Deeds & Don'ts: Romantic Winterludes
February is the month when we celebrate the great indoors. With the weather outside still frightful—some combination of snowy, sleety, gray and cold—few can resist the urge to nest for the next few weeks. So this column is dedicated to places and spaces for just that, whether the nesting’s done at the hearth, in a cozy kitchen or romantic master suite, or all around a home built to accommodate house parties and weekend guests.
Cold Weather, Warm Homes
A luxury Colonial in Greenwich gets our nod for the listing best equipped for hosting that weekend-long house party. Originally built in 1953, the now 12,700-square-foot home was completely reconstructed in 2007 by architect Rick Mosian. Its indoor amenities include a billiard room, a wine cellar, a home theater and a dramatic, double-height, wood-paneled library with a gallery space above and a fireplace below. For hosts who need a break from the conviviality, there’s no better place than the expansive master bathroom, with its glassed-in shower, classic tub and adjoining dressing room where shoes have their own display units and primping’s done at an elegant vanity. And if house parties pick up again in warm weather (note: We’re available!), the property’s 2.24-acre grounds offer a lit tennis court and a pool with a terrace and luxe pool house that has with a kitchen and a full bathroom. Julie Church of Houlihan Lawrence lists the property for $7,950,000.
A newly constructed Westport home has at its heart a handsome, open-plan kitchen with a generous, Calacatta marble-top island for cozy family dinners and Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. The adjoining butler’s pantry, which actually serves as a second kitchen, is equipped with a full-sized sink, dishwasher and wine fridge—perfect for when you are entertaining and need the extra space. Also adjacent is a family dining area and a wall of glass doors that step out onto the back terrace. The 8,100-square-foot “modern farmhouse,” designed by Sabin Builders, has six bedrooms and five bathrooms (plus two half bathrooms), including a master suite with a marble bathroom and chic slipper tub. Leslie Smith Clarke of Leslie Clarke Homes, affiliated with William Raveis, lists the property for $2,795,000.
In Wilton, a circa-1953 contemporary mixes a lodge-like aesthetic with Asian accents for a private home called Overlook Retreat. The lofty, open spaces include the most stylish modern hearth currently on the market. The all-white, cone-shaped chimney is freestanding, rising from the living room that encircles it, which also features soaring ceilings, dramatic beams and a wall of tilting window panes with views onto the park-like property. The 6,800-square-foot home offers a wine cellar, home theater and outdoor pool as well. Inger Stringfellow of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty has the $3,750,000 listing.
Love Shack, Baby!
For the promised peek into a romantic bedroom, check out the master suite in this Old Lyme antique, located in the heart of the town’s historic district. Listed for $1,975,000, the grand, circa-1877 clapboard Colonial, called the Ludington House, was once a bed and breakfast and still offers nine bedrooms, the best of which is pictured here. We love the room’s traditional fireplace, the built-in glass cabinetry and the glossy dark floorboards. The suite also offers two bathrooms, including one with a fireplace and more custom cabinetry. Beth Cote of Coldwell Banker has the listing.
Finally, shoppers looking for a sweet deal—and a change in career—should check out the circa-1898 Victorian compound in Kent, whose carriage house was once one of our favorite stops along Route 7: the Belgique Chocolatier. The award-winning shop is part of the property, which—before its closure in 2012—was fragrant with housemade Belgian hot chocolate, truffles and other indulgences. It sits alongside the main house, which offers 3,600 square feet of carefully restored interiors including original pocket doors, wainscoting, carved-oak moldings and other period details.
Fab Front Doors
Professional stagers tend to recommend the most neutral of hues inside for-sale homes: white, ecru and the greige range—from beige to gray. But exceptions are often made for exterior trim, perhaps because it has long been a New England tradition to paint doors and shutters kicky colors. Even the Colonists, our most sober-sided forebears, liked the way bold shades in small doses could distinguish their home along a sidewalk of mostly white and gray houses. For 2015, Pantone has named marsala, a warm and spicy red, as the color of the year, and it’s an awesome shade for exterior trim. We also love the deep marine blue chosen for this new-construction Westport home, listed for $2,249,000 with Brett Lieberman of the Riverside Realty Group in Westport. 855-328-7382.
A version of this article appeared in the February 2015 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: For Romantic Winterludes.