- The Washington Times - Friday, September 1, 2000

When the owner of the house at 6811 Alpine Drive in Annandale relaxes on his deck on a summer evening, he sometimes feels as if it is Christmas despite the warm and pleasant weather. On all sides of this charming retreat, fireflies twinkle in the evening sky from the grass to the treetops, looking like Christmas lights.
Now on the market for $499,900, this wood home, reminiscent of a Victorian-style farmhouse, sits on a secluded .86-acre site at the end of a privately maintained drive. The cul-de-sac on which the home has been built has space to park several cars, and a wildflower garden at the center adds color in most seasons. The peaceful ambience belies the home's location just minutes off Little River Turnpike, near shopping centers, the Beltway and schools.
This house, built seven years ago, was placed within its woodland setting to maximize the natural views on all sides. Unlike many Victorian-style homes whose "wraparound" porches cover only two sides, this residence has wide wooden porches around every inch of its exterior. The porches have white-painted wood-paneled ceilings.
In addition, a large deck with custom-built seats and tables offers outdoor living space in the rear yard. Mature trees tower over the home on three sides, and the landscaping is maintained by a drip irrigation system. The entire yard is fenced, and at the back is a barn-style storage shed with a loft inside for additional storage.
Similar to a true country home, the house has several entrances for guests and family members, including a multitude of sliding glass doors, a formal entrance at the front and a back door that leads into the kitchen. The home has a mix of formal and casual rooms, all of which have views of and access to the outdoors.
The foyer entrance features hardwood flooring and an oak staircase to the upper level. To the right of the foyer is the formal dining room, which has pocket doors so it can be closed off when the owners are entertaining formally. A deep linen closet in one corner of the dining room is perfect for storing tablecloths and special china, and a crystal chandelier in the center of the room adds a touch of formality.
The gracious living room on the opposite side of the foyer has hardwood flooring, a large fireplace with a brick surround and a wood mantel. It also contains pocket doors to the adjacent family room, which has sliding glass doors on two sides. All rooms in the home have elaborate molding and trim emphasized with white paint to contrast with the blue, green and burgundy tones on the walls.
Between the kitchen and the family room lie a powder room and a cozy breakfast room with sliding glass doors to one of the porches. The kitchen is country-size, but its style is sophisticated, with gleaming dark granite counters and an oversized center island. A window over the sink frames a woodsy view, and a built-in desk offers efficiency along with the state-of-the-art appliances. The laundry room and extra storage space are around the corner near the back door.
The lower level was finished recently with dramatic flair, including taupe-painted walls, an arched entrance to one room, niches for artwork and angled walls that create alcoves. Wall sconces and chandeliers have been installed along with recessed lighting to brighten the space, and a sliding glass door leads to the back yard.
Nine-foot ceilings are found on this level as well as the main level. Finished spaces include a recreation room for casual entertaining, a full bath, a den or guest room with a large closet, and a spacious hallway alcove that can be used for a children's study space, a sitting area or a library. Plenty of unfinished storage space also is available.
Upstairs are four large bedrooms, including three secondary bedrooms that have been painted blue with white trim. Each bedroom includes a large closet, a ceiling fan and plenty of windows overlooking the trees. One of the rooms is being used as a home office. These three bedrooms share a full hall bath.
The master suite is a private retreat at the rear of the house with a huge walk-in closet and a luxurious bath with a deep soaking tub and a separate glass-enclosed shower.
Living surrounded by woods and nature may be a dream come true for many people, but some may find that true country living may be too isolated. This home provides rural ambience with the convenience of suburbia, in which five minutes in the car brings you to a grocery store, video store, cleaners and restaurants.

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