On the Market / Colonial farmhouse features lavish garden
WILTON — The season’s first snowdrops and crocuses pushed up through the soil last week, just in time to greet the first day of spring.
Local gardeners are eager to start weeding and planting. Those who prefer not to get their hands dirty are eager to sit on their patios and porches to drink in the sunshine, fresh air and the beautiful color of their properties’ perennial flower gardens and landscaping.
That is especially true for the 1.13-acre level property at 151 Skunk Lane, where the attractive brown shingle colonial farmhouse with white trim and gray shutters is surrounded by the distinctive and beautiful landscaping of Francois Goffinet, a world-renowned landscape architect.
On www.bloomberg.com,the headline of an article about Goffinet reads “Garden Designer to Billionaires” and the article’s opening sentence says, “When the world’s superrich shop for a lavish garden to frame their sprawling estates, they call Belgian master-landscaper Francois Goffinet.”
Yet another website identifies him as “one of the most in-demand garden landscape designer.”
Real Estate Listings
Goffinet’s own website says, “His gardens are not merely flower decoration, but also reflect his rigorous design and careful attention to the smallest detail of the composition ... with special emphasis on the harmony between man and his environment.”
This property features mature plantings and established gardens and has the distinction of containing two trees that are included in the Wilton Notable Tree Program. Its lawn irrigation system includes drip lines to all window boxes and planters. The professionally designed exterior lighting extends to the front and rear pathways.
The original farmhouse has developed in several stages.
“This charming, inviting home and property has been lovingly cared for to maintain the best of its original characteristics while embracing the way we live today,” according to the listing agent. The updated antique core of the house has pre-1900 origins. The living room and a bedroom were added in the 1930s. Decades later, in 1977, the home’s original buggy barn was incorporated into the main structure to create a guest suite with another bedroom, which now serves as an in-law or au pair suite.
The largest addition was constructed in 1988. That project added three bedrooms — bringing the total to five, two more bathrooms (there are six in all — four full and two half baths), the great room, kitchen, gym, and full basement. That most recent project expanded the footprint to 5,143 square feet of living space.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Colonial Farmhouse
ADDRESS: 151 Skunk Lane
FEATURES: 1.13-acre level and partially fenced property, in-law or au pair suite, patio, professionally landscaped, garden area, underground sprinkler, exterior lighting, storm windows, adjacent to the Norwalk River Trail and the 22-acre Ambler Farm, proximity to Wilton and Westport town centers and train stations, easy commute to the Merritt Parkway and Route 7, interior and exterior sound system, cable - available, intercom, three fireplaces and one wood-burning stove, two laundry areas, stone walls, detached two-car garage with storage above, zoned oil heating, central air conditioning (except in guest wing), wood shingle roof, private stone well, pull-down attic stairs, full partially finished walk-out basement, five bedrooms, four full and two half baths
SCHOOLS: Miller-Driscoll Elementary, Cider Mill Intermediate, Middlebrook Middle, Wilton High
MILL RATE: 28.19 mills
“Care was taken during new construction periods to integrate period-correct woodwork and beams, and retain (and) integrate antique features of the original home including reuse of original doors and cabinets,” the listing agent said. The great room features exposed antique beams from a barn in Cooperstown, N.Y.
A break in the fieldstone wall provides access to the forecourt, which has ample parking for visitors. A slate path leads to the covered front entrance, where the front door has four panes of bullet glass. The two-story foyer features a loft space with ladder access. French doors topped with an interior fanlight transom open into the great room and kitchen to the right and another set of French doors open to the parlor/card or board game room with a fabric wallcovering and the formal living room to the left.
In the living room, which showcases the home’s post and beam construction, there is a fireplace and wide-planked wood floors. Step down from the living room into the formal dining room, which has a built-In hutch and French doors to the slate patio and backyard.
In the great room, there are two sets of French doors to the same patio, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, built-in bookshelves and window seats. The eat-in kitchen features a long two-tiered peninsular counter/breakfast bar and high-end appliances including a five-burner Thermador range top and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
The butler’s pantry has two granite counters, glass-front cabinetry, a warming oven, bar refrigerator, and a second dishwasher. The guest wing feature a large sitting area with a vaulted ceiling and wood-burning stove as well as a bedroom and full bath. A second first-floor bedroom is en suite.
On the second floor there are three bedrooms. The master suite features a fireplace, vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet, and private bath with a shower, jetted tub, and double vanity.
The basement includes full gym with mirrored walls, a spacious recreation or game room, and a half bath.
This house is within walking distance of the municipally-owned 22-acre Ambler Farm and Rolling Hills Country Club. It is also close to Cherry Lane Park, and it is convenient to Wilton center and train.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact JoAnne E. Fisher of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203-858-0749 or email@example.com.