DARIEN — There are often trade-offs when making life’s most important decisions. Purchasing a house on the outskirts of a community might give you a larger property and more amenities like an in-ground swimming pool and a tennis court but you’ll have to sacrifice convenience.

Purchasing a house closer to the center of town gives you that convenient location close to shops, restaurants and the train station but you often have to sacrifice land.

Nothing has to be sacrificed with the purchase of the parcel at 76 Noroton Ave. and its updated antique Victorian house in the Noroton Heights section of town. This property is conveniently close to town amenities including shops, restaurants, schools, the public library, and Weed Beach, the latter of which is only 1.5 mile away. And from the 4,226-square-foot house it is walking distance to the Noroton Heights Metro North train station.

No land is really sacrificed either. The level and sloping property comprises almost one acre, a sufficient size on its own, but this property benefits from its location across the street from Baker Park so, in effect, it “gains” additional acreage. The park contains 11.7-acres and features ball fields, a small playground and a walking trail. According to the Darien municipal website “Baker Park is Darien’s hidden gem.” It offers “a neighborhood park atmosphere, where parents and children can play and relax together. In the afternoon and evening, the park is utilized by Darien Little League, Darien Soccer Association, and Co-ed softball leagues on the multipurpose softball/soccer field.”

The pale gray clapboard house with dark green shutters was built in 1895 and was renovated and expanded by several of its owners, all who managed to thoughtfully maintain its classic Victorian features, including its wrap-around covered front porch and subtle gingerbread detailing. The current owners further expanded the home in 2006 adding a family room, new master bedroom suite, playroom, and guest suite above the refurbished attached two-car garage. Part of that renovation and expansion gave this house a new rear entrance with a mudroom with a slate floor. The main house and latest addition are connected by their second floors but the space below creates an exterior open porch. Energy efficiency features also earned the house and Energy Star rating.

Although the house exterior is gray the owners are not afraid on color on the inside and this house wears color well. The dining room is a bright emerald green with white trim and the walls of the family room are chocolate brown. That puts this family ahead of the curve. Interior design experts have been saying for several years that people would move away from the monochromatic grays to opt instead for color, particularly earth tones.

Inside, this house offers 12 spacious rooms with nine-foot ceilings and grand spaces for living and entertaining. The formal living room has a walk-in bay window area. The family room features a coffered ceiling and arched entrances to other rooms capped with keystones, a marble fireplace, and French doors to the wrap-around porch. It also has a wet bar with an ice-maker, beverage refrigerator, and glass-front cabinetry.


STYLE: Updated Antique Victorian

ADDRESS: 76 Noroton Ave.

PRICE: $1,835,000


FEATURES: 0.8-acre level and sloping property, Energy Star-rated house, wood deck, slate patio, wrap-around porch, underground sprinkler, professionally landscaped, storm doors, nine-foot ceilings, walking distance to the Noroton Heights Metro North train station and Hindley School, convenient to the middle and high schools, close to and Post Road (Route 1), Weed Beach only 1.5-mile away, pre-wired for cable, front and rear stairs, breezeway, stone wall, attached two-car garage, zoned oil heating system, attic, unfinished basement, five bedrooms, four full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Hindley Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,160,040

MILL RATE: 16.08 mills

TAXES: $18,653

In the kitchen features include granite counters, new stainless steel appliances, frosted glass cabinetry, and a decorative tile backsplash. Around the corner is a large breakfast room. Also found on the first floor is a small office or home command center and a powder room, both with grass cloth on the walls.

There is another office on the second floor with built-in shelving and a window seat. Also on this level there are five bedrooms and a playroom. The sizable master suite has a vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet, built-in desk and entertainment center, and a spa-like marble bath with a double vanity topped with a Carrara counter.

In the level and tiered backyard there is a wood deck, slate patio, and attractive landscaping. The front lawn contains a mature copper beech tree that the listing agent claims is one of the oldest trees in Darien, dating back about 100 years.

There will be a public open house on Sunday (Sept. 16) from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Heather Raymond of Deirdre McGovern & Team/William Raveis Real Estate at 203-252-8645 or Heather.Raymond@raveis.com.