There is more to a CT home than meets the eye
The phrase “more than meets the eye” seems woefully inadequate when describing the home at 160 Beacon Hill Drive in West Hartford. Viewed from the street it is a contemporary colonial, with a spacious front porch. It appears to be a typical suburban home.
Enter, however, and one’s initial expectations are immediately and delightfully rendered null and void. As Thomas Devine, who owns the house with his wife, Donna Devine, is quick to explain as he walks from the front door toward the back of the house, the original structure of the house ends at the kitchen. Now, thanks to an oversized addition designed and built by the Divines in the early 1990s, the kitchen is open to and overlooked by a large great room, which rises dramatically to the second floor, is lit by a large skylight, and offers a balcony wall of windows overlooking the backyard.
On the second floor, this large room has a mezzanine on three sides lined with bookshelves. A spiral staircase at one end of the mezzanine allows access to these bookcases from the great room while the second floor home office also opens onto the mezzanine.
At the first floor level, this addition also has table space, which can be used for casual meals or work projects, access to a curved-walled, three-season shaded sun terrace, and a gas seating area. – Fireplace fueled.
The original portion of the house on the first floor contains a living room to the right of the entry foyer, which easily accommodates a grand piano and provides ample seating. A wood-burning fireplace acts as a focal point, while solid oak flooring, used throughout most of the house, adds a touch of warmth. Gorgeous teak flooring in a herringbone pattern is used in the addition. The formal dining room is open to the living room and connected via French doors to the sitting room. Across from the entry foyer is a home office with built-in bookcases, storage cabinets and a desk.
In addition, the hall that leads to the half bath also allows access to the laundry room, which is located half a flight down. Continue down the other half of the flight and you’ll arrive at a suite featuring a second full kitchen, bedroom, and full bathroom. It also provides access to the home’s mechanical systems and entertainment room with wood-burning fireplace which is also accessed by a separate staircase off the kitchen.
“The downstairs bedroom area could be used by a teenager or a babysitter,” said Louis Segal of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. It would also be perfect for intergenerational living.
The second floor consists of four bedrooms and a home office. The master suite is spacious and has good closet space and a dressing area on the way to the master bathroom which was redone about five years ago. It uses granite and marble to create a spa-like atmosphere, and has a large bathtub with a jet system and a separate shower. A double sink with a large spread area and a separate enclosed area for the commode completes this bathroom.
The other three bedrooms on this floor are airy and inviting. It is served by a full bathroom just off the hallway on the top floor. The second floor also features the home office which opens to the mezzanine level of the great room. From this vantage point, the view into the great room and the outdoor windows leading to the backyard and the woods beyond should never be outdated.
The great room open to the updated kitchen makes this home perfect for entertaining. The kitchen is galley style, with ample space for several chefs to work at once. Appliances include a four-burner gas stove, double built-in ovens, a dishwasher and space for a family side-by-side refrigerator. Separating the kitchen from the great room is a counter that seats three and is high enough to hide meal preparation from guests in the great room without isolating the chef from the gathering.
“The architect who designed the addition (David Handlen & Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts) was fantastic,” Thomas Devine said. Anyone who spends time inside this house would have to agree. It’s an interior with a style and drama one simply wouldn’t expect in a mid-century Colonial. What’s even more impressive is that these design elements not only stand out, but they also complement the original design of the home. The flow from the original structure to the addition seems logical and inspiring. Even the two-story, three-season high-curved wall back porch, complete with its vaulted ceiling, fits right in.
The view of the backyard also plays a role in the success of this home’s design. Behind the lawn are mature trees, part of the forest owned by the Metropolitan Area Commission. This entity maintains a tank about a quarter mile from the house. Divine notes that hiking options are numerous and since the area is key to the region’s water supply, development on this land is not an issue.
The location is perfect too. This home is located close to many amenities and shopping areas in West Hartford, close to Bloomfield, downtown Hartford, I-91 and I-84. It is also located near the end of Beacon Hill Drive, which reduces traffic. Peaceful, serene and architecturally unique, this home is a once-in-a-lifetime find.
Built: 1966 with an important addition dating from the early 1990s
Style: Contemporary Colonial
Bathrooms: 3 full; 1 half
Square footage: 3,621 plus approximately 700 in the basement
Mill rate: 40.68
Best feature: Great space that allows for a lot of teamwork or a lot of privacy in a natural setting
Contact: Louis Segal
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties
970 Farmington Street, West Hartford 06107
(tags for translation) Connecticut