A beach retreat close to home
New Canaan: Renovated 1960s home offers luxurious seaside atmosphere
A series of slate and fieldstone steps surrounded by dwarf shrubs and perennial gardens leads to the sheltered front door of "The Nantucket Retreat, " an expanded Cape Cod-themed property in New Canaan on more than two acres. Inlaid in the walkway is an old granite mill stone of diminutive size that serves as a rainwater drain. A long circular drive is centered in front with a single tree surrounded by the shade-loving Japanese grass, Hakonechloa.
On the second level, four sharply peaked dormers, one with a triple window, punctuate the roof line. To the right of the entry is a large dining patio with a pergola above.
Inside, the large living room has wide-board floors with wooden pegs, a beamed tray ceiling and a large brick fireplace with beadboard behind the mantelpiece, and bookshelves to either side. Three sets of French doors open to the dining patio, and beyond is a library, or office, whose walls are wrapped in pine, cabinets, shelves and storage drawers under a coffered ceiling.
The oversized white and brick kitchen has a huge marble island, with a round sink and a six-burner Dacor range. To the right and above the stove is an atmospheric wood-burning fireplace and to the left, a large farmer's sink. Cabinets are glass-fronted, and a desk has been tucked in under a brick arch. The kitchen has an intimate sitting area, extra refrigerator drawers, three ovens, a warming drawer, three dishwashers and a butler's pantry. The dining area for the kitchen has wide beadboard walls, a vaulted ceiling and an angled brick fireplace.
The formal dining room features paneled wainscoting and a coffered ceiling, and one powder room has a vintage-look round corner sink in marble with labeled faucets.
The family room off the kitchen has an angled wall fireplace of brick with accents of pine and a ceiling both beamed and beadboarded. Multiple French doors open to the side balcony that leads to both the front and rear patios, according to Lynnne Leonard-Ohrn of Lynne Leonard Realty in New Canaan, who has listed the property at just under $2.6 million.
The master suite is conveniently on the first floor. The master bedroom has a wall of elaborately decorated built-in closets, and there's a large walk-in closet with shelves, clothing rods and an island. There's also a sitting room, and the master bath has cove lighting over an oval tub, surrounded by beveled mirrors. There's a separate shower, a heated towel rack, pilaster decor and small decorative beveled mirrors in a band on the walls. A mud room with ranks of cubbies is combined with the first-floor laundry, overseen by a circular, divided-light window. A passage room is lined with hooks and shelves for the towels and accoutrements needed for life in and around the saltwater pool and the spa.
Upstairs are four additional bedrooms and three baths, along with a good-sized playroom and a second laundry. One bedroom has a hidden, low-roofed playhouse that runs through into the second-floor laundry. A bedroom/playroom has three differing closets for play and display and a line of three beds built in against the window wall, each with privacy curtains.
The lower level has a media room, an exercise room, a food-storage room and a hobby room, with fireplace, currently devoted to the crafting of quilts.
Dramatic terracing runs along the entire rear facade of the more than 7,200 square-foot, 17-room house. Most is under a vaulted, sky-lit ceiling and can be curtained off. There's an outdoor raised fireplace in brick, a grill built into a fieldstone wall, a ping pong table and seating areas galore.
The pool with a solar cover is highlighted by an Italianate pergola, stone fireplace and patios on the far side, and there's a ceramic hot tub and a pool house. Built in 1960, the house has been enlarged and fully renovated in recent years. Extras include a full-house generator, rear stairs, 14 skylights, ceiling fans and a three-car garage. Because of the spectacular grounds and amenities, Leonard held both a public and broker open house outdoors. The award-winning New Canaan YMCA Aquianas team performed in the pool, and "Nantucket Buff Beach Boys" offered coconut shrimp and Nantucket Nectar, when they weren't working out in the exercise room. A pianist played, there was Nantucket popcorn in the media room and Cape Cod Chips were served on the verandas.