- The Washington Times - Friday, January 3, 2003

No expense was spared when it came to customizing every aspect of this four-bedroom, 4½-bath; house on River Road in Bethesda. The dramatic atrium living room, the heated outdoor pool and everything in between provide elegant surroundings.

This all-brick home on nearly an acre of stunningly designed landscaping was built in 1982 and expanded in 1985. It is located at 7138 River Road in Bannockburn Estates, one of the area's most coveted neighborhoods.

The house has two driveways: The first leads to the main entrance, and the second leads to a two-car garage.

The front stone walkway takes guests through an elegant double-door entry where they will be drawn immediately to the living room. This sunken, oval room sets the tone for the rest of the house and features an astonishing two-story coffered glass ceiling, brick fireplace, tall windows that look out onto the rear yard, and living plants and trees placed in a large, decorative, built-in structure.

When one walks down the steps into the living room, a sensor on one of the stairs automatically turns on the fireplace lights. A baby grand piano is dwarfed in this large room, ideal for holding large gatherings.

A unique floor plan divides the expansive house into three sections. The central wing features the foyer area and living room; the west wing houses the bedrooms; and the east wing has the kitchen, family room and dining room.

Floors on the main level are an elegant cream marble or plush cream carpeting. The foyer and main-level hallway stay bright with the help of several skylights, recessed lights and track lighting. Details such as tailored window treatments, stylish light fixtures, textured wallpaper and malachite handles have turned this home into a work of art.

The hall has paths that lead directly into the kitchen or the formal dining room. The large kitchen has a cozy sitting area that takes to heart the idea of the kitchen being central to the home. This space comfortably fits a couch, two chairs and a coffee table and includes a built-in entertainment center with a niche for the television and stereo.

The kitchen definitely was designed to accommodate more than just one cook. It has top-of-the-line appliances and two of almost everything two refrigerators, one extra-large and another built into the cabinets; two stoves, one a gas stove with a stainless-steel downdraft and another a center-island electric range; and two uniquely shaped sinks with instant hot water, the first a double sink and the second a smaller circular sink on the two-level center island.

The brown-toned granite counters work well with the white cabinets and marble floors. Additional kitchen amenities include a skylight and a breakfast nook with a bay window.

A butler's pantry separates the kitchen from the formal dining room. The pantry has its own window, warming oven, sink, a pull-down ironing board, and washer and dryer. The dining room has the appearance of an exquisite ballroom with one mirrored wall and an all-glass back wall that offers access to the rear yard.

The west wing is strictly for rest and relaxation. The master suite has elegant double doors and is on the main floor of this section of the home.

A step-down sitting area in the master bedroom comes with red enamel built-ins. The sleeping area, separated by a couple of steps up and a short glass divider, has a built-in bed and nightstand.

Plenty of space for clothes is available in the room-size walk-in closet, which is divided into two sections with built-in shelves.

Sliding doors in the master bedroom lead to an outdoor patio and one of the home's two hot tubs.

Brass fixtures, a marble shower and step-up whirlpool bath turn the master bathroom into a luxurious retreat.

Just outside the master suite is a powder room with an extra-high ceiling and artistic details.

A wide stairwell leads to three bedrooms on the second floor. This stairwell features tall mirrored walls, gold wallpaper and a skylight. The bedrooms are spacious and feature double closets. Two bedrooms have sturdy sliding glass doors that lead to a balcony with a wrought-iron railing, offering a breathtaking view of the yard and all its amenities.

The fourth bedroom can be used as a smaller, second master suite, as it has its own full bath. This bathroom is decorated with a deep blue color scheme. The walls have blue ceramic tile on them, and there are blue cabinets and fixtures. All of the bedrooms have skylights.

An au pair suite with radiant-heated floors and a full bath is found on the finished lower level. This level also offers storage space.

Outdoors, the back yard is reminiscent of a lavish vacation resort, with scenic landscaping, koi ponds, a heated pool, a flagstone patio and the second of the home's two hot tubs.


Address: 7138 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817

Community: Bannockburn Estates

Price: $1.6 million

Taxes: $11,281 in 2002

Age: Built in 1982

Size: About 7,000 square feet on .92 acres

Exterior features: All-brick contemporary home with flagstone walkway and patio, two driveways, attached two-car garage, two hot tubs, heated in-ground pool, professional landscaping, koi ponds and gazebo

Interior features: Four bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms, au pair suite in finished lower level, handicap accessibility, marble floors, sunken living room with glass ceiling, wet bar, butler's pantry with warming ovens, skylights, center-island kitchen, au pair suite, built-ins, tall ceilings

Amenities: Fireplace, kitchen with granite counters, two refrigerators, two sinks, gas and electric stoves, intercom system, security system, sliding glass doors, double doors, mirrored walls, track lighting, recessed lights, step-up whirlpool tub

Close by: Four country clubs, White Flint Mall, restaurants

Schools: Bannockburn Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Walt Whitman High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Tammy Burns of Century 21 Village Realty at 301/384-8326.

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