On the Market: Darien house sits on a 7.1 acre island estate

DARIEN — The website for the Arbor Day Foundation, which celebrates Arbor Day on April 28 this year, says there is a Bar Harbor juniper tree that springs up from crevices on the rocky coast of Maine, and low-growing so as not to spoil the water views.

Juniper trees are evergreen conifers, the berries of which are best known for flavoring gin, according to the Scottish nonprofit organization Trees for Life, which also mentions the use of juniper smoke in ancient times during a ritual purification of temples, and the medicinal properties of juniper berries.

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STYLE: Colonial, Contemporary

ADDRESS: 20 Juniper Road

PRICE: $17,500,000


FEATURES: water community, water frontage and access, dock, proximity to Weed Beach, geothermal heating and cooling, 7.1-acre level island property, underground utilities, generator, Gunite heated in-ground salt water swimming pool, spa, three gas fireplaces, large flagstone terrace, 10 sets of French doors, Astro-turf play room, outdoor shower, new dock with storage for kayaks and paddleboards, exterior lighting, patio, sprinkler system, audio system, insulated windows, some window treatments, invisible pet fencing, large workshop, extra insulation, professionally landscaped, fruit trees, full partially finished walk-out basement, detached three-car garage, wood shingle roof, pull-down attic stairs, five bedrooms (all en suite), five full and three half baths

SCHOOLS: Hindley Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

ASSESSMENT: $6,097,210

MILL RATE: 15.77 mills

TAXES: $96,153

HOA FEE: $400 (annually)

Living a luxurious yet relaxed lifestyle in the gray wood shingle and stone colonial contemporary house at 20 Juniper Road can be a curative as well. This magnificent 11-room house sits on a 7.1 acre island estate. It is one of the largest waterfront properties in Darien. The property was part of the original Weed estate. It looks south to Long Island Sound and north to Goodwives River and Rings End Bridge. It has sweeping lawns, beautifully landscaped gardens, fruit trees, and other mature trees, although it’s not known if junipers are among them. The property borders the 3.2-acre Goodwives Meadow owned by the Darien Land Trust.

There is nothing to obstruct these stunning water, meadow and woodland views. The utilities are all underground so there are no unsightly cables and poles.

The house was built in 2009 in this secluded setting, which is accessed at the end of a cul-de-sac. It was given every conceivable modern amenity for daily living and entertaining, whether for informal gatherings or grand scale parties. Among its too-many-to-mention features are its new dock with continuous boat access to the channel and storage for kayaks and paddleboards, cavernous Astro-turf play room, geothermal heating and cooling, Gunite heated in-ground salt water swimming pool, spa, and outdoor shower. Ten sets of French doors provide access to the grounds, a large wrap-around covered porch, and flagstone patio from several rooms.

Although this is a sizable residence - with 8,332 square feet of living space, another 3,000 square feet in the finished basement, and unfinished space waiting to be converted above the three-car detached garage, this house feels surprisingly comfortable and in some cases downright intimate.

One of the most elegant spaces is the great room, which has 12-foot ceilings and two limestone fireplaces on opposing walls, one in the formal living room and one in the formal dining room. There are three sets of French doors to the patio from this 40x24-foot great room. The gourmet country kitchen features a center island topped in butcher’s block, floating glass-front and back cabinetry, a hardwood floor, built-in desk area, high-end appliances, and a spacious breakfast room.

The family room has a stone fireplace. On the second floor, the master suite features a sitting area, dressing room, walk-in closet, and a marble bath. In all there are five en-suite bedrooms, all with walk-in closets and water views.

On the finished lower level full there is a billiard room, the Astro turf room, an exercise room, and a large woodworking shop.

One of the owners is a gardener and that is evident in the extensive gardens including vegetable and cutting gardens with fragrant and beautiful perennials. There are also a number of fruit trees include peach, plum, apricot, cherry, and apple.

There is an opportunity for prospective buyers and those who would just like to dream about living in such a stunning house and setting. The house will be featured on this year’s Darien House Tour: Homes with a Heart, on June 8, presented by the First Congregational Church of Darien. The annual event supports local nonprofit organizations, including this year’s lead beneficiary, The Open Door Shelter’s Building Lives Initiative. Each year the church grants over $100,000 to nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged, youth and elderly.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Kim Huffard of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203-858-6033 or khuffard@williampitt.com.