- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2004

An 18th-century mansion was the inspiration for this Southern Colonial-style home on a sprawling three acres in Ashton. The homeowners have a long family history in Ashton and wanted a historic-looking house to convey their connection to Ashton and their family.

In 1999, the owners built a contemporary version of the Echo of Whitehall Mansion, originally constructed in Anne Arundel County in 1765, because they appreciated the architectural design of the stately home.

A long, private driveway off New Hampshire Avenue in northeastern Montgomery County leads to the classic manor, with its white vinyl siding, black shutters and a red entrance door.

A row of two-story columns and 19 windows embellish the facade. The front grounds feature a large circular drive surrounding a professionally landscaped island and a four-car side-entrance garage.

Offered at $1.1 million, the house boasts six generous bedrooms and a lavish gathering room with space to seat 70 for dinner.

Ten-foot ceilings, detailed crown moldings, designer light fixtures and tastefully painted walls are some of the distinctive details that draw attention to the first floor. The foyer is large enough to comfortably fit a chair and small table to make guests feel at home when they enter. There’s also room for a long bench, perfect for putting on and taking off boots and other winter gear.

Just off the foyer, the formal powder room sparkles with an elegant chandelier, sconces, marble flooring and a chic custom cabinet sink.

The center hall separates the formal parlor from the dining room. Both rooms feature hardwood floors, custom crown and chair-rail molding, tall windows with sunburst designs, and a dimmer switch for the lighting to create a variety of moods.

A dramatic tray ceiling and chandelier highlight the formal dining room, while the inviting parlor has wall sconces and two convenient entrances, one from the entry foyer and one from the back hallway.

The long hallway on one wing of the home leads to what the homeowners call the gathering room. Glass French doors open into a study with neatly arranged built-in bookcases, a chandelier, sconces and a large picture window.

At the end of the hall is the 22- by 36-foot gathering room, which the homeowner says is used often when hosting large family gatherings.

Company in this massive open room will likely gravitate toward the large fireplace with marble surround and a custom mantel.

This room features hardwood floors, conducive to dinner and dancing. Two chandeliers and recessed lights provide light at night; tall windows let in daylight. One wall has glass doors, all set to lead to a future deck.

For more intimate gatherings, the family room and kitchen combine into open space for entertaining. A breakfast bar marks the separation of the two rooms and offers a place for casual meals.

The family room has a built-in recessed television nook, a gas fireplace and one of two doors that lead to the custom two-level deck with built-in seating.

The crisp white kitchen has a rectangular work layout, with gas appliances, a center island with downdraft cooktop and two built-in wine racks.

Ceramic tile covers the floor and complements the dark blue Corian kitchen counters.

The breakfast room has a lofty vaulted ceiling with a ceiling fan and built-in desk situated beneath a bookcase. The second glass door leading to the deck is also located in the breakfast room.

A walk-in storage closet in the kitchen provides space for infrequently used appliances. A second half-bath can be found nearby.

The flowing hardwood staircase in the foyer is the path to four bedrooms on the second level. The long upstairs hall has a conversation nook, recessed lights and a door to the laundry room.

Nine-foot ceilings throughout the second level give all the rooms the appearance of being even more spacious.

A set of double doors off the hall opens into the master bedroom to showcase a wall of windows and a gas fireplace perfect for warming up the sleeping quarters on cold winter nights.

The master bathroom is impressive, with a Jacuzzi tub and just about two of everything, including the sinks, linen closets and large walk-in closets with shoe racks.

Each of the remaining three bedrooms has its own full bathroom as well as custom space-saver closets. Two of the rooms offer overhead shelves for books or stuffed animals, and one of the rooms has a custom bookcase and desk.

The lower level is a multifunctional space, with two of the rooms separated by uniquely arched entrances. Distinct sections include a recreation room, television area, an exercise room, a second laundry room and full bath.

There is also a two-bedroom suite with a sitting area and rough-in for the kitchen to make it a self-contained in-law quarters.

Ceilings on the lower level are 10 feet, and there are three exits into the back yard.

This home, located in the horse country of Ashton, is impeccably appointed and offers beautiful views of mountains.

Address: 18320 New Hampshire Ave., Ashton MD 20861

Community: Ashton

Age: Built in 1999

Price: $1.1 million

Size: 8,000 square feet on 3.9-acre lot

Taxes: $6,518

Exterior features: Vinyl siding, columned entrance, long driveway, circular drive, professional landscaping, four-car garage with attic and recessed lights, tractor or yard tools garage, custom two-level deck

Interior features: Six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two half-baths, large gathering room, hardwood floors, ceramic tile in kitchen, vaulted and tray ceiling, 10-foot ceilings on main and lower level, 9-foot ceilings on second floor, two laundry rooms, walk-in closets

Amenities: Three gas fireplaces, intercom system, sconces, recessed lighting, Jacuzzi tub, French doors

Schools: Sherwood Elementary, Farquhar Middle, Sherwood High

Close by: Ashton Acres horseback riding, Hampshire Greens Golf Course, Sandy Spring Museum, restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Oliver Cowan of Long & Foster Real Estate at 202/232-6130

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