Thursday, November 11, 2004

An antique trunk in the basement of this Queen Anne Victorian house is filled with old letters and photographs that tell the story of the house and its earliest residents. And lately, some new chapters have been added to the tale.

When the current owners purchased the Takoma Park house in 1998, they realized that many of the home’s original features were lost in previous remodeling projects. With the help of an architect and master carpenter, they restored the house to its original 1895 splendor.

That basement trunk is now augmented with the homeowner’s large album of before-and-after photographs of the latest renovation, which earned Historic Takoma Park’s 1999 Restoration Award.

Listed at $1,195,000, the freshly painted house sits on a wooded lot and has a covered wraparound front porch and second-story pocket porch above it.

This front porch was one of those features that had been removed from the home but was restored by the current owners.

The center-hall floor plan bursts with color, as the living room is painted a striking shade of blue and the adjacent dining room boasts a vibrant red. Mature hardwood flooring can be seen throughout the house, and 10-foot ceilings on the main level give the home a stately air.

Victorian “gingerbread” details such as the crown, dentil and bulls-eye moldings; ceiling medallions; newel posts; and turned spindles all enhance the home’s original character.

Most of the doorways in the house are tall and have transoms.

A hardwood foyer staircase with unique details separates the formal living and dining rooms. The living room is well-lit by five recessed lights and two windows that overlook the front porch. There’s also a charming decorative fireplace with a tile hearth that occupies one of the living room walls.

Up to 12 persons can comfortably be seated for dinner in the elegant dining room featuring an attractive Victorian light fixture flanked by one of the original medallions. This room offers access into the kitchen for easy holiday serving.

On the more informal side of the home, the family room and kitchen are in the rear of the house, where they have a sweeping view of the woods and lawns from a bank of large original windows.

The kitchen and family room are combined to make one spacious but cozy room in which to cook, eat and relax.

Cheerful yellow walls seem to create permanent daylight in both rooms, while the wood-burning fireplace in the family room adds comfort and style.

A glass-paneled door in this room conveniently opens onto the side portion of the wraparound front porch.

The contemporary-style kitchen sports a long center-island cooktop with a sink and offers additional cabinet and storage space. White cabinets line one of the walls from the floor to the ceiling with some open shelves at the top. Accents such as crown molding and six recessed lights highlight the ceiling.

Additional features include a double oven, a built-in microwave, a dishwasher and a pantry. Doorways at the far end of the kitchen lead to a laundry room with shelves, a powder room with a pedestal sink and green beadboard walls, and a butler’s pantry that has a full window above the sink.

French doors with transoms in the breakfast bay are visible from the foyer and give diners a view of the outdoors. The breakfast area between the kitchen and family room has a chandelier-style light fixture.

The French doors lead to a new Trex-surfaced deck. Part of the deck can be covered with a removable awning so outdoor gatherings can be spared lightly rainy evenings or hot sunny days.

The yard features meandering brick pathways, landscape walls and flowering shrubs and perennials set within hillside gardens.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, each with two large windows, nice closet space and colored walls. In the bathroom is the original claw-foot bathtub and original pedestal sink. A door on the landing opens onto the second-story pocket porch, similar to a covered balcony.

More stairs allow the owners to retreat to the top floor to relax in the private master suite. The owners added skylights and recessed lights to the room. They also expanded the bathroom and turned it into a dressing room complete with ample changing space, built-in shelving and three-sided mirrored walls. The bathroom has a shower, bidet and linen closet.

On the lower level, a large wine cellar with its own backup cooling unit is an impressive amenity. The basement also has a workshop and abundant storage space with built-in shelving. There is additional storage though a door opening to outdoor storage underneath the deck.

Address: 7709 Takoma Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912

Community: Takoma Park

Age: Built 1895

Price: $1,195,000

Size: More than 3,000 square feeton 0.45 acres

Taxes: $9,044

Exterior features: Wood exterior, brick pathways, large wraparound front porch, second-story pocket porch, new Trex deck, professional landscaping

Interior features: Five bedrooms, 21/2 bathrooms, wood floors, skylights, French doors, butler’s pantry, cooktop island, detailed moldings, 10-foot main-level ceilings, 9-foot second-floor ceilings, dressing room, original claw-foot tub and pedestal sink, lower-level workshop

Amenities: Family room fireplace, wine cellar with backup cooling unit, master-bath bidet, recessed lights, Victorian chandelier with original medallion, two-zone central air, lighted closets, main-level laundry room

Schools: Takoma Park Elementary, Takoma Park Middle, Blair High

Close by: Village location near Takoma Park Metro, shops, restaurants, farmers market, library, downtown Silver Spring

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Patricia Vucich of RE/MAXat 301/347-4135.

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