A most stylish – and secluded – retreat

Presented by Houlihan Lawrence

Photographs by Bob Rozycki and Tim Lee

You just know people with style.

Sometimes it’s evidenced in the way they toss a scarf over their shoulder, adding interest to an otherwise understated suit. It could be the way they integrate vintage jewelry to create a specific mood. Perhaps it’s just in their overall approach to colors, textures and prints that reflects a singular vision.

Sometimes a house can strike you in a similar fashion.

A drive to a sprawling retreat known as the Conyers Farm Beauty takes you along lanes that border the Greenwich Polo Club into a gated community, a secluded world away. There’s a stately classic Colonial in front of you, yet your eyes dart to the whimsical sculptures dotted about the beautiful lawns. And then there is that teal-hued door that leaves no doubt as to the flair to be found within.

And once inside the home of Esther and Marc Goodman, the passion for artistic, stylish living – always with a playful twist – cannot be denied.

“We like to be whimsical,” Esther says with a smile. “It’s a great house for people in love.”

It’s evidenced in the wealth of artwork, the creative use of space and the clever weaving of the most vibrant and luxurious elements and amenities, all of which create the overriding sense that the people who live here truly appreciate life.

Nestled well within prestigious Conyers Farm, a 1,500-acre estate enclave that spans both North Castle and Greenwich, the Conyers Farm Beauty proves aptly named.

The shingle-style manor sits on 10 supremely private acres with its nearly 9,500 square feet featuring dramatic public rooms in addition to six spacious bedrooms and six baths.

Totally renovated, the home has a light-and-airy ambiance throughout, a feeling complemented by sought-after touches that include rich woods, unique stones, finely crafted millwork and artisan wall finishes.

“We decided to make a project out of it, decided to make it exactly what we wanted,” Marc says of the work that began after they moved in some six years ago.

These touches range from hand-painted walls to leather-wrapped banisters with silver-finished iron balustrades. The recessed dining room features walls covered in fabric, while the living room’s attractions include both surround sound and evocative lighting. There is a double-height entryway ideal for displaying a dramatic glass sculpture, a stunning formal dining room and unique fireplaces throughout.

Despite its generously sized rooms, the house is warm and welcoming, an ideal backdrop for the art and design elements the couple often purchases during travels around the world.

“We never feel the house is overwhelming,” Esther says.

An impressive gourmet kitchen opens right into the family room, with services including the laundry and maid’s quarters set off to the side.

The kitchen, an always-popular place when the Goodmans entertain, was the focus of a true revamp. It’s now a showpiece of function and style, from glass-fronted cabinets to intricate backsplashes.

“It was very Italian, Old World and we modernized it in terms of the feel,” Esther says.

A main-floor guest suite, situated for optimum privacy, features an en suite bath, sitting room, terrace and its own entrance.

The home’s second floor is equally expansive, with the top of the staircase serving as an art gallery of sorts, the common space between two wings that are filled with bedrooms and baths. Included is a bedroom/sitting room area once occupied by the Goodmans’ grown son, who lives in Florida.

At the opposite end of the floor, the master suite is virtually its own self-contained retreat with most every amenity close at hand. The bedroom itself features a sitting area, opens out onto a porch and even has a hidden flat-screen TV (hint, pay attention to the ceiling). His-and-hers dressing rooms are adjacent, with the emphasis on hers.

“This is my pride and joy,” Esther says before adding with a laugh, “Marc gets a little corner in there.”

While the “masculine” side is functional, the “feminine” area truly shines.

Indeed, this is not your everyday walk-in closet. The dressing room, a full-size room that leaves the generic definition of a walk-in closet behind, is a dream.

“It’s just everything I could ask for – room for shoes and bags and a sink and a makeup table,” Esther says.

With large paneled built-ins and a center island with more than a dozen drawers, the space fits a year-round wardrobe with ease. An extended vanity area is set beneath side-by-side windows with a chair, more drawers, a large counter space and even a small sink completing the pretty picture.

A modern chandelier hangs over it all, adding another touch of style and grace.

“When I first moved in, you know, I didn’t know I would fill it all,” Esther says – before Marc playfully adds: “Now you know the reason we’re moving.”

Completing the master wing is a circular master bath with radiant-heated limestone flooring, heated towel rack and infinity-style bath complete with mood lighting.

“This, at night, is over the top,” Esther says.

While some homes might have a basement level that’s strictly utilitarian, this isn’t the case at the Conyers Farm Beauty.

An architecturally impressive floating staircase sets the mood for the lower level, leading to a large space that includes a full bar area, a billiards space and an expansive screening room.

“I wanted this to be not a basement (but) an open room with ceilings,” Marc says.

The other end of the floor features a temperature-controlled 2,500-bottle wine cellar complete with a handcrafted ceramic tile floor, zinc accents and personal humidor. A spa bath finishes the area.

Back upstairs, French doors open from the kitchen and family room, further encouraging one to pause on the porches and terraces that are ideal for outdoor living and entertaining.

The property itself is equally inviting, with a sense of serenity created by the surrounding woods and riding trails. Stepping outside the lower-level door leads to the garden, a space already approved for the addition of a pool. Adjacent, too, is the community’s lake.

All combined, the home and its surroundings have provided years of happiness for the Goodmans, who work together in Greenwich at the hedge fund Marc co-founded in 1983.

“There’s not a day that we come home, that we don’t go through the gates at Conyers, that we don’t think it’s spectacular,” Esther says.

And peaceful, Marc adds.

“We’re obsessed with quiet,” he says. “When we get home we want peace and quiet and here, we get it.”

For now, though, the Goodmans have decided to seek a new home – and another renovation project.

“It’s a lot of house for only two people,” Marc says.

Though he and Esther do take full advantage of the home’s features, they say it’s simply time to yield to the homeowners who will next occupy the Conyers Farm Beauty, where good living is always in style.

For more information, contact Barbara Harris at Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 649-1000, (914) 234-9099, ext. 22323, or bharris@houlihanlawrence.com.


at a Glance

• Armonk

• 9,488 square feet

• 10.01 acres

• Bedrooms: 6

• Baths: 6 full, 2 half

• Amenities: Gated community, first-floor guest bedroom/suite, fireplaces, security, water view, wet bar, three-car attached garage, wine cellar, dressing room/vanity, gourmet kitchen, lavish master suite with terrace, media/screening room, spa bath, maid’s room with bath, whole-house generator, Byram Hills schools.

• Price: $6.495 million

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