Fridays at 11, Brownstoner Upstate brings you a selection of properties within three hours north, and a little east or west, of New York City.
For our purposes, the term “contemporary” in relation to home design is a broad term used to describe anything that can’t really be considered mid-century modern but is not cutting-edge enough to be considered modern or ultra-modern. In other words, we think of it is “too old to be new but too new to be old,” and when it works, we love it. When it doesn’t work, we want to gouge our eyes out and run screaming in the opposite direction. We think these four contemporaries, all located in Putnam County, work just fine. Some are better than others, but what they all have in common is that they’re spacious, possess a touch of elegance, and are located in some very pretty country.
Others may disagree, but we have no qualms with the weathered cedar shake exterior. But what we really like about this house in Putnam Valley is the giant bank of floor-to-ceiling windows behind the wood stove in the living room. For the uninitiated, Putnam Valley is located about 50 miles from New York City, but it feels like a billion miles away. Unlike other spots in Putnam County, Putnam Valley has no real town center, and the residents are keen to keep its rural, secluded nature intact. It’s nice there. Beds: 4. Baths: 3. Square Feet: 2,888. Lot Size: 1.76 acres. Est. Taxes: $11,400
Do we like converted barns? Yes. Do we like contemporary converted barns? That depends. We’re on the fence regarding this one, located in Cold Spring, but we do appreciate the use of reclaimed wood on the inside, as well as the large attached deck, a second detached barn, and a gunite pool with blue stone patio. Lot size is big at six acres. Beds: 3. Baths: 2. Square Feet: 2,500. Lot Size: 6 acres. Est. Taxes: $10,995.
And we’re back in Putnam Valley. Where to begin with this contemporary house? There is A LOT going on here. Let’s break it down starting with the outside: A swimming pond with fountain, gazebo, two decks, an arbor, gardens, and stone terraces. Inside, a cool mid-mod-reminiscent interior with a huge brick fireplace, impressive kitchen, loads of windows, and a solarium with a hot tub. We think that pretty much covers it. Beds: 3. Baths: 3. Square Feet: 3,152. Lot Size: 1 acre. Est. Taxes: $16,704.
According to the listing, this house in Mahopac was built in the 1950s, but it looks brand spanking new. Located on Lake Mahopac, the house is large, sleek (check out that kitchen), full of light, and looks like the perfect swanky summer getaway. The pool makes us long for sultry summer days, and since our thermometer says it’s 25 degrees out right now, those days can’t come soon enough. Beds: 4. Baths: 4. Square Feet: 3,500. Lot Size: .30 acre. Est. Taxes: $23,921.