen to a patio, dog room and an expansive greenhouse. Filled with light and the perfect place for a year-round kitchen garden, this sun-drenched solarium is yet another spot to enjoy views of the brick patios, English-style gardens and well-designed landscape surrounding the home. Upstairs you’ll find three spacious bedrooms, one with a fireplace, another with beamed ceilings, plus a laundry area, two full bathrooms and a dressing area between the front bedrooms. Finished space downstairs includes a half-bath and exercise or recreation room. Although the third floor has walk-up storage space, there’s ample storage and built-ins throughout the home.

Spectacular Addition 
Bringing natural light to the center of the home, a three-story atrium with custom stairs and inlaid cherry floors with center medallion connects the historic home with the modern addition. Attention to detail is evident in the inviting curved seating nook with display area, echoing the curves of ceilings in the great room and master suite, as well as the curved second-floor railings. 

Step down into the stunning great room with a wall of light from French doors with overhead transoms and the glow from more inlaid cherry floors, hand-finished custom cabinetry and fireplace. The vaulted ceiling provides perfect acoustics for concerts and entertaining intimate groups and larger audiences seated on the adjacent brick patio beyond the French doors. Views of the verdant perennial gardens accenting the patio’s intricate brickwork and the property beyond make the great room a natural gathering spot. 

Upstairs the spacious master suite displays the same craftsmanship in its use of wood and other design details. Entered through the sitting area, with gas fireplace, marble surround and wood paneling, the master suite is a secluded enclave with an almost Shaker-like simplicity. The master bedroom enjoys light from three sides, another curved ceiling, and French doors to a private balcony. 

A perfect escape, this large sitting porch offers treats for the senses — the relaxing sound of a fountain in the nearby pond and unparalleled sunset views of the property with the magnificent 20-stall polo barn in the distance. Large his-and-her walk-in closets with generous built-in storage and a luxurious master en suite bath with every amenity (even a balcony) complete the space. 

Property and Outbuildings 
The 55 acres of lush rolling hills are surrounded by conserved properties, ensuring preservation of the current bucolic views. Pastures, fenced corrals, riding trails, and pens for the resident goats share space with an orchard of cultivated fruit trees, manicured perennial borders surrounding the sparkling pool and brick patios, and specimen trees, like a majestic weeping willow and towering magnolias. 

A charming one-bedroom stone guesthouse (with sitting area, kitchenette and full bath), a large four-car garage, and a massive barn surround the home. The barn is a special treat, housing a performance stage, suitable for concerts and other entertainment, and open space for large audiences or dancing. The lower level has six horse-ready stalls. It is a sanctuary for family and special guests.

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