- The Washington Times - Friday, June 22, 2001

There's a little piece of Italy in a 13-year-old Colonial on the market on New Hampshire Avenue in Ashton. The house, priced at $599,900 and on a 5-acre lot, is spacious and immaculate with lots of modern bells and whistles. What gives it unique character, owner Mike Mitrione says, are custom-made cabinets and "a lot of neat features" built by his father, Vito Mitrione.

Vito Mitrione, a furniture and cabinet-maker who lives in Beltsville, came to the United States from Italy after learning his trade from his father. He retired last year after "he did a lot of work at the White House in the last 15 years or so," Mike Mitrione says. "It was in the West Wing, the Old Executive Office Building and the New Executive Office Building."

Mr. Mitrione and wife Elena had the Ashton house custom built by John Stabler, an architect and builder who once lived in the Ashton area and now lives in Frederick. "We worked with him" on the design, Mr. Mitrione says, and then put the icing on the cake with Vito Mitrione's artistry.

The house has a large entry foyer with a sunburst window over the front door and sidelights on either side. There is a curved oak staircase, two coat closets and a floor of Turkish marble. Formal living and dining rooms flank this foyer, each with gleaming oak floors.

All three rooms have crown moldings, as does the first-floor library. The living and dining rooms each have two Palladian windows. There is a spacious modern kitchen open to a large breakfast room. These rooms each have beige ceramic tile flooring, as does the first-floor laundry room.

The breakfast room opens to a comfortable family room with brick floor-to-ceiling fireplace and beige carpeting. The fireplace mantel, made of ash, was hand-carved by Vito Mitrione.

Both the breakfast room and the family room have double glass doors to a long rear deck, and the laundry room also has a door to the deck. There is a sunburst window over the doors in the breakfast room.

Octagonal windows flank the fireplace in the family room.

The kitchen is graced with Vito Mitrione's custom-made cherry cabinets and a custom-made cherry china closet. Six of the cabinets have glass doors for crystal and china display. One, at a corner, has a stained-glass door.

There is a full bath on the first floor, a full bath on the walkout lower level and two full baths on the second floor. All have ceramic tile floors.

The master bath has a whirlpool tub and separate shower. It has a skylight and a cherry vanity made by Vito Mitrione.

Four bedrooms are on the second floor, although the Mitriones have closed one off from the hall to create a private sitting room or nursery in the master bedroom suite. Red oak flooring in all the bedrooms and the second-floor hall was installed about two years ago, Mr. Mitrione says. All the bedroom closets, including a huge walk-in closet in the master bedroom suite, "are [fitted with] adjustable modular units, which makes it easy to meet your needs," he says.

At the top of the stairs on the second floor is a built-in oak gate, made by Vito Mitrione to deter his young grandchildren from making too rapid a descent.

Among Vito Mitrione's other custom-made touches are two walls of white wood bookshelves and cabinetry in the first-floor library with a window seat for a moment of reflection. The cabinets include a built-in desk with pigeonholes, two small drawers for pencils and pens, and a large drawer for file folders.

On the lower level is a large family room with glass doors to a patio. There also is an unfinished room on the lower level that the Mitriones use for storage but that Mr. Mitrione says "can be converted to anything," including a bedroom or workshop.

Throughout the finished lower level is a newly installed laminated Pergo wood floor.

On the lower level and elsewhere in the house are many closets. There is a linen closet on the second floor hall and a coat closet on the first floor this one off the kitchen in a rear hall near a door to the garage. On the lower level are half a dozen double closets, one opening to a big, low storage room with a concrete floor in a crawl space below part of the house.

The house has a two-car side-entry garage and wide flagstone walk from the driveway to the front door. The deck has two built-in flower boxes and steps down to the yard from each end.

A generous portion of the back yard is fenced to create a play area for the children. Beyond that, the lot is wooded at the rear.

The house, in Ashton Oaks, is about half a mile from the heart of Ashton, where New Hampshire Avenue crosses Route 108 in Montgomery County.

Details

Address: 18311 New Hampshire Ave., Ashton, Md., 20861

Community: Ashton Oaks

Age: Built in 1988

Price: $599,900

Size: About 4,200 square feet on lot of 5 acres

Taxes: $4,153

Exterior features: Brick Colonial with arched covered entry, two-car side-entry garage, deck, patio

Interior features: Entry foyer, formal living and dining rooms, first-floor family room, modern kitchen with center island, pantry closet and adjacent breakfast room, first-floor library, first-floor laundry, four bedrooms and four full baths, lower-level recreation room, lower-level storage room, gas heat, electric central air conditioning, electronic air cleaner

Amenities: Brick fireplace; marble, oak and ceramic tile flooring; custom-made bookcases, mantel, china closet and cabinets; stained-glass cabinet door; 9-foot ceilings on first floor; Palladian windows; octagonal windows; crown moldings; skylight; window seat; alarm system

Schools: Sherwood Elementary, Farquhar Middle, Sherwood High

Close by: About a half-mile to convenience stores and post office in Ashton, about three miles to shopping in Olney, 10 miles to 12 miles to the Beltway at New Hampshire Avenue interchange

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Roseann Taff, Realtor with Long & Foster, at 301/990-8264

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