The magnificent 80-acre Georgian-inspired estate rises from the lush rolling hills of Bedminster’s famed horse country. Surrounded by exquisite formal gardens, the 19,000-squarefoot manor house, filled with museum-quality details, is the ultimate in grand contemporary living and minutes from five-star restaurants, shopping, equestrian facilities, nationally ranked golf courses, and excellent schools.
Bedminster, New Jersey
Grand . . . classical . . .formal . . . inviting . . . are just some of the adjectives that describe this magnificent estate in Bedminster’s famed horse country. Completed in 2007, the 19,000-square-foot manor house, spanning three levels on over 80 acres, is the meticulous realization of the owners’ vision of an elegant and welcoming home rooted in the architectural vernacular of the Georgian style.
Their vision was painstakingly executed by the masterful design of Alan Greenberg, a leading classical architect of the late 20th and 21st centuries, and Elissa Cullman, principal of interior design firm Cullman & Kravis. Greenberg’s residential clients span the globe, and commercial clients included Princeton University, the US State Department, and Bergdorf Goodman. Cullman is honored in Architectural Digest’s Hall of Fame. The seamless collaboration between Greenberg, Cullman, and the owners, over multiple years, is evident in the masterpiece that is “Barryleigh”.
“Barryleigh” is designed and built for luxurious contemporary living, yet completely devoid of ostentation and pretention. Its essence draws deeply from the Georgian aesthetic of balance, to which are added exquisite detailing and finish.
The entrance to the property sets the stage for the beauty to come. Across a stone-arched bridge, a long-secluded driveway winds up a gentle hill through woodlands to reach a plateau of grassy wildflower meadows, giving way to dramatic views of the stately home and its surrounding gardens, designed by the internationally prominent landscape architecture firm Deborah Nevins & Associates.
Superb craftsmanship, time-honored materials, and artistic ornamentation define every room and structure on the estate: the main five-bedroom residence and all the outbuildings—the pool house cabana, estate manager’s office, garage with apartment, and carriage house garages.
The classic exterior of the main residence features custom-made brick with limestone detailing, Ionic columns, and a corniced pediment. Inside, gracious and sophisticated spaces with thoughtfully crafted details abound: quarter-sawn oak flooring, French-polished interior doors, intricate layered crown molding, finely detailed coffered ceilings. Generous use of materials like subtle pale-green onyx, patterned limestone, and carved antique marble gives the residence a museum-quality ambience.
Creative architectural elements complement the classical ones. The main “flying” staircase in the wide gallery hall is so graceful it really does seem to fly up to the second level where light streams in from the dramatic dome and cupola. Another dome, defining the intimate informal dining room, is painted in gold leaf and framed with windows, giving a cathedral-like feel. In the principal bedroom, cove lighting illuminates the patterned barrel ceiling, to ethereal effect. In the east wing of the house, a stone-floored potting room exits across a courtyard to the cutting garden with raised flower beds, harking back to the centuries-old estates of horticulture-loving Europeans.
Nothing was spared to achieve the desired effect of beauty meets history meets 21st-century comfort. The stenciled floor of the crystal and china room is delicately sublime. The shower in one of the bathrooms of the principal suite is gently curved, as are the cabinetry walls in the architect-designed kitchen, which features a granite-topped island and handmade ceramic backsplash. Hand-painted 18th century Chinese wallpaper adorns the formal dining room. The subtle color palette for the whole house was mixed on site to ensure each tone was perfect for the dimensions and light of the rooms.
A range of treatments decorate the walls (many of which have professional-standard gallery lighting)-Venetian plaster, faux-painted, upholstered. Delightful leaded-glass lunette windows embellish many of the deep-set interior and exterior French doors. Throughout are intricate hand-carved ceiling moldings and chandelier medallions.
The lower level of the residence is its own world of relaxation and entertainment. The gym has adjacent sauna and massage rooms; the theatre with three tiers of seating is sound-proofed; the club room features a custom-designed bar, fireplace, and 5,000-bottle wine cellar; and for the kids, there is a sports room with artificial grass carpeting and a playroom.
Adhering to the Georgian-style emphasis on geometry and formality, the grounds of the estate feature formal gardens and a topiary dotted grand lawn, in “rooms” defined by the expansive arborvitae hedgerow. An allée of perennials and an English rose garden add vibrant color to the shades of green. Also on the property are a heated Olympic-size pool and spa, four-car-garage with apartment, three-car carriage house, and estate manager’s office.
Just beyond the perfect symmetry of the formal gardens are acres of the gently rolling farm fields and woodlands for which the historic township of Bedminster is so sought-after. While offering the ultimate in privacy and seclusion, this exceptional listing, which is being offered in two parcels, is just minutes from fine dining choices to a weekly farmers market to yoga and spin studios. The surrounding county of Somerset is sought after for its equestrian facilities, nationally ranked golf courses, and excellent public and private schools.