- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2002

The view from the back of the rambler at 9709 Potomac Drive in Fort Washington is like a scene from a postcard. Sharing its 1-acre yard with the massive Potomac River, the home has the feel of a vacation resort. Luscious landscaping, a pond with fish, a boathouse and the gentle sound of the river combine to make this house a relaxing retreat.

When the owners built the house in 1971, it was their dream home. They took the lessons learned from a previous home and knew exactly what upgrades and features they wanted, leaving no stone unturned when it came to luxury and convenience.

Everything from the Waterford crystal chandelier in the dining room to the raised sink in the master bath was carefully thought out. The house is on the market for $1.4 million.

Guests are welcomed with a glimpse of the Potomac River as they pull into the circular driveway of the 4-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home. Once inside, they'll quickly notice all of those details that give the 5,000-square-foot house lots of character.

The large foyer features green marble floors with elegant leaded glass doors that open into the living room. Gleaming peg hardwood floors and detailed crown molding can be found throughout the home. For maximum comfort in cold and warm seasons, there is a thermostat in every room. In addition, you don't have to worry about heating or cooling rooms that are not in use because many of them feature pocket doors that allow them to be closed off when they're not being used.

Separating the living and dining rooms are two unusual floor-to-ceiling built-in shelf-and-cabinet units that jut out to form a passageway into the oversized dining room. The units are ideal for storing those special-occasion dishes and kitchen appliances, as well as showcasing keepsakes on the lighted glass shelves.

The formal dining room is big enough to comfortably hold several large pieces of furniture, including a dining room table that seats 12. Every room in the back of the home offers a picture-perfect view of the Potomac River, including the dining room, which has a stunning wall of windows.

The kitchen and bathrooms were remodeled in the mid-1990s. The bright and functional kitchen features white cabinets with white Corian counter tops and a double sink. The kitchen has a breakfast nook in which the homeowner has placed a rocking chair in addition to the kitchen table. A large center island with an extra cooktop has built-in folding counter tops on either side that create even more counter space, if needed. The homeowners' desire to not waste space is especially evident in the kitchen, where cabinets rise up to the nine-foot ceiling and also have been installed over the center island.

The open family room is ideal for relaxing or entertaining. The highlight of this room is an all-brick gas fireplace that extends to the height of the room and covers nearly an entire wall. The family room also features a ceiling fan and wet bar that leaves no reason to run back and forth to the kitchen when entertaining. The wet bar comes complete with its own stove, sink, refrigerator and cabinets.

One hidden detail about the family room is a large, white built-in wall cabinet that holds a television on a rotating table. The doors also can be opened from the adjoining master bedroom so the television can be viewed from either room.

Directly behind the family room, separated by sliding doors, is what the homeowner calls her "serendipity room." It is an exceptionally lavish room in the back of the home similar to a Florida room. It has a marble floor and a unique gray stone waterfall that complements the room.

The yard is a sight to behold. A large deck overlooking the Japanese garden is a perfect place to unwind and watch the boats go by. On bright days, a retractable awning, operated by remote control, covers the deck to keep the sun from beating down. When it becomes too windy outside, the awning has a wind sensor that will automatically roll it up to prevent it from getting damaged. A small bridge crosses over the scenic backyard pond filled with fish.

A dock and boathouse with an electric boat lift and a second deck also occupy the yard. Along the side yard is a wide assortment of trees, including crepe myrtle, dogwood, pear, pecan and cherry. The home features an underground sprinkler system for easier yard maintenance.

One step inside the master bedroom and you may not want to leave. The room, strategically placed in the back of the home, offers magnificent views of the back yard and river through three wide windows.

All windows in the home have Pella screens. The master bedroom has a built-in storage unit for keeping blankets, comforters and pillows. A second bedroom is on this floor. The remaining two are in the basement. All four bedrooms are generously sized and offer good closet space. Every closet in the home has a convenient feature that turns the light on when the door is opened.

In the master bath is an eye-catching stained-glass window and black-and-white linoleum floor. The bathroom sink was built taller than most, so no bending over is required.

To the left of the entry foyer, a wide, dramatic stairway with mirrored walls leads to the finished lower level. This extensive basement allows the homeowners to have even more functional living space within the home. A red-brick, floor-to-ceiling, wood-burning fireplace gives the open recreation area an intimate feel. Also in the basement is a sauna, full bath with a double sink, and storage room. Leading outdoors is an enclosed sun porch with two sets of sliding doors to access both sides of the yard.

It's definitely the details that count in this three-car-garage home that would be a wonderful place to unwind after a hard day's work.

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