- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2005

A classic French chateau in Potomac is just as impressive outside as in, with an elaborate entrance and an expansive interior with elegantly

designed rooms. There’s even a disco — complete with flashing lights — on the lower level.

The home at 10709 Barn Wood Lane, now offered at $3,195,000, is situated on the highest point in Potomac and surrounded by 31/2 acres of lush landscape.

An attractive stucco-and-wrought-iron wall faces the street, but inside the remote-controlled entry gate, tall Bradford pear trees gently sway above the winding cobblestone-lined driveway.

A fountain is the centerpiece for the circular drive at the top of the hill, helping to sustain the classically inspiring entrance.

The white stucco house with a slate roof was designed in a French style with a curved mansard roof design and lion’s-head downspouts.

Guests may want to linger in the outdoor spaces, though. A 50-foot-by-30-foot flagstone terrace surrounds the pool and features built-in planters with trees.

Fountains in the pool and a pergola with wisteria vines create a scenic backdrop. The owners hosted their own wedding ceremony here.

There also are a circular cobblestone garden, an Oriental hillside garden, and numerous other gardens and planted areas throughout the grounds.

A morning terrace with entrances from the family room and breakfast room offers a more intimate space to relax, and dozens of light posts add to the dramatic setting in the evening throughout the grounds.

A split brick staircase bordered by evergreen trees leads to double doors adorned with hardware imported from France.

Guests enter a small vestibule with a chandelier and marble floors — and a security camera — before reaching the etched glass French doors leading into the home. These doors open directly into a grand entrance hall, where the ceiling soars 20 feet above the marble floor. Plaster molding in a leaf motif highlights the ceiling, and a large plaster medallion encircles the wrought-iron-and-crystal chandelier.

While an open, curved staircase with wrought-iron spindles leads to the second floor, the grand hall flows into several of the main-level rooms, most of which feature 9-foot ceilings and more creative plaster crown moldings.

The library, to the left of the entrance hall, is well-appointed with French paneling with a hand-rubbed finish, built-in cabinets and bookshelves with lighting, a built-in bar, and a deep storage cabinet.

The living room is directly behind the library and offers a carved stone fireplace imported from Europe with a beveled mirror above the mantel.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on either side of the fireplace overlook the side yard and gardens. Two sets of French doors in the back of the room offer access onto a terrace.

Inlaid wood parquet floors go nicely with the pale yellow painted walls and thick crown molding with a lattice motif.

Unique crown molding and parquet floors continue into the formal dining room, also in the rear of the home, where there are raised wood wainscoting; wall sconces; and a 12-foot bay window framing a view of the rear terrace, pool and fountains.

The house was built in 1980, but the family room, situated in the front of the home, appears to have been transported from a much older era.

Exchanging formality for comfort, rich paneling combines here with the 9-foot beamed coffered ceiling to turn this room into a warm and welcoming space.

A large stucco fireplace and wood mantel capture the essence of this room, and two lanternlike light fixtures accent the ceiling. Tall windows overlook the front yard, and gardens and help usher in the sunshine. Two sets of French doors lead to the side terrace.

A pass-through from the family room leads to the well-equipped kitchen with a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, dual GE Triton XL dishwashers, double Thermador ovens, a Jenn-Air downdraft four-burner cook top with a third oven underneath, and a Sanyo wine cooler.

Extensive oak cabinetry follows the kitchen walls. Some have stained-glass doors. Ceramic tile covers the counters and the floors. This kitchen also has a center island and a desk.

Off the kitchen, the owners turned the original service area into a breakfast room with French quarry tile and double glass French doors opening onto the morning terrace. Nearby are the door to the three-car garage and a second staircase for easy access to the upper and lower levels.

A circular hall has doorways to four of the bedrooms on the second floor.

The master suite has a raised corner fireplace, a private dressing area and two walk-in closets. The master bath has a skylight covering a large portion of the ceiling. Additional features in the bathroom include marble flooring, a whirlpool tub, a separate shower, and a separate compartment for the toilet and bidet.

All of the bedrooms are carpeted and offer generous closet space. The second bedroom has its own full bath, while bedrooms three and four share a bathroom tub. Each room, however, has its own sink. The third bedroom also includes a Juliet balcony overlooking the backyard pool and terraces.

One of the hall doorways leads to the second-floor guest wing with two more bedrooms, a den and a common study area.

Before entering the two bedrooms, there is a den with a small wet bar that serves as a cozy gathering room. A replica Frank Lloyd Wright stained-glass window is set within the door leading to the common study area, which has a long bow window and a built-in desk.

Both of these guest bedrooms have their own bath and double closets.

A seventh bedroom is on the lower level. It could also be used as an office.

The disco room, made for large-scale entertaining, has a full-size jukebox, a dance floor, a revolving disco ball, and strobe and theater lights that flash to the beat of the music. Here, too, are built-in semicircular dinettes with pendant lighting. The disco area flows over to the recreation room.

More seating is available in the raised conversation area — a long, built-in semicircular couch facing the fireplace. The bar has a mirrored back wall, a sink, a refrigerator and a door that opens into the wine cellar.

This house has one of the first generation of home theaters. It features concave walls lined with acoustical carpeting, contemporary wall sconces, six reclining black leather chairs with matching ottomans and built-in cabinetry.

This basement level also features an exercise room and laundry room with easy access to the back staircase and a convenient laundry chute from the first and second floors.

A door leads to a side circular drive so arriving guests can enter directly into the lower level.

The home has high-speed wireless Internet access, Category 5 wiring and high-efficiency gas furnaces.

Address: 10709 Barn Wood Lane, Potomac, MD 20854

Community: River Oaks Farm

Age: 25 years old

Price: $3,195,000

Size: Lot of 3.52 acres; about 10,000 square feet of interior space

Taxes: $16,148 in 2004

Exterior features: Classic French chateau, stucco exterior, wrought-iron entrance gate, fountains, winding cobblestone driveway, circular drive, flagstone terraces, in-ground pool, pergola, numerous gardens and wide variety of specimen trees and shrubs, three-car attached garage

Interior features: Seven bedrooms, 61/2 baths, vestibule, library, guest wing with a den, disco, recreation area, home theater, exercise room, built-in bar, wine cellar, dual staircases, marble and wood floors, French doors, skylight in master bath, plaster moldings, crystal chandelier

Amenities: Four fireplaces, security camera, bidet, laundry chute, cedar closet, Seeburg disco jukebox, exercise room, newer three-zone heating, wireless capability

Schools: Potomac Elementary, Hoover Middle, Churchill High

Close by: Potomac Village shops and restaurants, Potomac Hunt Club, parks

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Doug Mainwaring at Weichert Realtors, 301/928-3683


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