Classical European styling in an American Cape Cod
minutes from Washington DC: This 1940 stone cottage has charm, beauty, and integrity; sun filled rooms with views and tucked away spaces; little grandeurs, quaintness, and five levels of bountiful gardens. Regan National Airport, 11 min; Old Town Harbor, 9 min; National Harbor, 7 min; Belle Haven Marina, park and trails, 4 min: The parkway, highway, expressway, river, golf course, fort and woods are minute’s away; The White House, 8 miles.
THE PUBLIC SPACES
The home flows easily room to room, floor to floor, in and out, up and down. The Cape Cod entrance allows easy access to the second floor, the sitting room, the dining room and through either into the kitchen-family room. The warmly light-filled sitting room is entered through an arch, and is articulated with a wainscot illuminated by recessed lights; the dining room too has recessed lights and speakers (integrated throughout the home), lovely mirrored cabinets, a gas fireplace (behind which is a wood fireplace), and rich wood floors (wood floors cover 75% of the home, the rest is mostly stone, mosaic, or terra-cotta tile); off the dining room, the classically articulated sun porch (which sometimes serves as a second office) looks out upon gardens, is conditioned by HVAC, a fan, the sun, and opening double-paned windows; the kitchen-family room has floor-to-ceiling cabinets in its 9’-6” height, two sinks with garbage disposals, a gas stove, a dishwasher, a trash-compactor, pleasant arched windows, a flat screen wall-mount, and French Doors which lead out to the balcony and down the circular stairs to the lower gardens; there is also a pantry, a coat closet, and a powder room with a marble sink. During parties, or on busy family weekends, the French Doors are open for adults, children, dogs and friends to move up and down or in circles through the home on exterior circular stairs and interior straight steps.
Two bedrooms with dormers and interesting ceilings are on the upper floor; each bedroom has ample closet space and recessed storage, the smaller room has a wall of built-in shelves; they share a full bath. The master-suite is on the lower floor: There are his and her closets and bathrooms (hers has a foot warmer, dual shower heads, and a door which leads to the outdoor shower; his has an extra-deep tub); there is a laundry along the home’s only inner hall, and a recessed ironing cabinet in her closet; the bedroom has a 14’ thick stone wall, two sets of French Doors (one leading to the morning garden, the other to the veranda), a dark wood floor, an 8’-9” ceiling within which are recessed speakers, and there is a recessed bookshelf in the stone wall. This room and its view are beautiful throughout the year, and it is always a quiet retreat from the demands of the nation’s Capitol. The studio suite is entered through the lower hall or the uniquely designed French Doors from a stone patio down extra-wide stone steps. The studio has two rooms, a library and a studio bedroom. The library supports a suspended, tri-arch vaulted ceiling over which is hidden atmospheric lighting; the four pilasters are of the Temple of Apollo’s Corinthian Order; the library shelves carry 2,040 books. The studio also has track lighting and recessed lights tucked into the frieze beneath the 9’ high ceiling; there is a built-in cabinet that holds a small refrigerator atop which is an 18th Century bronze bowl mounted on fossilized granite; and, the multi-paned glass-door leads into the lower hall of the home. These rooms are perfect for office, and studio bedroom for business travel; the closet and bath are opposite the lower landing.
The home’s first owner was President of the DC Garden Club, the current (unfinished) design was composed by the landscape architect of Dumbarton Oaks, little enhancements were suggested by the previous president of Belle Haven’s Garden Club, and additions have been made by the current architect-owner: There are flower gardens, hosta and acanthus gardens, shade gardens, wild gardens, and vegetable gardens, 10 months of flowering plants and bushes, fig and magnolia, a Lebanese cypress, and a cypress which sports a prehistoric curiosity; there is a sprinkler system, garden and task lighting, an outdoor shower and dipping pool (open during the season), a fireplace-grill, and spaces yet to be developed in the many lush, outdoor rooms. You might picture yourself on porch, balcony, deck, patio or veranda enjoying quiet moments over supper, wine or coffee, or busy in the many parties the home is pleased to host.
The entrance to the Belle Haven Country Club is one-and-a-half blocks away (you could carry your clubs or wear your swim-suit on the walk--if a member of a reciprocal club), the Civil War’s Fort Willard is at the hill-top, the woods is at the end-of-the-street, and here you can walk a three mile round trip—as often I do with the pups—along Quander Brook where you might see fox, raccoon, deer, turtles, fish, owls, herons, hawks, and eagles, and squirrels…then too, you should know that Belle Haven hosts (at Fort Willard circle) Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween and Christmas gatherings or parades, a Spring Home and Garden tour, and other special events.
Alexandria, Βιρτζίνια, Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες της Αμερικής