- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2003

The winding lanes that lead away from Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, often overhung by branches from towering trees, are lined with gracious homes of varying styles. French colonial-style mansions reside adjacent to Tudor-style castles, and stone estates blend easily with brick and stucco homes, all with a sense of permanence and peace.

On some of the larger properties, horses graze gently. Deer and foxes are common sights.

Great Falls has only about 7,500 residents in its 22-square-mile community, where miles of horse trails wind through wooded areas. Large lot sizes, from half an acre to 10 acres, help maintain the rural atmosphere in this upscale section of Fairfax County.

At 9910 Blackmore Vale Way, a 10-year-old Colonial home with three sides of brick is now on the market for $1,239,950. Placed on a corner lot with a lush, sweeping lawn, this home rests on just less than 1.75 acres. A side-entry three-car garage has been placed at the end of an asphalt drive, which also has space for additional parking.

Mature trees grant privacy to this home, which has ample space for a swimming-pool addition if the new owners want one. A two-level deck with built-in seating faces the woods, offering glimpses of the seasons changing and the occasional deer. The deck is accessible from both the living room and the family room, allowing for an easy flow when entertaining.

Formal and informal lifestyles both can be accommodated in this neutral home, which has oak hardwood flooring throughout the main level and an open floor plan that uses the woodlands as a focal point. Guests are welcomed in the two-story foyer, which has hardwood flooring and a rotunda leading to the oak stairs at the back of the house. A graceful Palladian window opens the wall at the rear of the stairs, allowing a glimpse of the woods from the front door.

To the left of the foyer, double doors open onto a library with a full wall of built-in bookcases and cabinets, a wet bar with a refrigerator and recessed lighting overhead. Hardwood flooring, crown and chair-rail moldings and wainscoting add elegance to this room, which has two tall windows overlooking the front lawn.

Across the foyer, the formal dining room has decorative columns, hardwood flooring, crown and chair-rail moldings and a dramatic ceiling medallion and crystal chandelier. A swinging door connects the dining room with the kitchen, and the columns frame an open entrance facing the living room.

Three low steps lead down into the living room, which has a dramatic wall of windows with a sliding glass door to the deck and a central Palladian window facing the woods.

Informal gatherings of family and friends are easily accommodated in the open kitchen, breakfast area and family room, and all three spaces are enhanced with a dramatic, soaring vaulted ceiling and oak hardwood flooring.

At one end of this open room, the kitchen has cherry cabinets, Corian counters, recessed lighting and upgraded appliances, including a downdraft cooktop on the center island.

A built-in desk has been placed in one corner of the room, and a nearby hall leads to a powder room and the large laundry room. A double window lets sunshine into the adjacent breakfast area overlooking the side yard.

A few steps down lead to the family room, a two-story space with a fireplace with a brick surround and a Colonial mantel. Across the back of the family room is a wall of windows with transoms and a sliding glass door to the deck.

The opposite side of the main level holds the master suite, accessible through double doors framed by decorative columns and placed on the opposite side of the central stairs for extra privacy.

A step-down from the hallway adds height to the master-bedroom ceiling, and a deep bay window with transom windows above offers a woodland view. A built-in entertainment center has been placed in one corner of the bedroom.

A divided walk-in closet with a window and a large linen closet have been placed adjacent to the elegant master bath, which has white ceramic-tile flooring accented with burgundy tiles, a whirlpool tub placed under a picture window, a glass-enclosed shower with a seat, a double-sink vanity and a second picture window with a transom window above.

The upper level features a large central gallery with overlooks to the foyer and the living room, a space that could function as a cozy seating area. To one side of the gallery is the first guest suite, a large bedroom with two tall windows, a walk-in closet and a private bath with a vanity and a sink outside the bathroom.

The second bedroom, on the opposite side of the gallery, has a deep double-door closet and a private full bath, plus two tall windows overlooking the front lawn. The third bedroom has a deep bay window alcove overlooking the woods, a walk-in closet and a private bath with a double-sink vanity, a shower with a seat and a tub.

The unfinished lower level has more than 1,700 square feet of potential living space, including a walk-out through a sliding glass door and a bay window that matches the rooms above. The owners have installed an intercom, security and stereo system for the home, along with multiple ceiling fans.

More info:

Address: 9910 Blackmore Vale Way, Great Falls, VA 22066

Community: Falcon Ridge

Age: 10 years

Price: $1,239,950

Size: 4,821 finished square feet, 1,734-square-foot unfinished basement on lot of 75,111 square feet

Taxes: $14,731 in 2002

Exterior features: Colonial-style home with three sides of brick, corner lot that backs to woods, three-car side-entry garage, flagstone walk to grand front entrance with brick steps, columns, balcony above.

Interior features: Four bedrooms; 4 baths; two-story foyer with hardwood flooring and hardwood stairs; formal dining room; library with wet bar and built-in shelving; formal living room with wall of windows; sunken two-level family room with wall of windows; kitchen and breakfast area; first-floor master suite; three secondary bedrooms, each with private bath; unfinished walk-out lower level.

Amenities: Two-level deck with built-in seating, fireplace, intercom and stereo system, first-floor laundry room, security system and gas heat and hot water.

Close by: Minutes to Great Falls Village Center, Capital Beltway, Reston Town Center, McLean and Tysons Corner.

Schools: Great Falls Elementary, Cooper Middle, Langley High

Open house: Sunday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Contact: Realtor Pam Smith of Long & Foster Real Estate, 703/759-1111

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