Home & Design

Back to Nature

March/April 2010

When Gulick Group began developing the concept for a new enclave community in Great Falls, Virginia, they had a strong vision. “We wanted it to be a peaceful retreat, an island protected by trees and green space,” says Jamie Gulick, director of sales and marketing. With that goal in mind, they approached the site preparation and theme of Autumn Wood with extra care, preserving the existing trees, supplementing the greenscape wherever possible and, as Gulick describes it, “respecting the natural contours and character of the land.”

The result of their efforts is Autumn Wood, a community currently underway on Georgetown Pike that will be marked by a naturalistic approach to land preparation, gracious high-end hardscape, serene walking trails and a boardwalk through the community.  Five different models will be available; each will reflect a contemporary take on traditional Colonial architecture and all will offer gourmet kitchens, luxurious master suites (some on the first floor), open main-level floor plans for easy entertaining, and fine fit and finishes throughout. Homes will range in size from 5,000 to 6,500 square feet with all-brick exteriors; they will be sited on one-acre lots.

The Autumn Wood property, which Gulick Group purchased in 2007, is one of the last large tracts in Great Falls that is zoned for a single-family subdivision. “It’s really one of the last conveniently located communities in Great Falls,” says Gulick, “and we’re taking great care to do it right.”

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.

Back to Nature

March/April 2010

When Gulick Group began developing the concept for a new enclave community in Great Falls, Virginia, they had a strong vision. “We wanted it to be a peaceful retreat, an island protected by trees and green space,” says Jamie Gulick, director of sales and marketing. With that goal in mind, they approached the site preparation and theme of Autumn Wood with extra care, preserving the existing trees, supplementing the greenscape wherever possible and, as Gulick describes it, “respecting the natural contours and character of the land.”

The result of their efforts is Autumn Wood, a community currently underway on Georgetown Pike that will be marked by a naturalistic approach to land preparation, gracious high-end hardscape, serene walking trails and a boardwalk through the community.  Five different models will be available; each will reflect a contemporary take on traditional Colonial architecture and all will offer gourmet kitchens, luxurious master suites (some on the first floor), open main-level floor plans for easy entertaining, and fine fit and finishes throughout. Homes will range in size from 5,000 to 6,500 square feet with all-brick exteriors; they will be sited on one-acre lots.        

The Autumn Wood property, which Gulick Group purchased in 2007, is one of the last large tracts in Great Falls that is zoned for a single-family subdivision. “It’s really one of the last conveniently located communities in Great Falls,” says Gulick, “and we’re taking great care to do it right.”

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.

English Country Style JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010


Tucked away on private Red Barn Lane in Potomac, Maryland, O’Neill Development’s luxury-home community of Highgate brings a bit of old England to the suburbs.

Highgate’s 16 homes—all of which have been sold—were designed using an English Country house theme by prominent local architects David Jones, David Neumann, Greg Weidemann, Stephen Muse and David Peabody. 

“We thought we’d hire five architects and let them approach the subject as they saw it,” says Brendan O’Neill, Sr., company founder and president and project leader. He did impose some requirements, however: Each design had to be original and could not include decks or turrets; exterior elevations were subject to approval; and exteriors were required to use a particular western Maryland stone that resembles the Cotswold stone found in England. “The stone was a major factor in achieving the look we wanted,” says O’Neill. 

The builder hired landscape architect Jay Graham to create the site plan and street features, which gave the architects a footprint to follow on each of the two-plus acre lots. The result is a subdivision of stately, pleasingly shaped homes with sloping roofs, tall chimneys, casement windows and understated front doors, set against a bucolic background of rolling hills.

O’Neill Development has built other architecturally themed luxury enclaves, including communities featuring Williamsburg, New England and Historic Maryland home styles. The firm is currently planning a project in Upper Montgomery County with large lots, farmhouse style architecture and an agricultural theme.




Using an architectural theme and different architects to create a visually cohesive community of one-of-a-kind homes.



Per agreement with existing neighbors to the building site, only two or three homes were built each year; it took six years to complete the community. 



Buyers were permitted to choose any of the five architects to design their home.



Call O’Neill Development at 301-840-9310 or visit www.oneilldev.com.

HIGHGATE ARCHITECTS: David Jones, AIA, David Jones Architects, Washington, DC. David Neumann, AIA, Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects, Washington, DC. Greg Wiedemann, AIA, Wiedemann Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. Stephen Muse, FAIA, Muse Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. David Peabody, AIA, LEED, Peabody Architects, Alexandria, Virginia. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Jay Graham, Graham Landscape Architecture, Annapolis, Maryland. BUILDER: Brendan O’Neill, Sr., O’Neill Development, Gaithersburg, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Anice Hoachlander, Hoachlander Davis Photography, Washington, DC. 

