DARIEN — Darien has its share of unusual houses as does next door New Canaan, where the landscape is dotted with the residential masterpieces of the Harvard Five. They did build in other communities including Darien. John Johansen’s Goodyear House still stands on Settlers Trail.

The tan-colored mid-century modern house at 20 Shady Acres Road may not have a Harvard Five “pedigree” but it is definitely one-of-a-kind. This nine-room contemporary house was built in 1962 toward the end of the mid-century modern home design period, which is between 1933 and 1965. It sits on a two-acre level property at the end of a cul-de-sac in the northern part of town not far from the Country Club of Darien and walking distance to Cherry Lawn Park.

Like the Harvard Five, who were known for their structures that brought the outdoors inside by way of abundant amounts of glass, this house contains walls of windows and sliding glass doors that access the backyard, the bluestone patio, and the in-ground swimming pool.

Enter the property from the semi-circular driveway, which might seem more like a runway when one considers the shape of this house. At its center is a two-story structure, which could represent an airplane’s fuselage, and it is flanked by one-level living spaces that resemble the wings of an plane. Both wings have along the front façade a columned pergola. The covered front entrance also has two columns and to one side of the front door is a decorative divided light sidelight.

The 5,022-square-foot house has 3,322 square feet on the main floor and one room on the second floor, and 1,700 square feet in the finished walk-out lower level. The configuration of the floor plan allows for many possibilities. The second floor room is especially flexible. It could be called into service as a sixth bedroom if necessary, or as a second office, playroom, or any number of other uses.

Walk into the house and straight ahead is the spacious, open living and dining rooms; the two are separated by a floor-to-ceiling double-sided brick fireplace and both have parquet flooring and exposed beams on the ceilings. The living room has a cathedral ceiling and the dining room has a vaulted ceiling, and both have sliders to the backyard. In the galley kitchen there is a barrel ceiling with recessed lighting. The kitchen also has a tile floor, two counter areas, and an eat-in area or breakfast nook with a wall of windows.

In the family room there is a fireplace flanked by bookshelves and lower cabinetry, and a hardwood floor. There are beams on the ceiling and sliders to the yard. Off the family room is an office with a walk-in closet. Also on the first floor is the master bedroom suite and one other bedroom. There are two full baths on this level and a third one in the mudroom, which has a door to the pool area.

On the lower level there is a good size kitchenette. Basically, it is a full size kitchen but without a range. It has a wood floor, counter space and a center island with room for five stools. On this level there are two bedrooms, another family room and office.

More Information


STYLE: Mid-Century Modern

ADDRESS: 20 Shady Acres Road

PRICE: $1,895,000


FEATURES: located at end of a cul-de-sac, two-acre level property, in-ground swimming pool, bluestone patio, porch, generator, audio system, insulated windows, two fireplaces, wood stove, sprinkler system, easy commute to the Merritt Parkway, walking distance to the Country Club of Darien and Cherry Lawn Park, only minutes from town amenities and train, walk-out finished lower level with kitchenette, breezeway, detached two-car garage, well water, five bedrooms, four full baths

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

MILL RATE: 15.77 mills

TAXES: $22,407


There will be an Open House on Sunday, April 23, 1 to 3 p.m.

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.