Many influences mark Old Greenwich home

April 27, 2017 GMT

GREENWICH — Gail Bicici is something of a citizen of the world.

Born in Istanbul, she’s traveled far and wide. Through her work in the hedge-fund field, she was journeying 250 days a year.

When it came time to build a home in Old Greenwich, she recalled, “I didn’t just want another Colonial.”

The home she built at 6 Little Cove Place reflects her cosmopolitan tastes, as well as a very high standard for construction and design.

She and architect Roger Bartels went to Istanbul together to draw inspiration from the Byzantine architecture and decor, shaped by numerous civilizations and creeds.

Speaking of her home, Bicici said it felt serene, calm and cozy on some days, or like a playful, fun vacation place on others.

“It’s a unique house,” she said. “And every room has a different feel.”

The home in Old Greenwich features many curvilinear shapes, such as rounded custom windows. Upon entering the home, there’s a large chandelier hanging inside the hallway that was inspired by the spires of the Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church in Istanbul that is now a museum.


Arrayed around the chandelier are some of Bicici’s vast collection of cookbooks, some 1,000 at last count. She also has a large collection of cookware: Tagine pots from Morocco, English bean pots, French copper mixing bowls, a Japanese stockpot.

She likes to connect to the world through cuisine and cookbooks. “For me, it’s the technique. And we’ve done all these incredible things with cooking through the centuries, I like to explore that,” she said.

The living room is framed by large timber beams, made of Douglas fir, on the ceiling. It recalls the points of a compass. Varnished with a soft gray, the timbers play off the muted silver-toned fireplace nearby, while the blond Canadian maple flooring suggests the beach.

The dining room, which showcases Bicici’s collection of glassware, has a climate controlled wine cabinet within easy reach, and it overlooks a little Zen garden of stones and pebbles.

Upstairs at the master bedroom, there’s a unique portal, kind of a high-tech barn door. Made of semi-opaque glass that appears as if it’s been rain-slicked, it’s mounted in stainless steel and set on rollers, gliding effortlessly across the floor. Inside the master bedroom are a number of build-in features, like a TV screen that pops up from a cabinet and compartments for shoes under the bed.

Like a good home cook, Bicici is attentive to the details. Even the paint in the home was customized. The structure also employs geothermal energy for heating and cooling.

All that custom work did not come easily or cheaply. The town building inspector was on-site regularly, and the approvals for the chandelier alone was fairly arduous. Bicici also had plenty of hurdles to clear with the state waterfront regulators. “Lots of headaches,” she recalled.

But she succeeded in not building just “another Colonial.”

The house is being listed at $7,795,000 through Sotheby’s International Realty.