Unique home set for auction

Published 10:23 pm Saturday, November 5, 2011

Farm: The Shibui Ni Farm in Whaleyville will be auctioned off this week, and an open house is set for today. The grounds include a home, stable, tea house, country cottage, covered and open riding rings, and many other features.

A unique Suffolk home is set to hit the auction block this week, and an open house is being held today for interested folks to get a look at the property.

The Shibui Ni Farm in Whaleyville, built by horse breeders Dr. Thomas W. Turner and Pamela M. Turner, will be sold to the highest bidder on Wednesday.

“I’m looking for somebody that will love the farm the way they loved it,” said Keg Berlin, the couple’s “adopted” son and heir to the property. “It’s just a lot of work for one person. Who needs 2,000 square feet to live in?”

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The grounds include a home, stable, tea house, country cottage, covered and open riding rings, a grass derby field, two to three miles of trails around the property, a multi-level deck off the house, pond with waterfall and more.

The Turners were an unlikely couple, Berlin said. He was born in Kentucky and served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy. She grew up steeple chasing and foxhunting in England.

Lifelong horse lovers, the couple raised and bred horses. About 20 now live at the farm, but they’re not included in the auction.

“They gave a lot of underdogs their start in the horse world,” Berlin said.

Both Turners passed away within the last 13 months after battling various illnesses, including cancer, for several years.

After Dr. Turner’s military service while stationed in Japan, the house was inspired by the Japanese culture.

“He loved the culture,” Berlin said. “I try to keep the balance with everything.”

The home was designed by architect Lewis Rightmeir. “Shibui” is the Japanese term referring to simple aesthetics. “Ni” means “two,” a reflection of the fact that this is the second house the Turners built.

The house contains elements of yin and yang throughout, including the symbol painted on the deck and featured prominently on the custom-made front gate. The house faces south and has several skylights, so there’s hardly a need to turn on the lights during the day.

Berlin has made many changes to the house throughout the last few years. He constructed the tea room, remodeled the country cottage and added levels to the deck, wrapping it around existing trees so as not to disturb them.

He also added an herb garden on the deck.

“She was a wonderful cook,” he said of his mother.

Berlin said the farm is the perfect oasis — it’s set back far enough from the road that no traffic sounds can make it to the house.

“A lot of love went into this place,” Berlin said. “But it’s time to move on.”

The auction is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m., and will have a preview beginning an hour before. Today’s preview begins at 2 p.m. Last listed on the market for $1.3 million, the property will go to the highest bidder over $363,000, the auction company stated in a press release.

The home is located at 6145 Whaleyville Blvd. For more information, visit the auction company site at www.tranzon.com.