A Window-Filled Mid-Century Modern in Clifton

This Ben Dombar–designed jewel sits in the middle of a wooded lot, giving it a treehouse feel.
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128 Lafayette Lane

Photograph by Tim Spanagel

Some of the coolest homes in the Queen City are found here, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boulter House. And this Ben Dombar–designed home—Dombar was a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice—adds to the historic landscape. “It is a private home first and foremost,” says current owner Beverly Thomas. “It is very comfortable and ‘homey.’ ”

Hidden among the trees off of Lafayette Lane, the 1956 home’s most obvious trait are the windows. Thomas says that friends and family often refer to it as The Tree House. “Every room has picture-type windows allowing wonderful views of the outdoors at all times,” she says. “The views change dramatically from season to season and even from day to night.”

Photograph by Tim Spanagel

Photograph by Tim Spanagel

Thomas and her late husband purchased the home in 2001 and spent several months updating and renovating before they moved in. “What first stood out was the overwhelming amount of work we would need to do,” Thomas says. “Very little had been done to upgrade necessities like plumbing and electric.” Luckily, they were able to see past the problems and imagine the finished result. The couple upgraded the deck off of the great room, added a second deck off the master, updated the kitchen with custom cabinets and Corian countertops, and added a carport for four cars.

The main entry features a sort of modernist pergola, a large fountain, and red front door. Inside, the kitchen, dining, and living areas are connected, and flow into the sunroom (which has a wet bar) and the enclosed porch. The galley-style kitchen includes stainless appliances and is spacious enough to hold an eat-in area for two. The dining room features a built-in lighted curio cabinet and leads out to that sunroom. The adjacent living room offers a working fireplace and sliding door access to the porch, which is outfitted with ceiling fans and heaters, plus a built-in grill. Outside, the enclosed rooms are connected by a bridge to a porch off the master—perhaps the best seat in the house! Skylights line the ceiling and a hot tub in the corner provides a peaceful spot overlooking the backyard.

Photograph by Tim Spanagel

The basement office space features a walkout and another functional fireplace, and the laundry room, which is just off the kitchen, has plenty of storage.

Though the hot tub tops our list of favorite features, the outside is the best part. The home’s secluded, wooded lot is nearly a full acre, and there’s even a small covered deck just down the hill. “We are on a deer trail and often see more deer in the course of a day than people,” Thomas says. “It is very peaceful here.”

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