- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2008

Water views in every room provide a scenic backdrop when dining, entertaining or relaxing in a uniquely designed Fort Washington home on Swan Creek.

With four decks and a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces, this custom home in Prince George’s County has an openness that lets the activity define each room. The Realtor says the home’s design reminds her of how Frank Lloyd Wright brought the outside in with wood and stone accents and how he used expansive windows and trees to frame the gardens, river and sky.

The house at 1300 Swan Harbour Road is on the market for $950,000. It has one of the largest lots in the community and uses its acre of space wisely from front to back.

A stone driveway that sits far back from the street leads to a side-entry garage. However, before going inside the house, it’s hard to miss the tastefully fenced area in the front yard that has become a showcase for the owner’s beautifully landscaped organic garden.

The fence is replicated from a Colonial design featured at Mount Vernon and Williamsburg to provide visual entrance when entering the property and to protect it from deer. The garden recently had 30 heirloom tomato plants, green beans, cucumbers, raspberry bushes, rhubarb and apple trees.

An upscale garden shed was built to coordinate with the home by having the same cedar siding and roof angles as the house. A garage-style door and sloped ramp offer easy access for garden equipment or toys.

The lot features stately oaks, beeches and ash, as well as a few persimmon, wild cherries and pawpaws. The homeowners look forward to early spring when thousands of daffodils bloom and in May when apple trees bloom in the woodlands.

A covered slate front porch leads into the house where there is a matching slate foyer.

The water view is dominant when one steps into the four-bedroom house. From the front door, arriving visitors are treated to a full glass wall of windows in the great room at the rear; this sets the tone for the rest of the house. An extensive use of Pella windows combined with high ceilings makes the home a true retreat. A powder room, two coat closets and an oak staircase are off the entry foyer.

Walking toward the back of the home, just before entering the living room, visitors pass built-in bookcases and an archway that is perfect for displaying art. The home is visually appealing, and there’s so much to take in from every angle.

The living room has a vaulted two-story cathedral ceiling filled with windows; a slate, wood-burning fireplace; and oak floors that echo the exposed beams. Despite the height, this room has the feel of a country cottage, with sliding glass doors opening onto the deck to offer easy access to the outdoors.

This multilevel deck wraps around both sides of the home, creating a convenient outside space with an easy flow. The lawn slopes to a separate panoramic half-round deck above Swan Creek at the edge of the Potomac River. Bald eagles, osprey and blue heron fly nearby.

The riverside deck has a view of the lighthouse at the tip of Fort Washington National Park, whose historic buildings date from 1812. Large enough for a concert, reception, or dance, this deck is a bonus and a great place for any gathering of friends and family.

The kitchen, which is in the front of the house, is entered through a doorway off the foyer. A sunny kitchen window above the sink offers a view of the front grounds.

Oak cabinets and floors, along with granite counters, add style to the gourmet kitchen. Two dishwashers are a plus and especially come in handy when cleaning up after entertaining or preparing the next load while putting away the dishes from the first load. The microwave doubles as a convection oven, and there’s ample storage, thanks to roll-out shelves, lazy Susan corner cabinets and a pantry that is generous in size.

The kitchen and dining room are separated by a long built-in countertop and cherry cabinet with glass doors. It can double as a countertop for holiday buffets and is the ideal space to display china and other family treasures.

An adjacent deck invites dinner guests outside during the warmer months. The overhead grape arbor is a symbol of bounty, harvest, and celebration.

The homeowners can choose between complete main-level living, or the more traditional second-floor sleeping quarters, as there are two master suites. The first-floor master bedroom is comfortably sized and has a sliding glass door that offers a wonderful water view and leads to the attached deck.

Strategically placed evergreens provide seclusion for relaxing in the bedroom or enjoying the hot tub on the private deck. The master bath comes with double sinks, tile floor, a large soaking tub and a separate shower. There’s also a large walk-in closet for easy wardrobe access.

A second-level walkway has a panoramic view of the water through the two-story wall of windows and looks down into the living room below. This leads to three bedrooms, including a second master suite with a knotty pine ceiling and its own mahogany deck outside.

With spectacular views of the adjacent woods, the flowering gardens, the river, and parkland, this room is a place to linger, and it can be used as an impressive guest suite. The adjoining bathroom has a skylight and a shower.

The third bedroom has a wall of windows that look toward the river. It has two walk-in closets, and it opens into a smaller room that can be used as a spare bedroom, study or hobby room.

The last bedroom has a peaked ceiling and skylights, which make it the ideal artist’s studio or storybook children’s room.

Storage space is ample because of the large closet and huge walk-in storage room. Most of the bedrooms come with track lights and ceiling fan.

An unfinished basement has two sets of stairs leading to the garage or the home. The two-car garage has a storage loft overhead and plenty of room for a workshop.


Address: 1300 Swan Harbour Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744

Community: Swan Creek Club

Homeowners association: none

Age: built in 1998

Price: $950,000

Lot size: 1.05 acre

Square footage: about 3,100 square feet

Taxes: $9,355.14

Exterior features: custom-built home with brick and cedar siding; stone driveway; slate front porch, oversized two-car garage; four decks, including a panoramic semicircle deck overlooking the water; garden shed; landscaped organic garden; and landscaped yard

Interior features: passive solar design, contemporary home with four-bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms and two master suites; open floor plan; slate foyer; oak floors; vaulted ceiling; exposed wood beamed ceilings; walls of windows throughout; built-ins; granite countertops; skylights; unfinished lower level; home highlighted in Washingtonian magazine in 2002

Amenities: Wood-burning slate fireplace, whole-house generator, FIOS cable, zoned heating and air-conditioning, electronically fenced garden

Schools: Potomac Landing Elementary, Eugene Burroughs Middle School and Friendly High School

Close by: National Harbor, Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, Alexandria, marina, golf, shops, recreation and restaurants

Open house: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Contact: Cathy McGarrigan of Long and Foster Real Estate Inc. at 301/292-9250

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