By Nancy Helle
What are priorities for home buyers today? According to local real estate experts, there’s growing interest in smaller, more livable homes, rather than the mega-mansions that have sprawled across the landscape in recent years. Taxes, maintenance, energy costs and overall practicality weigh more heavily on the decision to buy, although location is still key, with many buyers expressing an interest in homes that are close to town—ideally within walking distance or a short drive. Updated kitchens and baths are still in high demand, as well. Based on that criteria this unique home in New Canaan should be very appealing to this growing group of buyers.
Fourteen years ago, Debbie and Chip Perkins found the perfect location for their home on Parade Hill Lane, a cul-de-sac that backs up to the New Canaan Nature Center and its forty acres. But the house there wasn’t quite what they had in mind, so Debbie—who is enamored of all things French—came up with a transformation plan. Keeping the basic footprint of the house, the couple pushed out the back to create a kitchen/family room measuring 20 by 40 feet. They gutted the house and installed antique wood beams along most ceilings, including the one in the first floor master bedroom. New windows and curved doorways were added throughout the house.
On visits to France, Debbie studied the architecture and décor of homes that she liked. What she could not buy or ship home she photographed and had replicated, such as the ornamental wrought iron balustrade on the entry hall staircase created by Karp Associates (This company did the major renovation.) She was also able to import French cabinets that line the walls of the kitchen and add flair to other parts of the house. The free-form pool, secret gardens and pergola with wisteria over the back terrace add to the aura of Provence.
The 4,771-square-foot house on 1.36 acres has four bedrooms, three full and two half baths. It’s listed at $2,950,000 with William Pitt Sotheby’s, (203) 966-2633.