- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2010

It’s easy to get caught daydreaming while driving along the scenic country road leading to a custom-built home in Laytonsville, Md. The 1½-mile stretch down Watkins Road past open fields and winding roads gives the impression that the home is hours away from anything, but it is, in fact, just a five-mile drive from Interstate 270.

Situated on more than 2 acres, the home at 10013 Banner Country Court is on the market for $649,900. The Williamsburg-style Cape Cod was built in 1988.

Laytonsville is a small, rural town near Gaithersburg, Md., comprising a mixture of farmland and large homes on generously sized lots.

This home has a circular driveway and a front-entry two-car garage that looks more like a finished room. There also is a separate one-car side-entry garage with extra space for storage or a workspace. The home’s brick-and-cedar-siding exterior is highlighted by olive green Colonial-style shutters.

Guests enter the home through the foyer and are then ushered into a nearby “keeping room” that is reminiscent of old-fashioned tavern life with its brick-hearth fireplace, a mantel from Vermont and hand-hewn ceiling beams. A keeping room usually is near the kitchen and was the place to be in Colonial times, when families would sleep in that area because the rest of the home often was cold.

The home’s original owners were said to have scouted the country for antique products to use in the building process, as it was their goal to create a classic home with a historical feel but with today’s modern features.

One thing guests will notice is the dramatic views of the rolling countryside from virtually every room in the home. Additional features that make this home different are the solid-wood raised-panel doors and random-width plank pine flooring found throughout the home.

An airy, open floor plan enhances the home’s appeal and makes it a great residence in which to entertain. The living room boasts a second wood-burning fireplace framed by antiqued Colonial-style paneling. Wall sconces and dentil molding add to the sophisticated ambience.

An entryway leads directly from the living room into a nicely sized dining room with handcrafted crown and dentil molding as well as custom French doors that open to reveal a rear deck.

More casual meals can be eaten in the spacious kitchen, which has a long, U-shaped Silestone counter, part of which serves as a breakfast bar. Serene views of the rolling landscape can be enjoyed from the corner window, set above the kitchen sink.

The kitchen is both stylish and functional as there is ample solid cherry cabinetry with convenient pullout shelves and an 1830s antique glass cabinet. Stainless steel appliances include a stove, built-in microwave and side-by-side refrigerator. A butler’s pantry with a built-in hutch is nearby.

Access to the two-car garage and half bath is right off the kitchen. The power room has a decorative door that hides a handy utility sink.

The master suite, which is tucked away in a private wing on the main level, comes with a large walk-in closet, a dressing area and a remodeled master bath with a separate tub and shower accented by ceramic tile. As a bonus, the bedroom offers private access to a romantic screened porch where the landscape can be appreciated year round.

The large porch also can be accessed from the rear family room and is a welcoming space where the owners enjoy reading the newspaper while drinking their morning coffee.

Because the home sits on more than 2 acres, there is plenty of lush greenery to enjoy. The owners have fenced in a small portion of the yard especially for gardening. However, it would work well as a children’s play area or for pets.

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