WRITTEN BY DAVID DELOZIER, PHOTOS BY RANDALL PERRY
Many of us have an idea of what the “perfect house” would be to fit our lifestyles and tastes. We peruse real estate magazines, search online for availability in the locales we are interested in, and perhaps even drive around looking for that ideal match of address and style. All too often, however, this search can lead to disappointment; what is currently on the market does not match our criteria, and the search goes on, or, we find “the one” home that fits the bill, but it is not for sale. Being that it is the perfect home, why would the current occupants ever want to move? Waiting for those people to decide to sell may take years. “Arghh! It’s our house, and somebody else lives in it!” you exclaim in exasperation.
Sometimes in life, if the stars align the right way, we
can get what we want. For Ralph and Steven, that improbable alignment did occur a mere two days later, when Ralph got a surprise while looking at the real estate listings on his tablet. “Steve, the house we like is up for sale,” he exclaimed. First there was disbelief, then a burst of joy. A call to their realtor got them in to see it the next day. The normally chatty couple was silent throughout the walkthrough. The realtor, a bit taken aback said, “you two haven’t said a thing,” wondering if something was wrong. “Of course we have to buy it!” Ralph burst out. Steven, not one to act impulsively, suggested they at least think about it for bit. Five days later, the deal was done.
A 1980’S MODERN DESIGN BECOMES A CLASSIC FOR THE NEW MILLENNIA
So what were the characteristics that made this home perfect for Ralph and Steven? The pair loves the contemporary clean vibe going on in every part of the house.
The main entrance opens up to the great room, effectively splitting the house in half, bedrooms to right, dining room, kitchen and garage to the left. For visitors who have traveled in from afar, the very roomy convenient half-bath near the entrance provides relief and a visual introduction of what’s to come – a vessel sink atop a floating granite vanity shouts “modern chic.” The term “great room” aptly applies to what comes next. The ascending ceiling framed with rustic barn beams leads the eye to the massive floor
SUCH WAS THE DILEMMA for Ralph Vincent and Steven Galime, partners who wanted to share a life together in their perfect home. They had an image
in their minds of what it would look like, and how
the interior would complement and accentuate their personalities and tastes. It’s a contemporary design; it would be modern, spacious, funky and glamorous. And this perfect house would of course be in their zip code of preference, that being the 12866.
The problem was, the Contemporary style home
is a rare type in Saratoga Springs. The city is well known for its stately Victorians and Colonials, but Contemporaries? It would be like finding a needle in a haystack. To their luck, Ralph and Steven did find their needle – in fact a cluster of needles, while on the Saratoga Soroptomist Garden Tour a few years back.
A HOUSE FINDS ITS NEW OWNERS
Their travels took the couple to the east of the city, where the Knoll Spring Park neighborhood happened to have several Contemporary style homes within. Built in the 1980s by Robusto Construction, this neighborhood was cutting edge at the time, and the Contemporary style was all the rage. And there in the center of the neighborhood, tucked within the forested grounds, was IT. The perfect house! It had the “H” style split, shed roof line with contrasting perpendicular center section that Ralph and Steven had etched into their minds as their favorite. It was the one. But, it was not for sale.
to ceiling stone fireplace. The “sunken” living room seating area in front of the fireplace welcomes conversation and cocktails. The opposite side of the stone fireplace is the more informal family room – the massive fireplace acting as the wall between the two spaces. This is also the connector room for kitchen and the master suite. Large windows and a sliding glass door provide a direct connection to the park- like backyard.
The open kitchen design has a unique angled island with glass cooktop and two seating areas at the ends, which makes an ideal social foodie hangout. Between the wall cabinets and countertop are narrow windows, so that when sitting at the island, one can see directly outdoors. The built-in pantry cabinetry and Sub Zero refrigerator form seamless lines around the perimeter lending to the tight, clean look and feel. A hallway leads to a half bath and the garage, creating a nice functional flow for the daily entry and exit patterns. The dining room just off the foyer boasts the original custom chandelier installed by the original owners. Its novel descending “S” curved flow of hanging crystal glass was custom designed for the home by an artisan in Venice, Italy. The heavy fixture required extra reinforcement in the ceiling to support its weight.
To the right of the great room, a steel-banistered open tread staircase leads to the guest quarters. An open loft provides access to two bedrooms, and delivers an
elevated view out onto the sunken living room and massive stone fireplace. The sense of depth and breadth from this perch is quite dramatic.
Below the guest quarters are the secluded private office and master suite. These are the more intimate spaces in the home, yet still spacious and warm.
The master bath, updated in the mid-2000s, has modern room fixtures, complete with full glass shower and a bidet reminiscent of the 1980’s modern style. The master bedroom has glass door access
to the back deck and yard, and a doorway leads into the family room which connects to the kitchen, making for a very functional flow pattern for daily life and an easy navigation for the men’s cherished King Charles Cavalier pups.
A PLACE TO ENJOY, SHARE, AND ADMIRE
For Ralph and Steven, the home is a constant pleasure. The pair enjoy throwing parties, and their lucky guests fall in love with the place too. A frequent comment is that the home is not overwhelming, but welcoming and intimate. The party flows from space to space, yet is never fractured. Sometimes on a long summer’s eve, Ralph and Steven will go out into a corner of the yard with a cocktail to sit and just look at the house and the forested canopy that it sets within, marveling at the design from different angles.
CONJOINING THE PAST THE PRESENT
When serendipity strikes, it can bring additional surprises.
That certainly rings true for Ralph and Steven upon finding their perfect home. As it turns out, the pair was able to reach out to the original owners of the home, Richard and Elsie Pilarski, so as to get a better feel for its history. With such a unique home as this, there
is bound to be common ground, and the original and present owners have become virtual friends through their mutual love of the place. The Pilarskis are thrilled to have someone else appreciate the home as much as they did, and to breathe new life and energy into it. SS
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