- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 16, 2004

A select few Northern Virginians know about the five private beaches on the shores of Lake Barcroft in Falls Church.

The 135-acre lake, rimmed with homes of wood, stone and glass that blend into the edges of the water and into the waterside woods, offers a bucolic place for relaxing by the water.

Party barges are popular with residents of Lake Barcroft, especially during the summer, when the annual Barge Party brings the community together.

Monthly events for the neighbors in other seasons include a chili cook-off, a Super Bowl party, a St. Patrick’s Day party and “dinner on the town.” Events are planned for the local children, too, including a Halloween parade, Labor Day games, an Easter egg hunt and the Fourth of July fireworks display.

Neighbors are linked by Internet messaging and a Web site, along with telephone directories just for lake residents and monthly newsletters.

Yet despite all this camaraderie, lake residents also enjoy a high degree of privacy. Supreme Court justices, corporate CEOs and White House advisers paddle along the lake in their canoes. Sometimes they go unrecognized; other times, they’re left alone out of local respect for solitude.

Winding tree-lined drives encircle the lake leading to the private drives for the varied home styles, and mature trees between the homes increase the level of seclusion.

Like many of the homes along Lake Barcroft, the home at 3420 Mansfield Road has been designed with walls of windows across the back to provide as many views of the lake as possible.

Now on the market for $1,650,000, this home includes a lake view from every room but two. The owners updated their home in several phases, first bumping out the back and adding two levels of Pella windows with a sweeping skylight overhead. Later, the owners added a formal dining room and expanded the kitchen.

Cantilevered decks lead downhill from the home to the lake, offering several seating areas perfect for entertaining and enjoying the view. The guest bedroom and the master suite also each have a private patio or balcony for gazing at the water or reading the morning newspaper in peace.

Integral to the design of this home are the Pella windows and sliding glass doors, each trimmed in wood to match the trees outside. When the owners bumped out the living area, they chose to add walls of glass that offer water views from two levels — in the living room and the lower-level recreation room.

A spiral staircase links these two spaces for an easy flow when entertaining a large crowd.

Multiple decks are visible from these windows, beckoning people outdoors in good weather. The owners added special lighting for parties, along with rope railings for a nautical look.

Although the lake side of the home clearly draws more attention, the owners also added an Oriental garden and handsome wood garage doors that match the double front door to allow the front of the home to shine, too.

Inside, guests are welcomed in a two-story foyer with marble flooring leading to the living room and the lake view. The living and dining areas and the kitchen on the main level and the master suite upstairs all have hardwood flooring.

The living room includes plenty of space for a raised-hearth fireplace and a grand piano, along with seating areas for guests. Skylights add to the daylight in the room and the sense of space.

A few steps lead down from the living room to the formal dining room, which also has walls of windows, a coffered ceiling and built-in cabinetry, including a large built-in mirror reflecting the lake.

At the front of the home, the charming country-style kitchen includes one of the home’s three fireplaces, plus a large skylight.

The fireplace warms the family room, which is open to the kitchen, a space that could also function as a breakfast area. The kitchen includes tile counters and a breakfast bar, plus recessed lighting. The owners added recessed lighting to much of the house. A door leads from the kitchen to the three-car garage.

A few steps up lead to the master suite, converted from a two-bedroom space. The master bedroom has a sweeping view of the lake and a private balcony.

Adjacent to the bedroom are several closets, including extra-deep walk-in closets with built-ins hidden behind mirrored doors.

The master bath includes an Italian-tile shower in one section, plus a larger bath with a two-person Jacuzzi surrounded by matching Italian tile with a skylight.

A few steps down from the main level is another bedroom level, with a front bedroom used as a home office, with built-in shelves and cabinets and a serene view of the Oriental garden. The third bedroom has a lake view and a private patio. Between these two rooms is a full bath.

The lower level of the home, accessible via the main staircase and the spiral staircase, has ceramic-tile flooring, which easily accommodates guests coming into the house from a dip in the lake.

This level has a raised-hearth brick fireplace, bookcases and a cabana area with a full bath and a wine bar. The fourth bedroom, currently an exercise room, also has a spectacular lake view and a private deck area.

Future owners of this home will be buying not just a home, but a lifestyle rarely found in the Washington area.

Address: 3420 Mansfield Road, Falls Church, VA 22041

Community: Lake Barcroft

Age: 45 years

Price: $1,650,000

Size: About 4,000 finished square feet on homesite of 0.41 acre

Taxes: $11,160 in 2003

Exterior features: Contemporary-style home with wood siding; brick foundation walls; walls of windows; balconies; multiple decks; three-car garage with wood doors; landscaped gardens with azaleas, ferns, rhododendrons.

Interior features: Four bedrooms; three full baths; hardwood flooring on main level and in master suite; ceramic-tile flooring on lower level; skylights; country kitchen with fireplace in family room/breakfast area; living room with fireplace; formal dining room with coffered ceiling and built-in cabinetry; second level with two bedrooms, full bath, patio with lake view; upper-level master suite with private deck, multiple closets, luxury bath; finished lower-level family room with fireplace, bar, full bath, fourth bedroom/exercise room.

Amenities: Deep-water port with a private dock with space for a pontoon boat, three fireplaces, lake views from all but two rooms, gas heat and hot water.

Close by: Close to the District, the Pentagon, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; easy access to most of Northern Virginia via U.S. Route 50 and state Route 7; close to Beltway.

Schools: Bailey’s Elementary, Glasgow Middle, Stuart High

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Realtors Joan Sellers and Nanci Wilkinson with Weichert Realtors in McLean at 703/821-8300

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