- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

As lots available for new homes grow scarce in the District and its close-in suburbs, architects and builders become more creative in their endeavors to design a home that fits a niche, appeals to buyers and still blends with an existing neighborhood.

At 1200 Magnolia Road in Silver Spring, Gerry Ellsbury Jr., owner of Plumb Square Building, worked with architects Kent Abraham and Julia Caswell to design an arts-and-crafts-style home that enhances but doesn’t overpower its three-quarter-acre site. Detailed but simple architecture using natural materials as much as possible is the hallmark of this style.

The mahogany craftsman-style front door includes leaded-glass inserts and sidelights and blends with the cedar-shingle and Hardiplank siding exterior. Tall columns flanking the front door also are found on the 49-foot side porch. Outdoor living space also is found on the second-level deck off the master bedroom. A sweeping front lawn and professional landscaping enhance the property.

On the market for $1,200,000, this home blends a historic style with modern amenities in all of its 4,200 finished square feet. Arts-and-crafts detailing can be found in the light fixtures and the custom wood trim around the doors and windows. The home has 10-foot ceilings on the main level, with an 11-foot ceiling in the family room. The main level has oak flooring throughout, and the stairs and second-level hall floor also are oak.

The first floor includes a two-story foyer with columns flanking the entrance to the living room, which has two sets of French doors opening onto the side porch. The formal dining room has an entrance from the main hall and the living room.

The step-down family room at the rear of the house includes another set of French doors, which open onto the side porch, along with a gas fireplace. Just off the family room is a second casual gathering space, a center-island kitchen with an adjacent breakfast room including a deep bay window. The kitchen has stainless-steel appliances, 42-inch Shaker-style maple cabinets, granite countertops and a pantry.

Near the kitchen is the informal family entrance into the house, accessible from both the garage and a small side porch. A powder room is nearby.

Upstairs, the master bedroom includes a large bedroom with glass doors leading to a large roof deck. The master suite has a double-size walk-in closet and a private bath with a large tile shower with glass walls, a 6-foot whirlpool tub and a double-sink vanity with maple cabinets. Each bath in the house includes 12-by-12-inch ceramic tile flooring.

The second bedroom has a private full bath; the third and fourth bedrooms share a bath placed between them, accessible from a hall door.

The upper level also includes a laundry room.

Oak stairs lead to a finished third level with charming dormer windows and 400 square feet of flexible space for use as a home office, play area, family gathering area or children’s study.

The lower level has a rough-in for a bath and 49 feet of space ready for finishing for additional living area. Two sides of the basement are above ground level, allowing for natural light from several windows.

The home has been designed with energy efficiency in mind. It has a 92 percent-efficiency-rated propane furnace, a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 13 central air conditioning, a gas water heater, two-zone heating and air conditioning, extra insulation in the walls and energy-efficient windows.

To visit the home or obtain information, contact Sterling Mehring of Bethesda Homes at 301/585-2600. For information about Plumb Square Building, call 301/585-2782.


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