DARIEN — Connecticut’s barns are so appealing that efforts were made in recent years to preserve and celebrate them. The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation created a Barns Project and has a map on its website documenting many of the state’s significant and historic barns.

The owners of the antique colonial house at 494 Mansfield Ave. did not have a historic barn to preserve. To honor their vintage home and the property, which was once part of a large farm that continued down to Tower Drive, they added a new barn to their landscape. Their house was originally built in 1785 and through the centuries and several additions the current and previous owners kept in place the original front door and wide-plank chestnut floors with hand-crafted nails, some of the boards as wide as 18 inches.

While maintaining those period details they continued to make improvements that allowed the house to stay relevant in modern times with every amenity suitable for today’s lifestyle. Among them is the custom gourmet kitchen created by Kitchens by Deane.

In 2002 they added the red barn, which contains first and second floor living space and the mudroom. They thoroughly researched barns before installing it. In all, the main house has 5,220 square feet of living space and there is additional square footage in the guest house, which has a full bath.

Adding to this property’s appeal is its convenient location between Darien and New Canaan, close to the Merritt Parkway, and an easy commute to the downtown New Canaan and Talmadge Hill train stations. The Darien train station and I-95 are also not very far away.

In the main house the formal living room features a fireplace, bay window with a window seat, and a door to the side yard. Step down into the formal dining room, which has French doors to the bluestone patio where there is a wisteria-entwined pergola. There is an office and it has a full bath with a tub.

Although contained in one of the newer additions, the kitchen has some nods to the past like exposed beams and wide-planked floors. But it also has industrial stainless appliances including a Viking Professional four-burner range with a griddle and Sub-Zero refrigerator, Carrera marble counters, subway tile backsplash, and a center island. The wide board floors in this room are oak and the exposed beams are reclaimed from barns in Litchfield County. The eat-in area has French doors to the patio and yard.

On the second floor of the original house there are four bedrooms, one of which has its original red brick fireplace. Three of the bedrooms share a hall bath, and the master suite has a cathedral ceiling with hand-hewn exposed beams. The spacious master bath also has a cathedral ceiling and exposed beams, a deep soaking tub, shower, and double vanity.

Back on the first floor there is an informal area between the kitchen and the family room that has a Dutch door to the patio and yard. The family room has a natural stone floor with radiant heat, a cathedral ceiling, a stone fireplace with a beam mantel and above it are two eye brow windows. A sunroom connects the main house to the barn. Like the family room the sunroom also has a radiant heated floor of slate. There is a half bath in this room with a marble vanity and a wall of exposed red brick.

More Information


STYLE: Antique Colonial

ADDRESS: 494 Mansfield Ave.

PRICE: $2,299,000


FEATURES: modern day barn with stone foundation and wood roof, guest house, 1.73-acre level property, in-law or au pair suite, bluestone patio, porch, front and rear staircases, three fireplaces, central vacuuming system, sprinkler system, well water, convenient to the Merritt Parkway and I-95, only minutes from town amenities and train, full partially finished basement, five bedrooms, five full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Ox Ridge Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,319,360

MILL RATE: 15.77 mills

TAXES: $19,233

Each of the windows in the barn are different. On the main level the windows are topped with a transom comprising six panes of bull’s eye glass. On the second floor the window in the bonus room resembles a Palladium style but it is pointed rather than rounded. The bedroom has a circular window and even the bathroom has a transom to bring in more natural light, as does the interior transom above the entrance into the bedroom. This second floor could serve as an in-law or au pair suite.

The first floor of the barn has a mudroom with a red brick inlaid floor arranged in a herringbone pattern. That is not the only artistic piece in the barn. The mudroom also has built-in cabinetry constructed with three different kinds of wood - butternut, walnut, and oak, and there is a custom railing on the rear stairs. The wrought iron portion is decorated with natural touches - metal flowers, dragonflies, a butterfly, bee and humming bird. The wood banister was created by a New Haven bat maker.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Deirdre McGovern of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-554-0897 or deirdre.mcgovern@raveis.com.