- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

Although some architects struggle with today’s hybrid home designs, others manage to blend the best of traditional and contemporary style architecture seamlessly.

One example is the estate at 11374 Seneca Knoll Drive in Great Falls, where traditional Colonial details, including a stately columned entrance and extensive wainscoting and moldings, complement vaulted and cathedral ceilings and a multitude of French doors, skylights and transom windows.

Now on the market for $1,575,000, this home rests on a 1.79-acre lot with a gently sloping front lawn, mature trees and a curving asphalt drive leading to a three-car side-entry garage. A brick walkway leads to the brick stoop and steps.

Placed between the woods and the back of the home in the private back yard are a heated swimming pool with a waterfall, a whirlpool tub and a level lawn that functions equally well as a play area and party site.

On the pool level, patios are linked with the home by several sets of French doors. Stairs also lead to the two wooden decks, which have been placed adjacent to the family room and sunroom. A gate with an arched pergola links the swimming pool area with the drive for easy access by guests when entertaining.

Guests can also be welcomed in the spectacular two-story marble foyer, an open space with an art niche and columns that offers glimpses of multiple rooms. A curving hardwood staircase leads to the upper level from the foyer, and a powder room has been tucked just behind the stairs.

Most of the main level features hardwood flooring, including the step-down living room, which has an open, columned entry; tall windows; crown and chair-rail moldings; and a gas fireplace with a marble surround. Two sets of French doors link this room with the sunroom.

The serene sunroom includes eight tall windows with transoms, a fanlight window, a vaulted ceiling with two skylights and ceiling fans, hardwood flooring and two sets of French doors leading to a deck. One wall of the sunroom has been devoted to a delightful faux painting of a garden scene.

The sunroom shares its wood deck with the library, which has more French doors, a deep bay window, ash-paneled walls and a wall of built-in cabinetry.

Near the library, the step-down family room has a stone gas fireplace flanked by two tall windows. French doors lead from either side of this room to the two decks. One side of the family room is open to the breakfast area and kitchen.

Back at the front of the home, the formal dining room features a marble floor, recessed lighting, tall windows, crown and chair-rail moldings, and a ceiling medallion. A swing door leads from the dining room into the butler’s pantry, which has a wine storage rack, granite counters and plenty of cabinetry. A walk-in wine pantry in the butler’s pantry includes a wine cooler, wine shelving, a granite counter and additional shelving.

The kitchen includes warm Italian ceramic-tile flooring, granite counters, designer ceramic-tile backsplashes, a tray ceiling with recessed lighting, maple cabinetry and a breakfast bar. Banks of windows overlook the back yard, a view shared by the breakfast area, which includes a wall of French doors with transoms above and access to a deck.

Upgraded appliances include a trash compactor, a stainless refrigerator, double wall ovens, a gas stove and a dishwasher. A walk-in pantry with an automatic light is nearby, along with a large laundry room with ceramic-tile flooring, maple cabinetry and two corner windows.

The curving front staircase leads to a curving upper gallery, which overlooks the foyer and the Palladian window at the front of the house.

The palatial master suite has hardwood flooring, a cathedral ceiling, a gas fireplace with a slate surround, two sets of floor-to-ceiling windows with fanlight windows above and two closets.

A set of double doors links the bedroom with the master sitting room, which has a vaulted ceiling, a wall of built-ins surrounding a window and another wall entirely of windows framing a view of the woods.

The master bath includes a marble floor, a vaulted ceiling with two skylights, a walk-in closet with access to attic storage, a double-sink vanity, a whirlpool tub and large separate shower with a glass door.

Each of the three additional bedrooms on the upper level is generously sized, with high ceilings, hardwood flooring and plenty of windows. An unusually luxurious hall bath has a vaulted ceiling, two skylights, a marble floor, a double-sink vanity, a linen closet, a tub and a separate shower.

Stairs to the lower level are accessible from a door to the garage as well as the kitchen. This finished level includes Berber carpeting, a foyer or seating area with French doors to the pool and whirlpool tub, and a recreation room with a gas fireplace with a brick hearth flanked by two tall windows.

Near the recreation room are several more spaces for entertaining, including a billiards room and a tavern room with ceramic-tile flooring, French doors to the back yard and a custom-designed oak bar with a sink and mirrored back wall.

The lower level also includes a bedroom with a private full bath, a powder room and an exercise room with a closet. A combination caterer’s kitchen and workroom or hobby room includes tiled flooring, a large sink, cabinets and counters. Extensive storage areas are also accessible from this room.

Additional features of this home include a Bose music center, intercom and security system with exterior floodlights, four-zone heating and air conditioning, and custom-designed insulating blinds on the upper- and lower-level windows.

With about 7,000 finished square feet of living space, any family with a love of entertaining could easily find the space to accommodate friends for gatherings large and small, casual and formal in these cheerful and sun-filled rooms.

Address: 11374 Seneca Knoll Drive, Great Falls, VA 22066

Community: Old Saybrook

Age: 15 years

Price: $1,575,000

Size: About 7,000 finished square feet on lot of 1.79 acres

Taxes: $12,561 in 2003

Exterior features: Colonial-style home of stucco and wood, mature trees, gently sloping front lawn and level rear lawn, two full-size decks, lower-level patio, side-entry three-car garage

Interior features: Five bedrooms; three full baths; two half-baths; two-story foyer with marble floor; step-down living room; formal dining room; step-down sunroom with vaulted ceiling and mural; library with bay window; family room with stone fireplace; kitchen and breakfast area with butler’s pantry, walk-in wine pantry; hardwood flooring on main and upper levels; French doors, skylights, transom windows; master suite with sitting room, fireplace, bath; marble hall bath; finished lower level with sitting area, recreation room, tavern room with wet bar, billiards room, exercise room, powder room, bedroom with private full bath, caterer’s kitchen, storage areas

Amenities: Heated swimming pool with waterfall and whirlpool tub, built-in Bose music center and intercom and security system with floodlights, four-zone heating and air conditioning, three gas fireplaces

Close by: Minutes to Georgetown Pike and Leesburg Pike, Reston, Sterling, Great Falls Village

Schools: Great Falls Elementary, Cooper Middle, Langley High

Open house: Aug. 15, 1 to 4 p.m.

Contact: Realtors Dan Laytham and Jan Kendall at Long & Foster Real Estate in Great Falls at 703/759-9190

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