The MacKenzie-Childs Estate For Sale in New York

Mackenzie-Childs-house-exterior-with-Richard-and-Victoria-MacKenzie-ChildsHere’s a kind of property you don’t see every day. This historic home near Aurora, New York, was built in 1790 and restored by Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, the artists who founded the home-decor company MacKenzie-Childs.

The main house has 7 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and sits on 42 acres in the Finger Lakes region. The press release says, “This is the exact location, the spawning ground, of the earth shattering discovery, vision and genesis of the company, MacKenzie-Childs Ltd.”

The couple sold the company after declaring bankruptcy in 2000 and started a new home-decor brand under the name Victoria and Richard Emprise.

If you’re familiar with the kinds of furniture and home decor sold by MacKenzie-Childs, then you probably recognize a lot of the influences in this house, such as this black and white-checkered dining room:

The kitchen has a lot of patterned tile, too, but the colors are so pale that they don’t jump out at you as much.

The house is being used as a Bed & Breakfast now. This bedroom looks like it could be a luxury suite in Disney World’s Polynesian Resort, doesn’t it?

Check out the birds sitting on top of the bed posts–wonder if they wake you up in the morning by singing, Disney-style?

Every room is unusual in its own way.

This looks like the Dixon Road Bed from their line.

One bedroom has a fireplace…

…and a free-standing tub behind a screen:

(Does that lamp remind anyone else of the classic leg lamp in A Christmas Story?)

This sunroom has floor tiles that were individually hand painted:

You can see them better in this photo:

The outdoor patios, paths, and arbors are really beautiful:

The back of the house:

There’s a 2,300 square-foot Carriage House on the property, too. The upper level has a “guest suite.” The lower level is used as a gift shop that sells the couple’s products:

This bathroom features paper dolls hanging from the ceiling, something I can’t say I’ve seen before:

Here’s an aerial view of the property, which is near Cayuga Lake and has “sweeping elevated views” of it:

It’s on the market for $1.1 million. Visit the Sotheby’s listing for more information. 12/13 Update: It just sold for $595,000. Details at

Hooked on Designers’ Houses? Click here to see more, including…

Sarah Richardson's Ontario holiday house

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
Goldie Hawn lists her long-time Malibu beach house: Pics. Kinda surprising b/c her daughter just bought one nearby: Kate Hudson's Tudor. Jennifer Lopez and Marc…
Love It or List It-David and Hillary
My favorite show on Oprah Winfrey's new OWN network is "Love It or List It," a clever spin on house hunting and design shows. Is…

See More


  1. says

    it is a spectacular home…not decorated to my taste, but lovely nonetheless…i was thinking ‘mary engelbreit’ whilst looking at the various rooms.

  2. says

    Not to tell you how to decorate…but you need that glass top table with the bunnies for your new room. I love the house. The decor is over the top. Surprisingly the kitchen was in good taste. I am not for eclectic decorating that changes so drastically from room to room. Tiki into garden into French country but all kind of wacky. Not my taste. The house though and property are to die for.

  3. Heatherly says

    Yeah, I will pass on that decor but if you look past it, that house is lovely! Only $1.1 million?

  4. says

    This is such an amusing place! It’s not a place I’d like to pay this much for, but can you imagine living in it? You’d discover something new every day! Interesting!!!

    Wishing you and your family a very blessed week!


    Luciane at

  5. says

    The best attributes of this house, is most definitely the garden. That’s where this over-the-top whimsical look can fly, but in the house it’s way over done. I wouldn’t mind being in the position to buy this place and tone it down! Lx

  6. sivyaleah says

    Some of it I could live with, some not. Overall, lovely and if you took out the over-the-top furnishings and chachkas, I could easily see myself in it. The price seems reasonable for what you’re getting considering the property, size, care and detail that went into the home.

  7. Deb! says

    That’s a hell of a lot of house and gorgeous grounds for only $1.1 million!

  8. says

    it’s a great home. I really don’t like the way it’s decorated, but that could be changed. It would take a LOT of money to change it though; as it’s not JUST the furniture, it’s the walls, floors, etc. too over the top for me. It almost looks like the 1980s meets Alice & Wonderland.

    • Barbara Parsons says

      Whew! I was dizzy, too. Each piece would look good in another home
      not all together in this one. Nice house though.

  9. says

    I think I have to agree with the previous comments. It’s not to my taste and I would want to redecorate. I’m more of a history buff, so I think I would want to take it back to it’s 18th century roots! BUT – it is a splendid house and a good amount of land. Thanks for sharing! It’s beautiful!


  10. says

    I have always adored the MacKenzie-Childs designs! This property is beyond amazing. I would redo part of the home and keep many of the decorative elements!


    Art by Karena

    Last day to win a lovely painting by Mary Maxam!

  11. Neesha says

    I love the architecture and the grounds are so lovely! I also love the outdoors. The decor is very kitschy, I kinda like it but I don’t think I can live with all the stuff.

  12. Carol M says

    Yes, I thought that lamp in the bedroom looked like that famous one — before I read your comment! The house and gardens are beautiful. The decorating though, is definitely not my style. Your description of the Disney Tiki Room was spot on hysterical. That room sure doesn’t fit with the rest of the house.

    • hookedonhouses says

      Glad I’m not the only one who thought that, Carol! Maybe I’ve just seen “A Christmas Story” too many times… :-)

    • hookedonhouses says

      It doesn’t come furnished, but I think that’s negotiable, according to the listing.

  13. says

    This house is fabulous, and I wish the inside were decorated in a style to match the outside. Yeah, I also thought “Mary Engelbreit”; the decorating looks contrived and very 80s dated… I wanted to see one of these great early house kitchens with a huge fireplace, a farm-style prep table and an original wall oven still used for bread baking… Thank heavens, at least they didn’t paint the original beams in the ceilings of the attic.

  14. LindaSonia says

    The home and property is indeed to die for… the decor not so much. I couldn’t live with it – bits and bobs of it, but that’s about it.

    Someone should buy it, leave it as is, and offer tours through it. I’d go on one for sure!

  15. says

    I can’t believe the price – $1.1 million? For that, if I had it, I’d buy it in a heart-beat and put the time and effort into changing the entire interior, since it’s not my taste AT ALL!! It would be worth it – especially near Cayuga Falls and 42 acres – not to mention the size of the house…and that there’s a Guest House!!!

  16. says

    Hi Julia ~ Happy Sunday. What’s that old saying, “to each their own?” I love the grounds, the architecture and the homes history, but that’s where it stops. In my humble opinion, the decorating is horrific. A great example as to how to ruin a home, I’ll leave it at that!

  17. says

    Ohmygoodness… what a shame… it could be quite charming. I hope that someone buys it and changes just about everything in the interior. It really could be something wonderful, especially if they keep it as a B&B.

  18. says

    I love it! I would so buy this house if I could! We love MacKenzie-Childs, and we registered for it 23 years ago when we married, so we are long-time collectors. I can honestly say that I have never tired of the Taylor or Wallcourt lines, although I have changed my mind about which patterns I like best over the years. Thanks so much for posting this, Julia!

    By the way….I love the eighties colors in the kitchen. I want a return to “pretty”….I want Mario Buatta interiors again!!!! ;P

  19. says

    A lot of house and land for 1.1 million. The results look like they were on HGTV’s “Design Stars” and went wild decorating every room differently but with a very huge budget and lots of time. They may have used ME’s colors in some rooms but not her fantastic style. It makes one wonder how much money they spent decorating…walls, floors, furniture etc. You find the most interesting homes to view.

  20. Farmeress says

    It would be a fabulous place to visit! I am sorry the B&B is giving up for that is the perfect venue for this whimsical historical record of a creative design team! I am also regretting I did not know it existed before. Intend to check area C of C to see if it is still accepting guests. I pass that way from Ohio to Capitol district NY about twice annually and my new camera & I would love to record this beautiful masterpiece of creativity! Lovely country side as well. I am completely taken with the carriage house!!! I wish HGTV would quick get their cameras there for a tour and possibly an interview with the designers. Would hate to see it undone but understand not everyone’s eye would enjoy living with this well done whimsy daily! House & grounds have Beautiful bones and I hope it finds itself a Good Home with loving caretakers!

  21. Colette says

    I LOVE IT!! I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the different themes, it would keep it from getting boring for me. But then, I’m a Gemini….and maybe just a little ADD. :)

  22. says

    Oh, my goodness–I need a dramamine. I own exactly one MacKenzie-Childs plate and I love it. I love it because it’s just one. A whole house of that would make me feel like I was on a never-ending carousel ride. But it does seem like a bargain for someone.

  23. Cori Heffernan says

    The house and outside are beautiful. I could live with most of the inside with some calming down of patterns and creamy white paint. The dining room is too much and the bathroom where paper dolls go to die looks like something my brother might have done!

    • Bridget says

      Cori, I was thinking that my brother would have done the very same thing. Poor paperdolls!

  24. Kim says

    To tell you the truth, upon looking at the nice outside, I was expecting an interior like the March house used in the 1994 version of “Little Women”. To my disappointment, it wasn’t. In fact, like the others, I think what they did to the interior is hideous and it doesn’t reflect the historic eras at all, accept the attic. That room is absolutely gorgeous and I wish they had put that style throughout the rest of the house.

    A side from that, I love the carriage house. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I would much prefer to live there instead of the house. I also love the land. The Grounds are beautiful and it’s the type of property I would love to live on.

  25. Pam says

    I love the exterior and the carriage house is beautiful but the interior UGH!! I could not live with it. I have always liked the Mackenzie-childs smaller pieces but a house full of it is a bit much for me. The exterior is just beautiful though.

  26. says

    Anyone else get nauseous looking at that dining room? A bit of black and white check is cool but that would take my appetite away.

    Too bad the clutter takes away from the gorgeous bones of the house. The individual elements may be good to but are so OTT this way.

    The finger lakes area is breathtaking as is the outside of the house and the bones of the house. 1.1 mil is a bargain for the right buyer!

  27. Smooches Darling says

    I’d give my eye teeth to have this, just the way it is. Unfortunately my eye teeth are worth considerably less than 1.1 mil. *sigh*

  28. says

    I usually try to see past the furniture and paint when I look at these listings, but this was just too much. It felt very contrived and over-the-top, and it felt more like a showroom than an actual home. And that’s a LOT of house for that much money – I wonder why?

  29. says

    I love the “bones” of the house, I am a sucker for the classic old “five over 4 and a door” places. The interior? Well…I’ll be kind and say it certainly must reflect the tastes of the current owner…and that’s what a house ought to do, isn’t it?

  30. Douglas Arthur says

    This house is magical, the exteriors seem like something out of an English novel and yet the insides resemble a walk through Wonderland (wouldn’t Alice and her parade of characters fit within this decor. The amount of time and care it would take to make this sort of home opens me up to appreciation for it and the whimsy of those who have occupied it. What an amazing childhood it would be to live somewhere so fun and colorful. I would like to see what they might do if they were to install a pool….bet it would be checkerboard style

  31. says

    I love the exteriors of the house as well as the beautiful land surrounding it…but I most definitely would re-do the interior. Some spaces like the bathroom with the clawfoot tub need only a slight touch where as others would need quite a bit more…but the house is amazing though and I think it would be wonderful to live there.
    Sounds kind of funny but 1 mill. sounds a bit low for this place.
    xo J~

  32. Janice Mahon says

    As comedian George Carlin once said, “A house is a pile of stuff with a lid on top.” And there is so much stuff in this place, you can’t see the forest for the trees. Nice house, nice price, nice location. Enuf said. :)

  33. Michelle says

    I have been in this house on several occasions (my sister-in-law and son have both worked for Richard & Victoria, as did I for a short time). I love the grounds and the carriage house. The main house is a bit much too much for me personally. It is very Alice in Wonderland, neat, but I don’t know that I would want to live there. I do love the Aga stove in the kitchen!

  34. Michelle says

    I also meant to add that being very familiar with the house and the area that the price seems to be on the money.

  35. Nita says

    Love the house and the land. This is such a great price for what you get. Lottery, come on!

  36. says

    Wow my step mother-in-law would love this house! She loves Mackenzie-Childs.

    Yeah I don’t know about this decor. Definitely not my taste but to each their own I guess.

  37. anna honey says

    Oh my – certainly an eclectic mix…I think it would over stimulate my senses. Bloody awful really.

  38. Beverly Palmer says

    The house is beautiful but the decor is just bizarre! Paper dolls hanging from the ceiling, free standing tub in a bedroom, and a lamp that is similar to the famous “leg” lamp from the Christmas story. I mean, what were they thinking?!!! The outside of the house and the arbor are absolutely amazing! I could totally live outside while the decorating inside was being redone.

  39. says

    Love this house, love everything about it! And I 100% did a double take when I saw the lamp next to the bed in the room w the tub behind the screen! Thank god I’m not the only one who sees leg lamps at every turn…

  40. cbean says

    Poster Pascale Steig sums it up perfectly: “contrived”.

    However the brick path with the arbor over it is lovely.

  41. ann says

    Beautiful house but the decor is, well I don’t think it fits a lot of peoples style. To be able to redecorate it ground up would be so much fun! The outside patios are really nice.

  42. says

    I love the hand painted tiles in the sun room.

    Everything else would be fun for a bed and breakfast, but not for everyday.

  43. handbright says

    Pure whimsey, which is what the artists are known for! I always wondered how much they used in their own home, which, judging by the photos is quite a bit! Thank you for this one. I sure wouldn’t want to keep that clean though-

    • Michelle says

      They are back and forth a lot, Richard is here much more often. Richard & Victoria live almost full time on their ferry boat which is docked in New Jersey, just across the Hudson from Manhattan.

  44. jimmygfitz says

    Gorgeous architecture would be enhanced by far less clutter. Why do Americans have to have so much “stuff” in their houses? Claustrophobic !

  45. says

    wow. I do like MacKenzie and Child designs, but maybe not in such a concentrated manner – I am a little bit dizzy!

    Fun post Julia!

  46. says

    That is simply a travesty what they did to that home. I hated every room. I would have to gut it and start all over, making it more period correct with some modern conveniences.

  47. HollyM says

    What a horrible thing to do to an authentic colonial property. They need to sell. To a purist.

    I’m thinking I know why their business went belly up.

  48. Gadabout says

    This place is so fantastic – the grounds – the structures – the furnishings – the decorating – just so much to enjoy. To bad I am a pauper – I would love to live in this house just the way it is.

  49. Carol says

    Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every datail of the home and specifically the fabulously well-designed furnishings & accessories. Victoria & Richard are artistic geniuses with rare eyes for designing, implementing & then combining unique design elements! True, true geniuses and talent beyond description! I would love to be able to acquire the entire estate AS-IS…what a rare opportunity!

    Best, best, best to you always, Carol

  50. Joni Klein says

    I Love this house just as it is, I wouldn’t change a thing!

  51. Linda says

    I would love my friend Joni to buy it so I can stay there. I tried to stay there during an Ithaca graduation but it was booked already. I love, love , love it.

  52. says

    I love every inch of this place and everything in it. I wouldn’t change a thing either.

  53. Sharon says

    That would be my dream home – as is! Love the decorating. I spend my days trying to make my house look like that. I just know I would be the perfect steward for that home. Unfortunately, I don’t have a spare million but I can dream!!!!

  54. Helen Alford says

    1.1 M for all that house and land? An absolute dream come true for me. I could spend every minute of every day marveling at the crazy beauty of it. Has it sold?

      • says

        The home can be purchased for an additional amount that would include the furnishings, many of which are originals to the copies sold in their retail centers. The grounds are to die for and the carriage house stands out on its own. There are actually a few properties of this stature in the area for sale, some with actual lakefront on Cayuga Lake. I am a lakefront realtor in the Finger Lakes.
        visit myblog for info in the Finger Lakes

        And yes, house is still available ! Iwould be happy to set up an appt to see !

  55. tippy says

    That’s an amazing home done in a designer’s signature style. I wouldn’t change a thing and would love to live there. Fortunately not everyone is a minimalist…which is why this designer is a very rich woman and the rest of us are not.

  56. catt says

    i’d love to see the tastes of the critics here. i’m sure it’s just *to die for*.

  57. Stevenkh says

    Their aesthetic makes me nauseous but nice restoration.

  58. davito says

    SOOO freakin’ OVER with! This crap is nauseating…reminds me of a mad hatters tea party on crack!!!


  59. claire ulsch says

    I would love to live in this mythical house. Iam 72 years young and when i saw the pictures it gave me such a feeling of never growing old. p.s. is it still b&b love claire

  60. says

    Whimsical and wonderful…I wouldn’t change any of it. As a matter of fact, if it’s been sold, I don’t want to know if someone has undone the magical Alice vibe and made it “tasteful”…cheers!

    • Susie says

      All their stuff is stunning, but it’s as much a fantasy as their prices. I’m not surprised they went into bankruptcy. Though perhaps the handwork is worth the expense, perhaps they should have made it piecemeal by order instead of mass-production to ship out and not sell. Tassels go for $35.00,furniture $5k and up. And several years later, it doesn’t look like any of it has sold yet? Victoria was on an HGTV show recently, 4 Houses, and showed the boat. Her wierd behavior on tv was again, fantasy. She acts like she’s not really in tune with reality. But again, I love the stuff, just won’t pay such ludicrous prices and obviously most ppl won’t.

  61. Sara Izod says


  62. Donnie MacKenzie says

    You should have seen the house when they bought it. You could be inside and see outside without having to find a window. The mice and cows were basically living in and around it. Amazing the vision they had!