Colonial home filled with charming niches
New Canaan: Refurbished two hundred-year-old house sits on 1.3 acres in Silvermine
Updated 3:05 pm, Friday, July 15, 2011
Built almost two centuries ago, the Colonial house with a peaked gable roof line once dominated an extensive farm in the Silvermine area of New Canaan. Remodeled over the years, the now more than 4,900-square-foot home was most recently refurbished in 2005, when a new 2,000 square-foot wing was added to the rear, leaving the front facade looking much as it did in 1814.
The entry portico with a sky-blue beadboard ceiling is supported by crisp Corinthian columns, and two large singular slabs of granite lead to the front steps. Unusually wide pilasters decorate the front facade.
What was once a Victorian porch has been added to the living room with a fireplace, with an adjoining bread-baking oven, covered in a curving metal plaque. Niches above the fireplace hold large decorative vases, for now.
The library to the left has rosette-topped pilasters around the banks of bookshelves, and a nearby office has a tile floor.
The capacious dining room has high paneled wainscoting, topped with a plate rail, a boxed, beamed ceiling, an early corner cabinet and a long window seat.
The large, new kitchen has a massive island enfolded in limestone in Jerusalem Gold and limestone also covers the floor. Twin sinks look out over the land and gardens. There's a separate eating area, and the pantry boasts a built-in Miele coffee and espresso machine and beadboard cabinets painted a brilliant blue. In the adjoining family room, a raised-hearth fireplace has whitewashed brick facing on the hearth and a wood- paneled surround. Old beams run overhead along the cathedral ceiling, and French doors lead to a slate patio, surrounded by trimmed box and decorative grasses.
Many of the charming niches and alcoves of the original house remain, one with a small storage bench and cabinet. Much of the early brass hardware remains, and new hardware was selected to harmonize with the old.
There are two full baths on the first level, one with an original claw foot tub, the other with a stall shower and beadboard wainscoting.
There's a convenient mudroom on the first floor, and in the basement is a playroom and an exercise room, according to Barbara Cleary, whose New Canaan Realty Guild has listed the house for under $2 million.
The upstairs landing has wide-board floors, an early beadboard ceiling and the home laundry.
One bedroom has a child's-delight loft and shares a bath with the neighboring bedroom. A third bedroom has a powder room supplemented by a full hall bath.
The master suite has a sitting room with pocket doors separating it from the bedroom with fireplace. His-and-her walk-in closets lead to the master bath with the palest green marble countertops, a tumbled marble floor, double sinks, an oval platform tub, and a tile-lined shower. The water closet has a room all its own.
The large studio, or great room, atop a three-car garage has old beams across the cathedral ceiling, a Palladian window with delicate tracery, a wet bar and a built-in desk.
The 2005 redo extended to almost every part of the house. New then were the roof, windows, wiring, central air conditioning and lighting fixtures. Added were part of the living room, butler's pantry, office, mudroom and laundry. Ceilings and walls were repaired and repainted, baths updated and new walkways, stone paths and driveway installed, and even more.
Sitting on 1.3 level acres, there's a swimming pool and lush old trees everywhere. Across the street is an old farmer's stone wall, crafted of rocks from the fields, and New Canaan Land Trust property that will forever remain untouched.
Just steps down the street is the famed Silvermine Guild Arts Center and the Silvermine Market, also a casual restaurant and catering service.
One former owner of the house was William DuBois, a playwright, novelist and longtime editor for The New York Times Book Review. DuBois worked with surgeon, Dr. Frank G. Slaughter, on 27 of Slaughter's historical novels and published a number of his own, including "The Island in the Square." His Broadway plays, several of which became movies, included "I Loved You Wednesday."