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Grand and Cozy

A bustling local family of six builds their dream Adirondack from scratch. The 8,500-square-foot nest manages to offer comfort, functionality and understated opulence



Photograph by: Chris Meech

Marc and Julie Johnson’s house exudes a friendly vibe. Sure, it’s large and it resides on a nice piece of land (about 2.57 very private acres in the heart of Greenwich). But it’s so thoughtfully laid out and decorated that you feel like you are in snugglier quarters. What’s the secret of making a vast new house seem cozy and welcoming? It starts with the planning. The Johnsons had years to think about their ideal home as they raised their four kids in tight Riverside quarters. Their patience paid off when Marc found a perfect piece of property in 2004.

Marc, who co-owns Stone Harbor Land, an award-winning Greenwich-based building company, labored over construction materials and the layout’s flow. A main priority was giving the kids some privacy while promoting family bonding. The girls  — Annie, 19, and Blair, 13 — have their own sorbet-paletted bedrooms and bathrooms. The boys — Campbell, 16, and Gordon, 10 — have their own sports-themed bedrooms and share a bathroom. Other cool features are  personalized storage cubbies in the mudroom and third bay of the garage, a second-floor playroom and craft area, the third-floor exercise room and the mini-sports complex that’s in its own building off the top of the driveway. “The kids use that for playing basketball, smashing tennis balls and shooting lacrosse goals,” Julie explains. “We also end up hosting a lot of end-of-the-year class parties.” With a fabulous pool and open field in the back, a screened-in porch and outdoor fireplace, those parties are well attended.

In addition to being downright fun, the shingle-covered house is surprisingly serene and sophisticated. Greenwich decorator Brooke Stahl honored the Johnsons’ subtle elegance when she helped Julie pull all of the rooms together. Brooke says, “My intention was for the interior design to complement the house’s architecture and natural surroundings, and to reflect the Johnsons’ spirit and lifestyle.

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