Amazing homes that rival resorts for their posh amenities and interiors, including Renee Zellweger's farm.
There’s nothing better than escaping to a fully loaded resort during February’s dim, dreary days—except, perhaps, owning a home that rivals a resort for its posh amenities and interiors. This month, we’re indulging the fantasy of living the spa life with a look inside the market’s top sybaritic listings—including a movie star’s retreat, a former Congressman’s compound, and the coolest converted barn we’ve ever seen.
Conyers Farm Compound
The New York Post reports that former Michigan congressman and Ronald Reagan budget director David Stockman’s home has been discounted nearly $4 million since it was first listed for $23.5 million some 18 months ago. The 21-acre estate is the picture of English Country refinement on the outside. But it also qualifies as resort-like thanks to the oodles of amenities inside, including a home theater, a wine cellar, an exercise room, and a fabulous master suite with a fireplace, balcony and two spa-like bathrooms. On the private, landscaped grounds are a pool, a pretty pool house with a veranda and changing rooms, formal gardens and a tennis court—all within close proximity to the Greenwich Polo Club. David Ogilvy & Associates in Greenwich has the listing. 203-869-9866.
Renée Zellweger’s Farm
The Oscar-winning actress purchased this secluded estate in 2004, then spent seven years polishing up the circa-1770 farmhouse and its 39-acre spread. She’s looking to sell, says her broker, because her “current work schedule and travel commitments do not allow her to visit the property as frequently as she would like.” Called The Cotton Tavern, the property starts with a 3,463-square-foot main house that was renovated with high-end fixtures and furnishings while retaining the charm of its wide-plank floors, exposed beams and handsome paneling. The actress made a 2,000-square-foot party space out of the farm’s antique barn, adding a bar area and a game room. Also on the grounds: a loft-like guest cottage with a kitchen, a glamorous, free-form pool and for dramatic entrances and exits, a helicopter-landing pad. Zellweger waxed sentimental about Pomfret, a town of 4,000 people: “The seasons and landscape are breathtaking, the quality of life and festive holiday celebrations are of bygone days, and you’ll make more true friends in Pomfret within weeks than you would during a lifetime in most other places.” Jonathan Radford of Coldwell Banker in Old Lyme has the listing. 860-434-8600.
Arts & Crafts Estate
Beyond merely resort-like, this Arts & Crafts estate could be an actual resort, given the grandeur of its main house and all the attractions and amenities scattered around its 30-plus acres. And while its listing broker remains mum about the seller’s identity, the hint given—an international and award-winning fashion and home furnishings designer—leads us to guess that it’s long-time Ridgefield resident Alexander Julian (we do know that the property once belonged to the late Charles Bluhdorn, founder of Gulf and Western). Boldfaced name affiliations aside, the place is impressive in its own right. Soaring ceilings grace the public rooms in the main house, including a gorgeous dining hall with floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto a lovely terrace. The grounds offer two ponds decorated with a fountain, bridge and island, and a pool, tennis court, gardens and greenhouse. As for the throngs of weekend guests a home like this attracts, you can put them up in the 3,000-square-foot guesthouse, which also serves as a studio, the one-bedroom pool house, or one of two “summer bungalows.” Deborah Durkee of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Ridgefield has the listing. 203-417-4983.
This stunning barn-style home
in Roxbury is loaded
to the rafters with cool stuff
Connecticut is famous for its barn-style homes, a type of dwelling that allows ex-urbanites to live in a loft that looks humble—appealing to our Yankee desire to avoid flashy fanciness— but is loaded to the rafters with cool stuff. And this 15,000-square-foot conversion may be the coolest barn home we’ve ever seen. Kudos go to owners Katie and Steve Hylen, both photographers (he an Academy Award–winning one), who took this Roxbury landmark and made a chic home out of it. Its most stunning feature is the entire wall given over to windows, held in place by steel girders and overlooking hayfields, meadows and sunsets. The home’s central space also boasts 17-foot vaulted ceilings and a tall, freestanding sculptural fireplace, encircled with built-in sofas. There is also a professional kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven, three en suite bedrooms, a screening room, a sauna, a gallery space with a fountain and an open-plan top floor that has been used, variously, as a photo and art studio and a dance space. It’s listed with Judy Perkins of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Kent. 860-248-0722.
Vacation at home with
your own deepwater dock, pool,
cabana and tennis court
This waterfront estate got its name from the boat favored by a former owner of the property, who must have taken full advantage of that now-rare amenity, a private, deepwater dock. The current and nearly 10,000-square-foot home is newer, designed by Michael Greenberg and built in 2000. Its very setting is vacation-like, with 200 feet of Long Island Sound waterfront, as well as a pool, cabana and tennis court. Inside, you’re still outside, thanks to the expansive windows onto the water, especially stunning from the master suite, with its own fireplace, balcony and dressing room. The best view, though, is way up high from the rooftop gazebo with 180-degree vistas. It’s listed with Michelle Genovesi of Michelle & Company in Westport. 888-454-7653.