If you want a house with a great dining room
Check out this week's look at Long Island homes with a notable feature. If you want to sell or rent a unique, historic or famous home, or one with a special feature, call Lisa Doll Bruno phone: (631) 843-2793, fax: (631) 843-5459, email: email@example.com.
In addition to a great dining room, this four-bedroom, two-bath Wantagh home, built in 1951, also features an eat-in kitchen and a solar-heated in-ground pool. "This was always my little dream home," says owner Linda Molinaro. "I took this little bungalow and turned it into my dream home and then shared it with everyone I loved." It's listed for sale for $499,000.
The first thing you notice about seller Linda Molinaro's dining room, if you've arrived on a sunny day, is the light. "In the daytime, it's so bright and beautiful in here, you literally need sunglasses," she says. Molinaro, who used to work for the school system while raising two children, has lived in this home with husband Dominick for 31 years, and she's put a lot of herself into it. "I built that rock wall myself, with a friend," she says. "We got the stones from Rickles Home Improvement. I love decorating."
Molinaro also loves to entertain. "Family dinners have always been here for the holidays, because I'm the oldest in the family," she says. "I've had about 20 of us in the house, and if I put another table in here with this one, we can fit 13 to 15 people in this room. We have another dining room, too, so anything over 20 and we use that."
"I grew up here," says seller Linda Velsor, an oral surgeon who moved back into her childhood home in Sag Harbor in 1990. "My dad moved this barn, which was . . . built around 1900, up here from the village and converted it into a house." It's on the market for $869,000.
The two-bedroom, one-bath home is on about 1.8 acres, and is well-known for its curb appeal. "I like to decorate, and I have won awards from Sag Harbor Village for the nicest Christmas decorations," says Velsor. "This is the house you see when you enter Sag Harbor. It's not elaborate, but everybody loves it. It's a cute little cottage up on the hill."
In 2004, Velsor redid the kitchen and dining room, and painted the walls their now-signature red hue. "I love red, and I drove around for weeks with color samples of red in my car so I could see what they looked liked in different light," she says.
For Thanksgiving dinners, the space fills up with family. "We could get 10 people in there if we wanted to, and if they really liked each other." Family often spills into the living room and gathers around the fireplace.
The three-bedroom, two-bath Glen Cove home, built in 1949, features a living room with a fireplace and landscaped grounds. It's listed for $499,000.
For seller Lynn Barthel, who has lived here nine years and works for the Roslyn schools, her small, light-filled dining room is perfect for Thanksgiving dinners. "My favorite feature of the room is the view from the table, looking out into the backyard as you eat," she says. "It's my comfort zone. My daughter is a chef, and she likes to do all the holiday cooking. The room isn't that big, and you could maybe fit six people to eat. But even if it's just us, it looks lovely, and we have all the things to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner."
But for Barthel, the most important part of her home is how it makes her feel. "It's gentle," she says. "The mood and tones are pretty, and when you walk in here, you just get a gentle feeling."
The four-bedroom, two-bath Northport house, built in 1987, has water views of the Makamah Beach Preserve. There are sliding doors from the kitchen and dining rooms to a deck, and deeded beach rights. It's listed for sale for $569,000.
Seller Joan Clark, a hospital administrator, has lived in this home for 13 years with her husband, Ciaran, and she's hosted a lot of family dinners here. "It's perfect for entertaining," she says. "My family can be at the table, and then come into the kitchen when I'm cooking. The layout really facilitates that. I think that's my favorite feature -- how the kitchen relates to the dining room. It's really just one big room, and to be able talk to Ciaran or whoever is at the table while I'm cooking makes it very comfortable."
Another element that lends the room its warmth is the yellow walls. Clark says the paint shade, Semolina from Benjamin Moore, brought just the right balance of brightness and earthy appeal, she says. "Everyone comments on that color, and it goes well with the hardwood floors," she says.
Seller Ellen Hobbs renovated the dining room in this Matinecock home when she redid the six-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath, 10,000-plus-square-foot house in 2009. She put it on the sales market with a $5,495,000 asking price.
Grand scale and bold color are the highlights of this home's dining room. "That table sits 14, but we've shoved more people in there," says Hobbs. She painted the walls, and added the custom molding and the chandelier. But the room, while large, still feels warm, in part because it has a fireplace.
After dinner, the family retreats to the library. "The library looks like something out of the board game Clue, and it's the only room that we really did not do anything to. It's all wood panel, and at Thanksgiving we always watch football here. It's huge and gorgeous and like something out of a 1940s movie."