- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 2, 2010

The McLean, Va., neighborhood of Franklin Park, a hidden enclave of homes resting along a labyrinth of curving streets under towering trees, was created by developer William Duvall in 1908. Since its creation, the community off Old Dominion Drive has become home to an eclectic mix of single-family homes in a variety of sizes and prices from the upper $900,000s to $3,000,000.

Neighbors walk their dogs, and joggers pass children playing in this old-fashioned community, where the lack of sidewalks and the twisting streets encourage drivers to slow down and admire the Craftsman-style and contemporary homes that blend easily with ramblers and brick mansions. A gravel path links the community to the Chesterbrook Shopping Center, while other paths wind among the trees.

Residents have a short commute to jobs in Tysons Corner, Arlington, Georgetown and downtown Washington via the Chain Bridge and George Washington Memorial Parkway. Shopping centers both large and small are easily accessible.

A contemporary-style home at 1924 Rhode Island Ave. is on the market for $949,000. Set under towering trees, this home was built in 1989 and designed for elegant entertaining. Vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows fill this home with natural light and views of the surrounding trees.

The pale gray stucco exterior blends easily with the foliage around the home. An elegant stone path leads to the front door, which is hidden from the street by the distinctively patterned gray garage. The custom-designed wood-and-glass front doors open into an expansive open floor plan.

In addition to the trees and foliage that seem to embrace this home on all sides, the grounds include a wood deck that wraps around the back of the home and opens into a wider deck where residents and guests can dine and relax outdoors. Just beyond the deck are garden beds and lawns with a stone wall and more trees. Franklin Park is a bird sanctuary, with homeowners there frequently enjoying hummingbirds, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, doves and more exotic species flitting through the trees just outside their windows.

The owners of 1924 Rhode Island Ave. purchased their home in part because of their love of entertaining, along with the joy of living in a serene setting so close to the city. Six years ago, when they remodeled their kitchen, their choice of sleek cabinets and pendant and canopy lighting were considered avant-garde. Today, the kitchen simply looks modern and sophisticated.

Applewood-finish doors, drawers and appliance facings with stainless steel handles hide the ultimate in efficient and abundant storage space, including a “magic corner” that opens out to maximize corner space, floor-to-ceiling pantries with pull-out drawers, and angled doors that allow every inch of space to be used.

The gently curving center island includes secret storage cabinets that open with the push of a finger, including a middle section of drawers designed at the perfect depth for holding place mats. The kitchen has granite counters and a full granite backsplash, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a stainless steel gas range with a convection oven, griddle and simmer plate.

This splashy kitchen also includes a picture window over the sink so bird-watching can be combined with rinsing the dishes.

The kitchen is completely open to an elegantly designed dining room with recessed lighting and a glass door to the wraparound deck. A wood-burning fireplace with a raised granite hearth and surround warms the kitchen and dining room in winter. The owners find winter to be one of their favorite times for entertaining, with guests gathered by the living room and dining room fireplaces and at the center-island breakfast bar.

Across the foyer from the kitchen and dining room is the step-down living room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and a vaulted ceiling with an eye-catching swirling pattern in the stucco ceiling. This loftlike space has a raised-hearth wood-burning fireplace and a ceiling fan.

The main level also has a bedroom wing past the dining room. The corner bedroom has windows on two sides, two double-door closets and a sliding glass door to the deck. The second bedroom has a double-door closet and a picture window facing the deck. Adjacent to these two rooms is a full bath.

Hardwood stairs lead to the upper level, where myriad windows flood the landing with natural light. This landing, which leads into the master-bedroom suite, can be used as a home office or a master-suite sitting area.

Just beyond the office space is a generously sized dressing area with three double-door closets. The dressing area leads into the oversized bedroom, which has a vaulted ceiling, a wall of windows and a ceiling fan. An oversized picture window at the highest point of the room frames a treetop view. The bedroom has a sitting area in front of a wood-burning fireplace.

The master bath includes a whirlpool tub, a separate shower and a dual-sink vanity.

The home’s lower level easily can function as a fourth bedroom. This room includes three double-door closets and a wall of windows. A built-in desk flanked by built-in bookcases functions as an efficient home office. This room has a private door to a full bathroom, which also is accessible from the main hallway.

The lower level also has an oversized laundry room with cabinets and closet space, storage rooms and a door to the two-car garage, which has additional storage shelving.


Address: 1924 Rhode Island Ave., McLean, VA 22101

Community: Franklin Park

Age: Built in 1989

Price: $949,000

Size: Approximately 2,360 finished square feet on lot of 10,500 square feet

Homeowners association fee: None

Exterior features: Contemporary-style single-family home with winding stone pathway and stucco exterior, mature trees, garden beds, landscaped backyard with stone walls, oversized two-car garage with storage

Interior features: Three finished levels with four bedrooms and three full baths; hardwood flooring in foyer, open kitchen and dining room; hardwood stairs; step-down living room with fireplace; contemporary kitchen and dining area with fireplace; two main-level bedrooms with adjacent full bath; upper-level master suite with home office or sitting room, fireplace, dressing room, and vaulted ceiling in bedroom and luxury bath; lower-level bedroom or family room with multiple closets, built-in home office and full bath; lower-level laundry room and storage rooms

Amenities: Wraparound deck, three wood-burning fireplaces, custom-designed wood-and-glass front door, gas heat

Close by: Gravel path connects neighborhood to Chesterbrook Shopping Center, close to Chain Bridge, George Washington Parkway, Georgetown, Arlington, Tysons Corner

Schools: Chesterbrook Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 5

Contact: Realtor Sandra Leiva of Century 21 Redwood Realty at 703/338-5098


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