- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2001

Sixteen years ago, the original owner of the house at 6207 Larkspur Drive in Alexandria built his dream home literally brick by brick. The owner, a brick mason, used his expertise to create a masterpiece of oversized bricks with white mortar, a Colonial-style home that expands from its small facade into a gracious and generously sized residence.

The unusual use of so much brick extends all around the house, including a brick-paved driveway, a brick front walk and steps, and brick patios and walkways in the back yard, including a brick-floored screened porch.

Besides the solid brick exterior, the interior of the home features the finest of wood detailing, along with granite and ceramic tile. The current owners lovingly maintained the work of the first owner and have added their own experienced workmanship while remodeling the bathrooms and landscaping the back yard.

Now on the market for $499,900, this unique custom home awaits a family ready to enjoy the screened porch on a warm early autumn evening, or to nestle in front of the brick fireplace when the weather turns colder.

The center-hall Colonial-style floor plan is matched with plenty of open space in the rear of the home, satisfying a craving for a bit of old-fashioned charm and, at the same time, a warm and yet open space for spreading out.

Throughout the first floor, wide-plank red pine flooring from North Carolina adds a distinguished Colonial look to the rooms. According to Realtor Donald West, this is the type of flooring found in many of the town homes built in Old Town Alexandria in the 1800s.

Throughout the main level and the upper level, each window has solid wood trim, each doorway has a wood frame with moldings, and the windows all have wood mullions. This home is clearly handmade by someone with experience in working with such time-honored materials as wood and brick. The main-level rooms also include crown and chair-rail moldings along with oversized baseboards.

The formal living room and formal dining room flank the foyer, each with Williamsburg-blue painted trim and a chandelier.

Near the family room is a narrow home office with a tall floor-to-ceiling window at one end. The office includes built-in shelving and a built-in desk with a wide band of corkboard above along with plenty of electrical outlets, perfect for a serious computer-oriented study for the entire family.

At the back of the home is a large family room that is open to the kitchen. Handsome wood beams cross the ceiling in these two rooms, beams brought back by the original owner from a 100-year-old home in Pennsylvania.

At one end of the family room is an all-brick wall with a fireplace, a space for storing wood and a brick hearth set into the floor. The kitchen at the opposite end of the space has state-of-the-art, steel-and-black appliances that blend beautifully with the top-of-the-line cherry cabinets, granite counters and Mexican tile flooring.

Over the center island hangs a wrought-iron circle awaiting the next family's supply of copper pots to complete the picture of a warm and cheerful kitchen.

Beyond the kitchen lies a large mudroom/laundry room that has a door to the oversized garage, along with one to the rear yard. Plenty of cabinets have been added to this room, which has space for a second refrigerator in addition to the washer and dryer. In anticipation of a potential outdoor swimming pool, a rough-in for a full bath is in one corner of this room. A lovely powder room for guests is off the main hall, with red pine hardwood flooring and a porcelain sink with a floral pattern.

A glass-paned wood door leads from between the family room and the kitchen to one of the best features of the home, a large screened porch with a brick floor, a beamed cathedral ceiling, a ceiling fan with a light, and a view of the surrounding yard.

The current owners worked tirelessly to landscape this beautiful yard, which has a brick walkway and a second brick patio adjacent to the second back door. At the far end of the yard rests playground equipment sure to tempt any family with young children. A built-in gas grill will convey to the new owners.

Back inside, the second level of the home shows the same meticulous attention to detail as the rest of the home.

Each of the four bedrooms has a ceiling fan and wood trim around the doors and windows that have been painted to complement the walls.

The front bedroom has two dormer windows and a sharply sloping ceiling, along with a wall of closets. This bedroom and two other large rooms with plenty of closet space and solid wood doors share a completely renovated full bath. The owners chose beautiful pale gray ceramic tile with a sprinkling of patterned tiles with pink flowers, and they added a double-sink vanity with a granite top, a built-in vanity area with matching granite, a dormer window at one end, and a combination tub/shower.

The master bedroom has a skylight, windows on two sides and a large dressing area/closet and bathroom. The walk-in closet is the equivalent of two closets, with extra shelving and hooks. The bath, gutted and remodeled seven months ago, features an oversized shower, a double-sink vanity with a granite top, and a whirlpool tub with a circular window and a skylight above. Both bathrooms have high-grade porcelain sinks and handsome fixtures.

The lower level has been finished with Berber carpeting, recessed lighting and half-walls of wood paneling. Closets have been tucked under the stairs and in the corners, and a powder room is conveniently placed in one corner.

A wood-paneled wet bar has a mirrored wall, a granite counter, a refrigerator and plenty of storage. An adjacent closet includes pantry shelves for storing party supplies. Across from the wet bar is an entertainment center that holds a large-screen television and built-in shelves for video and stereo equipment.

Comfort and a feeling of solidity are provided by this home for its residents, whether they are entertaining or simply relaxing with the family. For those who appreciate the use of high-quality home-building materials, 6207 Larkspur Drive will be among the finest homes they can ever see.

Details

Address: 6207 Larkspur Drive, Alexandria, Va., 22310

Community: Franconia/Springfield

Age:16 years

Price: $499,900

Size: About 3,800 finished square feet on a site of about 15,000 square feet

Taxes: $3,896 in 2000

Exterior features: All-brick Colonial-style home with brick driveway, brick front walk, manicured lawn, oversize one-car garage and additional driveway parking.

Interior features: Four bedrooms, two full and two half baths, red pine hardwood flooring throughout main level, center-hall Colonial floor plan, large open family room with brick fireplace, formal living room, formal dining room, home office/computer room with built-in desk and shelving, state-of-the-art kitchen with granite counters, large laundry/mudroom with door to back yard, finished lower level with large recreation room including a large wet bar with a refrigerator, powder room, extra closets.

Amenities: Large fully fenced and landscaped back yard with brick walkway leading to circular garden bed; screened porch with ceiling fan, cathedral ceiling and brick flooring; new master bath with whirlpool tub, separate shower and double vanity

Close by: Near shopping at Springfield Mall, easy access to all major highways.

Schools: Franconia Elementary, Twain Middle, Edison High

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Contact: Realtor Donald West of West Real Estate at 703/549-5200

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