English Manor with Homey Qualities

By Lerner, Michele | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

English Manor with Homey Qualities


Lerner, Michele, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A sweeping circular driveway echoed inside by a graceful floating staircase are two indications of the elegance to be found throughout the manor house on the market at 1030 Swinks Mill Road in McLean.

Privacy and serenity are easily ensured by the lush landscaping that surrounds this gracious English manor in the Millwood community. Set back from the road behind a circle of trees and shrubs is a 6-year-old jewel of a house that offers both the space of a grand home and the warmth of a family heirloom.

Beyond the circular drive is the dignified entrance to the home, elevated by a few steps to beautiful oak double doors surrounded by a brick portico with an arched overhang. Inside, the grand marble-floored two-story foyer with its floating staircase leads the way into the spectacular great room at the back of the house. While each room on each level of this house has something to offer, it is the great room that represents the heart of the home.

Perfect for entertaining, or communing with nature, this great room features a wall of Palladian windows overlooking the sloping back yard. With French doors on either side leading to wide decks, this room also includes a fireplace with a marble hearth and a wet bar for serving guests. The wonderful windows in this room are matched in every other room of the house by as many windows as the architect could fit in, allowing plenty of natural light at every hour of the day. Even the first-floor powder room has a large round window on one wall.

At the front of the house, flanking the foyer on either side, are the distinguished formal living room and dining room, each with beautifully detailed crown molding and chair rails and with space for entertaining on a grand scale. The living-room fireplace has a polished marble hearth and mantel.

The first-floor library is a perfectly designed hideaway on one side of the great room. Handsome, warm-looking cherry-paneled walls and custom-designed built-in shelves set the tone for the room, which has plenty of space for a large desk and comfortable reading chairs.

On the opposite side of the great room is the gourmet kitchen and morning room, which also opens onto one of the two decks. Family gatherings and larger casual parties could easily be accommodated in these two rooms, which together create a huge space. The morning room alone occupies 30 square feet.

Besides state-of-the-art appliances, the kitchen has a built-in desk, Jenn-aire cook top on the center island, 42-inch cabinets and an additional pantry. Plenty of counter tops and floor space are available to accommodate caterers for more formal affairs. A butler's pantry between the dining room and kitchen makes serving a breeze.

Between the kitchen and the three-car side-loading garage are a spacious mud room, sunlit laundry room and extra coat closet. A back stairway leads to the upper floors, allowing easy access to the kitchen for family members even when guests are present.

Above the floating staircase is a wide balcony that overlooks the foyer on one side and the great room on the other. Besides allowing more light to flow throughout the upper and lower levels, this balcony makes the perfect spot for a string quartet or other musicians to serenade arriving guests below.

The master suite, occupying one wing of the second level, features a spacious sitting room with a cathedral ceiling and a Palladian window overlooking the front of the property. The large master bedroom has been transformed into a serene retreat with warm pastel colors in the carpet, wall and window treatments. The luxurious master bath has two spacious walk-in closets and a linen closet, a separate shower, two separate vanities and a whirlpool. …

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