Carol Ammon knew she wanted at least 10 acres in bucolic Greenville, Del., when she and Marie Pinizzotto were house-hunting.
“I always loved that area and knew it would be my home,” she said. “The proximity to everything was so perfect.”
In 2006, they purchased an 8.5-acre parcel abutting Winterthur Museum and its preserved 1,000 acres and started talking about everything they wanted in a dream home.
“I wanted a larger home but wanted the inside to really feel cozy,” Ammon said. “I really wanted to be able to look out and enjoy the beautiful land behind us.”
They worked with a local architect to design a custom home with five bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and views in every direction.
“We dreamed it, and he designed it,” Ammon said.
In addition to features such as Italian granite countertops and an espresso bar in the kitchen, as well as a private elevator and 11 fireplaces, they decided they wanted the lower level of the home to be focused on entertaining. An idea came to them when they were looking at the property’s blueprints.
“We said, ‘My goodness it’s big enough for a bowling alley,' ’’ Ammon said. “So we thought, why not put that in? We might as well.”
The entertaining level now boasts a full-sized bowling alley (shoe nooks included) and a wine cellar with room for more than 2,000 bottles.
“It’s so much fun when you have a party. No one wants to admit they like to bowl, but everybody loves it,” Ammon said.
The property also was designed for overnight guests. It includes a three-bedroom, two-bath gatehouse, as well as a single apartment over the detached three-car garage.
“I love people and wanted to make sure we could entertain people on the weekends,” she said.
Guests also can enjoy the sprawling terrace overlooking the in-ground pool and pool house (complete with kitchen and bathroom).
Ammon said the loggia, which includes an outdoor fireplace and drapes, is among her favorite parts of the property.
“That loggia is just a delightful room,” she said. “Spring, summer, fall, we sit out there and make a fire.”
She said Pinizzotto is likely to call the chef’s kitchen her favorite spot. “She’s a wonderful cook. She certainly enjoys the kitchen very much," Ammon said.
The couple have recently decided to list the home for sale because they are ready to downsize. Friends are staying on the property at the moment.
“We’re only in residency about three months a year,” Ammon said. "If our life was such that we could be there 12 months a year, we would never put it on the market.”
She said they hoped the property would be sold to another family who will treat the home like a living object.
“I want [someone] to buy this as a family that can just love this place and use it,” she said.
The property is listed with Victoria Dickinson for $12 million.