By Jan Tormay
As if lifted from a delightful children’s storybook, an expanded A-frame at 4 Gounod Road in Westerly promises to be a dream come true. Enjoy the smell of lilacs, honeysuckle and wild gravevines wafting through the air, while bunnies, owls, foxes, deer and other wildlife play in marked trails throughout the Shelter Harbor community. On a whim, walk one-half mile to saltwater at Quonochontaug Pond’s Grove Dock where you can store your kayak and go swimming and fishing. A short drive by car or a quick boat trip, you can also be by the sea at Shelter Harbor Fire District Beach for a day of swimming, crabbing, and clamming. You might even see a seal!
This heavenly setting has a wonderful backstory, which explains why all the street signs in the neighborhood are named after famous composers and musicians: Verdi, Rossini, Wagner, Grieg, Handl, Brahms, Gershwin, Schumann, Verdi, and Gounod.
In 1911, Dr. Franklin Lawson purchased a building and opened The Shelter Harbor Inn in order to found a community for New York City musicians. After other artists purchased surrounding farmland lots, the new community was named “Musicolony.” It became the seaside place they could come to rest, relax, and practice their music between summer and winter performance seasons. By the early 1920s, the community included many non-musicians, so it changed its name to Shelter Harbor. It still remains one of the most sought after places to live.
Set back from the road at the end of a dead-end street with 2 lots and almost one-half acre of property at 4 Gounod Road, is a cedar-shingled, A-framed home that beckons. A long, gravel driveway leads to an oversized, one-car garage with a painted floor. Beyond the clearing in the back, is the extra wooded lot that extends to Wagner Road. The forested area on the left is designated open space and belongs to Shelter Harbor and the State of Rhode Island. On the right the arborvitae bushes and a fence provide privacy.
A magical slate pathway surrounded by sea shells brings you to a front deck that wraps around the left side where you can also exit.
Enter this contemporary home with cathedral ceilings and pine planking on both sides of the angled entry way, which resemble the hull of a ship. Large windows everywhere maintain a light-and-airy atmosphere throughout this home. Tile flooring flows throughout most of the first level’s open floor plan. On the right, is a dining area with a beautiful chandelier. The living area on the left offers a cozy setting with a brick, gas-fireplace in which to relax, read a book, or watch television.
The adjacent eat-in kitchen is beautifully designed with dark marble countertops and cherrywood cabinetry with pull-out, soft-close drawers. The white appliances include a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and self-cleaning oven with flat-top stove. A huge, nearby island with a black marble countertop and breakfast bar contrast elegantly against white cabinetry underneath it.
Down a hallway is a large master bedroom suite with a double closet and carpeted floors. A pocket door leads directly into the full bath. Another door exits into the hallway, which also makes this bathroom accessible for guests.
An abundance of closet space in the hallway and rooms offer ample space to store linen, clothes, and cleaning supplies.
Continue on towards the back of the house and through another door into the Great Room with tile flooring and a wet bar with space for a mini-refrigerator. This room is extraordinary! Its focal point is a stone, wood-burning fireplace that stretches from the floor to the ceiling. It is flanked on both sides with cabinetry to store electronics and other items. Tucked behind doors on the opposite side of the room are a washer and dryer. For fresh air, press a button to open high, remote-controlled windows. Double French doors lead to a huge slate patio and private yard. An enclosed outdoor shower and changing area with seating has also been added.
Ascend the stairs to the second level to a lovely loft den that overlooks the first floor. From this vantage point, you have a fantastic view of nature and the beautiful trees and shrubbery through large windows. With a built-in desk and room for a couch and chairs, the loft makes a perfect office, study, or place to listen to music. Imagine someone playing a grand piano or other musical instrument on the first floor and the melody drifting upwards. Diamond-grille Tudor windows add to the atmosphere in this airy loft, as well as one of the 2 roomy bedrooms. A full bath also serves this floor.
For more living space, head to the huge lower-level with tile flooring, recessed lighting, and lots of closet space. White wainscoting and a chair rail add charm to this wide-open space. Utilize the finished basement as an entertainment area or transform it into a guest suite with a kitchenette.
Built in 1984, this expanded A-frame offers 1,989 square feet of living space on the first and second floors and another 788 square feet on the lower level for a combined total of 2,777 square feet of beautifully-designed living area.
This house is heated and cooled with five ductless Fujitsu units. Electric baseboard heating is also available on the first and second floors. A built-in house-fan, as well as ceiling fans throughout the home, can be utilized to circulate sea breezes.
This delightful home also offers one-level living for those who need it. With a master bedroom suite and a washer and dryer on the first floor, it is not necessary for those with health issues to go to the second floor or basement.
There are many ways to have fun at Shelter Harbor. Besides all the fresh-and-saltwater activities, private tennis courts, and marked walking trails, you can apply to join the Winnapaug Yacht Club. Throughout the year, there are also many neighborhood activities such potluck picnics, card games, and mahjong – which help you to get to know your neighbors. The biggest Shelter Harbor event is held on the Fourth of July with fireworks on the beach, a parade, potluck-picnic, and road race. Renters and guests are invited to attend all community events.
You’ll also revel in having deeded ocean beach rights to nearby Shelter Harbor Fire District Beach and living one-half mile from Quonochontaug Pond where you can store your kayak and canoe, launch your boat, and apply for a mooring.
Minutes from Interstate-95 and Route 2, this expanded A-frame home is close to the hospital, shopping venues and the train station, which can whisk you away to New York or Boston. Plus, you can walk to Shelter Harbor Inn for a divine breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The listing price for this cedar-shingled home built in 1984 on almost half an acre of land at 4 Gounod Road in Westerly’s Shelter Harbor is $624,000. All furnishings are for sale. For information or a private tour, contact Realtor Denise Fusaro of Randall, Realtors at 401-265-9148, or by email at email@example.com