- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2002

With a host of bedrooms and five full baths in a meandering floor plan, a home on the market for $780,000 in the Hillwood section of Falls Church has much to love for a large family or one with many overnight guests.

Built in 1946, the Tudor-style home at 6419 Shady Lane features warm, sunny rooms inside a handsome stone-and-brick exterior. The owners were told that seven or eight nuns lived in the residence for a time, and a lovely wooden arch with painted glass inserts is rumored to have been the entrance to a chapel.

The residence occupies a corner lot that has been professionally landscaped with mature trees and flower beds and an abundance of azaleas. Cater-cornered from the home is one of Falls Church's hidden treasures, the beautiful Azalea Park, where local residents stroll, relax and admire the array of blooms in spring.

At the front of the house, a stone walkway leads across the lawn toward the front door, with two oval garden beds enclosed by stone walls creating a more formal entrance to the front steps.

The front door opens onto a winter-weather-friendly vestibule, with a closet on one side and a glass door that opens into the grand living room. The main level of this unique home features hardwood flooring, plaster walls and 9-foot ceilings. The large living room has a coffered white plaster ceiling that adds character to the room, a stone fireplace, and a partial wall of open shelving that links the living room to the family room.

The wooden arch purported to have been built by the nuns connects the living room with the formal dining room. A wood door with an arched top has been placed in the doorway. A large group of guests can be accommodated in the sunny dining room, which has an extra-deep rounded bay window at one end. Open to the dining room is a sunroom with windows on three sides, which can be furnished as a music room or as a casual seating area.

Adjacent to the dining room is a modern kitchen with whitewashed cabinets and a double window over the sink. At one end of the kitchen is a breakfast nook with a wall of wood-framed windows overlooking the back yard.

Next to the breakfast room is an alcove area with a full bath, including a shower, and a deep niche with room for a large storage dresser or shelves. Beyond this alcove is the family room, which has a wood ceiling, a brick fireplace, a wall of windows framed in wood and a glass door to the patio. The concrete patio has a white metal fence at one end and is adjacent to an off-street parking area for several cars.

The main level also has a nearly hidden master suite, entered through a door off the living room. This suite includes a large separate sitting room that has several closets and could be converted to an extra bedroom. The large master bedroom has two closets, several windows and one of the two doors to the dramatic master bath. This art-deco-style bathroom has the original, still gleaming, oversized black tiles on the walls, with updated black-and-white fixtures and huge round mirrors that echo the round ceiling fixtures. In one corner is a glass-enclosed shower, and the bathroom also includes a separate soaking tub, a pedestal sink, a built-in linen closet and a built-in hamper.

The master suite rests in complete privacy in its own wing, but the upper-level bedrooms enjoy a great measure of privacy, too. A nearly hidden staircase leads from the alcove near the kitchen to the upper level, where a long, narrow room with hardwood flooring lies under a peaked low ceiling.

Window seats have been built into two of the deep windows along the front wall of this space. This room can be used as a study, playroom or library and can be defined by furniture groupings, if desired.

Four bedrooms originally were in the four corners under the eaves of the roof, but one bedroom is now used for the air-conditioning system and some storage. The bedrooms have extra-deep alcoves and low sloping ceilings, so the beds, dressers and desks can be tucked away in charming configurations. The bedroom doors have been cut into sharp angles, which adds to the style of these spaces. A hall closet for storage and a full bath also are located off the open main room on this level.

The lower level has a mazelike floor plan with a variety of rooms for the owners to use as they please. At one end is a one-bedroom apartment that has a living room with windows looking into the back yard; an updated full kitchen in black-and-white with a pantry; a bedroom; and a full bath.

In addition to the apartment, this level includes a large recreation room with paneled walls and a stone fireplace, a spacious guest bedroom and full bath, and a huge hobby room or workroom with plenty of windows and closet space. The hobby room could be converted to an additional bedroom if desired. A laundry and storage room is nearby. A two-room office area with a separate entrance to the parking pad in the back of the house has a lattice ceiling and an attached storage closet that also can function as a wine cellar.

The owners have loved enhancing this home's character with unique chandeliers and window treatments that won't convey to new owners, but one of the joys of owning an unusual home such as this Old World-style Tudor is being able to furnish and decorate it with pizazz.


Address: 6419 Shady Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042-2315

Community: Hillwood

Age: Built 1946

Price: $780,000

Size: .3-acre lot

Exterior features: Tudor-style stone-and-brick on corner lot, set back from street with extensive lawn, mature trees, garden beds, flagstone walkway with stone walls, professional landscaping, slate roof.

Interior features: Six bedrooms, two more rooms that could be converted to bedrooms, five baths, vestibule entrance, formal living room, formal dining room opening onto sunroom, large family room, kitchen and breakfast room, second-level sitting area with low peaked ceiling connecting three bedrooms. Finished lower level with recreation room, two-room office with outside entrance, hobby room or workroom with closet, guest bedroom and bath, laundry or storage room and one-bedroom apartment with updated kitchen.

Amenities: Three fireplaces, unique architecture, first-floor master suite with separate sitting room and luxury black-and-white tile bath with glass-enclosed shower and separate soaking tub, two-zone heating and air conditioning

Close by: Across one street is Azalea Park; shops and restaurants of Falls Church; easy access to Interstate 66 and Route 7.

Schools: Beech Tree Elementary, Poe Middle, Stuart High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Merelyn Kaye of McEnearney at 703/790-9090

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