- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The river was the inspiration for a four-bedroom, 3-bath contemporary house in Fort Washington’s Tantallon on the Potomac that artistically echoes its natural surroundings.

Sitting on a half-acre lot hidden in a cul-de-sac, the brick-and-cedar home is part of a community of custom-built estates with breathtaking views. A long, private driveway to the home on Shore Drive takes full advantage of the massive river view right outside the door.

Towering 35-foot walls of glass outline the rear of the $1.3 million home, highlighting its closeness to the river. A multitiered deck was added to the back of the house two years ago. Extra-wide steps lead from the top down to the deck’s second level with its built-in benches and outdoor cooking area. The owners were able to integrate a large tree into the deck’s design.

The home offers a modest front entrance but surprises guests upon entry with its bright, open floor plan.

A mixture of wood, brick and stone highlights just about every room. This eclectic blend is striking, especially when set against walls of large windows.

Although the house was built in the early 1970s, it has been updated to include up-to-date essentials and luxuries. The kitchen and lower level both have been renovated within the past two years.

The foyer provides an exciting entrance as it overlooks the sunken living room. Slate floors in the foyer extend throughout the main level. There also are dramatically high ceilings featuring redwood, oak and cherry beams. Different rooms on the main level are denoted subtly by the architectural definition in the ceiling.

The living room has a 35-foot ceiling and a back wall filled with windows that look out onto the multilevel deck and the river.

A two-sided triangular wood-burning fireplace set within an exposed brick wall radiates warmth and is a cozy touch in the open living room. The fireplace has a slate hearth to match the flooring, perfect for displaying collectibles.

Just around the corner, the living room flows into a smaller open space that can be used as a morning room.

From this room, you can go downstairs to the lower level, step up to the kitchen or up to the elegant dining room.

Cantilevered steps lead up to the formal dining room that appears to be floating. This room is situated across from another large wall of windows overlooking the water. A vaulted ceiling and mirrored back wall reflecting the outdoors enhance this room’s appeal.

The large multifunctional kitchen is centrally located and offers an enjoyable gathering spot for family members and company. In keeping with the earth-tone decor of the home, the kitchen also features slate flooring, a beamed cathedral ceiling with skylights, brick and cherry walls as well as cherry cabinetry.

Rich granite counters are featured prominently throughout the large kitchen and provide ample counter space.

The kitchen has two islands, both equipped with sinks. One of the islands has a cooktop, a breakfast bar and a lower octagonal-shaped table on one end with room for several chairs.

Black appliances add sophistication to the room and include a refrigerator, gas stove and a double oven with a TV niche above it. Recessed lights and distinctive hanging light fixtures help brighten the kitchen.

The kitchen also has a separate dining area with a fireplace. A wall of French doors provides the backdrop to this dining area and leads to the private terrace connecting to perennial gardens, paths and walkways.

A scenic hallway off the kitchen with a long wall of windows faces the terrace area and leads to three roomy bedrooms. All of the bedrooms have tall ceilings, and one has a large mirrored wall.

Off the hall is a full bathroom with a high ceiling, a step-up tub separated by a curtain from the rest of the bathroom, and a double sink.

In the lower level, brick walls, slate floors and beamed ceilings offer an obvious connection to the home’s main level. A brick fireplace turns the area into a relaxing retreat, while a fully equipped black marble wet bar makes it easy to entertain.

A large recreation space with rich and varied accents pulls the room together and adds to the living space.

This space could be put to use as an in-law or au-pair suite because it has a second walk-up entrance that allows access to the lower level through the side of the house near the rear garden area.

Also on this floor is a large master suite with a well-appointed full bath. Features in the bathroom include a large marble shower, a deep oval-shaped pedestal sink, and built-in shelves and drawers.

More info:

Address: 12409 Shore Drive, Fort Washington, MD 20744

Community: Tantallon on the Potomac

Age: Built in 1971

Price: $1.3 million

Size: 4,600 square feet living space on .5 acre

Taxes: $5,090

Exterior features: Brick-and-cedar custom-built contemporary house on the water, multitiered deck, private terrace, gardens, stone walkways, fenced courtyard, built-in grill

Interior features: Four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, in-law suite, vaulted ceilings, slate floors, Berber carpeting, cathedral ceilings, beamed ceilings, skylights, recessed lights, walkout basement, granite countertops, cherry cabinetry, glass cabinets, exposed brick walls, oversized windows, walk-in closets, French doors

Amenities: Three fireplaces, built-in bookcases, mirrored walls, cedar closets, wine cooler, kitchen desk, TV niche in kitchen, intercom system,

Schools: Potomac Landing Elementary, Eugene Burroughs Middle, Friendly High

Close by: Potomac River, Tantallon Country Club, Fort Washington Marina

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Valerie Green of RE/MAX Colonial Homes, 301/292-2928

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