Bidder Homes and Gardens
Perseverance and some savvy about auctions helped this family land its dream home at a bargain price.
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Having experience in buying at auction was a definite plus,” Van Deusen says. “We also had the advantage of having researched the property thoroughly so we wouldn’t be stuck with unforeseen problems.”
When the gavel went down, the Van Deusens were surprised and delighted. The house was theirs for $495,000, plus a 5 percent buyer’s premium. The price was significantly less than what they originally offered the bank.
They immediately set to work stabilizing and improving the house. The lower level, now dry as a bone, is home to an au pair suite, an exercise room and an entertainment center. Herb installed the projector and sound system. “He’s an engineer,” Van Deusen says. “It’s great having someone who knows how to make things work.”
In the large, open foyer, there is a portrait of the couple on their wedding day, an artist’s interpretation of the Van Deusens at their reception. There also is a painting of the 18th-century farmhouse in Newark that was Nona’s girlhood home, as well as a portrait of the new house.
The pale blue walls in the dining room are a backdrop for her collection of Flow Blue china, which was made by English potters in the 1700s in the slightly blurred style of Chinese porcelain.
She bought the Queen Anne cherry table and chairs at auction. The furniture is top quality, but a little too traditional on its own. So Van Deusen balanced the curved, cherry pieces with a clean-lined, black-painted hutch. She stationed a pair of chairs upholstered in printed blue fabric—with black, painted legs—at the head and foot of the table.
Overhead is a black, wrought-iron chandelier. Large glass hurricane shades showcase clusters of blue hydrangeas on the table. “It doesn’t look like your grandmother’s dining room,” she says. “The black makes it look more contemporary, much more interesting.”
A stone fireplace is the focal point of the family room, a space that is open to the kitchen and dining area. The earth tones in the stone are reflected in the carpets and wood floors, creating a welcoming feeling of harmony that unifies the spaces.
“I like warmth and casual, but neat,” Van Deusen says. “I don’t like clutter. I like to come home to an organized house.”
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