It is a house built with entertaining in mind…and as the weather warms, it is time to take advantage of the spectacular New Canaan backyard that leaves little to be desired. The multiple award-winning landscaping includes a large resort-style pool with all the bells and whistles — five waterfalls plus several full-wall falls, a beach entry, a tunnel water slide, a swim-up bar and hot tub area, and five decorative upward spouts with fiber optic multicolor lights that can be coordinated with music from a dozen speakers that can be operated in pairs or altogether.
Pizza made in a wood burning oven, built by the home’s owner Bryan Street, is only one of the possible offerings that can be created in the large, three-sided outdoor kitchen with plenty of counter space on which to enjoy a snack or meal.
The blue- and fieldstone deck area furthest away from the 7,500-square-foot Colonial built in 2000 easily accommodates a half-dozen lounge chairs and a couple of standing umbrellas, and provides access to a wading area where young children can safely play. That area is adjacent to the ramp that leads to the 3.5-foot-deep end of the pool, which also has a stepped entry.
Another direction provides an edge for jumping into the 9.5-foot-deep end. From there, it is a quick swim to the bar, which provides the option of standing on a ledge to reach, or entering an enclosed area where you can sit on an underwater bench or one of several submerged stools.
Younger swimmers often head around back of a “bunker” alongside the opposite side of the pool and clamor up a series of large rocks that provide entry to the tunnel slide.
The eating areas are also expansive: the rectangular dining table seats 12, six or eight more can sit at a round table, and plenty of people can pull up a stool or linger around the three-sided bar that houses a full outdoor kitchen with grill, searer and smoker. And that structure within the enclosure that looks like a small house is actually a pizza oven — built by the homeowner as a pet project.
This long view of the pool shows the entry ramp from the wading area on the right. The swim-up bar, with seating area behind the first wall, can be seen on the left. A putting green is located behind the bushes behind the authentic English phone booth; it houses some of the sound and lighting equipment.
The well-appointed yard has accommodated parties for as many as 200, and was designed by Elite Landscaping of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The fieldstone used throughout the entire home — stone walls, pool surround, chimneys, fireplaces and dining room wall -— were all uncovered onsite.
There is also a separate, semi-secluded hot tub that holds eight. And in one of the fun elements built into the house: a large deck off the second-floor master bedroom that features a spiral staircase to the yard near the tub.
For those whose outdoor interests do not include water, there is a putting green beyond the pool, as well as a small area to practice chip shots. And the gentle slope to one side of the property provides a perfect place for winter sledding.
Another angle of the outdoor kitchen, which features a red vintage refrigerator with the Coca Cola logo, shows its proximity to the house and part of the patio dining area. The lower level bump outs are the eat-in area of the kitchen on the right and the dining room with French doors to the outside on the left. — Photo courtesy of Halstead Property
When owners Leslie and Bryan Street purchased the 2.6-acre property on a secluded street in the late 1990s, it had a 1950s house with expansion possibilities, but once they did some investigating they learned the house was nonconforming and had mold and lead paint, among other issues. It became an easy decision to build new. Plus, without the constraints of the old footprint, they had many more options.
Drawing on his early years in construction and inputting the features he and Leslie determined they wanted or might want in the future, such as an in-law apartment with outside entrance, Bryan created CAD designs. Bill Green of W.R. Green Construction of Westport was hired as general contractor. “Bill’s a great guy, very knowledgeable and he made some suggestions that improved my design,” Bryan recounts. “One was to raise the height of the two-story, three-car garage six inches so if anyone ever wanted to add a car lift or two, it could be accommodated.”
Inside the house, the feeling ranges from elegant — the octagonal dining room (Leslie’s favorite room) with marble floor, stone fireplace, recessed ceiling and lighting, arched doorways, French doors opening to the yard and three-quarter wall of windows — to cozy and relaxed, including a wine cellar on the lower level and theater with surround sound.
The sun-filled, rustic-feel family room is three steps down from the eat-in portion of the kitchen; it features a resawn antique wood floor and stone fireplace. The stones used here and throughout the home and landscaping were all culled from the property. —Photo courtesy of Halstead Property
Traditional and modern elements are mixed, such as the wire lighting the over the cooking and eat-in kitchen areas adjacent to the family room, three steps down, which has a resawn antique wood floor that gives it a rustic feel. A butler’s pantry off the kitchen leads outside, and has a half-wall opening that can serve as a bar when entertaining. During the day, sunlight fills the home through large windows and skylights.
The master bedroom has a practical quirk; an early riser, after Bryan closes the doors separating the sleeping area from the bathroom and his and her closet/dressing rooms, he can depart through a door leading into the hallway that blends in from that side when closed.
Two of the many ways of entering the swimming pool: from the tunnel slide accessed from the back of the stone “bunker,” or the gentle ramp seen in front of it.
Walking around the property, Bryan points to the flat area of the yard where the original house stood, noting, “It would be the perfect place to pitch a tent for an outdoor wedding,” before adding that with both their children away to school in the fall, “the house has become too big for just the two of us. It’s time to sell.”
For more information on this home or to arrange a private showing, please call Bettina Hegel, 917-842-3349, or Susan O’Rourke, 203-979-1181, at Halstead Property (halstead.com).
One of several full-wall waterfalls that add visual interest and beauty to the yard. All of the stones used in the landscaping, as well as chimneys and indoor fireplaces, were uncovered on the property.