- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

While new homes across the country have been increasing in size, some architects, interior designers and homeowners have become proponents of the “not-so-big house,” a concept author Sarah Susanka used to title her 1998 book.

Her Web site (www.notsobighouse.com) reports that “the inspiration for ‘The Not So Big House’ came from a growing awareness that new houses were getting bigger and bigger with little redeeming design merit. The problem is that comfort has almost nothing to do with how big a space is. It is attained, rather, by tailoring our houses to fit the way we really live, and to the scale and proportions of our human form.”

Dan and Shelly Haser, owners of the custom one-level contemporary home at 7604 Seoane Court near Falls Church, believe their 1,894-square-foot home is a prime example of a smaller home that provides comfortable living spaces for daily life and entertaining that are equal to the value found in a larger residence.

Now on the market for $699,999, this home rests on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Pine Spring community. This close-knit neighborhood has a Web site (www.pinespring.org) to keep residents in touch with each other.

Built in 1991 on a lot previously occupied by a 1950s home that had been destroyed by a fire, the Haser home has been expanded with additions designed by Mr. Haser in 2001 and 2004.

The Hasers added red brick pavers over the concrete driveway, which has space for two cars to park in tandem. Additional parking for guests is available along the cul-de-sac.

The red-painted wood home features dramatic clerestory windows in the front and back of the home looking out over the woods, which provide natural beauty behind the home.

On one side of the home and across the front, the Hasers have been adding landscaping — garden beds and shrubbery.

An Amish-style cedar shed with a cedar shake roof provides additional storage adjacent to the home. The shed is wired for electricity.

A wood porch was added to the front of the home, along with a two-level deck with built-in seating for easy summer entertaining.

A glass front door leads into the front hall, which offers a glimpse straight through the home to the wooded back yard.

The Hasers bumped out the front of the home in 2001 to expand the kitchen and add a laundry room, but the additional space is seamlessly attached to the rest of the home with matching hardwood flooring in the hall and ceramic-tile flooring in the kitchen.

The combined laundry room, mudroom and storage space includes a front window and high shelves to make up for one feature the house lacks, a basement storage area.

A large window over the sink is supplemented by two skylights and a clerestory window to fill the kitchen with light. The Hasers hired a cabinetmaker from Pennsylvania to construct custom cabinets and shelves in several areas of the house, including a built-in cherry bookcase in the kitchen, which also has a built-in butcher block dining table and cherry cabinets, including some with glass fronts.

Ceramic-tile backsplashes match the ceramic-tile flooring, and a GE Profile Advantium halogen oven/microwave supplements the gas range and oven.

Adjacent to the kitchen is a custom cedar closet with shelving that can function as a pantry, a linen closet or both.

The living room features multiple windows facing the deck and woods, along with a custom entertainment center that even includes a sliding low shelf that functions as a coffee table when pulled out.

The living room is open to the dining room, which has a chandelier and a side window that offers a glimpse of the shed.

The great room, added in 2004, includes a wall of windows at the back of the home, a large side window and a glass door to the deck. A small area of ceramic-tile flooring at the door protects the hardwood flooring.

In one corner of the great room is a wood stove set on flagstones with two walls of fieldstone rising from the floor to the ceiling.

Along one wall of the great room, the Hasers have built a custom desk and credenza, although this will not convey to the buyers. On either end of the credenza are additional storage closets.

Just off the living room, pocket doors lead into the third bedroom, which the Hasers prefer to use as a den. This room has a glass door to the deck, a closet and an additional door leading to the hall near the master bath.

The master bedroom, like most of the home, has hardwood flooring. The bedroom has windows on two sides, a ceiling fan and cherry doors. At one end of the bedroom is a dressing area with a walk-in closet including built-in shelving that reaches to the ceiling, and a vanity with a sink and additional drawer space.

The master bath is accessible through a door from the bedroom and pocket doors to the hall for guests.

Updated in 2005, this bath includes a large glass-enclosed shower with ceramic-tile flooring and matching ceramic tile on the other bathroom walls. For storage, the room has custom natural cherry cabinetry with nickel knobs.

An additional bedroom is located at the front of the house on the opposite side of the kitchen and includes a large window, a closet and a private full bath with a window.

With its cathedral ceilings, skylights, abundant windows and open floor plan, the Haser home offers the feel of a much larger home on a more human scale.

Address: 7604 Seoane Court, Falls Church, VA 22042

Community: Pine Spring

Age: 14 years

Price: $699,999

Size: 1,894 finished square feet on .44-acre homesite

Taxes: $4,645 in 2004

Homeowner’s association fee: None

Exterior features: Custom one-level contemporary of red-painted wood siding; brick-paved front driveway with parking for two cars; private cul-de-sac location; wooded rear yard; landscaped side garden

Interior features: Three bedrooms; two full baths; cathedral ceilings; hardwood flooring; ceramic-tile flooring in kitchen and baths; updated kitchen with skylights; built-in butcher block dining table, ceramic-tile backsplash, glass-front and solid cherry cabinets; living room with custom entertainment center; dining room with window; cedar closet; mudroom/laundry room with storage; great room with Andersen clerestory window wall and atrium door to deck; one bedroom with private full bath; master bedroom with walk-in closet, dressing area with vanity and sink, upgraded bath accessible from hall and bedroom; third bedroom or den with closet

Amenities: Wood front porch; two-level rear deck with built-in seating; cedar shed with window boxes and electricity; wood stove; exterior motion lights

Close by: U.S. Routes 50 and 29, Capital Beltway

Schools: Pine Spring Elementary, Jackson Middle, Falls Church High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: For sale by owners, Dan and Shelly Haser, 703/641-0699 or visit www.xenturian.com/users/haser.

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