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Luxury home: Limitless grace in Bethesda

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

Congressional Country Club, established in 1924 as a private location for politicians and golfers to meet, provides a focal point and lush greenery for its surrounding neighborhood in Bethesda. A private estate in this sought-after community, at 8521 Country Club Drive, is on the market for $3,795,000.

Built in 2001, this estate rests on 2.10 acres of landscaped property near Potomac Village, Bethesda's shops and restaurants, Chevy Chase and downtown Washington, D.C. A long circular driveway leads from the street to the mansion, providing privacy as well as stately elegance to the home, which was built by Griff Gosnell of Monroe Development.

The grounds have been professionally landscaped and meticulously maintained and include long swaths of green lawn, mature trees and colorful garden beds. A flagstone walkway leads to a six-panel wood front door with a transom, sidelights, columns and lanterns. The home's stone facade and cedar roof are complemented by flagstone terraces and a covered porch, allowing for extensive outdoor entertaining.

Inside, this home has approximately 7,750 finished square feet on three levels, with seven bedrooms, five full baths and two powder rooms. The main and upper levels have oak hardwood flooring, and the entire home has recessed lighting and crown molding. Built-in speakers add ambience throughout the residence and on the terraces and porch, while a security system and three-zone heating and air conditioning add to the comfort of residents and guests.

The grand foyer includes custom-designed molding, a crystal chandelier, a formal powder room and entryways with pediments to the formal living room and formal dining room. An archway leads from the foyer to the family room. The living room includes a marble wood-burning fireplace and the dining room has a built-in china cabinet, paneled wainscoted walls and an adjacent butler's pantry.

The family room features a sitting area wrapped with windows, a stone wood-burning fireplace, a coffered ceiling, a door to the covered porch and an open entrance to the breakfast room. Pocket doors with glass panels open into a pine-paneled study with extensive built-in bookcases and a wall of windows overlooking the rear garden.

The breakfast room has a wall of windows and a door to the covered porch and is open to a state-of-the-art kitchen with marble counters, a marble center island, two sinks, a walk-in pantry and a built-in desk with a marble workspace. Appliances include two dishwashers, a refrigerator, a six-burner gas range and oven, a wall oven and a built-in microwave. The butler's pantry has a marble counter, a wine cooler and custom-built wood-and-glass cabinetry.

The main level also has a tiled mudroom with a service entrance, a second staircase to the upper level, custom-designed wood-and-glass cabinets for extra storage, a sink, a counter and a door to the three-car garage. Nearby is an informal powder room.

Upstairs, the upper-level foyer includes a built-in window seat with an arched window. The master suite includes a bedroom with a deep bay window and sitting area and a marble wood-burning fireplace. The separate sitting room includes doors to two walk-in closets and to the luxurious marble bath with a soaking tub, a seamless glass steam shower and a double-sink vanity.

The second and third bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet, share a connecting bath, while the fourth bedroom has a walk-in closet and a private bath. The fifth bedroom includes two large closets with built-in shelving and is being used as an exercise room. The upper level also has an oversized multipurpose bonus room with a vaulted ceiling, a Palladian window and a built-in desk to accommodate two people. Nearby are another full bath, a laundry room and a walk-in linen closet.

The focal point for the finished lower level is a family room with a tray ceiling, a sitting area with a bay window, a stone fireplace with a raised hearth, built-in cherry cabinetry and a door to the terrace. In addition, this level has a game room with a tray ceiling and wainscoting on the walls, an entertaining bar with a granite counter, a refrigerator, built-in cabinets, a dishwasher, an ice maker and a glass door to the 800-bottle wine cellar.

The sixth and seventh bedrooms, either of which could function as a den, share a connecting full bath. The seventh bedroom has a wall of windows facing the garden and terrace. An unfinished storage room completes this level.

For more information, contact Realtors William F.X. Moody and Robert Hryniewicki of Washington Fine Properties at 202/243-1620.

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