Archive for May, 2012

Memorial Day weekend

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Something very special about living in this town is our show of patriotism. Here are some highlights from 2012.

Over 2000 flags are placed on the graves of veterans every year

We salute our veterans today and every day and the yellow ribbon will stay on until they are all home.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flea is a small shop in the heart of Rowayton village (1588 Rowayton Avenue) that we came upon one day during open houses.  What initially caught our eye was the gorgeous new garage in the parking lot behind Sails Restaurant.  I am planning on building a detached garage (one day) and wanted to take a closer look.  We then realized that there was a cute shop housed in the garage.  Run by Laura Grabe and Laura Jayson (aka the dough girl), they have turned this garage into something special.  The spot is stocked with everything from dog beds and tunics, framed art, woven baskets and candles.  The best part is you can shop while tasting the delicious dough girl treats and Espresso Neat coffee.

dough*girl baking company has been run by Laura Jayson since 2007 and her tasty treats have been blessing us all over town.  She runs the shop in the morning, then goes to her kitchen in Stamford and bakes her treats for the next day.  She rises at the crack of dawn and delivers them to places like Espresso Neat before heading back to Flea.Her passion truly shows and their taste is second to none.  Don’t miss this little jewel in Rowayton.

Laura Jayson of dough girl fame

I had found these stools and have been lusting after them ever since.  I needed 5 but they only had 4.  I decided to go back last week to see if somehow, magically, 5 would appear.

Antique stools with a cool blue chevron fabric

Well they still only had 4 (someone PLEASE buy these fab stools) but I stumbled across something even more special.  Right there in front of me was a Dorothy Draper Imposter Chest.  I could not believe my eyes!  I was so nervous to look at the price tag…..these typically run over $1000 in poor condition and this one was in very good shape.  When I saw the price was $450 I could not believe my eyes. I was about to own my very first Draper Imposter. For more information on Dorothy Draper and her Heritage Chests check out this great write up by Circa Who.

I can't believe they have not sold this huge Xanax

The prettiest looking surfboard

You can even pick up some Dough Girl treats and coffee

We loaded it into my car and it just fit!!!

Into the house it went and fit perfectly in my living room. Even my husband liked it. Thinking of a Christopher Spitzmiller lamp with a pop of color like chartreuse or orange.

So in anticipation of Memorial Day check out this cute shop tucked into a corner of Rowayton village. It is the kind of place that when you leave, will have found a friend and a new local lust!

26 Greenleaf Avenue

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last week we had an opportunity to revisit 26 Greenleaf Avenue, asking $2,650,000 listed by Ann Griswold at Kelly Associates, on a quiet lane close to town referred to as “Bump Along”. This has intrigued us for quite a while  (and even more so now with a new price reduction) and let us show you why. THIS PROPERTY IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE/Kelly Associates.

Love the curb appeal of this 1931 colonial and how it is sited on 1.86 acres

The library with gorgeous paneling

The house has so much room  (5755 square feet and 7 bedrooms!) but once again it has something we love, perfectly sized rooms that are not too big or too small.  You walk into this home which is in super condition, and are met with a home with loads of character. The curved staircase and the ceiling beams all add to this charm.  There is great detail everywhere we looked. It took me a while to move on past the stunning lighting fixtures that run throughout this house and tie it together so well.

Oh how I wish I knew where the owners bought these

Variation on the main sconces that run throughout the house – upstairs landing

Looking into the living room from the family room

Family room-runs along the back of the house with french doors leading into the rooms and french doors leading outside

The kitchens has plenty of sunny space, a dining and sitting area


Love the glass pantry door – nice touch.

My dream –  a second refridgerator, freezer and of course, a wine refridgerator

When you get upstairs you are treated to loads of wonderful space for a family.  There are 7 bedrooms with common space for the kids or guests.  This could be so fun especially since there is also a great basement space.

Love how they worked this into the one bedroom. Wouldn’t you want to study back there?

The master has its own private enclave and is very warm and inviting.

Master Bath

We even noticed the nice touches on the baseboard covers

Then it is off through the most gorgeous mudroom I have ever seen. Beautiful paneled walls (love the color) and slate floors. There is more than enough room for all the gear in here.

Look at this screened in porch – amazing!!!

Of course what I love the most…..the pool

Check out all the detail. Another great door handle

If you would like to see this wonderful home on Bump Along, let us know.


If you are working with an agent, this is not a solicitation.



Monday, May 21, 2012


PRICE: $200

DIMENSIONS (in inches):

HEIGHT:  Glass – 15, Whole fixture 26


The chain cane be replaced with longer one or shortened.  It is currently 3 feet long. Bought at Kaff’s.


