- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2005

Just off Interstate 270 is a modest-looking white-siding house that belies its dramatic interior. It’s easy to pass this Rockville home, at 717 W. Montgomery Ave., without realizing that the 1937 house has been meticulously renovated over the years.

The house, offered at $979,000, has been recrafted into a sophisticated two-level home with three staircases, cathedral ceilings, and an impressive open floor plan filled with windows and skylights.

The short driveway into the home creates a small, private courtyard with a finished two-car garage and double-door front entrance.

Many construction details went into the renovation project, including 2-inch-by-6-inch framing with extra insulation in the walls and between the floors.

Although it is in the heart of Rockville, the outside world seems to disappear when you close the front door. High-quality sound-dampening windows provide crystal clear, quiet views to the outside.

All of the rooms were built on a grand scale in a unique floor plan. Rich, warm hues of burgundy and gold, along with splashes of blues and greens, are prominent throughout the house, making it come alive with colorful spaces to relax and play.

An open foyer features partial glass-block walls on both sides as entrances into the library on the right and a welcoming open area on the left that leads toward the kitchen.

In the library, a gas fireplace built on a full stone platform provides the focal point in the room, conducive to working or winding down. A knee wall separates the front part of the room, where there is a vaulted ceiling with recessed lights, skylights and two bookcases that will convey.

The first of three sets of stairs is in the library, and it leads to a den on the second floor.

Across the foyer, a wide hall opens into the rear of the home.

The kitchen appears to be the home’s command center, overlooking the sunken dining and living rooms. This is one big open space lined with 42-inch maple wood cabinets and granite counters.

Among the kitchen appliances are a stainless-steel six-burner Viking range and stainless-steel hood. There’s a long counter that overlooks the dining area and has room for several stools and storage underneath.

Italian glazed porcelain tile on the kitchen floor continues down several stairs and into the dining and living rooms.

Vaulted ceilings with recessed lights and 12 of the home’s 18 skylights are found in these two dramatic rooms.

The dining room is an open area that seamlessly flows into the living room and has a back wall with two sets of sliding glass doors and a staircase to the second floor.

The living room also has a back wall of sliding doors, and it offers a view of the rear deck and fenced back yard.

The perfect setting for an outdoor dinner party, the extensive deck stretches across the length of the back of the home. Stairs lead from the deck to the yard. A lattice-covered six-person hot tub sits on one side of the deck. At the rear of the yard is a 20-by-12-foot shed to store lawn and seasonal equipment.

Inside on the main level is the master suite, up several short steps near the dining room. French doors serve as an elegant entryway.

Also on the main floor are a powder room near the foyer and access to the garage off the kitchen area.

Winding stairs in the master suite lead to a loft on the second floor that can be used as a fourth bedroom. The loft also has a doorway to the second level. The two bedrooms on this floor are equally spacious and are separated by a lavish bathroom.

Green walls, a beamed vaulted ceiling, a built-in entertainment center and a Palladian window give the first bedroom personality. Pocket doors open into the long bath that is set up to serve both bedrooms by incorporating two distinctively separate bath areas, divided by the laundry room. Both spaces have commodes, showers with seating and sinks with granite counters.

Pocket doors also open on the other end of the bathroom into the second bedroom, which has a beamed ceiling complemented by orange and olive green walls.

Another large room on this floor is used as a den and features wood stairs that lead down into the library. It could work as a home office, too.

The redeveloped Rockville town center, just minutes away, eventually will include the new Rockville regional library; a town square; and a mix of retail, residential, office, cultural and entertainment attractions.

Address: 717 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville, MD 20850

Community: West End Park

Age: Built in 1937, renovated

Price: $979,900

Size: 5,100 square feet on 0.43 acres

Taxes: $4,780 in 2004

Exterior features: Contemporary home, vinyl siding, attached two-car garage, fenced back yard, rear deck with hot tub, large shed

Interior features: Three bedrooms, 31/2 baths, main-level master suite, home office, skylights, cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, maple wood cabinets, granite counters, stainless-steel appliances, Italian porcelain tile in kitchen and bathrooms, built-ins, recessed lights, French doors, pocket doors, five sliding glass doors

Amenities: Gas fireplace; four-zone heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Schools: Beall Elementary, West Middle, Richard Montgomery High

Close by: Rockville Town Center, Interstate 270, Rockville Metro station, parks, shopping, restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Tom Revesz of Weichert, Realtors, 240/893-3412

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