July 8, 2014

The House That Spaghetti-O’s Built

Did you know that Chef Boyardee was a real person? He was Ettore Boiardi, and he made zillions selling canned ravioli, spaghetti-o’s and other items that were some people’s first taste of Italian food. Penderyn, the house that his only son and heir, Mario Boiardi had built in the 1980’s on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is now on the auction market. Funnily enough, the architect who designed the house was my next-door neighbour at the time in Annapolis, so I knew all about this house.

penderynThe house covers 22,000 square feet, with “eight bedrooms, nine full baths, three half-baths, 11 wood-burning fireplaces, as well as elegant French doors and Palladian windows, private balconies and English chimneys.”

The house was partially modeled on a classic Maryland house, and compared to some houses of this size and era, some of it is actually quite lovely. Let’s take a look around.

I would have preferred more of a gallery wall below, instead of random paintings just dotting the walls. There are too few paintings for the expanse of the wall, and they are too small. They needed some epic painting.imageI remember hearing about the craftsmen who were working on this house, and it’s evident in the library…imagewhich almost looks cozy.imageI was talking to a friend about enfiladed rooms the other day, but this is almost too much.image

I wonder what they serve for dinner?image

They did go on a bit about the kitchen, but I am sure that there’s a catering kitchen somewhere. Here’s what the description says, “A gourmet kitchen features a large island with stainless steel Hobart appliances, a stacked double oven, six-burner gas stove and a state-of-the-art cast iron heat-storage oven.” Hmmmm.. wonder if they’re talking about the Aga in the kitchen?image

What do you think of the no curtains look?imageOh, no! Bad faux!image

I wonder if someone’s studying the sequencing?imageimageVery nice, but is there any space for your knees if you’re sitting on one of the sofas?imagePlease explain the curtains hanging from the ceiling. imageAcres and acres of marble. imageI think that the house wants to be a five-part Georgian, but it’s a little off balance. That would drive me crazy.imageYou get a better idea of the layout here.imageimageI still can’t quite figure it out.imageNow, where in the heck is this?imageThe house has been on the market for at least two years, with a price of $9.5 million, and now it’s at auction with no reserve! It’s open this coming Saturday and Sunday, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, and more pictures, click here.

There are some appealing things about this house, but it’s just too huge and there are too many parts to it. Even if I had the money, this type of house holds no appeal for me. It’s soulless. It’s conspicuous. I am never going to entertain 800 people at home. I don’t need a dock for 11 boats or a garage for five cars. I am never going to need that many rooms. And when the house sells, all of the stuff goes, probably for pennies on the dollar. Sometimes, it just seems like a huge waste to me.

34 comments:

  1. I agree with your assessment completely. Some lovely moments, the room with no curtains is my favorite, but it needs something on the windows.
    On summary, it's just way too much. The faux painting is just bad. I despise the inside front door pediment....just way too much. Maybe in all white...
    I imagine this to be something Simon Cowell would lap up.

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    1. It feels more like a hotel than a home.

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  2. Hello Meg, it seems that Boiardee Jr. had lots of money with no specific requirements, so ended up with this unfocused and overdeveloped plan. Incidentally, did you know that the father, Ettore Boiardi, became a citizen of Cleveland, and started his business there?
    --Jim

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    1. It does seem to ramble on, doesn't it?

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  3. It is interesting how people made their money. Meg at first glance I thought that was a landing strip out back. Just too much going on throughout!
    Xoxo
    Karena

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  4. Mario the son died in 2007. The obit made it sound as if the Boiardi's did not live in this mansion but a few years. If that is the case, The most recent owners may be responsible for the current decor. Also the portion of the house that puzzled you I do believe one would find if one entered through the front door and walked straight through to exit through doors just opposite the front door. The overhead shots hint at the white balustrade railing. Hope this helps.

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    1. Oops ! the entrance one would use to exit the house to visit the pool, now the balustrade feature is opposite that entry way, I do believe. So many fancy door ways with covered entry features. I wonder what caused the property to be auctioned off a lien holder?

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    2. I know the property's been on the market for a few years, so maybe they're just trying to dump it.

      The house is so disjointed that nothing makes much sense. If a house evolved over a number of decades, I could get it, but this is a new build!

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  5. that inside front door surround would be too much even for Dorothy Draper. The Aga is a plus. With some redecorating it would make a good B and B.

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  6. I'll never be able to eat a can of Spaghetti-os again without thinking of this wacky place. Oh wait, I don't eat Spaghetti-os. Whew.

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  7. There are some saving graces: the room without the draperies is lovely (It would be warmed by panels of fabric on each side of the windows), the human dimensions of the kitchen (when compared to the rest of the oversized rooms), and the water views!

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    1. I agree... something is needed to soften the windows.

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  8. Somebody would be wise to buy this as a wedding venue! Perfect b&b for events.

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  9. Sigh, gone are the days that corporations spent shareholders profits on retreats and lavish parties or signed low interest loans so execs could purchase an estate such as this. What am I talking about. I have no idea if such practices have stopped. Now you have shown the light on this ---some face- plant type will scoop it up.

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  10. My husband was employed by Johnson Controls which was responsible for installation and implementation of the HVAC design for that estate. I remember the story of the paneled library/gameroom: The walls were solid cherry which was delivered in the form of a few massive tree trunks that were then milled on the property! The owner's wife requested that the thermostat be moved so the paneling was removed. After moving the thermostat and replacing the panels, the wife decided she wanted it back in the original position - this was a fairly mundane task but obviously money was no object when it came to change orders!
    I actually like the room without window treatments. Drapes etc. were probably omitted to showcase the fancier trim around the windows and the mural on the wall. Needless to say, the view must be spectacular.

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    1. I remember the architect tearing his hair out because of the change orders.

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  11. No soul...good point for something this monstrous. But...wow on another level

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  12. I think the scale of the pictures in the entry isn't the problem -it's that there is no heirarchy of trim to it - just door casing. It needs to be broken down in scale with pilasters and entablatures, etc. - like in a proper English country house which this is clearly trying to emulate.

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  13. have you ever tried to eat spaghetti'os + uuughhh + "what a little money can do" xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. I have eaten their ravioli, but not for decades!

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  14. Wow, what a huge place - too huge if you ask me. I can appreciate the workmanship, the exterior brick, the roof. The house is not centered and I think it would of been much nicer had it been. I agree with the comment regarding scale - proportion, in new construction they just never seem to get it right -inside and outside.

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    1. The classical rules of architecture are there for a reason!

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  15. I think you're right, Meg, it is a bit of a mess. All that money and they can't afford to do proper bed hangings? I sometimes fear that nothing that's being built these days will be worth saving.

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    1. Somehow I can't see this surviving for another 200 years, like many of the houses on the Eastern Shore.

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  16. I kinda like it! But only to look at, not to live in.

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