The elegant dining room flows into the open foyer.
Homeowners may choose between brick, stucco and stone for the exterior of the Windsor model.
The spacious kitchen opens into the family room.
In the two-story grand foyer, the dramatically curved staircase creates a sumptuous effect.
In the family room, the ceiling spans two stories and a bank of windows keeps the space awash in natural light.

Living in Style

Windsor Estates builds top-of-the-line homes with a difference

JULY/AUGUST 2010

Windsor Luxury Estates has been specializing in mansion- and estate-size custom homes since 1983, when this family-owned company first recognized a demand in the DC area for large-scale, luxury residences. Even in a difficult economy, they have not regretted their decision to go high-end—and they have not compromised on their product.


“Our custom homes are 10,000 to 30,000 square feet with the highest level finishes throughout,” says company vice president Amita Jane. She readily lists a few of the materials and amenities they use in construction, including exotic woods, imported marble, cherry-paneled elevators, domes and illuminated tray ceilings. “When we say we use granite surfaces we are not talking about just any granite,” she says. “Ours comes from rare granite stones.”


In affluent areas such as Potomac, Maryland, and McLean, 
Virginia, Windsor’s success is not surprising; however, their prices are a little more so. A 10,000-square-foot, three-story home starts at $1 million and includes the above amenities along with such bells and whistles as a catering kitchen, home gym, curved grand staircase and more. According to Jane, the company keeps costs down by offering their own portfolio of plans from which clients select a model. “There are 25 to 30 plans to choose from,” Jane says. 


Because the client chooses from existing architectural plans, there is no architect fee—which also lowers costs. With plans already in place, Windsor is able to complete construction on homes in eight months, about half the time it normally takes to build a home in their size range. In order to ensure construction time and the quality of their product, the company only builds five or six homes per year. 


Floor plans for Windsor Estates are also distinctive. In response to requests from clients for larger windows, more natural light and a sense of openness, the company began designing their homes using open plans rather the typical series of smaller rooms. “We take the main floor and create one huge open space that includes the living room, dining room, morning room, family room and kitchen,” Jane explains. Wings off to either side may contain ballrooms, conservatories, extra bedrooms or home offices. 


Windsor has also rethought the upstairs spaces in their homes. While most estates on the scale of Windsor’s contain ten or more bedrooms, Windsor’s designs instead offer five or six very large ones, each with its own separate sitting room as well as a bath with soaking tub and a spacious walk-in closet. According to Jane, today’s homeowners simply do not need that many bedrooms to comfortably accommodate their families. “We are thinking about living 
practically,” she explains.


Built on a two-acre lot in Potomac by staff builder Prem Puri, the home pictured here is the Windsor model; it’s on the market for $1.95 million. It measures in at 10,000 square feet with three full levels, five bedrooms and seven baths. Among other features, it includes a curved staircase in the foyer and the main-floor open plan.

INQUIRIES: Windsor Luxury Estates, 5001 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-842-4108; www.windsormd.net
 
**Out of the array of interior design magazines, Home and Design magazine stands out as a primary idea source for luxury home design and building/remodeling features.  Wonderful visuals of custom homes and eco-friendly resources are combined with expert advice to provide a fundamental reference point for bringing amazing home interior design and remodeling projects to life.