A Colonial Revival Homestead

THIS COLONIAL REVIVAL STYLE HOME IS NESTLED in a private enclave of Wilton, Connecticut. The original house was designed by the famed architect and author Royal Barry Wills in the 1930s–1950s. An expert in the Colonial Revival, Wills emphasized what he termed “scale”—the relationship of parts to one another that gives a design perfection and charm. And this is house has plenty of charm, from the white-washed brick to the rustic trough gutters held in place by wood brackets.

Renovating and adding to a house such as this is always challenging. On one hand you want to maintain the charm – which is what made the home appealing in the first place – and on the other you want to add all of the modern day comforts that clients now expect in their homes. As such, it is essential to consider the influences that led the initial architect to the design thus far, and to suppress ones inclination to one-up the existing design.

The result here is a perfect amalgamation of old and new – of charm and function. New Wings were added at either side of the house, expanding the house to include a new Master Suite and Office, as well as a new Kitchen, Breakfast Room, and Family Room; existing materials and details were replicated to make these additions seamless; the rear of the house was opened up, adding a bay window and French doors to maximize the spectacular views of surrounding landscape; and elsewhere everything was carefully and tastefully renovated.

In 1938, Life Magazine asked Frank Lloyd Wright to prepare a modern home design and Royal Barry Wills to design a traditional one. The families that were polled overwhelmingly chose the design by Wills. Almost 80 years later, it is reassuring to know that clients still want to live in traditionally designed homes that offer function, modern amenities and most of all – charm.

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