DARIEN — When the sand-colored stone and stucco colonial house at 3 Althea Lane was first envisioned back in the mid-1950s the architect behind its design took it in an unusual direction for the time period. Instead of the more typical classic colonial or box colonial aesthetic he gave it a French provincial style.

That vision was not compromised during the construction and, in fact, it was greatly enhanced in the early construction process when it was built in 1956, and its integrity was preserved in 2004 when another architect and builder reimagined it. At that time an addition was constructed and the existing part of the house was remodeled and updated. The addition expanded this house to 6,098 square feet.

This attractive estate in central Darien features a 60-foot in-ground swimming pool, and 1.56-acre level property along the Wee Burn Country Club golf course. The size of the pool easily accommodates family recreational play, swimming as a form of exercise, as well as the serious athlete. It also makes a great entertainment focal point. The home itself is also an ideal entertainment venue. It has many attractive, simple yet elegant architectural details and high-end features, like the brushed limestone flooring of the entrance foyer, recessed wall spaces for displays of decorative statuary or vases, deep crown molding, and magnificent landscaping.

The latticework with climbing vines on the front façade of the house, the manicured shrubbery - including specimen plantings, and the pebble forecourt with granite inlaid design in the driveway offer a hint about the attention to detail that is found on the inside as well. There is an open floor plan, high ceilings throughout, floor-to-ceiling windows, and many sets of French doors that connect that extend the interior living space to the outdoors, where there are several patios and terraces. But the house also has a warm, welcoming feel all its own.

There are no unsightly utility cables or poles to interrupt the views of the private setting, the golf course and a pond on the course. All the utility wires are underground.

The approach to the house clearly indicates just how private the setting is. The length of the winding driveway and the landscaping have something to do with that sense of seclusion.

The front door is a period French door with large scale dentil molding above it. It opens to the opulent foyer with paneled walls and two recessed arched spaces for art. The great room, or formal living room, is quite spacious and features two seating areas, a fireplace with a decorative mantel, deep crown molding, and three sets of French doors to a terrace with a pergola and columns by the pool.

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ABOUT THIS HOUSE

STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 3 Althea Lane

PRICE: $3,495,000

ROOMS: 8

FEATURES: 1.56-acre level property, bluestone patio, pergola, heated in-ground swimming pool, cabana, garden, underground utilities, wet bar, open floor plan, thermal windows, window treatments, sprinkler system, professionally landscaped, balcony, skylights, four fireplaces, cedar wood roof, two-car attached garage, full unfinished basement, four bedrooms, five full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Ox Ridge Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

MILL RATE: 15.77 mills

TAXES: $31,270

The realtor calls the large gourmet kitchen “a work of art” that has all the amenities necessary for a serious chef. It has a center island with a wood counter and beverage refrigerator, bay window, skylight, pantry, and eat-in area. The kitchen is open to the family room, which has a fireplace and entertainment center. The eat-in area, or breakfast room, has floor-to-ceiling windows and two sets of French doors to a stone patio and the yard. The kitchen, breakfast room and family room all have terra cotta tile flooring.

In the formal dining room there are French doors to a patio. In the library or study there is a fireplace, paneled walls, and two walls with built-in bookshelves.

The mudroom is large enough to double as a cabana for the pool. It has a changing area and a full bath with a shower.

On the second floor there are four bedrooms, all of them en suite. The master suite has a fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves and tall windows that look out upon the beautifully landscaped surroundings. The master bath features a free-standing soaking tub, large glass shower, hardwood floor, windows topped with transoms, and a door to a private balcony.

For more information visit www.3AtheaLane.com. To make an appointment to see the house contact Bruce Baker of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203- 912-7061 or bbaker@wpsir.com.