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Connecticut’s Tatum House Is a Masterful Modernization of a Midcentury Icon

Michael Biondo

An iconically modern home in New Canaan, CT, is now on the market for a cool $3.4 million.

Known as the Tatum House and clocking in at $875 per square foot, the five-bedroom residence is ideal for a discerning buyer enamored with midcentury modern style.

Located in Fairfield County, New Canaan has a population of approximately 20,000 residents and is part of the state’s Gold Coast. About an hour’s train ride from Manhattan’s Grand Central Station, this classic home is located within a 10-minute drive from New Canaan’s train station.

Hugh Smallen’s design preserved

Designed by “the architect Hugh Smallen, an early advocate of environmental design, it was built in 1962 and expanded by his firm in 1967,” says listing agent Inger Stringfellow, with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

The current owners collaborated with several of Smallen’s peers to modernize the home for today’s lifestyle, adds Stringfellow. They also upgraded the infrastructure while preserving the home’s architectural integrity.

Even more impressive? Following the renovations, the home earned an esteemed listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


Michael Biondo

Inside the Tatum House

The nearly 3,000-square-foot living space features generous 9.5-foot ceilings, warmed by an exposed cedar roof structure, says Stringfellow.

“The cedar roof rests atop black-painted beams and appears to float above the white walls,” she says. Also, the art gallery-like spaces of the rooms added in 1967 feature nearly 12-foot-high ceilings.

Other standout features include the window walls—”double-paned for comfort and efficiency”—which afford an excellent view of the bucolic New England landscape.

“A dramatic lightwell in the family room and eight skylights draw even more natural light into the house,” says Stringfellow. A lightwell is an open area in the center of a structure that’s typically topped with a glass roof to welcome a flood of light into the space.

Living room
Living room

Michael Biondo

Modern upgrades in the mix

The design touches are all high-end and meld seamlessly with the home’s original features.

“The home includes original canister ceiling lighting and custom furnishings by Smallen, including built-in dressers and closets, playroom/office cabinetry, and a floating maple slatted bench in the entrance atrium,” says Stringfellow.

Modern upgrades include upmarket offerings such as a Bulthaup kitchen, Agape bath fixtures, glass mosaic tiles from Bisazza, and sliding glass doors from Tre Piu.

Step outside and prepare to be dazzled.

“About half of the 2-acre property is neatly landscaped, with expanses of lawn and native gardens. The other half, rising behind a dry-laid stone wall, offers woodlands with winding paths graced with mosses and ferns,” says Stringfellow. “The home is a striking example of New Canaan’s Bauhaus-inspired midcentury architecture. It’s been lovingly restored and updated and is waiting for the next owner.”

Walls of windows
Walls of windows

Michael Biondo

The post Connecticut’s Tatum House Is a Masterful Modernization of a Midcentury Icon appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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