Detail makes neo-Victorian a jewel
Published 2:15 pm, Thursday, February 17, 2011
The house at 124 Imperial Avenue in Westport was built in 2002 to resemble an authentic Victorian, but it's unlikely that any such home, even one back in the Victorian era, was as well designed, built and appointed as this one.
Queen Victoria herself would be impressed with this reinterpretation of a classic and its numerous exquisite features incorporated into the architecture and the interior design. Its creativity and craftsmanship is evident in its exceptional level of detail; not just in the obvious -- such as the dramatic barrel ceiling and four-columned entrance from the foyer into the formal dining room -- but in the more subtle, such as the herringbone patterned red brick of the firebox in the family room fireplace.
The current owners can take credit for this home's exterior and interior design. Steven Folb is a professional builder and was responsible for the construction of this house, and his wife Catherine Cleare, the owner of Catherine C. Cleare Interiors LLC, designed the floor plans and elevations of this house.
The exterior of the yellow house has dark green shutters and white trim. Inside there are 5,544 square feet of living space. The elegant details begin right at the two front vintage doors, which have beveled glass windows and hand-carved designs. They open into a foyer that has such professionally executed, hand-stenciled, custom designs on the hardwood floor that it could easily be mistaken for patterned inlaid wood.
The family room and gourmet kitchen are open, one to the other, and they combine to create a 30 x 20-foot space, which adds to the home's entertainment value. "We have a philosophy. Whether you have a kitchen that's 10 x 10 or 30 x 20, if you have company everybody wants to be in it, so why not have a bigger one," Folb said.
The fireplace in the family room has decorative ceramic tiles depicting woodland wildlife, and the hearth has a tile border of acorns, oak leaves, and pine cones. The nature theme is repeated throughout the kitchen. The cabinet doors and drawers feature hardware shaped like twigs and pine cones.
More InformationABOUT THIS HOUSE TYPE: Victorian ADDRESS: 124 Imperial Avenue, Westport PRICE: $2,349,000 ROOMS: 9 AMENITIES: Water community, beach rights, convenient to public amenities, level lot of nearly half an acre, outdoor kitchen, gourmet indoor kitchen with numerous amenities, fireplaces, zoned central air conditioning, mahogany porches, patio, exterior lighting and sprinkler system, security system, central vacuuming including power dustpan, 6.6-foot Low E windows, koi pond, three-piece crown molding, built-in shelves, cupola, stained glass window, random width antiqued hardwood floors, turrets, paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator OTHER INFORMATION: Four bedrooms, four full and two half baths, attached two-car garage with radiant heated porcelain tile floor and a lift, full finished lower level, five zoned hydro air oil heating system, 400 amp electrical service, house wired for audio speakers, two laundry rooms, cedar closet, septic system, city water SCHOOLS: Saugatuck Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High ASSESSMENT: $1,222,700 TAX RATE: 14.850 mills TAXES: $18,157
The kitchen has cabinets with antique, frosted, etched glass paneled doors, under and in-cabinet lighting; granite counters with a built-in carved drainage board at one of three sinks; and a custom ceramic tile backsplash with a hand-painted mural of this house set in a vineyard over the six-burner Thermador range. There is a pot-filler over the range.
The center island also has a granite counter and an overhang to create a four-stool breakfast bar. One of the most unusual features is a cleverly innovative corner cabinet mechanism with sliding shelving.
The staircase to the second floor is five feet wide and flooded with natural light through the cupola. The master bedroom has a marble, gas-fueled fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves. The master bath creates a private pampering haven with a heated Thassos marble floor, tented ceiling, his and hers walk-in closets with mirrored doors and organizers, soaking tub, steam rain shower, a bidet and double marble vanity.
This home also features amenities not likely to be found elsewhere. There is an irrigation system in the front porch to automatically water hanging planters. There are electrical outlets strategically placed to allow for Christmas lights without the use of extension cords. The second floor laundry room has special drainage so that, in the unlikely event of leak, the water would not spill onto the flooring.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, call Barbara Bross of Riverside Realty at 203-829-6592 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.