On the Level

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photos by:
January 16, 2009
Judged by contemporary design standards, the typical postwar suburban split-level house has little to recommend it. Usually spotted in a tract with dozens of similarly shaped units, the classic split would be anonymous in its subdivided surroundings were it not offered a unique coat of paint and a particular mix of gewgaws stuck on like appliqué. Read Full Article
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  During the renovation, the architect removed a cosmetic dormer, a mullioned picture window, and other superfluous openings, opting instead for a cleaner facade.  Photo by: João Canziani
    During the renovation, the architect removed a cosmetic dormer, a mullioned picture window, and other superfluous openings, opting instead for a cleaner facade.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  A 14-foot-wide opening at the rear of the house contributes, along with the concrete flooring, to an almost seamless transition from indoors to the patio. A spate of mid-century furnishings includes chairs by Hans Wegner and Poul Kjærholm and an Achille Castiglioni Arco lamp.  Photo by: João Canziani
    A 14-foot-wide opening at the rear of the house contributes, along with the concrete flooring, to an almost seamless transition from indoors to the patio. A spate of mid-century furnishings includes chairs by Hans Wegner and Poul Kjærholm and an Achille Castiglioni Arco lamp.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  Daylight, admitted by way of clerestory windows, brightens the dark zones between the kitchen and the den.  Photo by: João Canziani
    Daylight, admitted by way of clerestory windows, brightens the dark zones between the kitchen and the den.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  Oversize doors in the front entry create the sense of continuous wall when closed.  Photo by: João Canziani
    Oversize doors in the front entry create the sense of continuous wall when closed.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  Griffith lounges on a Zanotta sofa in the sparely furnished living room.  Photo by: João Canziani
    Griffith lounges on a Zanotta sofa in the sparely furnished living room.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  Griffith and LeBlanc cozy up on the Flexform sectional in the den, where one of the home’s two original wood-burning fireplaces has received a new concrete hearth and mantel. The room, which is located a half flight of stairs down from the main living area, feels unusually light and airy because of new, wider sliding doors and and a fresh coat of bright white paint.  Photo by: João Canziani
    Griffith and LeBlanc cozy up on the Flexform sectional in the den, where one of the home’s two original wood-burning fireplaces has received a new concrete hearth and mantel. The room, which is located a half flight of stairs down from the main living area, feels unusually light and airy because of new, wider sliding doors and and a fresh coat of bright white paint.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  Maple flooring was used on the second level.  Photo by: João Canziani
    Maple flooring was used on the second level.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  LeBlanc sits at the western maple dining room table, designed by the architect.  Photo by: João Canziani
    LeBlanc sits at the western maple dining room table, designed by the architect.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  A stainless-steel towel bar runs the length of two walls in the master bathroom.  Photo by: João Canziani
    A stainless-steel towel bar runs the length of two walls in the master bathroom.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  A half flight of stairs connects the main living area and the den.  Photo by: João Canziani
    A half flight of stairs connects the main living area and the den.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  The guest room is furnished with pieces by neighbor and designer Niels Bendtsen.  Photo by: João Canziani
    The guest room is furnished with pieces by neighbor and designer Niels Bendtsen.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  A maple bookcase defines the point between the living room and foyer.  Photo by: João Canziani
    A maple bookcase defines the point between the living room and foyer.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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  After trying dozens of colors, LeBlanc says, they settled on basic black for the exterior as 
a way to best marry the building with its forest surroundings, which include 30-foot-high western red cedar trees. The pool is original; but the deck, once made of concrete, has been reclad in granite to match the old retaining wall.  Photo by: João Canziani
    After trying dozens of colors, LeBlanc says, they settled on basic black for the exterior as a way to best marry the building with its forest surroundings, which include 30-foot-high western red cedar trees. The pool is original; but the deck, once made of concrete, has been reclad in granite to match the old retaining wall.

    Photo by: João Canziani

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