COVENTRY, R.I. — Calling all “Mad Men” fans.
For those who like mid-century modern style, a ranch house at 60 Spencer St. in Coventry is the real deal. Actually, about 20 percent of the house’s lot is in West Warwick, but the house itself is in Coventry, off Fairview Avenue, which climbs up a hill from Phenix village.
It is a roomy home, with more than 3,600 square feet of above-ground living space, including four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and one half bathroom. The back yard has a stone patio, furnished with a chimera, and there is a circular driveway out front, leading to the attached two-car garage. A stone wall borders the lawn.
Inside, the house “looks a little bit like a time capsule,” said owner Andrea Castenada, who bought the house with her husband, Chris Amirault, in 2010. They purchased the house from the Kostlya family. The original owners were well known in the neighborhood and are remembered with affection, she said. Castenada said Mrs. Kostyla was a gardener who often shared her plant starts with neighbors.
Castenada said they have replaced the roof and updated the heating, electrical and plumbing systems, but most of the original design details have been left intact. The couple also bought mid-century furniture, including a wood-cabinet phonograph record player, to complement the house’s aesthetic.
Built in 1958, the house had all the bells and whistles available for new construction at the time, including a base for a mixer built into the aqua-blue kitchen counter, and a built-in television and built-in stereo in the family room. The layout is open, and there are area rugs covering the cement floors in the front rooms of the house.
A large built-in stone planter is in the spacious foyer. The living room has a stone fireplace and a bank of windows. The formal dining room has a large built-in bar. Another spacious living area, with a wall of built-in shelves and cabinets, is directly across from the front door.
The kitchen has double Thermador ovens, a double sink, and a pantry closet, and there is a bay window near the kitchen table. A hallway from the kitchen leads out to the side entrance, which connects to the driveway and the garage. There is a mini-mudroom with a built-in bench near this side door. Double sliding glass doors also connect the kitchen to the tiled sunroom.
The master bedroom is also located on the first floor, and a sliding door in the bedroom opens to the ensuite, pink-tiled master bathroom. There are three more bedrooms on the second floor, along with plenty more storage spaces and closets. “The house has two laundry chutes: one for kitchen linens and one for bedroom linens,” Castenada wrote in her description of the property. “The main laundry chute feeds into an industrial linen cart,” and “the laundry room has a 12-foot New England mill table for folding. The original family took their laundry seriously.”
“At the time of its construction, the owners indulged in almost every modern convenience of the time,” Castenada added. “In 1958, dimmable lights were a rarity and were controlled through oversize panels. To avoid the strain of shouting across 3,400 square feet of living are, the house has an intra-house telephone system.”
“When we bought the house from its original owner, it was in well-maintained but aging condition. We were able and committed to restoration rather than renovation. The first order of business was dealing with essential upgrades: the original oil burner was a cast-iron unit that weighed over 1,000 pounds and was five feet square. Over six years of ownership, we used contractors for big-ticket items like exterior paint, a new roof, and heating, electrical and plumbing updates. Almost every other home project was strictly DIY.”
The house at 60 Spencer St., Coventry is priced at $349,000. Real estate taxes are $4,971. There will be an open house on Sunday, April 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact Barbara Dacey of Residential Properties Ltd., (401) 527-6745.
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