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For sale: Home by Theodore van Fossen - Great Falls, VA

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:53 pm
by DavidC

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:28 pm
by SDR

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:21 pm
by jay
I'm consistently impressed each time I see pictures of Van Fossen's houses. Of the various Wright-admiring architects, he appears to have mastered the intimate sense of scale better than most. (I haven't seen any of his works in person though, maybe I'm wrong about this.)

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:15 pm
by Roderick Grant
I agree, jay, and think you are right about "better than most." Van Fossen's work is excellent.

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:01 pm
by SDR
Interesting to see Van Fossen quoting Wright's Taliesin sash, in this quiet and unassertive design.

I wonder who made the green-and-red wallpaper (?), reminiscent of the Coonley exterior tile . . . ... 880a_b.jpg


Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:05 pm
by tvf4life
I'm typing this from the house in this post. pretty cool huh!

The furniture, while absolutely beautiful, isn't our style and there's a LOT of it. We're aren't doing any major renovations. We love the house as it is, but the furniture isn't for me.

I'm curious about whether there's a market for the furniture. Would anyone want the full collection and if so where do you find those people.

I read this post before moving in and so one of the first things I did was investigate the wallpaper. I remembered seeing an extra sheet of it in the hall closet. There's nothing on the back or anywhere that I can see that tells who designed it.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:28 pm
by SDR
Thanks for checking in ! It is far too seldom that we get to speak with the new owner of a house seen here for sale ...

The video linked in the opening post is no longer online, apparently. Can you direct us to a source of photos ? Perhaps you've taken some of your own ? I don't recall what the furniture looks like.


Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:05 pm
by DavidC

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:02 pm
by SDR
Thanks, David.

This house has many wonderful touches, including the spacial arrangement with the level change between living and dining areas, etc. We find
the Wrightian motifs always present in Van Fossen's work---the corner windows and, in this case, a muntin pattern to some exterior doors that
comes directly from Taliesin North. Isn't that gate in photo 2 a prize ?

The furniture---so many pieces---must be the architect's, no ? Have we seen this dentil motif in Van Fossen before ? It too is a Wrightian detail.
What a shame it would be to have this extensive suite---or even a single piece---separated from the house. Would reupholstery make it more
suitable to the new owner ?

If not, I would strongly suggest that it be stored rather than sold, so that a future occupant could reunite it with the structure it was designed for.

In any event, I wish our new friend many happy days in this special environment !


Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:00 am
by peterm

Please don’t sell the furniture. It is an integral part of the entire composition. Store it carefully. If you ever choose to sell the place at a later date, it will certainly increase the value if it is included with the house.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:25 am
by Roderick Grant
The furniture is interesting, but a tad on the hefty side, inconsistent with the light, airy nature of the house. It would be ideal to keep it in storage just in case it grows on tv4life. I can imagine a houseful of Danish Modern looking quite swell in that fascinating house.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:12 pm
by jay
I'd also like to chime in to urge you to hold onto the furniture. One of the great legacies of organic architecture is all the custom designed furniture that accompanied these great homes... The furniture was thought of as "fractals" to the entire design---the parts make up the whole, as the whole makes up the parts.... If you store the furniture, you not only have the option to bring the custom-built pieces in and out at your choosing, but also, as others have mentioned, you'll give the next owner the option of having the "full experience" as the design was intended.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:15 pm
by tvf4life
I appreciate all of the replies. I've saved the pictures here -

There are a lot of gems in the house. The gate is cool. We call the hall bathroom the "jack daniels" bathroom instead of Jack and Jill. There's only a bathtub between two toilets plus the washer and dryer are on one side. I thought it was insane until my kids were in the bath and I was folding laundry and putting the towels in a pass through towel closet between the two bathrooms. It's weird but genius.

There's some stuff we'd like to update a little but we don't want to take away from the character of the place. I'll post those ideas here if we ever have enough money to do anything :)

I'll hold off on the furniture for a while and think about storing it. One person said it really well that it's just too heavy for this breezy sunny house. (except the piano. it's big, old, not in great shape and not a TVF designed piece).

We are loving the house and except for the kids toys everywhere, feels a bit like a museum.

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:47 am
by SDR
"One person said it really well that it's just too heavy for this breezy sunny house." That's certainly an apt observation; many of the pieces are
surprisingly grand (though it's hard to get a sense of scale from the photographs).

One can easily imagine the house photographed for a Dwell feature, lightly sprinkled with DWR favorites---for instance. And, if the kids are apt to be
hard on these unique classics, maybe it would be as well to put them safely away---for a few years, anyway ? It doesn't have to be an all-or-
nothing switch, of course.

Are the pieces comfortable ? Are they useful ? They could, as suggested, add considerable value to the house, down the road ...

The jack-and-jill bath is an idea occasionally found in MCM work; I'll have to hunt to find the rare examples we've seen here in the past. I thought it
was a clever concept ...


Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:12 pm
by Roderick Grant
You have a gem, tvf4life.
Those patches of a riff on the Coonley tile, is that wallpaper?
A grand piano in the bedroom! How romantic.