California dreaming on Five Mile River

Friday, May 18, 2012

I read recently in athome magazine (Moffley Media) that Design within Reach had moved their headquarters from California to Stamford, CT!  And, they have opened up a new beautiful store as well.  I was so excited to hear that Design within Reach had come to our corner of Connecticut.  Love it! So chic.  Everyone needs a little sleek, modern and simple style infused into their life here in Darien.  To that end, it suddenly occurred to me that “Contemporary Cottage”(18 Five Mile River), as it is called by   Kelly Associates,  is the perfect candidate for someone who wants to create that ‘California Livin’ on Five Mile River.  The person who ends up buying this house is really going to have a fun and exciting project.  Asking $1,375,000 listed by Sheree Frank at Kelly Associates.  If you would like to see this property, please call us.

The great room at Five Mile River


Imagine what these windows at Five Mile River could do? 

Five Mile River Great Room

Love this Californian home-natural wood and loads of white paint

Cool lighting can “light up your space”

DWR super cool furniture will make all the difference

Don’t forget about the outdoor space

DWR can help you with just about everything-including the outdoor space

We challenge you to try to think outside of the “colonial box” with this home.  Five Mile River will pay dividends with its location and is hard to go wrong with such a sought after address. Perhaps you can turn the garage into a mudroom and add a California type portico for your cars OR do what most people do and just leave your cards outside.  Whatever you do, let us know!  And let us know if you want to see it.


-Kim and Abigail



If you are working with an agent, this is not a solicitaiton.


Heaven on Hollow Tree

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I have always been intrigued by what lies beyond the pillars

We knew it was coming, and we were lucky to preview this 1920’s house at 593 Hollow Tree Ridge Road, down at the end of a lovely country driveway. Asking $2,800,000 through Kelly Associates, be the first in!

What an entrance

Down the long, perfectly maintained pebble driveway.

What a statement this gracious home makes. We couldn't wait to get inside.

We have talked about front doors before and this will be no exception.  This is a door!  Heavy, wide, and laden with much love – check out the door knocker.

Really good door knocker!

Imagine the shock when we walked in and saw THE WALLPAPER.  It is THE WALLPAPER that inspired us to use the pineapple as our own signature at Real in Darien. Something about this particular pineapple is quite perfect.  And It is just the appetizer for the rest of the house.

One side of the living room

It is all in the details… the wide staircase, the beautifully proportioned second floor landing, the old hardwood floors, the french windows in the living room, the shutters, the terrace that wraps around the sunroom and bucolic garden out back.  The sun light that pours into the living room, even the linen closet at the top of the stairs is “old school”: doors and draws inside the closet.  No, you cant keep her fabulous furniture, but you can create your own paradise here as Hannah has over the years. This is a very special house and will make the next owners very happy.

Love the bird cages-they are superb in this sunroom.

That orange is ideal in this dining room.

Interesting den feature


Family room should be in a magazine

Breakfast area


Even if your daughter doesn't ride, what an amazing spot in this bedroom

The landing is more impressive in person

Nothing like the real thing

Ivy, ivy everywhere

Sublime pond with a fountain

The patio is sited well off the sunroom-ideal for entertaining

Another spot for relaxing outdoors

We hated to say goodbye



Don’t miss this opportunity to live in a home with such timeless elegance.  Call us for a showing of this once in a lifetime spot.





If you are working with an agent, this is not a solicitation.

Getting back to the garden

Monday, May 14, 2012

We started this entry weeks ago, with every intention to post, and then other ideas got in the way.  I still think we can start by saying that we have had an early and mild Spring this year.  It is SO FUN to be back in the garden!

First bloom in the planters… the pansies

The weather being just so beautiful these past few months is making us think about the garden; picking up winter scraps on the lawn, getting the pansies in, and getting the flower beds ready for the summer.  It is a little early, but since mother nature is forcing us to face Spring early this year (no winter whatsoever!), lets do it!

Mix and match colors and textures

In this Spring market, it is so nice to see what gardens are coming into bloom.   Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I will take you back to 5 Salem Straits. Listed through Kelly Associates.   If you would like to see this property, we would be happy to show you.

Can’t wait to see this in full bloom at 5 Salem Straits

Something that really popped out at me was the cutting room at 45 Ridge Acres. (Now under contract through Halstead/Darien). It’s beautiful; the red brick floor and soft moss green on the walls are very chic.  This is the kind of cutting room those of us who garden dream about.  It is such a treat to have a place where you can create beautiful arrangements from your own garden. You can work in a shed, or in the corner of your garage.  Yes! Use that third garage bay for a garden center of your very own.   If you want to go to the next step and add a sink , I saw a gorgeous one at Good Food Good Things.  The stone urns underneath are pretty fab as well.

One of a kind sink available at Good Food, Good Things, Darien, CT.

Sink details

A trough made into a potting sink  I saw at Pergola in New Preston, CT  very durable and perfect for potting and cutting flowers. This is a beauty!

I was in my neighbor’s greenhouse the other day which is a lovely stone/glass structure in her garden.  The sink at Good Food Good Things or Pergola (in New Preston, CT) would be Divine in there!  You don’t see a lot of spaces like this around here, it would be so exciting to have a greenhouse like this!

Think candlelight dinner under the stars

From my own potting shed. Couldn’t resist these pink ranunculus.

Yes, pink works really well for me. Never go wrong with pink.

