235 Nashawtuc Hill ($3,275,000)

It’s been a while, it seems, since there’s been a grand house for sale on Nashawtuc Hill. This home, built in 1896, looks fairly modest from the exterior. It’s actually quite a large home (5,730 sq. ft. of living space), but it doesn’t feel huge inside. It’s more that each room is graciously proportioned, flowing out generously and effortlessly. Overall, the interior has a woodsy, mellowed feel (in large part from the quarter sawn oak floors), and loads of sunshine coming in from the rear windows. One of my favorite visual details is a pair of Corinthian columns framing the entrance to the living room. Lots of houses built or renovated today have Doric-type columns — yawn — but these ones are fluted and unabashedly ornate. They stand as elegantly as in a museum.

The spacious living room, dining room, and kitchen/family room all connect directly to a long stone terrace wrapping around the rear of the house and facing out to the shining river. While one disadvantage of the house is that doors open onto this terrace, rather than directly into the yard, the views and sense of suspension in space give this property an unusual feel. It’s a memorable place to be.

Often, houses of this age and level of graciousness have older kitchens. But here the kitchen is renovated, providing modern-day families the kind of space they enjoy. The master bedroom as well is very large, sunny, and communicates well with a good-size master bath. The top floor, while having a row of bedrooms as these large houses typically have — once having housed the maids — feels integrated with the rest of the house. I particularly liked the home office up here, with wide views from a rectangular window (with window seat) overlooking the open landscape. Also unusual for a house of this age, the basement is finished. I like the way the materials of this old home are not disguised to be something they’re not. For example, the old foundation is given a fresh white-wash, still keeping the walls looking irregular. Radiant tiles on the floor make the lower level space feel cozy, even on this cold day. Overall, it’s an amazingly beautiful property with a carriage house as well — making me suddenly want to move in with my in-laws!

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