DARIEN — The Darien town website says of Woodland Park Nature Preserve: “Spend an afternoon learning and enjoying a natural preserve that’s right in your own backyard.” The backyard to which that sentence refers is the town itself, but the occupants of the custom colonial house at 398 West Ave. can claim Woodland Park is right in their own backyard.

This gray stone and wood shingle house was built 10 years ago on a third of an acre property that adjoins the municipally owned park, in effect allowing the owners to “expand” their yard by another 64.7 acres. Yet, theirs is a very private backyard, hidden from view by a thick scrim of tall trees. So, they can enjoy the amenities in their backyard while also taking advantage of the park’s amenities. They can step out the door and walk into the park to enjoy its natural wonders, two trail systems, two ponds, a stream, a footbridge, an archaic stonewall and ornamental plantings.

Commuters, take note. This house is within walking distance to the Noroton Heights Metro-North train station, and is only a short distance from shops and restaurants.

Stone pillars mark the entrance to the residential property, which is bordered by a stone wall topped with decorative wrought iron fencing. The paved driveway lined in Belgium block has parking for several cars and there is an attached two-car garage. An attractive, dark stone border topped with a keystone frames the covered and columned front entrance comprising a granite base and French doors that open into the 11-room house, which has a well-thought-out open floor plan. It contains 4,010 square feet of living space on three levels and two kitchens — the standard one on the main floor and a kitchenette on the full finished walk-out lower level.

Although the house was built in 2008, it could be mistaken for new construction. The earth tone color palette on the first floor puts the house ahead of the interior design curve, which is leaning away from monochromatic grays and heading toward the neutral earth colors. There is custom stone and woodwork throughout the house, and 9-foot-plus ceilings throughout.

The two-story entrance foyer features a marble floor, coffered ceiling and staircase with decorative wrought iron balusters. Fully open to the foyer is the formal living room and the formal dining room. The living room features a floor-to-ceiling stacked stone fireplace, and the living and dining rooms have wainscoting on the lower walls. French doors from the dining room open into an office, next to which there is a full bath. The office has a built-in desk area, drawers and counter space.

In the chef’s country kitchen, features include a center island, granite counters, GE appliances, decorative stone backsplash and a floating glass-front cabinets that separate the kitchen proper from the breakfast room. The counter below the floating cabinets serves as a breakfast bar for two or three and has a built-in wine rack. Between the kitchen and dining room there are sliding doors to a large, raised wood deck. Off the kitchen is a pantry and the mudroom, which has a long built-in bench with storage beneath, storage cubes above and lots of coat hooks. It leads to the oversized two-car garage.

There are three bedrooms on the second floor. The master suite features a floor-to-ceiling stacked stone fireplace, sitting area, vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet and sliding door to a private covered balcony. The sizable master bath has a double granite vanity, ceramic tile floor and backsplash, and a jetted tub.

On the lower level, there is a family room, two bedrooms, a full bath and a door to a covered patio and yard. The family room has a fireplace, wet bar, the kitchenette and built-in bookshelves.

There will be an Open House on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Ruth Anne Ramsey of Coldwell Banker at 203-979-5048 or ruthanne.ramsey


More Information


STYLE: Custom Colonial

ADDRESS: 398 West Avenue

PRICE: $1,599,000


FEATURES: 0.31-acre level parcel, property adjoins Woodland Park, underground utilities, walking distance to the Noroton Heights Metro North train station, wet bar, covered front porch, covered patio, wood deck, two kitchens, three custom stone fireplaces, open floor plan, full finished walk-out basement, professionally landscaped property, garden, hardwood floors throughout, skylights, plenty of storage, stone wall, pull-down attic stairs, high-efficiency boiler/furnace, gas heat, attached two-car garage, five bedrooms, five full baths

SCHOOLS: Holmes Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

ASSESSMENT: $933,030

MILL RATE: 16.16 mills

TAXES: $15,078