Are you an empty-nester in Darien seeking a new luxury home, one that’s big enough for the kids and grandkids to visit for a few days, but small enough to keep energy and maintenance costs to a minimum? Until recently, you might not have found such a place in town. “You would have had to move to New Canaan,” says Penny Glassmeyer, a developer and Darien resident who has seen many friends flee to Florida once the kids left home. Glassmeyer enlisted Architect Robert Cardello to design Knobel Hill, a cluster of luxury homes for seniors on Settler’s Trail. The homes went on the market in the fall, with an average price of $2.85 million.
LUXED OUT Cardello sought suggestions from Glassmeyer and her peers to come up with design features, including a master suite on the ground floor with walk-in closets, oversized tub, heated floors and glass-enclosed shower with no step. There’s also a mahogany-paneled library with vaulted ceilings and crown moldings. The designs are fiscally conservative, too, with heating and cooling systems that create a low carbon footprint.
FOR FOODIES With fewer mouths to feed, senior homeowners might opt for takeout, which should arrive in a flash, as Knobel Hill is five minutes from the Post Road. If you want to cook, though, you can do it in the high-end kitchen with six-burner Thermadore stove, quartzite counters, wine fridge and wet bar.
HEAD OUTSIDE You can enjoy coffee on the front porch and chat with neighbors, as all of the homes share a common courtyard. Or you can slip through French doors, which open to a flagstone patio out back. A deck overlooks landscaped and irrigated gardens that you won’t have to maintain. Costs are shared by the home-owners’ association.
GOING UP If you get around with a walker or wheelchair, in two of the homes you can pull your car into your garage, then wheel yourself into your elevator, which opens in the house on the first and second floors.
SMART DESIGN The first floor is where you’ll spend the most time; it features the master suite, kitchen, living room and library. Upstairs are bedooms for grandkids.
Photographs: Dennis M. Carbo Photography