It is easy to get the sense that one is off the beaten path when approaching 12 Gregory Hill Drive in Glastonbury, but the town center is just a bike ride away. It is, perhaps, the winding drive, the extensive stone walls, the $100,000 worth of lush landscaping, the sports court and heated in-ground pool that make the property feel like a country retreat.
And then there are the to-die-for views of sweeping vistas that are particularly glorious in autumn. When the leaves fall, homeowners have an unobstructed view of the Hartford skyline.
The grand house at 12 Gregory Hill Drive has many secrets to discover – a grilling area off the main living room, a custom-built soapstone apron sink in the kitchen, prolific architectural detailing, elegant Tiffany-style lighting fixtures and crystal chandeliers. Exterior touches include a wrap-around railed balcony leading down to one of the property’s two terraces, and a koi pond.
Forget cookie-cutter McMansion and think high-end custom, says Amy Rio of Executive Real Estate in Glastonbury. She explains that the 5,334-square-foot, three-story colonial home underwent extensive renovation about 15 years ago but is listed for $899,900. “You don't see this level of quality until you hit a $2 million price tag,” she says.
The former owners “had amazing taste and put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the home,” she says. The home’s architecture is a major selling point. “It's a custom-built house and it starts with concrete and stucco siding (in the Tudor style), which makes for a pretty low-maintenance exterior.”
Rio also points out the quality of the custom construction. “Everything put into this property is a very high-end product. It's not a builder-grade spec house,” she says.
Case in point: a mudroom off the foyer has a marble floor and elegant mahogany built-ins that belie the room's pedestrian name. Built-ins feature Pottery Barn baskets, full drawers and even stalls with coat hooks. Overhead is a crystal mini-chandelier.
A curved archway leads to the kitchen which offers a well-blended composition of architectural features. The graceful mahogany cabinetry is “more like kitchen furniture,” says Rio. There are decorative carvings on both the cabinetry as well as the double soapstone sink.
The custom-built kitchen also features white marble countertops and backsplashes. There is a glass door commercial refrigerator/freezer, dual dishwashers and much more. A center island with a prep sink offers plentiful storage plus seating for four. Overhead hangs a six-arm Tiffany-style shade chandelier set in a ceiling medallion.
A second curved archway defines this area of the kitchen from another area that features a dual Wolfe range, a smaller prep island with two microwaves, ample cabinetry, a mahogany paneled ceiling, and another crystal chandelier.
Access is gained to the oversized dining room via two sets of double French doors with transom windows. The back wall of the dining room is curved and lined with large windows, giving it an elegant ballroom feeling. The views are spectacular. The room features, as does the adjoining family room and its adjoining study, custom inlaid wall panels and crown moldings.
A wrap-around balcony with retractable awning can be accessed from both the dining room and the living room.
The impressive living room offers its own architectural accents. A floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace is flanked by built-in mahogany bookshelves. In front of the fireplace is a striking section of marble inlay that invites guests to mingle near the hearth or dance on festive evenings.
This large room currently features a game room in the front section with a door leading out to a covered grill area.
Adjoining the living room is an area that would work perfectly as a home office or study. Two sets of stairs lead to the four bedrooms and upstairs game room. One stairway leads up from the mudroom and the second is across from the downstairs powder room.
The master bedroom suite features stunning views from its curved bank of windows. A windowed alcove offers a vantage point to the downstairs and an expanded view of the grounds. The suite also offers a spacious bathroom that features a travertine floor, two French provincial-style vanities with granite countertops, a Jacuzzi and a walk-in shower. The suite also features a walk-in closet.
There is a large guest bedroom with its own full bath, as well as two other bedrooms and a game room on the second floor.
Rio points out that a fully equipped apartment on the lower level of the house allows for flexible living arrangements. “It's the perfect house for a family who needs an au pair suite or an in-law apartment,” Rio says. The apartment has both independent access as well as access through the house.
This 1,015-square-foot area includes a large eat-in kitchen, a family room, a bedroom, a full bathroom and a laundry room.
The home also features natural gas and public water, central air and a double garage.