- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Antique farmhouses always seem to have a distinctive aroma of old wood smoke and some indefinable pleasant scent reminiscent of sugar cookies

and pumpkin pie, creating a warm sense of home.

Rustic wood-paneled walls of old barn siding, brick walls and floors, beamed ceilings, and three fireplaces combine to create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere in the home now on the market at 753 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Va.

Priced at $1,575,000, this old-fashioned estate rests on 0.97 acre of prime land where the George Washington Memorial Parkway meets Chain Bridge Road, across from Crest Lane.

Residents can zip quickly into Washington, McLean or Tysons Corner, but they might prefer life among the mature trees at this secluded compound.

The farmhouse, originally built in 1900, has been updated and expanded through the years to allow contemporary enjoyment of indoor and outdoor living.

The property includes a winding drive, which allows off-street parking for guests and residents and leads to a wood and stone barn at the end of the lane. Inside, the barn accommodates extra storage along with an indoor basketball court. Beyond the barn are an in-ground swimming pool and a Har-Tru tennis court with a sprinkler system.

For less athletic outdoor pursuits, the home includes a multilevel aggregate stone patio with brick trim and a built-in barbecue. Adjacent to the patio is a dramatic and large screened porch with a soaring vaulted wood ceiling and swing doors on two sides for easy accessibility.

While the screened porch is lovely in many seasons, buyers may choose to glass in the screens for a functional year-round sunroom.

Indoors, the farmhouse features a multitude of wood-trimmed windows, which frame views of the surrounding trees. Natural materials such as wood, stone and brick have been used to blur the distinctions between the outside and interior walls of the rooms.

While many guests arrive through the cozy screened porch into the rear foyer, the more formal entrance into the home is defined by a brick walkway and stoop leading to the wood front door. Rustic wood-paneled walls extend from the foyer into much of the main level. The owners chose ceramic-tile flooring from Japan to add color to the foyer. This same flooring extends into the adjacent kitchen and breakfast area, creating a cheerful atmosphere in those rooms.

The formal living room at the front of the home features plush pale carpeting, rustic wood walls with built-in shelves, a wood-burning fireplace and stairs to the upper level. A second staircase extends from the foyer to the upper level.

Around the corner from the living room is the library, where antique barn siding and built-in rustic wood shelves blend with the exposed brick chimney and wood floor. This room includes a deep box bay window perfect for a reading spot.

The central kitchen, a favorite place for the owners, includes handmade solid heart-of-pine cabinets, butcher-block counters, an exposed beam ceiling, a wet bar and a floor-to-ceiling pantry. The Mediterranean-style flooring in this room extends into the breakfast area, which has an exposed-beam ceiling and a box bay window.

Nearby are a powder room with a brick floor, plank walls and a solid heart-of-pine vanity, a former darkroom that now functions as an extra pantry with a sink, and a large laundry room with ceramic-tile flooring, a pull-down ironing board, cabinets and a sink, and a second refrigerator.

At the back of the home, guests can be welcomed into a rear foyer with a brick floor, rustic paneled walls, and an exposed-beam ceiling that extends through the gallery and into the family room.

The sunken family room has 12-foot ceilings, a brick floor, antique brick walls and rustic paneled walls, two walls of windows, and an oversized wood-burning fireplace with a raised-brick hearth. Nearby, the expansive dining room includes spacious windows, a brick floor and brick walls.

Both staircases to the upper level arrive in the dramatic den, which almost has a treehouse effect. This den includes a two-story box bay window open to the attic level, a wood floor, paneled walls with built-in bookshelves and a circular staircase to the finished attic level. This den could function easily as a computer loft or central children’s play area.

The three secondary bedrooms on this level each include wood flooring and large windows. They share a hall bath with ceramic-tile flooring and a handmade heart-of-pine vanity.

The dramatic master-bedroom suite at the rear of the house features a cathedral ceiling with exposed rafter beams and a ladder leading to a private loft. The master sitting area includes a wood-burning fireplace and walls of windows overlooking the yard.

The bedroom also includes three closets, one of them a walk-in closet, and storage space under the eaves. The adjacent master bath features ceramic-tile flooring, rustic paneled walls, a claw-foot tub set under a window, a separate shower and a handmade heart-of-pine vanity.

Spiral stairs lead from the den to the finished-attic-level recreation room, which has paneled walls with a sloping wood ceiling, an exposed brick chimney, storage space under the eaves and triple windows surrounded by built-in wood shelving.

The open exercise room features a folk-art-style log railing overlooking the box bay window and glass ceiling, rustic paneled walls, and a dormer alcove with a platform and round window. Nearby is an office or hobby room with a round window overlooking the back yard.

Although the essential turn-of-the-century charm of this farmhouse remains intact, the owners have upgraded the home during their 27-year residence with four-zone heating and air conditioning, thermal and storm windows, a gas hot-water heater, two humidifiers and a central vacuum system. The property includes electric gates with an intercom system, and is entirely fenced.

Residents relaxing in the swimming pool, under the century-old trees or by a roaring fire may be hard-pressed to find a reason to venture into contemporary Washington, even if it is accessible within minutes.

Address: 753 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22101

Community: Stroman Land

Age: 104 years

Price: $1,575,000

Size: 4,675 finished square feet of living space on 0.97 acre

Taxes: $13,425 in 2003

Exterior features: Colonial-style wood farmhouse, circa 1900; electric gates with intercom; secluded setting among mature trees; stone retaining walls; brick-trimmed patios; sprinkler system; winding drive for off-street parking

Interior features: Four bedrooms; two full baths; one powder room; foyer with imported ceramic-tile flooring; formal living room; central kitchen with imported ceramic-tile flooring, custom wood cabinets and breakfast area with box bay window; rustic paneled walls; dining room with brick floor, brick and rustic paneled walls; step-down family room with brick floor, brick and rustic paneled walls, beamed ceiling; library with wood floor, walls of barn siding, box bay window; main-level laundry room with additional storage; upper level den with two-story box bay window open to attic level, wood floors, paneled walls; master bedroom suite with cathedral ceiling with exposed rafter beams, sitting area with walls of windows, three closets, ladder to private loft, bath with claw-foot tub and separate shower; finished attic level with recreation room, exercise room, office or hobby room

Amenities: Wood and stone barn with storage and indoor basketball court; screened porch with vaulted wood ceiling; Har-Tru tennis court, in-ground swimming pool; four-zone heating and cooling; three fireplaces; central vacuum system

Close by: Immediate access to George Washington Memorial Parkway, one mile to Chain Bridge; minutes to McLean and Tysons Corner.

Schools: Franklin Sherman Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Lilian Jorgenson of Long & Foster in McLean at 703/281-3770

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