On the Market: Beautiful landscaping highlights enchanting converted barn in Westport
WESTPORT — “Enchanting” is the first word that comes to mind as the owners of the converted barn at 2 Bayberry Lane and its level one-acre property try to describe their estate in the Hunt Club neighborhood.
It is hidden behind a scrim of beautiful landscaping and only upon traveling up the circular driveway is someone able to take in the full measure of its magic. Inside, it’s like living in a museum; not the stuffy kind as in wandering through the storage closets of the Smithsonian Institution, but a really cool space with objet d’art that elevate the rustic charm to a homespun sophistication.
Outside, it’s like living on the grounds of a botanical garden; the professionally landscaped property including specimen trees, English gardens, a courtyard of rose bushes, cherry trees, and perennial flowers producing blossoms every color of the rainbow and then some. The flowers and shrubbery were deliberately planted to make sure something is always either blooming or standing out for its attractive foliage. The beautiful grounds also include a heated in-ground swimming pool, pool house, pergola, patios, stone walls, and a decorative wrought iron gate.
“It was a heart-stopper. I knew from the moment I pulled into the driveway we had to live here,” one of the owners said. “It’s a quiet, private oasis.”
The barn was originally built in 1835, the same year the Town of Westport was officially incorporated, making it a separate entity from Fairfield. For many years it belonged to the Jennings family, who built the barn for horses and used it later to store onions. “The Fairfield branch of the Jennings family was founded in 1650 when Joshua Jennings came to Connecticut. Over the next three hundred years, his descendants would become an indispensable part of Fairfield society,” according to the www.fairfieldhistory.org website.
The barn was masterfully renovated and updated by a previous owner to create a home with 6,419 square feet of living space. The current owners did a “guts” renovation, upgrading the plumbing, electrical and heating systems. They also installed a new 30-year roof about six years ago and they replaced many of the windows but made sure the new, energy-efficient windows looked vintage - including wavy glass panes, to maintain the historic integrity of the structure. Every space within the 13-room house has been thoughtfully designed for attractiveness and efficiency of function.
This house was featured several times on the Westport Historical Society’s annual holiday house tour. Its truly unique features begin right at the front entrance with a decorative metal awning from a Manhattan hotel and the oak front door with a lion head door-knocker was reclaimed from Princeton University. The powder room tucked under the stairs in the three-story great room is called The Forest for its exposed beams and foliage-themed wallpaper.
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The three-story great room features original post and beams, a large floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and wide-planked pinewood floors. The dining room is part of the great room and is the perfect place for holidays. “Holidays in this house are amazing,” one of the owners said. Reclaimed barn doors with glass panes are used as pocket doors to separate the great room from the library or family room. It has the first of three wet bars, which come in handy when entertaining; and this is a great entertaining space.
What was once a chicken coop is now the eat-in area of the spacious gourmet kitchen, which features native Connecticut granite for the counters. The master bedroom suite is housed in the former hayloft. This suite features a cupola with hand-painted stars and a sliding barn door that opens to reveal an interior balcony, which peers down into the great room. In the luxurious master bath there are French doors to another balcony, this one that looks down into the courtyard where there is a fountain and many rose bushes. This bath is beautiful without being ostentatious. The door to the water closet is from a New York City penthouse and the shower features hand-painted imported tiles from Portugal. A real surprise element is the size of the walk-in closet, which is unexpected in a vintage house. It has many organizers including a tie closet.
One bedroom features a hand-painted mural of a blue sky with puffy white clouds. This room is an ideal place to view sunsets, one owner said. In all, there are at least seven bedrooms, possibly eight, including one in a three-room apartment that could be for in-laws or an au pair.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Converted Barn
ADDRESS: 2 Bayberry Lane
FEATURES: one-acre level and partially fenced property, corner lot, heated in-ground swimming pool, pool house with a half bath, English gardens, specimen trees, professionally landscaped, pergola, exterior lighting, landscape lighting, underground sprinkler, guest house on separate property next door, three wet bars, audio system, au pair suite, cable - available, open floor plan, balconies/decks, whole house generator, programmable thermostat, Thermopane windows, one fireplace, wide-planked wood flooring, stone walls, two driveways including a circular driveway, attached two-car garage, shed; easy traveling distance to Post Road (Route 1), shops, beaches, public schools and train station; zoned central air conditioning and natural gas heat, two laundry rooms, attic, full unfinished basement, septic system, public water connection, seven bedrooms, four full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Long Lots Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High School
MILL RATE: 16.86 mills
Recent updates in the finished lower level are right out of an English designer magazine, according to the co-listing agents. It features a media area, half bath, custom built-in cabinetry and shelving, and a bar with a sink, two-tiered counters and wine rack.
The adjoining property (4 Bayberry Lane) is also available and features three bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Also negotiable is the Model A car with a rumble seat in the garage of the main house.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Julie Vanderblue or Ian O’Malley of The Vanderblue Team and Higgins Group Real Estate; Vanderblue at 203-257-6994 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and O’Malley at 646-709-4332 or email@example.com.