A New York Midcentury With Custom Herman Miller Cabinetry Asks $449K

A New York Midcentury With Custom Herman Miller Cabinetry Asks $449K

An understated mix of glass, stone, and wood, this 1960 residence in Monroe has been thoughtfully updated.
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Florence and Milton Miller—a schoolteacher and an artist and designer, respectively—lived in Stuyvesant Town, New York City, before venturing an hour north to Monroe to build their dream home. To make it happen, they worked closely with architect R. L. Strassman to create a design inspired by  Frank Lloyd Wright and Marcel Breuer. 

Deep overhangs allow the windows to stay open in all kinds of weather. "We love the sound of rain on the roof," say the current owners, Jim and Kate Villone. "It’s cozy, and it reminds us of being on our boat in the rain."

The linear structure, made of wood and stone, features a modernist material palette that complements its wooded surroundings. In true ’60s fashion, expanses of glass allow natural light to flood the residence and illuminate custom built-in cabinetry, including George Nelson–designed dressers and bookshelves from Herman Miller.

The light is particularly special in the house, say the current homeowners: "Especially when the sun is rising: It creates a gorgeous warm glow in the living room."

The current owners, Kate and Jim Villone, were immediately drawn to its feeling of timelessness. The couple, an operating room nurse and a yacht dealer, have lived there since 2006, when Kate worked as a professional furniture restorer specializing in midcentury-modern pieces—and both are great admirers of midcentury architecture.

At the rear, sliding doors and wood-trimmed windows open to a verdant backyard.  

"From the moment we stepped inside, we knew this was the house that we had been searching for," says Jim. "We had lived on our sailboat for several years in New York Harbor, and there was something about this house that reminded us of a boat with cabinets, shelves, and even dressers built into the design, which made it feel practical, beautiful, and simple: a place for everything, and everything in its place."

The home sits on nearly a half acre of wooded landscape, providing a lush backdrop for the living spaces. 

While the couple, who have two young children, have made thoughtful updates, the residence remains true to its original design. 

"We have done quite a bit of renovation, but only after careful consideration if it is in the spirit of the house," says Jim. "Before we start a project we always ask, ‘What would Milt do?’" 

Custom cabinetry lines the entire home, including Herman Miller dressers and bookshelves.

The single-story, 1,533-square-foot house offers two bedrooms, each with plenty of closet space and its own colorful bathroom—one with a corner tub. Wood ceilings with exposed beams stretch above slate floors, and a large stone fireplace instills a rustic nature in the living room.

Wood ceilings and slate floors create a cozy, cabin-like feel, perfect for the woodsy surroundings.

"We love that the house needs little decoration," says Jim. "The house itself—the stone walls, the wood cabinetry, the windows, and the views—is the decoration." 

Each bedroom has its own full bathroom clad in pastel tiles.

Updates are most apparent in the kitchen, which has been outfitted with Porcelanosa tile backsplashes, honed Carrara marble countertops, and modern appliances. The next room offers a built-in office nook and laundry facilities, and outside, a sylvan retreat unfolds with a stone patio and sitting area for al fresco dining. 

The kitchen was renovated with Porcelanosa tile backsplashes, honed Carrara marble countertops, Poggenpohl cabinets, and modern appliances including a Sub-Zero Pro 48 refrigerator, Viking Professional 60-inch gas range, Viking dishwasher, and indoor gas grill.

Off the kitchen, a mixed-use room offers an abundance of storage with honed basalt countertops, a washer and dryer, and a built-in workspace.

An outdoor dining area sits on an elevated patio overlooking the home. "The sunny, private patio is a perfect place to grow tomatoes and other veggies in containers," say the homeowners. "Bonus: the deer never bother them…they are afraid to come on the sun porch!"

The family is now moving to a larger home, and have decided to let go of their beloved midcentury. "We will miss 28 Midoaks Street," they say. "It was our first house, and the house that our kids grew up in. We feel lucky to have lived here." 

28 Midoaks Street in Monroe, New York, is currently listed for $449,000 by Mary Ann Mitchell of Exp Realty.

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