Today's homeowners want convenience, clean lines and sophistication under the same roof; and yet, many are not quite ready to sever all ties to the past. The newly constructed house at 5 West Branch Road in Westport may fit the bill for those who would like a residence that incorporates old charm and new amenities.
Award-winning builder and developer Michael Heine is putting the finishing touches on the modern farmhouse designed by Vicente-Burin Architects, which includes architectural references to past Connecticut farmhouses and the modern spaces, appliances and fixtures that accommodate living in the 21st century.
It is a change from the standard look of new construction. The modern farmhouse blends new and sleek elements with reclaimed antique wood exposed beams, ceilings, built-in bookshelves and barn-style sliding doors to separate rooms.
The house has many interesting details, including those not immediately apparent. "We want the things you don't see to be every bit as good as the things you do see," Heine said.
The 6,358-square-foot house was built this year with energy-efficient materials and green-inspired technologies. The house sits on a 2.04-acre level property, which is convenient to the Merritt Parkway and not far from downtown Westport and Weston center.
Enter the property by way of a long, circular, crushed-stone driveway lined in Belgian block. The front entrance is dramatic outside and in. There is a rounded stone stairway with a decorative red brick design that leads to the front door. Inside there is a three-floor skylight stairwell core and a floating, open oak board staircase to the second floor.
The formal living room almost doubles as a sunroom because of the walls of windows. There are octagonal walls in the formal dining room, which also features two built-in china cabinets. Throughout the house, the random-width floors comprise flat or plain-sawn white oak wood, and the first-floor powder room has a macrame ceiling.
There are four fireplaces in the house; the three on the first floor -- in the living room, library and family room -- have flamed bluestone surrounds and hearths. The one in the family room has a floor-to-ceiling white oak façade, which disguises the chimney. It also has a vintage Belgian block firebox, again mixing old and new. All are wood-burning fireplaces with gas option.
The spacious gourmet kitchen has a massive wood center island with a four-inch maple butcher block top and trough-style stainless utility sink. Other kitchen features include white Caesar stone counter tops, a walk-in outfitted pantry and a desk area. The commercial size Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, which are hidden behind wood paneling to match the cabinetry, fill one whole wall.
There is also a six-burner Wolf range top, Wolf double ovens and two Bosch dishwashers, which will come in handy for entertaining. The butler's pantry has a black, honed-granite counter, dual-zone wine cooler, ice maker and sink.
The mudroom has a porcelain floor, built-in cubbies, coat closets and a bench. It provides access to the side yard, the two garages, the basement and the second floor via the rear staircase.
On the second floor, there are five bedrooms and a laundry room with a porcelain floor, soaking sink and black granite counters. The master bedroom features a fireplace with a white Caesar stone surround and ivory-colored, thin brick firebox. The master bath has a partial wood vaulted ceiling, arctic-white heated tile floor, double-sink vanity with a polished Carrera marble counter, a walk-in steam shower with a rain shower head and a soaking tub.
There is a sixth bedroom on the third floor, which also includes a full bath and attic storage.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, call Meg Freeman of Coldwell Banker at 203-856-6977, or email her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE OF HOUSE: Modern Farmhouse
ADDRESS: 3 West Branch Road, Westport
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 12
AMENITIES: water community, beach rights, new construction, 2.04-acre property, convenient to the Merritt Parkway, terraced bluestone patio, four fireplaces, butler's pantry, wet bar, gourmet kitchen, front and rear staircases, zoned central air conditioning, mudroom, laundry room, exterior irrigation system, exterior lighting, skylight, central vacuuming system, security system, circular driveway, professional landscaping, hydro-air system
OTHER INFORMATION: six bedrooms, six full and two half baths, two attached under house garages with three car bays in all, full unfinished basement, hardwood floors throughout, zoned hot air gas heating system, septic system, city water, French doors, walk up attic, wood roof
SCHOOL: Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High
ASSESSMENT: Not yet determined, new construction
TAX RATE: 17.43 mills
TAXES: Not yet determined, new construction