The pool house includes a catering kitchen and an outdoor entertainment area with a fireplace. © Angie Seckinger
A stone wall marks the entry to the home. © Angie Seckinger
The home’s exterior reveals a Craftsman influence. © Angie Seckinger
A gated entry to the backyard frames the pool house. © Angie Seckinger
The porch is visible from the pool house sitting area. © Angie Seckinger
Soft but structured landscaping borders the pool. © Angie Seckinger
Grasses and perennials disguise storm-water filtration and drainage systems. © Angie Seckinger
A sectional by A. Rudin frames a custom coffee table by Salvations in the family room.
The lower-level stair boasts a steel railing below a pendant by Hubbardton Forge.
The kitchen features an island for food prep and another for casual meals or entertaining.
Cabinetry by Woodharbor and marble countertops form a quiet perimeter around the kitchen.
The teal pantry houses multiple cold-storage units and drawers for beverages.
In the dining room, a custom mirror and sideboard by McLain Weisand blend with wallpaper by Cole and Son.
The master suite’s library features a dramatic pendant by Sonneman.
A stair in the entry corridor leads to the second floor’s three guest rooms.
A four-poster bed by Vanguard matches the scale of the vaulted master bedroom.
Meyers incorporated the master bath’s clerestory windows into the cabinetry.
A pendant by Metropolitan Lighting hangs over a Ferguson tub.
On the lower level, the sectional is by Hickory Chair and the swivel chairs are A. Rudin.
Deep window sills allow for seating around the pool table from Premium Spa & Billiards.
Exposed-steel I-beams frame the entrance to the wine room.
A golf-simulator by aboutGolf is sunken to accommodate an 11-foot ceiling.

Life of the Party

A retired couple upsizes to a new Oakton,Virginia, home built for year-round entertaining

Tom and Nancy Stout have always loved hosting parties, but it wasn’t easy in the Oakton home they shared for 18 years, where typical gatherings of extended family and friends meant moving furniture and setting out multiple coolers. “Neither one of us wanted to leave Oakton,” Nancy says, but the spread they envisioned didn’t seem possible in an established suburb.

Serendipity struck one day in 2013 when Nancy came across a lot for sale that backed up to Fairfax County parkland. The owner lived on the adjacent lot—and promised to sell them her remaining parcel when she retired.

They waited two years to acquire the second lot that gave them two acres of forest-lined land, all the while assembling ideas for their new home and party compound—and the team to make it happen. “They had a unique opportunity to do something really special,” says their architect, Tom Flach.

High on the Stouts’ wish list was a pool and pool house, a spacious screened porch and a lower-level play space for all ages complete with table games, a sophisticated wine room, a bar and a golf-simulation center—a top priority for Tom Stout, a former corporate controller for AOL.

In his plan, Flach set out to relate the home to the context of the neighborhood and provide visual and physical connections to the landscape. Meeting his clients’ requirement for plenty of entertaining space, he says, “The challenge was creating a house that was comfortable for two people but scalable for 20 to stay over—or a party for 100.” Despite the home’s 11,800-square-foot size, he designed clearly defined public rooms that don’t feel cavernous when visitors are not around and a master wing on the main level that serves as the Stouts’ private retreat.

The overall architecture was influenced by both Shingle-style and Arts and Crafts abodes. “I find inspiration in the material palette, the complex roof lines and the scale of these homes,” says Flach. “I wanted the house to evoke memories of more traditional homes while feeling comfortable in a suburban neighborhood.”

Interior designer Sandra Meyers came on board early to ensure that everything from the interior architecture to the furnishings and décor suited the couple’s aesthetic. “They wanted a casual but sophisticated house,” she explains. “Everything is user-friendly, everything is easy—and coming to visit for the weekend is like going to a resort.”

Meyers chose elements that are attractive yet durable, such as distressed-finish cabinetry and stain-resistant fabrics. The Stouts had asked for a mostly gray palette, but Meyers broke it up with shots of black and white. Wood and heritage metalworks imparted warmth and a sense of timelessness. She selected walnut ceiling beams and built-in shelving to add character to the family room and chose exposed-steel I-beams instead of drywall on structural-support columns in the basement. “When you mix materials,” the designer comments, “it creates longevity that you don’t get when you walk one style line.”

