- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Private estates with a swimming pool and tennis court are hard to come by inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia, but these are not the only distinctive features of the estate on the market at 5404 Backlick Woods Court in Springfield.

Hidden behind a brick-and-Hardiplank Colonial facade, three distinct sections have been blended into one comfortable, yet elegant, home. The original log cabin on the site, believed to have been built in the 1800s, has now become the warm and charming kitchen. Ceiling beams cross overhead, while the sleeping loft to one side provides additional storage space. The root cellar below now holds swimming-pool equipment rather than potatoes.

The central portion of this home, built in about 1950, features elegant, detailed moldings and trim, hardwood flooring and tall windows at the front and back of the home.

Owners Bob Fitton II and his wife, Liz, added a wing to the home with a family room and sunroom below and a master suite above with every detail in place, including a limestone master bath with furniture-quality cabinetry and granite counters.

Now on the market for $1.35 million, this estate offers easy access to downtown Washington, Old Town Alexandria and Tysons Corner. Located about one mile inside the Beltway, the home backs to woods and a stream and rests on almost 2 acres.

The existing two sections of the home were preserved by Equity Homes, of which Mr. Fitton is president, when the company began development of Backlick Woods. Mr. Fitton also made sure the towering holly tree in the front of the home was preserved, as it is one of the largest in Northern Virginia.

Mr. and Mrs. Fitton settled into their home, planting hundreds of flowering bulbs and improving their property by landscaping, resurfacing the tennis court, and retiling the swimming pool with Italian tiles and a gray bottom. When it came time to design the addition to the home, the Fittons were careful to make sure the rooms blended together and the front and back of the home were well-matched, with the same window trim and shutters.

A spider-web-pattern transom over the front door has now been repeated in several rooms of the home.

When guests are welcomed into the Fitton home, they step into a central foyer with a painted ceiling meant to resemble the night sky. To the left is the formal dining room, a unique room with “four walls of art,” as Mr. Fitton calls it. Artist Virginia Jacobs McLaughlin, known for her work at Mount Vernon and other historic sites, painted murals on each wall of the dining room of outdoor scenes with dark blue skies and silver-green trees.

This room also has hardwood flooring, four picture windows and a chandelier.

A step-down leads into the kitchen and the adjacent powder room, both of which have tile flooring.

The kitchen has been remodeled with granite counters, a center island and upgraded appliances. Two window seats surround a kitchen door that leads to the front drive and the detached three-car garage.

On the opposite side of the foyer, the formal living room includes a fireplace and built-in cabinets and shelves. A gently arched doorway leads into the family room addition, which has hardwood flooring designed to match the rest of the main level.

A custom wall of built-in cabinets and bookshelves in gleaming cherry surrounds a large wood-burning fireplace with a marble hearth. This wall includes a wet bar with an icemaker, and the room is lighted by windows with the signature spider-web transom.

The coffered ceiling adds warmth and drama. The back wall of the family room has three sets of glass doors leading to the sunroom.

The sunroom has been carefully designed with mahogany flooring from the Philippines, which was also installed on the deck outside to unify the two spaces.

The heated sunroom converts to a screened porch, as the windows on three sides of the room slide easily into the floor. From this room or the deck outside, guests and family members can watch a tennis match or swimmers enjoying the pool, or simply gaze at the woods and trickling stream at the end of the property.

Synthetic materials were used for the railings and trim around the rear of the house and the deck for easier maintenance. Brick steps lead from the side of the deck to a side yard and a utility building for storing outdoor equipment.

Above the family room and sunroom, the Fittons designed a lovely master-suite retreat, a sunny space with a sitting room and bedroom defined by a three-sided gas fireplace and two separate tray ceilings with cove lighting.

Off the bedroom is a private balcony overlooking the rear yard. In addition to his-and-hers custom closets, the Fittons created a luxurious and warm master bath with limestone flooring and walls and custom maple cabinetry with matching moldings to surround the mirrors and matching shelving.

The rose-toned gray of these cabinets blends with the granite counters of the vanities. The bath also includes a large Jacuzzi with a light inside, motorized blinds over the windows and a glass-enclosed shower with a tower-style shower head.

The original portions of the upper level include the original master suite, which has a wall of closets and a private full bath with a whirlpool tub. A second bedroom on this level has another private full bath. Adjacent to this bedroom is a small room, which could function as a nursery, a den or a sewing room. Built-in drawers and cabinets in several locations in the hall provide additional storage space, along with a fully floored attic for storage.

The finished lower level has a bedroom at one end lined with closets, a large room that could also function as recreation-room space. A full bath is adjacent to this room.

At the opposite end of this level is a recreation room with an antique porcelain furnace, a wet bar, a half bath and a door to the backyard pool area. This room, along with many others in the home, has built-in drawers and shelving for easy storage.

The lower level also has a central room, which could function as a home office or play area. The large laundry room is adjacent to this space.

The Fittons found the compartmentalized rooms on the lower level to their liking, allowing each room its own flexible function. Pleasant weather usually found the family outside, though, playing tennis, gardening or soaking in the swimming pool.

Address: 5404 Backlick Woods Court, Springfield, VA 22151

Community: Backlick Woods

Age: 53 years, with original portion dating to 1800s; addition, 2002

Price: $1.35 million

Size: About 4,300 finished square feet on lot of almost 2 acres

Taxes: $4,559 in 2003, not yet adjusted for addition

Exterior features: Colonial-style single-family home of brick and Hardiplank siding; private cul-de-sac location; large holly tree in front, along with hundreds of flowering bulbs; woods and stream at end of property; sunroom or screened porch; deck; brick walkway/patio in side yard; private master-suite balcony; detached three-car garage

Interior features: Three finished levels with four bedrooms; four full baths; two half-baths; unique foyer with sky mural overhead; formal dining room; two-story kitchen with beamed ceiling, tile flooring; formal living room with fireplace and built-ins; family room with wall of cherry built-ins, wet bar and fireplace; sunroom with slide-away screened windows; three bedrooms upstairs, including elegant master suite with separate sitting room, bath; finished lower level with home-office space, fourth bedroom with full bath, recreation room with antique fireplace and half bath

Amenities: Heated in-ground swimming pool, tennis court, four walls of murals in dining room, four fireplaces, full-attic storage space, radiator heat in original section of home, house wired for satellite television and sound in every room

Close by: Minutes to Beltway or Interstate 395; easy access to Tysons Corner, Old Town Alexandria and downtown Washington.

Schools: North Springfield Elementary, Holmes Middle, Annandale High.

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Owner-broker Bob Fitton at 703/577-1747


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