WESTPORT — Take a modest ranch house from the 1960s, add the collaborative talents of an award-winning architect and a residential building contractor with encyclopedic knowledge of zoning regulations and a dash of nostalgia, and the result is a stunning visionary house to accommodate the living and entertaining styles of the modern family.

Jim Ezzes, president of Westport-based Soundview Builders and long-time chairman of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and Southport architect Bill Achilles combined their considerable talents to transform the ranch house at 7 Gault Park Drive into a unique transitional, two-story home comprising 6,572 square feet of living space. The expansion and renovation of the 12-room gray colonial house was completed in 2017, and while all Ezzes’ projects are a labor of love this one had a touch of sentimentality. This is the neighborhood in which he grew up and the original ranch was the home of his childhood best friend.

The neighborhood is still as it was in Ezzes’ youth. He referred to it as a great “trick-or-treating, walk your dog, and ride your bike neighborhood.” It is also quite a convenient neighborhood. The Merritt Parkway is less than a mile away and the house is only minutes from downtown Westport. And yet, this is a setting that enjoys its privacy. That privacy is enhanced by the foliage. Builders often clear a lot before constructing a new house. Ezzes said he kept the mature trees on the 1.11-acre level property, which has enough room for a swimming pool and tennis court.

From the driveway lined in Belgium block there is a bluestone path in a subtle, angular pattern that leads to the covered front entrance. That small detail offers a hint as to the level of detail found throughout the house, which adds character to each room. The mahogany front door is flanked by wide sidelights and opens into the foyer. In the ranch, as it was originally built, this entrance hall was a bedroom. Inside, the rooms are spacious yet still cozy. To further increase the size of the rooms Ezzes lifted the ceilings, some of which are coffered. In the renovation and expansion the house received new electrical wiring and plumbing.

To the architecturally appealing elements, such as the custom paneling and molding, there are practical features including the possibility for two laundry rooms, one on the first and one on the second floor. Should the next owner add a pool it might be convenient to have that first floor laundry. If not, that room could be used as a homework station, home command center, reading room, or other purpose.

In the formal living room there is a marble fireplace. In the wide, open space between the living and formal dining rooms there is a dry bar/ butler’s pantry area with counter space, glass-front cabinetry, and a wine refrigerator. The spacious gourmet eat-in kitchen features an over-sized center island/breakfast bar, quartz counters, custom cabinetry - some with interior lighting, under cabinet lighting, a walk-in pantry, and high-end appliances including Thermador six-burner cook top and double conventional and convection ovens.

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The kitchen is open to the family room, which has a marble fireplace flanked by doors to the stone patio and yard, built-in desk area, a wall of floor-to-ceiling built-in book and display shelves, and French doors that also access the yard. There is a mudroom with shiplap walls, built-in bench, cubbies, coat closet, and half bath. The first floor office could be used as a guest room because there is a full bath next to it.

On the second floor there are four bedrooms. The generously sized master suite features a deep tray ceiling and a sitting area. The marble master bath has a basket weave-patterned radiant heat floor, double vanity, large frameless shower, and large custom walk-in closet

One other bedroom is en suite and two others share a Jack and Jill-style bath.

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STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 7 Gault Park Drive

PRICE: $2,199,000


FEATURES: 1.1-acre level and partially fenced lot, easy access to Merritt Parkway, minutes to downtown Westport, bluestone patio, new 400 amp underground electrical system, exercise room, exterior lighting, underground sprinkler, custom Thermopane windows and doors, instant hot water system, new oil burner and hot water heater, pre-wired for a generator, custom paneling and molding, two fireplaces, attached two-car garage, multi-zoned heating and air conditioning, potential for two laundry rooms, large walk-up attic, new asphalt driveway lined in Belgium block, room for a pool and tennis court, fully finished basement, five bedrooms, five full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,153,900

MILL RATE: 16.86 mills

TAXES: $11,126

The finished basement has two rooms and could accommodate a gym, wine cellar, play room, and other possibilities.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Barbara Reynolds of Halstead Property at 203-216-2591 or breynolds@halstead.com.