NEW CANAAN — First impressions are lasting, so curb appeal counts when prospective buyers are looking for a new home. The 6,637-square-foot colonial at 447 Valley Road has curb appeal to spare but it’s the backyard that is really something to see.

This white clapboard house with gray shutters was originally built in 1978 and later renovated. It sits on a 2.34-acre level and gently sloping property on the border of Wilton and it enjoys 250 feet of waterfront along the Silvermine River. The current family feels as if they are vacationing on their own property. They fish and raft on the river, which straddles their property. There is a bed of stones that allows them to cross to the opposite bank, where their property continues.

There is another body of water on this parcel; a naturally-occurring stone-rimmed pond that is fed by the river from below but water is also pumped from the river into the pond to create a fountain.

A stone wall sits across the front of the property marking the driveway entrance. The long circular driveway is lined in Belgium block and passes the big, open lawn. The front door opens to the two-story foyer, which is where the numerous architectural details, moldings and Palladium windows begin. They carry through the whole house and were incorporated into the renovation work done by builder Matt Matthews of Significant Homes LLC based New Canaan. According to the company website its projects have been published in Architectural Digest six times and have also been featured in many other publications and books.

Palladium windows are also found in the library, master bath, and guest suite. Palladiums are not the only decorative windows. In the family room there is a decorative skylight. This room also has a wet bar, red brick fireplace, bay windows, and two sets of French doors to a large deck that looks over the river. This house boasts an unusual feature rarely seen. It has a firewood elevator, sort of like a dumb waiter, that transports firewood from its storage place in the basement up to this family room fireplace.

Before the major renovation the family room was in a different part of the first floor. That space is now the eat-in area or breakfast room of the kitchen. It has one of the six fireplaces found in this house. The others are in the wood-paneled library, master bedroom suite, the finished lower level and in the formal living room. The living room also has bay windows and French doors to the three-season sunroom. In the sunroom the ceiling comprises bead board and the flooring is ceramic tile. The windows are arched and topped with keystones and there is a door to the backyard. The formal dining room has wainscoting on the lower walls.

The kitchen is enormous, and its features includes a center island, granite counters, and stainless appliances, among them a Viking range. Off the kitchen is a sizable mudroom with a half bath. There is a powder room off the foyer. In the mudroom a staircase leads to a private second floor guest or in-law suite, where there is a built-in window seat, sitting area, sleeping area, wet bar, and full bath.

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A second-floor balcony looks down into the foyer. There are four bedrooms and four full baths on this level. The master bath is spacious and it has a jetted tub, walk-in marble shower, double marble vanity, and vaulted ceiling.

On the lower level is a wine cellar and tasting room with a slate floor, an office with two walls of built-in bookshelves and file drawers, a play room with a brown ceramic tile floor and a sitting area, and a large recreation room.

To make an appointment to see the house contact Denise Gannalo of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-981-7927 or For more information visit www.newcanaancompound

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STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 447 Valley Road

PRICE: $1,995,000


FEATURES: riverfront property, barn/studio, 2.34-acre level and gently sloping property, pond, fountain, deck, two patios, wine cellar, in-law or guest suite, generator, firewood elevator, screened porch, six fireplaces, lawn sprinkler, thermal windows, only five minutes from town and train, professional landscaping, hardwood floors throughout, four vehicle bays, full finished basement, five bedrooms, five full and two half baths

SCHOOLS: East Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,420,510

MILL RATE: 16.312 mills

TAXES: $23,169