Getting back to all the gardening to be done, something we encourage is potted flowers and plants.  These days the urns you can find are beautiful without spending too much money.  Potted flowers are easier to manage and much less maintenance.  You are not weeding all summer, (some of us enjoy garden work, some of us don’t) and they are wonderful additions to a terrace.  And, of course, window boxes.  But get creative.  Don’t just stick the old ivy and typical flowers that we see everywhere.  Experiment with texture, and go for it!

Planted these for Mothers Day

Look at how the window boxes give my shed a little love!

I was wandering New Preston, CT and one of the treasures up there is Pergola, a sophisticated yet down to earth garden shop with a “green” approach to the garden. They have a lot in pots and beautiful garden accessories (note the garden sink they have built from a trough). If you ever find yourself wandering around Litchfield County, make a stop at Pergola!

At Pergola in New Preston, CT.

Beautiful old fashioned table and chairs at Pergola

Cherry blossoms at Pergola

More beautiful garden accessories at Pergola

Inside Pergola

Flower pots that will be lovely inside and out doors

Lastly, but certainly not least,  few of the best garden resources are very close to Darien.  Mariani Gardens is, hands down, the best one in the area, if not the Tri-State.  This is a totally different (not necessarily better) experience than White Flower Farm, or Elise or any of the better flower/shrub farms.  Mariani Gardens is an all encompassing garden experience – and you can take a break from shopping the extraordinary species and have a lovely lunch at their cafe . Its a great way to spend the day.  Check it out!

An extraordinary experience at Mariani Gardens

A little bit more local, Elise Nursery is another great option for landscape design. This is one example.

An old stand by. White Flower Farms is always considered one of the best sources for flowers and shrubs. 







If you are working with an agent, this is not a solicitation.

Welcome to our new online consignment shop

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We will help you find fun and interesting pieces through our new consignment shop!

We are now offering a place to sell your furniture, pillows, lighting fixtures or anything else that you don’t want to take with you when you move.  Or, if you are moving and need a few pieces to jazz up your new house, it could be waiting for you right here.  Antiquing and furniture makeovers have always been a hobby of ours and all it took was one smart and savvy friend to suggest we try incorporating it onto our blog.

Just send us an email with a picture and price you would like for it. If we agree that the price is fair and the item is Real in Darien worthy, then we will post. Our commissions are VERY competitive.

Go ahead, clean out the attic or look for just the thing your home has been missing.  Forget the antique stores and start here.  We promise to make shopping fun and the prices reasonable.

and the results are in…..

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Check out the winner of the Farrow and Ball front door contest! Congratulations and thank you for the divine inspiration.

Estia’s…On Our Minds!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The ladies who lunch in Darien have never had it so good.  For that matter, we all haven’t had it so good! After the best breakfast around and another mouth watering lunch we decided to return with camera in hand.  At 12 noon, there was not a table to be had.  The food is fantastic, the ambiance is terrific, decor very cool and the bar is very inviting (probably not for breakfast, but certainly for lunch!) Estia’s Little Kitchen started in Sag Harbor around 12 years ago. Collin Ambrose, the owner, “the chief cook and bottle washer”, has now brought his talent and expertise to Darien, and we hope he will continue this great tradition of good food right here for many years to come!


Off the menu: a delicious combo of egg, avocado, tomato and Andouille.

Daily special. The veggie burger. Not like any other!


View from the bar.


The much anticipated opening for dinner is tonight and I bet it does not disappoint.  We are very lucky.  Go check it out if you haven’t.  From what we understand, it is quickly becoming the “go to restaurant”.


The world is getting smaller

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I picked up my new issue of House Beautiful and while I don’t usually pay attention to Restoration Hardware ads, I was struck by it this time.  It said

“The world is getting smaller (and so are we)”.

Small doesn’t have to mean plain and boring


It goes on to say how they are listening to their clients by making smaller furniture for smaller homes.  If you live in a small home your style should not be diminished and they have begun to recognize that.


Turn your attic space into the office you have always dreamed of

I live in a small home and have always dreamed about all of the closets, and rooms, I thought would make my home and life perfect. But with age comes the wisdom to realize that closets won’t make you happy.  So while I still wish for a little more space, I now realize that my small home does bring me happiness.  First off, it is so easy to manage.  It takes me seconds to get from the kitchen to the living room to the family room so I have less travel time to pick up all the things my kids seem to drop for me.  My oil, cleaning and landscaping bills are not killing us which eases stress (we have enough of that in our lives).   But most importantly,  I buy less “stuff” –  more quality and less quantity.

Don’t be afraid to use vibrant wallpaper in a small space

After all those years of wishing for more, I am so happy with less.

Use fresh color in a small space

When I first moved here a friend referred to my house as a “cottage” and  I almost passed out.  Now I giggle as I reflect back on it and realize that cottage has become the place I most want to be.


Many of our favorite homes in this blog are smaller because they typically ooze the charm and character we seek when looking at homes with our clients.




If you are working with an agent, this is not a solicitation.