On the Market / Updated farmhouse retains 20th-century charm
NEW CANAAN — An out-of-state family who appreciates houses with character and history saw through the long-time neglect of the antique farmhouse at 273 Ponus Ridge Road and envisioned what it could become.
That family expanded the original structure, built in 1916, and renovated it to create a warm and inviting home with updates that beautifully accommodate today’s lifestyle. The addition extended the living space to 2,857 square feet. The original house only had three bedrooms and one full and a half baths. The expansion project gave the house an additional bedroom, two more full baths, a mudroom, attached two-car garage, and a spacious gourmet kitchen.
“I love the charm of antiques but I like the fact that this house is modernized for a contemporary family. It can accommodate the needs of a contemporary family,” one of the homeowners said.
After the interior work was completed, the homeowners turned their attention to the grounds of this property of just over one acre. The yard, like the house, had good “bones” but also needed a little tender loving care. A previous owner, who had lived there for 40 years, had laid the groundwork. He was an avid gardener so the yard was adorned with specimen plantings, perennial flower beds, a vegetable garden, and fruit trees and shrubs.
The pear trees still sit on one side of the house. The grape vines still bear fruit that the family says are great for making jam. They harvest the pears and blueberries. The large, private backyard still has raised vegetable beds as well as a flagstone patio with a fire pit and a second patio farther from the house for lounging or sun-bathing.
At the far end of the yard there are wetlands that ordinarily detract from the appeal of a property, but in this case they enhance it for at least three reasons. This time of year the resulting pond freezes over, creating a place for the residents of this house to ice skate or play a pick-up hockey game. The wetlands prevent construction of anything behind the house ensuring that the privacy remains intact. The water views are attractive and pose no threat to the house.
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A split rail fence along the front of the property stands as a reminder of an earlier time when the town had working farms. The Belgium block lining the driveway represents contemporary times. The house has a welcoming covered front porch. The front door opens to reveal, not a house that was constructed more than a century ago but a home that has the charm of times past while also offering spacious rooms, modern amenities, and taller ceilings than sometimes found in the average antique.
The sizable formal living room features the only fireplace in the house. It also has built-in cabinetry and shelving, French doors to the screened porch, and a second set of French doors into a small office. On the other side of the foyer is the formal dining room. The large eat-in kitchen can be accessed from the living and dining rooms and the foyer. It features granite counters, an over-sized farm sink, and a decorative tile backsplash behind the six-burner range top. A large wet bar area with a granite counter, glass-front cabinetry, and a beverage refrigerator is ideal for entertaining. The kitchen is open to the family room.
The mudroom has built-in cubbies, a bench and doors to the garage and backyard. It also makes a great family photo gallery.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Updated Antique Farmhouse
ADDRESS: 273 Ponus Ridge Road
FEATURES: 1.1-acre level property, fruit trees and bushes, vegetable and flower gardens, covered front porch, screened porch, patio, fire pit, views of a pond, wet bar, one fireplace, proximity to downtown New Canaan and two Metro North train stations, close to schools and shops, rear stairs, hardwood floors throughout, walk-up attic — partially finished, full unfinished basement, attached two-car garage, invisible pet fencing, four bedrooms, three full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: West Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School
MILL RATE: 16.96 mills
On the second floor there are four bedrooms and three full baths. The master suite has a sitting area, walk-in-closet, and private bath.
The family not only loves this house, “I love this location,” one homeowner said. It is only a miles to the local elementary school, only about five minutes to New Canaan village and the Metro-North train station, and convenient to the Merritt Parkway.
It is also not far from shopping in Stamford. It’s a convenient southwest location, great for commuters, the owner said. It is also very close to the New Canaan Winter Club on nearby Frogtown Road, close to New Canaan Country School and walking distance to the famed Philip Johnson Glass House.
There will be a public open house on Jan. 27, noon to 2 p.m.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Pam Huber of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203-246-9213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.