If the beach isn’t your jam, then perhaps this restored jewel of a farmhouse is for you. Perched on a gentle hillside and set on 1.38 acres, this 2,374-square-foot home at 9 Sunshine Road on Shelter Island offers a bucolic setting that is still within walking distance of the center of town, where you’ll find the public library, Shelter Island Historical Society, Peeko Oyster Barn and Black Cat Books, among other charming conveniences.
“This area of the island was established in the late 1700s and there are lovely farmhouses that dot the streets in what we call ‘the center,’” says Penelope Moore of Saunders & Associates, who is the listing agent for the home.
“Sunshine Road is not well traveled, so it is relatively quiet,” she says. “The seller is a designer who was captivated by the rural character of the road, the lot size, which is unique in the area, and the bones of the farmhouse itself.”
Built in 1900, the house underwent a top to bottom renovation in 2022 that opened up interior walls to maximize the natural light and added a full spa bath on the ground floor. It also created a new partial basement, accessed through exterior Bilco doors, and poured a concrete floor in the pre-existing crawl space so it could be used for storage.
The house is entered through the quintessential rocking-chair porch leading to a 12-foot-long foyer and stairs leading to the second floor. To the immediate right is under-the-stair storage and to the left, the entry to the 180-square-foot living room, featuring a wide entry way, a second egress to the dining room and three windows.
Anchoring the first floor is the nearly 300-square-foot dining area, with a wide entry into the kitchen and double doors leading to the patio, visually expanding the space and, in the summer, physically expanding it. Matching doors in the 200-square-foot kitchen lead to the patio, making the dining/kitchen area ideal for entertaining. Another set of double doors leads to the side.
The kitchen has been simply renovated with the work area at one end and cupboards, including the integrated refrigerator, at the other. In between, a marble-topped work station offers seating for two. All appliances and fixtures are high end: La Cornue French range, Liebherr refrigerator, Miehle dishwasher and Rohl fixtures.
Throughout the house, the designers chose fine details such as Farrow and Ball paint, Forbes and Lomax toggle light switches, English rim locks with all hardware in unlacquered brass and mid-century modern Italian and French light fixtures. The current owners restored the original doors and installed Marvin windows and doors elsewhere. On the first floor, they replaced the floors with new wide-plank oak treated with a non-gloss seal to make them look natural and unfinished.
The first floor includes a 118-square-foot bonus room that can be used as sitting room, home office or guest accommodation, as it’s located across the hall from the new spa bathroom.
Upstairs, the three bedrooms, ranging from 150 to 204 square feet, share two bathrooms fully renovated with Lefroy Brooks and Waterworks fixtures and glass-tiled showers. Two of the bedrooms could be made en-suite with further renovation. The second-level floors are the original pine, sanded and sealed.
The large barn, says Moore, “is a fantastic future project or can be left as it is.” On the ground floor is a summer game room currently housing a ping pong table, and the second-story loft area, with its wide knotty-pine floor and exposed rafters, has been finished and is “a blank canvas” Moore says, suitable as an additional recreation room, a studio or a summer office.
The plot is ringed by century-old trees with a mature productive fig tree just outside the kitchen (think jam or lovely summer salads!). The edged patio immediately adjacent to the house is crushed gravel with a flagstone-paved area for barbequing.
The nearest beach is Wades Beach, just 1.2 miles to the south; Crescent Beach is 2.7 miles to the north near the Shelter Island Country Club (locally known as Goat Hill), a 9-hole public golf course. The historical society hosts a lively, well-stocked farmer’s market in the summer, Sylvester Manor offers a popular CSA and farm stand, and there are other, small vegetable, egg and fish purveyors around the island, which has a rich farming history that complements that of the home’s.
The farmhouse at 9 Sunshine Road is listed for $2,395,000; details are here.