It's a striking and surprising house you'll find at 5 Salem Straits in Darien -- an angular vintage mansion of sorts, with all the necessary modern amenities revitalized inside for 21st-century comfort amid classic good taste.
The long driveway goes straight up to the brick edifice -- worn brick reminiscent of the English countryside, with splashes of green ivy.
The attached two-car garage is pinned by an antique storm lantern at its center. The path to the side entrance, under a rustic overhang adjacent to the garage, is stone, and paints the picture of this 1919 classic.
The side entrance is quainter than even the outside, and hinting at the treat inside. Dark hardwood floors, with a window on one side and some bare brick, greet.
The entry leads directly into a large, yet compartmentalized space. To the right is an bright living room with a fireplace. There's a bay window seat on the south side, lit by tract lights. Two pairs of French doors look out upon an in-ground pool set on a private patio overlooking the neighborhood below.
From this living room, or day room, is a view of the vine-covered outside wall on the left where a small upstairs balcony with a wrought-iron rail looks over the pool from the master bedroom.
There's a utility room off the hall here, leading up to the main hall and a front entrance that's quaint. Clearly, care has been taken to make the interior match the outside for its beauty and proportionate style.
To the right, on the east side of the building, is a private sunken formal living room, which is amazing for its utter coziness. The ceiling -- a pattern of hardwood -- is high, yet with the small elegant fireplace, which faced tall recessed French doors, the sense of comfort and antiquated charm is achieved.
Past a dining room, a wide staircase heads upstairs, which is full of elegant rooms. At the top is a country inn-style bedroom with an attached bath. To the right is a corner room that shares a Jack and Jill bathroom with another bedroom, and gets a lot of light from windows on two sides.
The floors upstairs, too, are dark wood. There's also a laundry room in a small closet in the hall.
The hall is lined along one side with a subtle but sizable array of built-in bookshelves.
At the end, the master suite is awesome, with a raised ceiling and a balcony with French doors that provide a view. There's a walk-in closet, and the room is large but cozy. There's also a sunken sitting area that leads to a second walk-in closet and a bright bathroom with double sinks, a shower and spa tub. There also is a central office space at the center of this area.
Beyond all this, there's a third story with a suite, featuring a sunken bedroom that cleverly manages to find a high ceiling in what should have been a small space. The views are magnificent from this room, with Scott's Cove in sight. There's also a cute bathroom, along with some unfinished storage space.
There's a wine cellar in the basement, too, and storage space.
Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.