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A Trip to Bountiful

A Wilton Property Rich in History and Natural Beauty



Photo Rana Faure––Outdoor Tablescapes Courtesy of Open House

How did a die-hard New Yorker and a high-energy finance guy with little patience for DIY projects and a penchant for competitive archery, end up buying an antique house on Seir Hill Road in need of a lot of TLC? It all came down to an informal—but binding—verbal agreement the couple made when they got married. 

“We made a deal,” explains Tammy Ward, “that if I got pregnant, we’d move to the country. I was a city girl. I grew up in apartments and had lived in Manhattan for 20-plus years in a one-bedroom on the Upper East Side—which I loved. John, on the other hand, is a country boy at heart from Williamsburg, Virginia.”

The couple was living in New York but also renting a house in Wilton to be close to Alex and Kyle, John’s two sons from a former marriage. 

In her 30s, Tammy, who had previously worked as a technology recruiter, stumbled into a successful and lucrative career as a fit model, working for major brands such as Calvin Klein, Gap, and Champion. Life was god. Great even. But then it got even better when Tammy discovered she was pregnant. 

A deal was a deal so the couple began their real estate search in Wilton, Westport, and Weston. “This was the first house we saw,” says Tammy. “John didn’t love it because basically it was a disaster, but I could see the potential.” 

The overall structure was confused. Built in 1878, the original dwelling was a classic farmhouse, with approximately 1,500 square feet of living space. In the 1950s, a dining room was added. In the 60s a lower family room addition was built, followed by a new kitchen, foyer, and second floor build in the ’90s, with three more bedrooms and two baths bringing the house total to 5,000 square feet. 

The décor throughout was tired. “Every single room was covered in peeling floral wallpaper,” says John. “All I saw was dollar signs and construction but I loved the property because it was flat enough for me to practice archery.” For Tammy, it was all about the massive oak tree in the backyard. “That tree sold me,” she says. “I immediately envisioned pushing my daughter on a tire swing. I also loved the porch. It was the perfect spot for lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner in the summertime.”

There were a lot of pros about the property, but also a long list of cons, so the couple kept looking. Another contender, a new build on Powder Horn Hill, was tempting but ultimately, the lack of a swimming pool and  professional landscaping deterred them. 

After seeing 15 potential houses, the Seir Hill property finally won them over. “It had the yard and the bones,” says Tammy. “We figured we could paint the walls, live in it for a while, and then figure out how to make it ours.”

And they did exactly that. The wallpaper came down and every surface was repainted. But Tammy, who was busy taking care of their young daughter Zoe, had no experience renovating a house. Enter Joss Citrone of Sheridan Interiors who helped the Wards define their vision. Like many redecorating projects, it all started with one room and the scope expanded from there. The formal parlor at the front of the house was being used solely for storage. John had become passionate about collecting bourbon and wanted a place to relax and showcase his 300-bottle collection. Once that room was transformed into a cozy bar and lounge, the dining room looked like it needed some attention too. Design plans for the kitchen, foyer, master bedroom, and living room followed. 

“Here in the living room we had dated olive green couches, an old Persian carpet, and a metal coffee table. It was a total mish-mash of discards,” says Tammy.  Now, it’s a sophisticated space with contemporary furnishings and a neutral palette of ivory and blue echoed throughout the house. 

After painting the solid wood kitchen cabinetry a warm white, adding new appliances, countertops, and fixtures, the kitchen has now become Tammy’s favorite room. “I love to cook so I basically live in the kitchen. I make jellies, jams, salsa, and tomato sauce and preserve the veggies that John grows. I can be in the center of it all. It is really the heart of our home.”

John favors the bourbon parlor room. “I leave for work at 6:15 a.m. and am not typically home until 8:30 p.m. My job is demanding and stressful so I want to relax. This is a space to unwind and catch up with Tammy.”

The couple has spent just as much time and expense on landscaping the exterior as they have on refurbishing the interior. After living in the house for about a year, John’s then 17-year-old son, Alex, noticed a small garden behind the garage that was completely overgrown. “He suggested that we go buy some plants and put them in, so we did.” Soon, John was hooked. “Because I can’t do anything small, I had our landscaper put in 600 square foot garden with raised beds. I went crazy with all the varieties of peppers, tomatoes, and asparagus, so I had another 15-by-15 foot garden installed for squash, pumpkins, watermelon, and zucchini.

But that wasn’t enough for this gentleman farmer. “One of my friends mentioned that beehives would double my yield of vegetables,  so I had two beehives installed and in the first year, we harvested 80 pounds of honey.”  

For outdoor entertaining, the couple doubled the patio square footage and created a sumptuous outdoor living room with a seating area, dining table, and water feature. Vibrantly colored flowers bloom throughout the property all summer long making the space even more magical. 

And Tammy got her wish. At the very back of the beautiful two-acre property stands the gracious 75 year-old maple tree, with an oversize tire swing where six-year-old Zoe loves to swing, long hair flying, as she is gently pushed by her mother.

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December 2018

Sunday, December 9th at 3:00 PM. Open to all ages. Come to watch several short silent comedies at this fun event hosted by renowned silent film accompanist and historian Ben Model. Ben Model...

Cost: Free

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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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On December 9 from 12 – 3 p.m. bring your knitting projects or spinning wheels and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with seasoned knitters and spinners. They will coach you on your knitting challenges...

Cost: Free, but donations in support of New Pond Farm's fleecy flock will be welcomed!

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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  The Wilton Conservation Commission will host a walk at Cherry Lane Park this Sunday beginning at 1 pm. to be led by Commissioner Colleen O'Brian.  All are welcome, including dogs on leash. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherry Lane Park
41 Cherry Lane
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Conservation Commission
Telephone: 203 210-5240
Contact Name: Jackie Algon
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Music on the Hill bell ringers add festive music to holiday shopping at the Westport store. Bells will ring at intervals throughout the afternoon. Kids may join in with sleigh bells. Stop by...

Cost: free

Where:
Westport Barnes and Noble Booksellers
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Westport, CT  06880
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
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James Lancel McElhinney, journal-artist, author, Yale alumnus and  Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient will unfold the epic story of painted books, from the Age of Exploration to the digital era. He...

Cost: 0.00

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Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Laurie McGavin Bachmann
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Cost: free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
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The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Bedford Chamber Concert Series continues its 2018-19 season, featuring an all-Vivaldi holiday program. Anthony Newman and the Bedford Chamber Ensemble will perform “The...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: St. Matthew's Music Committee
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Music on the Hill presents a festive concert of the Jubilate Ringers handbell choir and Festival Chorus performing classic carols and songs. Featured: the premiere of "Stars over Snow:...

Cost: Free, with donations welcome: $20 suggested.

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road (Rte. #106)
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Come and meet award-winning columnist, author, and founder of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc, Julie Jason. She'll be signing her most recent books, The Retirement Survival Guide, Managing...

Cost: 0

Where:
Barnes & Noble at the Stamford Town Center
100 Greyrock Place
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Julie Jason
Telephone: 203-322-1198
Contact Name: Theresa Robbins
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On Saturday, December 15th, at 6:30 PM, New Pond Farm Education Center will be hosting a public astronomy program where we hope to see Comet Wirtanen and some meteors from the Geminid meteor...

Cost: $4 per New Pond Farm member (max. $16 per family) and $6 per non-member (max. $2

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Contact Name: New Pond Farm
Website »

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