History. While this very unusual property would be distinctive solely for its 1799 origins, it is even more a landmark for its past owners. The Melius family bought the house in 1912. When R.W.G. Vail visited them in 1927 he was so inspired he wrote a memoir, A Visit to Reverie Farm, about his trip to this magical place. He was awed by the architecture, the astonishingly beautiful property without, the artifacts within. Cleve Gray, one of America’s most prominent artists in the 20th century moved to this house which was owned by his parents in 1949. Francine du Plessix, the renowned author, joined him when they married in 1957. For decades they worked in their respective studios on either side of the driveway. The current owner began a total restoration of this amazing residence in 2015: gorgeous kitchen, luxurious baths, and all new systems (heat, A/C, electric, plumbing). A new tennis court was installed and the gardens refreshed. The project maintained the authentic magnificence to ensure that the dwelling will remain historically important while able to endure well into the future.
The Main House. On the main level are the sunny living room with beamed ceiling and fireplace, a large formal dining room with fireplace and built-in corner cabinets, a family room with a fireplace, and a library. The fantastic kitchen features high-end appliances and finishes and a charming breakfast nook. There is a main floor guest suite with fireplace and private bath. A screened-in stone porch overlooks the heated swimming pool. On the second level are 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths including the large master with fireplace, sitting area, dressing room and luxurious bath with soaking tub and separate shower. A cozy den is on the second level. Wide board wood floors run throughout. Eight fireplaces in total. Windows are plentiful and permit a surprising amount of natural light as well as framing the extraordinary views of the land. One wing with preserved original detailing houses the original farm office with vaulted beamed ceilings and fireplace now repurposed as a bar on the main level. Above is a terrific guest apartment accessed by a separate entrance and is composed of a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bath.
In addition to the pool and tennis court, the acreage includes gardens, a pond, fruit trees, acres of open lawn and woodland.
Additional Buildings. The old barn with its notable silo was redesigned by Tony Smith, a sculptor and architect, to become Cleve Grey’s studio. It includes a huge well-lit open space with high ceilings, and an apartment. Across the driveway was Mrs. Grey’s light-filled writing studio. Above the garage is a caretaker’s apartment with 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bath. A newly renovated three-bedroom guest house lies beyond the main house and is quite charming on its own.
The Land. The house is being offered with just over 68 acres of spectacular land. There are 49+ acres surrounding the house and outbuildings and a parcel across the road of 18.8 acres. With so much land the possibilities are only as limited as one’s imagination.
The Area. The property is conveniently located close to the villages of Warren and New Preston, the private (Warren residents only) town beach on Lake Waramaug, Mohawk Mountain for skiing and the many other attractions that Litchfield County offers.