Hot Property Renovated ranch is in ‘magical’ Cos Cob neighborhood
“[When] you drive up the hill, flanked by large rock — Lia Fail stands for ‘stone of destiny’ — to this neighborhood, you enter a magical wonderland that leaves all the bustle of modern life behind.”
That’s how the homeowner of 1 Lia Fail Way described this special enclave of mostly Mid-Century architecture in Cos Cob.
1 Lia Fail Way is listed for $1.649 million, with Edineia Bickerstaff of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage representing the sellers, who acquired the property in 2013.
“We were drawn to this house given that it has a sweeping three-season water view, while being perched high above a secluded setting,” the homeowner recalled. “The scenery of this beautiful river changes throughout a given day. It glistens in the morning like a gemstone when the sun hits it directly, and reflects the moon at night. …
“The final selling point for us was the magical setting of this neighborhood, with warm neighbors and a rich history — all while being near town. We were coming from Manhattan, so being close to town was important,” he noted.
They also appreciated the square footage of the house and its generously scaled interiors, but the new owners felt it could use an update.
“[We] knew that in order to make it feel like a luxury New York City condo we came from, we needed to re-do everything. So that’s what we did,” he explained. “We literally took the house down to its studs on the interior and reimagined a very functional and fengshui space that maximized every square foot. We also replaced almost all of the functional features of the house, including switching from oil to natural gas. … The only thing we left mostly unchanged is the exterior of the house, since we wanted it to blend into the surroundings and be understated.”
The interiors span 2,528 square feet of living space, with an open floor plan. The listing brokerage notes that the F.A.R. allowance would enable the buyer to expand the home to up to 6,000 square feet if they require more space or additional amenities.
The kitchen was designed to be “clean, classic,” with white cabinets, white Carrera marble surfaces and high-end appliances, including a Wolf-brand stove.
Red-oak hardwood flooring, custom stained, are found throughout the home.
The renovation and redesign had to produce a functional, efficient home that would allow for frequent entertaining, the homeowner said.
“We came from a luxury apartment building in Manhattan, and had never owned a house before, so we needed an easy home. And that’s what this home delivers,” he remarked. “The manageable but really chic interior with spectacular views was the winning combination for us. Basically, this home requires only slightly more attention than a New York condo.
“In addition, the neighborhood has a very low-cost high-impact association — [for] $750/year — that takes takes care of snow removal, neighborhood maintenance, etc. So you can literally just move right in and start enjoying the house immediately, with no traditional homeowner stressors.”
Plus, for buyers who hope to host some memorable special occasions, the house is especially designed as an entertaining venue, too.
“This home is a California ranch, and thus, it essentially built to entertain,” the seller said. “A large, sweeping deck connects to the great room, kitchen and master bedroom. This same deck has the three-season water views … so you can simply open all the newly added Jeld-Wen sliders — highly energy efficient — to create a true indoor-outdoor entertaining setting. … It’s essentially California-style living in a near-town location.”
The property’s lot spans a little more than an acre — 1.05 acres, to be precise.
During their time here, the homeowners enlisted the help of a professional landscaper to sculpt the yard with plants, trees and flowering gardens. As a “centerpiece,” they put in a large Japanese bonsai tree in the front yard.
Asked what adjectives come to mind when he stands among the landscaping, the seller said, “Magical, tranquil, serene, lush, hilltop, treetop, mature.”
The location of the property offers some perks, too.
“The setting feels like you are on vacation when you arrive in the neighborhood, but when you leave, you are almost perpetually surprised by how close you really are to everything — Cos Cob stores, Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Point Beach, Whole Foods, Starbucks, etc.,” he pointed out.
Looking back on their time spent here and their redesign imprint on the property, the seller reflected, “We certainly got the fengshui correct, since this house has been very lucky for everyone in our growing family.”
Listing agent: Edineia Bickerstaff, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; (203) 622-1100 office; (203) 252-8391 cell; edineia.bickerstaff@