- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2008

The beauty is in the details.

That’s what drew the owners of this Kensington Colonial to this Carter Inc.-built home (www.carter-homes.com). The Rockville-based builder includes memorable details in every room.

Less than 10 years old, the house at 9921 La Duke Drive is currently on the market for $1,194,500. Its Rock Creek Hills neighborhood off Capital View Road sends a visitor on a brief tour through winding roads with a scenic display of homes and mature trees.

According to the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association, Rock Creek Hills was part of the old Alfred Ray farm, which was a showplace in the early 1900s. It had open spaces, white board fences and fox hounds.

The owner, who was in England to obtain some fancy hunting dogs, had sailed on the ill-fated Titanic.

At the La Duke Street home, a welcoming front porch leads guests into the soaring foyer that boasts a 6-foot-wide center hall with a grand staircase and two coat closets. Elegant custom woodwork highlights the center hall, which is spacious enough to place a large sitting bench.

One of the homeowners is an interior designer, which explains the home’s model-perfect decor.

The separate dining room to the right of the foyer is ready for gracious entertaining year-round. It features a triple-bay window overlooking the front grounds, while an impressive custom faux and linenized paint draws attention to the walls.

Across the hall, three rooms with three distinct functions line up behind one another. From the formal living room to the library to the relaxed family room, the builder manages to include unique architectural details in each.

The sunny living room features walls of windows and two wide entryways allowing access from both the foyer and library. French doors with a transom window lead from the living room into the library.

Bucking the notion of your private, tucked-away library, this space has a central location that allows the room to be integrated into the living room or closed off when quiet time is needed.

The library comes with built-in cabinetry with glass doors, granite counters, a wet bar with a refrigerator and walk-in closets.

A dramatic arched doorway leads from the library and into the family room. Home to a wood-burning, brick-hearth fireplace, the family room is the ideal spot to unwind with family.

Floor-to-ceiling windows usher in sunshine. A set of French doors in the family room open onto a second-story deck overlooking the large, scenic back yard.

The owners were successful in distracting attention from the wood fence by bordering it with picturesque landscaping.

The kitchen’s breakfast room blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space with its two large walls of windows with wood blinds and transoms.

Solid cherry cabinetry and black granite counters stand out in this sun-filled kitchen. One of the L-shaped counters doubles as a breakfast bar and helps separate the cooking area from the dining space.

High-end appliances include a Jenn-Air gas cooktop and a double-wall oven.

Sophisticated details continue throughout the second level. A carpet runner covers the center of the hardwood staircase, which has white spindles and decorative moldings lining the wall.

There are four generously sized bedrooms and three full bathrooms on the second floor.

Double doors lead the way into the lavish master suite, where a wide Palladian window overlooks the back yard.

With a vaulted ceiling and two walk-in closets, this room offers style and function. The master bathroom has a large tub, separate shower with a seat, double sink and ceramic tile floors.

The second bedroom is almost a smaller version of the master suite. It also has a Palladian window and a private full bathroom with tile flooring.

Sunlight also streams through a dormer window in the room that overlooks the front yard and stone walkway. Beneath the window is the perfect spot for a small bench to turn the space into a reading alcove.

The foyer can be seen from the open second-level hallway. The third bedroom has a corner window, and the fourth bedroom comes with a double closet. These two rooms share a hall bath with a white vanity and cabinets.

Also on the second floor are a separate laundry area and pull-down stairs to a floored attic with plenty of headroom and storage.

More space to relax and entertain can be found on the above-ground lower level that comes with a recreation room and guest quarters.

Berber carpeting covers the stairs leading down into the basement and continues throughout the recreation room. As a bonus, this room has a wood-burning fireplace with a raised brick hearth and custom glass and screen enclosure.

French doors allow the sunshine to stream in and makes for convenient access directly into the yard and onto a patio.

The back portion of the lower level houses a spacious bedroom and full bath that works as an in-law suite or as private accommodations for guests.

There is also a large storage and work area along with a walk-in closet allowing for plenty of extra space to store items.

A large two-car garage sits underneath the home, which means that the entrance is on the basement level.

Additional features in this home include fresh custom paint throughout, a whole-house water-treatment system and dual-zone heat and air conditioning.

Address: 9921 La Duke Drive, Kensington, MD 20895

Community: Rock Creek Hills

Homeowner association fees: None

Age: Built in 1999

Price: $1,194,500

Lot size: .47 acres

Taxes: $8,832.95 in 2007

Exterior features: Columned front porch, stone walkways, dormer window, professional landscaping, private, fenced-in yard, playground equipment, in-ground timer-controlled sprinkler system, large two-car attached garage

Interior features: Five bedrooms; four bathrooms; two-story foyer; library; wet bar; bay window; transoms; kitchen with cherry cabinets, granite counters, upgraded appliances and breakfast bar; custom woodwork and trim; French doors, attic storage space

Amenities: Two wood-burning fireplaces with brick hearths, dual zone heat and air conditioning with humidifier, whole house water treatment system, custom ceiling fans, upgraded phone and cable lines, double circuit breakers, security system

Schools: North Chevy Chase Elementary, Westland Middle, Bethesda/Chevy Chase High

Close by: Rock Creek Hill Park with soccer fields and tennis courts, downtown Silver Spring, shopping, recreation, restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Marie Mitchell of Long & Foster Real Estate, 301/873-2425.

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