Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dominick Dunne's Clouds

The entrance to Dominick Dunne's weekend retreat in Hadlyme, Connecticut.
Sixteen years ago, in 1993, Dominick Dunne, after decades of living in California and New York, bought what would become a weekend retreat for himself in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

He knew the area well. He’d been renting in nearby Fenwick (where Katharine Hepburn lived) for quite some time. And when he was a kid, growing up in West Hartford, his family summered in nearby Old Saybrook.

The house is on a five-acre plot, a knoll of a peninsula overlooking Whalebone Cove, surrounded by acres of Nature Conservancy land. “I don’t know if it was the view or the house I fell in love first,” he recalled. “As a sort of a joke,” he later wrote, he called the house Clouds after the name of the mansion in his novel “An Inconvenient Woman.”
The Colonial style house is located in a historic preservation neighborhood.
The front door.
A contemporary Saltbox/Colonial style house, built in 1961, it has seven spacious rooms, three bedrooms and as well as a garage with an adjacent guest apartment which Dominick turned into an office and working space for himself. It was to become, quite naturally, a setting which Dominick incorporated in many of his novels.

As the years passed, he spent as much time there as possible. It was perfect for the quiet needed to write his novels. Although he lived alone, he frequently had houseguests who were in from Europe or the West Coast. He also developed a number of close friends in the area and so there was a lively and talkative social life available to him as much as he wanted it.
Corner of the Living room which sometimes served as background for Dominick's television shows
As the world knows, Dominick died at age 83, at his East Side apartment here in New York, last August 26th. His son and heir, the actor/director Griffin Dunne has put the house on the market.

The house features wide wood floors throughout, custom doors, detailed wood paneling, crown molding and central air.The 30 x 21 living room has a beautiful, large fireplace with wood mantle and leather wrap around seat warmer, as well as a built-in early American style corner cabinet and custom built-ins, all of which were used by Dominick (and are immediately recognizable) for his television shows and documentaries.
The Living Room.
The library/family room.
Traditional 12 over 12 windows look out onto the Cove, French doors open to the stone patio, and a rolling lawn sweeps down to the Gazebo, which Dominick often used to entertain or simply enjoy the closeness of nature and the protected Cove where a small boat can be launched.

The cozy library also has built-ins, an entertainment center, and a leaded bay-window with broad views of the cove.

The country style eat-in kitchen also has a bay window looking onto the cove as well as access to the patio.
The Dining Room.
One of the Guest Bedrooms
There is a formal Colonial style dining room with antique candles sconces and fireplace.

The master suite upstairs also has a fireplace as well as dormer windows overlooking the cove. Dominick had a large dressing room is lined with four expansive closets. The master bath has green marble floors again, also overlooking the patio and Cove. There are two guest bedrooms with a fireplace in one of them.

This unique property is located on a quiet country road, halfway between New York and Boston and close to all major transportation, one of Dominick’s favorite routes in going to visit friends: the ferry over to Chester, active since the 18th century.
Dominick's Dressing Room.
The Master Bedroom.
The sitting area of the Master Bedroom.
The house is offered at $1.75 million. The broker was a close mutual friend of Dominick -- Colette Harron who is with William Pitt Sotheby International Realty on 55 Main Street in Essex, Connecticut.

Dir: (860) 767-7936 x 306
Cell: (860) 304-2391
Fax: (860) 767-4977
Other Off. 767-7488
Email: Colette Harron
?iew of the cove from the terrace.
The gazebo.
View of the rear of the house from the gazebo.
Looking onto the Nature Preserve.
 

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