If one color stands out from the mix, it’s the teal cabinetry in the pantry at the heart of the main level—easily accessible from every interior space and the outdoor grilling area. “It’s basically a Tiffany box,” says Nancy Stout, a former member of AOL’s marketing team. Since the pantry is so central, it allowed Meyers to extend shades of teal and turquoise outward into the kitchen’s seating area, on accent pillows in the family room and onto the dining-room rug.

Also critical to the design was maintaining a seamless transition between indoors and out. Flach worked closely with landscape architect Howard Cohen to achieve that goal. “It’s one of the most comprehensive processes I’ve ever gone through for a landscape,” Cohen reports, noting that his team helped site the house and engineered grading on the property in addition to designing the pool house and pool. “The landscape is in scale with the house,” he says. “You want the house to have a nice presence on its site.”

Meanwhile, builder Arjay West found a way to make Nancy’s beloved screened porch an integral part of its surroundings: Both motor-controlled screens and clear vinyl panels designed for cooler weather roll up to create a covered terrace that perches over the pool. Beside it, a picturesque fountain sends water running down over a black-granite boulder. “The porch might be Nancy’s favorite space,” West says. “It really can be a four-season room—we installed infrared heaters on three sides and electric floor heat.”

West takes pride in the quality of the home’s construction, noting small details that have big impact such as the slender steel collar ties supporting the pitched roof in the master-suite library, which appear as decorative metal rods in the wood-paneled ceiling. The wine room’s glass wall panels were embedded in the floor and ceiling to avoid visible tracks or brackets. And when closed, a sliding door to the master bathroom is indistinguishable from the bedroom’s wall paneling. “It’s the most complete and fantastic project I’ve ever been involved with,” West says.

Behind the scenes, the energy-efficient home boasts an extensive, remote-controlled network of lighting, sound and video systems both inside and out. Says Atlantic Multimedia principal Thomas Rogers, who installed the system, “There’s a lot of electronics and engineering in this house that you don’t notice.”

In fact, all the Stouts notice these days is their ease of living and entertaining—whether it’s family gatherings at holiday time, when 20 or more spend the weekend, or their grandchildren’s basketball and soccer team parties. “We keep telling everyone, ‘Yes, we’ll host your party,’” says Nancy. “That’s our purpose in life!”

Architecture: Thomas Flach, AIA, Kohlmark Flach Architects, Burke, Virginia. Interior Design: Sandra Meyers, Sandra Meyers Design Studio, Rockville, Maryland. Kitchen Design: Patty Whitman, Reico Kitchen & Bath, Springfield, Virginia. Builder: Arjay West, West Homes LLC, Falls Church, Virginia. Home Automation: Thomas Rogers, Atlantic Multimedia, Fairfax, Virginia. Landscape Architecture: Howard Cohen, Surrounds Landscape Architecture + Construction, Sterling, Virginia. 



Windows: through Millwork and Built-Ins: Ornamental Metalwork: Wood Countertops: Hardwood flooring: Home Automation: Paint: Window Treatment Fabrication:

Pool House: Furniture: Throw Pillows:

Sectional: through Sectional Fabric: through Pillows: through,, through Light Fixture: through Rug: Coffee Table: through Drapery Fabric: through

Light Countertops & Backsplash: Dark Countertops: Cabinetry: Blue Stools:, through Stools with Backs: Fabric: through Island Pendants: through Marble Backsplash: through Refrigerator: Roman Shade Fabric:

Cabinetry: Cabinetry Color: Harlequin Wallpaper: Sink: through Faucet: through

Rug: Benches: Bench Fabric: through Lighting: Console:

Rug: Light: through Coffee Table: through Recliner: through Sofa: through Sofa Fabric: through Fireplace Wall: through Mantel: through Roman Shades: through

Wallpaper: through Table: through Chairs: Chair Fabric: through Lighting: Rug: Mirror + Console: through

Bed: Bedding: Headboard Fabric: Loveseat: Loveseat Fabric: through Armchairs: through Armchair Fabric: through Nightstands: Lighting: through Drapery Fabric: Table Lamps: through

Bathtub: Mosaic Tile: Tile Source: Chandelier: through Cabinetry: Mirrors:

Sectional: through Sectional Fabric: Armchairs: through Armchair Fabric: through Coffee Table: through Wall Sculpture: Small Table: Pool Table: Pendant over Pool Table: through Bar Stools: through Golf Simulator:

Custom Redwood Racking: Island Countertop: