If this Colonial-style manor in Snyder looks like an art gallery on the inside, there's a good reason for that.
James Brandys and his wife, Joy, have collected works by local and international artists for decades and displayed all of it on the walls of their carefully decorated Lebrun Road home. Joy Brandys is a serious painter, while James Brandys is vice chair of the board of the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
The Brandyses are keeping their collection of 20th century and contemporary art, but they've sold their home.
James Brandys, a retired managing director of Merrill Lynch's Buffalo office, and his wife sold their home to Michael Serotte and Rita Georges for $985,000, according to a deed filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office. Serotte and Georges run their own immigration law firm with offices in Buffalo, Silicon Valley and Toronto.
The Brandyses bought the home 31 years ago, James said. They've made numerous improvements to the home and the grounds over the years.
The brick home, built in 1956, is 5,100 square feet with four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, according to the listing.
The foyer has a black-and-white, checkerboard tiled floor, similar to the blue-and-white pattern on the floor of the kitchen.
There's a mix of wallpaper in the various rooms, including stripes, floral patterns and international influences. The spacious dining room and a den are bright and airy.
Every bedroom on the second floor has its own bathroom, and the master suite has a bathroom accented with marble, with heated floors, and his and hers dressing rooms.
The basement has a climate-controlled wine cellar and tasting room, as well as a theater room.
Karen Baker of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, who listed the home and represented the buyers, said the decor is formal and elegant in the style of an old-time mansion.
"It is one of the most magnificent, meticulously cared for properties in Western New York," Baker said.
An enclosed patio looks out onto the gardens and the in-ground pool. A low-slung stone wall guards the front lawn and a long brick driveway winds its way up to the home.
The 2-acre property is extensively landscaped, including a Japanese garden in the back. Timothy Richley, who did the landscaping for the front lawn of the Burchfield Penney, designed the gardens.
"His gardens were as good as something you would see in Europe," Baker said.
Paintings and sculptures fill every room of the house. James Brandys said they've collected local artists such as Jackie Felix, Jason Seeley and Bruce Adams, as well as the French artist Charles Levier, the contemporary artist Lorna Marsh and Germany's Suzanne Eisendieck. Paintings of faces and figures are most common.
"The fun thing was," he said, "I had all the work in the house."
He declined to detail its size or value, beyond saying it's a significant collection.
"I just love my art," Brandys said. "When people would walk through the house, they'd say it's just like a museum."
Brandys, who served for 21 years on the SUNY Buffalo State College Council and remains chair of the school's planned giving committee, said the couple is selling the LeBrun Road home because they now have a home in Bradenton, Fla., where they spend the winters.
He said they had to have someone check in on the home every other day when they were gone, and it's getting to be too much upkeep and too much space for them.
They recently purchased a condominium in the Park Lane building, and they've moved some of their collection there and some to Florida. They've given a few pieces to their daughter but they have the majority in storage, in a climate-controlled unit where most of the art hangs on the walls. They also held an estate sale that ran for three days.
James Brandys said he and his wife bonded immediately with Serotte and Georges, who seemed to appreciate the home's decor. He said the Brandyses sold a good amount of their furniture to the new owners, and he is glad the property is in good hands. The Brandyses left behind some bottles of wine in the cellar for the couple.
"They're going to have us over for dinner once they get settled," Brandys said.