Page 3 - BobHL

Basic HTML Version

t one time or another, many people dream of
waking up to a tranquil water vista, making a cup
of coffee, and then padding out to the deck to listen
to the birds sing, and soak in the view.
For most, it’s an indulgence limited to their annual
vacation getaway. Or it requires a time-consuming ritual of
planning, packing and driving to their beach or lake house, if
they have one.
For some lucky residents of West Hartford, however, it’s a
treat they can enjoy virtually all year long.
Tucked away between Tunxis and Ridgewood roads, just a
stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Westfarms mall
and I-84, are two little-known bodies of water: Wood Pond
and Woodridge Lake. Driving down aptly named Waterside
Lane, which runs between them, the average passerby
looking at the modest 1950s homes in that neighborhood
would have no idea of the treasures that lie behind them.
Walk around to the rear of one
of these properties and you step
into another world. With birds
wheeling overhead and canoes
gliding across the water, it feels like
the nearest mall is 50 miles away.
Several years ago, a buyer seeking
a restful place to live did just that.
Touring the property with a Realtor,
he saw past the unassuming front
façade and the ‘70s-era remodeling
projects to envision his dream home.
The view of Woodridge
Lake – and a small island
containing a boathouse and
cottage, and connected to the
main property by a wooden
footbridge – clinched the deal.
After two years of renovations
by a talented team that included
Farmington-based builder Bruce
Daigle and architect Jack Kemper,
the project earned the 2010 HOBI
award from the Home Builders
Association of Connecticut, in
the “Best Remodeled Home,
$1-2 million” category.
Kemper said the house, built in
1957, was “well-constructed for its
time.” But the recent transformation
made it “very much an improved
version of the original.”
When the project began, the new
owner had some ideas about what he
was looking for. “He had this really
beautiful picture book of woodsy,
Adirondack homes. And that was
the feel he wanted,” said Kemper.
“Our task was to improve the look
and layout of the house to suit his
needs, give it a more masculine
feel, and make the renovations fit
with the existing architecture.”
While the footprint would
remain almost exactly the same, a
number of changes were introduced
to make the home seem larger,
both visually and functionally.
“We put windows under the
eaves in the two front bedrooms on
the main floor to give a little more
height and architectural importance
to the front gable,” said Kemper. “We
also raised the chimney and made
it more of a powerful element.”
In addition, the front entrance
was given more prominence
with the addition of a porch. The
HM 09.11