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On the Level

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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.
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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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