On the market: Reborn farmhouse harvests bounty of amenities
Updated 6:39 am, Sunday, January 31, 2016
Evidence of Fairfield’s early agrarian society still exists, although in much more subtle ways than in generations past. One of the less obvious examples is found in the HOBI Award-winning Colonial farmhouse at 917 Merwins Lane in the northern part of Greenfield Hill, which is completely new yet reflects antique sensibility.
The 19th Century farmhouse looks like it belongs in this century even though it was built in 1834. It underwent a total rebuild in 2010 in which some original elements were preserved, including the wide fireplace in the banquet-sized formal dining room. And yet, the house was given advanced energy features, among them a geo-thermal heat and air conditioning pump.
The HOBI Award was for Best New/Rebuilt Home. The house has also earned an Energy Star rating and Built Green certification. Built Green is an environmentally friendly, non-profit residential building program that promotes green building and education programs. According to the organization’s website, “Built Green is a voluntary program that requires third-party verification. The program requires builders or developers to follow a specific set of criteria to attain status as a Built Green home or community.”
The 5,186-square-foot house sits on a 2.58-acre level property. It has a heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool and spa, and a barn that dates back to the 19th Century. The barn is structurally sound and has a newer roof. It once had a farm sink that was reclaimed and during the rebuild that sink was installed in the large second-floor laundry room, which also has custom cabinetry.
As part of the reconstruction, the house was given a different front entrance and foyer. The front door has one sidelight and a transom. Bluestone paths lead to the covered front porch, which has a red-brick floor and columns. Inside, the house has detailed millwork including crown molding and baseboards. There are four fireplaces, at least one of them — the one in the dining room —is original. The fireplaces in the family room and master bedroom suite were added. The office also has a fireplace, but it is unclear whether that one is part of the original structure.
The living room has a door to the side yard. The dining room has a wide-planked wood floor. There are two half baths on the first floor, one at the entry foyer and the other in the large mudroom.
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In the gourmet kitchen are Carrara marble counters, a large center island, pendant lights, large walk-in pantry, breakfast nook and high-end appliances, including a 5-foot Thermador refrigerator/freezer, Miele dishwasher and Wolf cook top and separate oven. There is a large butler’s pantry with a wine/beverage refrigerator. The kitchen is open to the family or great room.
On the first floor there is also a sun room with walls of windows.
Four of the house’s five bedrooms are on the second floor. The master suite features a sitting room and a wrap-around balcony providing a tranquil spot to recharge and look over the beautiful grounds. Its fireplace has a tile surround and white wood mantle. The marble master bath has a free-standing soaking tub. There are also his-and-hers features, including walk-in closets and even separate bath elements. In addition to separate commodes, there is a urinal for the man and a bidet for the woman.
A bedroom with a full bath is in the large, finished lower level.
House of the Week
TYPE OF HOUSE: Colonial farmhouse
ADDRESS: 917 Merwins Lane
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 12
AMENITIES: Energy Star-rated house, Built Green certification, geo-thermal heat pump, tankless hot water heater, generator, 2.58-acre level property, partially fenced yard, barn, heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool and spa with automatic cleaner and cover, patio, gated driveway, proximity to the Patterson Club, convenient to shops in Fairfield and Westport, insulated windows, wrap-around balcony, large butler’s pantry, four fireplaces, slate roof, walk-up attic, finished walk-out basement, stone wall, invisible fence, five bedrooms, five full and two half baths
SCHOOLS: Dwight Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High
TAX RATE: 24.4 mills
The backyard is a blend of open lawn and trees, both evergreens and deciduous.