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The Kitschiest French Manor in New Jersey Wants $6.4M

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Location: Mendham Boro, N.J.
Price: $6,400,000
The Skinny: "Old world craftsmanship", "attention to detail", "Work of Art", and "discerning buyer": phrases like these strung together in the context of a real estate listing should be a warning to the unwary and unschooled homebuyer who, flush with a pre-approved mortgage and eager to buy, is all too apt to be gulled into believing that hideous design somehow equates to high-class residential property. One look inside this gaudy "French Manor" out in the wilds of New Jersey should disabuse any prospective purchasers of that notion, but the sad truth is that riotously patterned wall treatments, garish, hand-painted coffered ceilings, and awful furniture at least have the benefit of being infinitely more interesting than the plain white walls and boring, half-empty great rooms of most modern McMansions. And, come to think of it, aren't many of the grand homes we celebrate today (i.e. the Biltmore Estate, the Breakers, El Furiedis) just palaces of kitsch that have benefited from the burnishing, patina-inducing effects of passing time? Maybe one day this home, with its absolutely over-the-top chapel (with its weird stained-glass depiction of a saint solemnly tickling the ivories) and its creepily haunting painting of a barkeep ("Your money is no good here, Mr. Torrance") will be celebrated as a sui generis masterpiece, made the subject of coffee table books and PBS documentaries, and be entered into the pantheon of Great American Homes. Until then it can be had for $6.4M.

· 0 Chapel Lane, Mendham Boro, N.J. [Gloria Nilson & Co.]
· All House of the Day posts [Curbed National]