Branford's Thimble Islands are beautiful but not easily accessible. Westport has island living of its own and with a commute that doesn't require boating.

The residential Saugatuck Island is accessed via a custom bridge and it is worth traversing for a look at the contemporary beach house at 116 Harbor Road, which was recently renovated down to the frame. It would make an ideal vacation property or year-round residence. The current owners are designers and their decor gives it a showcase appearance without sacrificing the warmth and comfort of day-to-day living.

The house has an abundance of amenities and so does the island, which features three private beaches for island residents that can only be accessed by those on foot, a boat launch and two yacht clubs.

"You'll feel like you're away, on Martha's Vineyard," one person said.

Despite its proximity to the water, this house is slightly elevated and the current owners say they have not experienced any water problems, not even during Tropical Storm Irene last August.

More Information

ABOUT THIS HOUSE TYPE OF HOUSE: Contemporary ADDRESS: 116 Harbor Road, Westport PRICE: $1,395,000 NUMBER OF ROOMS: 8 AMENITIES: Water community, water views from almost every room, easy walk to water, beach rights, balconies, over-sized deck, porch, high ceilings, over-sized windows, free-standing Victoria and Albert tub, open chef's kitchen with high-end appliances, skylights, laundry room, zoned central air conditioning, ceiling fan, fireplace, easy commute to the Saugatuck train station, 40 miles from New York City, newly painted inside and out, sound system throughout the house, hot tub, security system OTHER INFORMATION: Four bedrooms, three full and one half baths, one-car attached under house garage, basement crawl space, zoned oil heat, septic system, city water, hardwood floors throughout house, vaulted ceilings, 9-foot ceilings, wood roof SCHOOL: Kings Highway Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High ASSESSMENT: $984,300 TAX RATE: 17.430 mills TAXES: $17,156.36

While providing a wealth of privacy in a relaxing setting, the cream-colored house is only moments away from Westport's Metro North train station, retail shops and restaurants. Some island residents bicycle to the train station for their daily commute.

Built 1976, the house sits on .19-of-an-acre lot that is more natural than manicured, which suits its beach setting. It has a circular driveway and a large wooden deck that leads to the front entrance. The house has 2,837 square feet of living space on three levels, the first of which has a good size family room currently being used as an office. It is a very flexible room and could serve many purposes.

There are also two bedrooms and a full bath, making this level ideal for overnight guests, entertaining, or as a teenage hang-out space. It is piped for a kitchen so the next owner could install a wet bar.

All the baths in this house continue the contemporary theme of the architecture and as such have appropriate fixtures. The first-floor bath has an elongated rectangular porcelain sink with two faucets and a combination tub and shower with white subway tile installed vertically rather than the more typical horizontal.

Throughout the house, the walls, ceilings and even the hardwood floors are white, providing what one of the homeowners called "a blank canvas."

On the main level the living room, dining room and chef's kitchen are open and spacious. A breakfast bar separates the kitchen from the living room. The ceiling is vaulted and has a skylight, although it is more for effect than need to bring light into the home. The numerous and tall windows bring ample light into the living space. Off the living room are sliding doors to a balcony.

The kitchen has Caesarstone counters, custom Italian cabinets that are seamless and without handles and high-end appliances, including a Liebherr Premium refrigerator and Viking Professional range.

Around the corner in a separate wing of the house are a half bath, laundry room and a guest bedroom en suite.

On the third floor, the master bedroom suite affords complete privacy and a view of Long Island Sound, which can be enjoyed from the bedroom or from its balcony. The master bath features an egg-shaped, free-standing soaking tub, a steam shower, two rectangular sinks and a water closet.

The current owners said the island has a community feel to it and from the island they are able to enjoy annual Fourth of July fireworks at Compo Beach.

For more information about purchasing or renting this house or to set up an appointment to see the house call Linda Skolnick of Prudential Connecticut Realty at 203-246-0088 or email her at linda@goasklinda.com.

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

TYPE OF HOUSE: Contemporary

ADDRESS: 116 Harbor Road, Westport

PRICE: $1,395,000

NUMBER OF ROOMS: 8

AMENITIES: water community, water views from almost every room, easy walk to water, beach rights, balconies, over-sized deck, porch, high ceilings, over-sized windows, free-standing Victoria and Albert tub, open chef's kitchen with high-end appliances, skylights, laundry room, zoned central air conditioning, ceiling fan, fireplace, easy commute to the Saugatuck train station, 40 miles from New York City, newly painted inside and out, sound system throughout the house, hot tub, security system

OTHER INFORMATION: four bedrooms, three full and one half baths, one-car attached under house garage, basement crawl space, zoned oil heat, septic system, city water, hardwood floors throughout house, vaulted ceilings, 9-foot ceilings, wood roof

SCHOOL: Kings Highway Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High

ASSESSMENT: $984,300

TAX RATE: 17.430 mills

TAXES: $17,156.36