Inside stories behind area real estate

From a Madison waterfront to Don Imus' estate, we've got seven listings with kitchens that are, truly, the heart of the home. Come on in!

Way back when, colonists gathered in the kitchen during the frosty months to keep warm around the sometimes sole source of heat: the kitchen fire. And all these years later, when winter settles around us in earnest, we still want to be in our kitchens—which now come equipped with entertainment centers, generously proportioned islands for dining and socializing, breakfast tables, butler’s pantries and, yes, fireplaces. Here are seven listings with kitchens that are, truly, the heart of the home. Come on in!

Greenwich Manse

As one of the most expensive properties in Greenwich—which is to say Connecticut—we were pretty sure this 21,000-square-foot home would come equipped with a nice kitchen. It does, along with resort-like amenities both inside and out. But starting in the heart of the home, the Christopher Peacock-designed kitchen, with appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero, Miele and Bosch, is flanked by the rooms Realtors like to see in a manor of this magnitude. There’s a butler’s pantry, a breakfast room with a vaulted ceiling, and a gracious flow to the dining hall, which would easily accommodate a dinner party of 40. Additional spots around the house to enjoy food and drink include a taproom, a wine room, and a pool house and terrace for warm-weather entertaining. But wait, there’s more: a home theater, an indoor basketball court, an exercise room, a tennis court, a private lake with a dock and—just in case this was on your Christmas list and you didn’t get it—a Petanque court, also suitable for bocce. The master suite boasts two fireplaces, 15-foot ceilings, a sitting room and his-and-her dressing suites. In all, there are five bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms and four half bathrooms. Tamar Lurie of Coldwell Banker in Greenwich has the listing. 203-622-0245.


Don Imus Estate
$19.9 million

Here we go again. Radio personality Don Imus and his wife, Deirdre, have listed and then delisted their Beachside Avenue compound over the past few years, asking as much as $30 million, perhaps inspired by neighbors Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas’s success. In early 2006, that other celebrity couple sold a Beachside home for their ask of $25 million in a matter of months. (It goes without saying that 2006—largely considered the market’s peak—was a much better time than 2009 to sell a home, which is when Imus first listed his compound.) History aside, the Imus’s 10,221-square-foot main house is lovely, especially those rooms associated with food and drink. The all-white kitchen has an expansive marble-topped island with a sink, and a wall of windows with heart-stopping views over Long Island Sound. The kitchen flows to a dining room with a fireplace and more French doors opening onto a terrace. On the four-acre grounds, there’s also a two-bedroom gatehouse, a two-bedroom guest house and pretty lawns and gardens, as well as 215 feet of sandy beach. It’s listed with Darlene Letersky of Coldwell Residential Brokerage in Westport. 203-227-1269.

Fenwick Compound
$13 million

Fenwick is the beachy enclave within Old Saybrook which was, famously, the home of Katharine Hepburn, who summered there in her youth and lived her last years in a “cottage” that was beautifully restored and expanded and is now listed for $30 million. Not far away—and a bit more affordable—is a 7,177-square-foot shingle-style home with a private sandy beach. At the heart of this circa-2005 main house is a sunny kitchen with a luxe island, equipped with a built-in stove top and seating for five. It flows to an open-plan dining room with an attached bow-front family room with built-in seating to take in the water views. Also on the 1.68-acre property is a 2,643-square-foot Cape-style cottage with an additional kitchen, beachstone fireplace, three bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus one half bathroom. The compound is listed with Jane Macy Pfeffer and Jennifer Caulfield of Jane & Jennifer Associates of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Essex. 860-227-6634 and 860-388-7710.

Turkey Hill Home

Turkey Hill South is where Martha Stewart lived before she decamped to Katonah— and the road is lined with impressive homes, all of which look as if they have kitchens of which Martha would approve. This 2010 Colonial built by Coastal Construction is no exception. Its bright, modern space is grounded with black walnut flooring, complementing the black walnut island countertop. There’s a second island topped with thick white Calcutta marble, matching the other counters in the space. Indeed, all of the fixtures are top-of-the-line, from the appliances by Miele and Wolf to the polished nickel faucets. We also love the way the kitchen flows to the breakfast area, which features a cupola, floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors opening onto terraces and a pretty pool patio. In all, the 10,000-square-foot home offers six bedrooms and seven bathrooms (plus one half bathroom). Michelle & Company has the listing. 203-454-4663.

Instead of a traditional island, a stylish oversized wood-topped
work space takes center stage in this
light-filled waterfront home in Madison


Madison Waterfront Home

The lovely town of Madison has a gorgeous collection of Colonial-style waterfront homes, and this is one of the prettiest, set at the end of a secluded lane with lawns that roll down to more than 100 feet of private sandy beach. Newly renovated, the 3,907-square-foot interiors are equipped with a chic kitchen with an oversized wood-topped work space in place of a traditional island. The light is dazzling at the stylish, farmhouse-style sink, with wide windows overlooking gardens and water. The kitchen area also accommodates a breakfast table next to doors that open onto a terrace. And there’s a butler’s pantry with an inset wine refrigerator and generous counters and cabinets. In all, the home offers five bedrooms and five bathrooms, along with a fitness room and multiple terraces and balconies. Peggy Steiner of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Madison has the listing. 203-980-6910.

Equestrian Estate
New Canaan and wilton
$42 million

This elaborate property is perfect for the serious equestrian—but has a little something for everyone else as well. In fact, there are a lot of somethings for people who love to entertain on a big scale, starting with the double kitchen in the main house that has Viking appliances, an adjacent flower-cutting room and a 2,000-bottle wine cellar. Separate kitchen facilities are found in the 8,000-square-foot equestrian barn, which also houses guest quarters and a great room with a view to a 10-foot waterfall. And for the horses: 11 stalls, a trotter track, paddocks, five miles of horse trails and a riding arena. The estate, which sits on 154 acres straddling Wilton and New Canaan, also features a private lake, two ponds, a fully-stocked trout stream and—for your dramatic exits and entrances—a couple of helicopter landing strips. The property is colisted with Kathleen Coumou of Christie’s International Real Estate (212-468-7140), Gail Murphy of The Higgins Group (203-216-3879) and Barbara Cleary of Barbara Cleary’s Realty Guild (203-966-7772).