The town of Chester was recently featured in the July edition of Hartford Magazine where writer Amy Starensier Lee offered this snapshot of the downtown area: “Chester more resembles a small European village than a typical New England town. Though small in stature, it has soul to spare.”
The Chester Forest Estates community is just minutes from the town of Chester, making it easy for residents to take advantage of the eclectic mix of shops featuring fine arts and crafts blended with local markets offering everything from prepared foods to organic produce. Main Street also offers 10 different restaurants ranging from “cheap and cheerful to splurge-worthy” according to Lee.
Chester Forest Estates’ location puts it at the top of the list for homebuyers looking for premium new construction in a charming town. Developer Alan Williams has seized the opportunity to create “unique, custom designed homes in a great little town that represents ‘the good life’ as we know it.”
After many years of experience designing and building high-end homes as large as 10,000 square feet, Williams says that he sensed a growing need for more modestly sized homes for empty nesters. Although Williams offers a number of basic plans that embrace first-floor living as well as colonial-style design, he says that these are often just starting points for a discussion that leads to the creation of a total custom “dream home.”
The model home at Chester Forest Estates shows the full range of Williams’ design talents. The three-bedroom, 3,456-square-foot home is listed at $589,000 and is styled with a number of nautical elements as well as premium finishes.
Quarry stone steps lead to the front of the house with its deep toned solid wood door with beaded inset. As you step inside, you’re greeted by a wide foyer and hallway connecting to the main living area and first-floor master suite.
Natural finish oak flooring covers the great space that runs the full 43-foot width of the home. It flows from the custom kitchen to the living room with its cathedral ceiling and includes plenty of space for a dining area in between. In the kitchen, two 11-foot black leather textured granite countertops form an L-shape against exterior walls and join at a pair of corner mounted windows that offer a wooded view and cast light in two directions. Additional counter space is provided by a granite and mahogany two-tiered center island with built-in deep sink and dishwasher and by the nearly six-foot-long side counter cabinet.
Multiple crown moldings adorn the juncture of the kitchen’s wall and ceiling and a raised reverse beadboard soffit trimmed with mahogany over the center island resembles a ship’s deck. A five-burner Cafe series gas double oven in stainless steel finish is included along with a full set of matching General Electric brand appliances.
The great room living area is anchored by a quarry stone fireplace accented with a yellow granite lintel. A nearby port-hole shaped window continues the nautical theme that runs throughout the home. Plenty of light comes in through a bank of three windows facing the wooded backyard and a large eyebrow window set into the cathedral ceiling mimics the lines of a ship’s stern as it brings in light from above.
The first-floor master suite takes advantage of a southern exposure with two large double-hung windows. Light, bright marble tile lines the master bath floor and shower stall with built-in seat. The beveled backsplash of the marble-topped mahogany vanity is accented with a camelback cut that overlays the full-width mirror adding a bonus touch of elegance.
All the building lots at Chester Forest Estates offer at least 100 feet of buffer space between homes and all lots are bordered by natural woodlands that are protected from future development. The smallest building lot is two acres and all the lots afford considerable flexibility in configuring a custom home in a private setting.
Williams says that he anticipates his customers will want homes ranging from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet but he is certainly willing to build considerably larger homes for customers who have needs for spaces such as music rooms, home theaters or expansive entertaining areas. There are no age restrictions for family members at Chester Forest Estates and Williams feels that the community provides an ideal place in which to raise a family.
In addition to the amenities in town, Chester’s proximity to the Connecticut River offers boaters a number of marinas and access to recreational opportunities on the water for all. Chester Airport provides yet another convenient means of escape making it easy to get away to Block Island, Martha’s Vinyard or anywhere else in New England.
Top-notch entertainment is just minutes away at the Goodspeed Opera House, one of the nation’s leading regional theaters that has produced a number of Broadway hit musicals. The unofficial gateway to Long Island Sound, Old Saybrook, is just 10 miles down the road where plenty of shopping and additional services can be found. Drive time to both New York and Boston is approximately two hours and commutes to Hartford, New Haven and New London take just 45 minutes or less.
Chester Forest Estates is holding an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21. For more information on the community or to schedule a private showing of the model home, contact builder Alan Williams of Williams Realty Services at 860-872-4663.
Builder: ASW LLC
Style: Contemporary Cape
Baths: 2 full, 2 half
Square footage: 3,456 square feet
Acreage: 2.74 acres
Tax rate: 21.95 mills
Best features: Premium custom construction with creative detailing
Contact: Alan Williams, Williams Realty Services, 860-872-4663
Tony Bacewicz is a freelance writer based in Old Saybrook.