**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.



Over the years, Ted Visnic has built more than 190 custom homes in Washington’s most prestigious communities. “We’re fortunate to be as successful as we are,” says Visnic, “and we don’t take any of it for granted.”

Visnic worked his way through college, becoming a master carpenter before eventually striking out with a business of his own. His move paid off: Since 1990, Visnic Homes has won more than 35 industry awards, including a Best in American Living award from the National Association of Home Builders. Many of Visnic’s clients have returned to him for multiple projects; in fact, this summer he completed his seventh project for one family in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Visnic recently took the lead in designing a collection of homes, to be built in the new 1801 Foxhall community near Georgetown. “Architecturally, they reflect Old Georgetown with Federal, English, French, and Greek elements,” Visnic says of his new designs. “It was interesting to research the blend of styles currently in the Foxhall area and design homes that would look both new and old. I think we accomplished it while offering homebuyers a wide array of looks.”

Visnic’s advice to those considering a custom home in today’s market? Act fast, while building materials and tradespeople are available at lower costs. “I love every aspect of custom-home building,” he says, “from working with couples and their ideas to the architecture to the building process. I feel like I haven’t worked a day in 20 years.”




Visnic builds high-end custom homes in luxury communities and on clients’ home sites. The company builds in a wide variety of architectural and floor plan styles; it also helps clients find and purchase building sites. Ted Visnic will work with a client’s architect or share his own network of architects.



Visnic Homes, 1684 East Gude Drive, #102, Rockville, Maryland 20850; 

301-309-6470; www.tvcustomhomes.com.

ARCHITECTURE: Bruce Hutchinson, AIA, Hutchinson Associates, Rockville, MD. BUILDER: Ted Visnic, Visnic Homes, Rockville, MD. PHOTOGRAPHY: Richard Dorbin, Paragon Light, Easton, MD.


ARCHITECTURE: J. Mayer Architects, Annapolis, MD. BUILDER: Ted Visnic. PHOTOGRAPHY: Hunter Harris, Aloft Aerial Photography, Easton, MD.


**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.





The Ritz-Carlton Lifestyle


Luxury condominium homes priced from the $600s to $5 million are currently
available at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Inner Harbor, Baltimore. These spacious, well-appointed condos are only the beginning of the community’s appeal. Residents here enjoy exclusive yacht, fitness and social club amenities, including a 22-slip marina that accommodates yachts up to 100 feet long, 24-hour valet and concierge service and a spa that offers luxurious and holistic treatments.
Inside the residences, kitchens feature butler’s pantries; entry vestibules fitted with marble floors; and master suites with large walk-in closets, glass-enclosed showers and separate whirlpool soaking tubs. Wet bars, fireplaces and nine-foot ceilings complete the picture. Homes range from 1,600 to more than 5,000 square feet and feature sweeping views of the Inner Harbor and Baltimore skyline. For more information, call 866-829-0979 or visit the Web site www.harborluxury.com.

Great Falls Construction Goes Green


Great Falls Construction is planning three custom estate homes on five- to six-acre wooded lots in Great Falls, Virginia. Designed by Custom Design Concepts, these homes will showcase the same craftsmanship and attention to detail that has won the firm multiple industry awards since 1979. But this time, there’s a twist. Buyers of these three estate houses will be able to choose just how “green” they want their new home to be. Great Falls Construction is offering a Performance Package Series that includes three levels of energy efficiency and sustainable resources designed to lessen the carbon footprint and environmental impact of both the construction and operation of the homes.
Level I includes basic efficiency standards for electrical and heating/cooling system performance, water consumption, insulation, windows and other environmental controls.
Level II uses alternative energy methods such as solar power and geothermal heat. Reclaimed and recycled materials are used for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, wall coverings and finishes, for both interior and exterior applications. Specifications are available for low-consumption plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Level III offers the options above, but also enables homeowners to measure the return and operational performance of their alternative energy systems. This option also takes into account the sustainability of building materials and their fabrication and installation techniques.

By allowing homebuyers to choose the shade of green that’s right for their family and budget, Great Falls Construction is taking custom home building into a new era of environmental responsibility. And they’re doing it without sacrificing craftsmanship, luxury or space. These homes will range from 4,600 to 7,200 square feet and are priced from $2.75 million.For more information, contact Great Falls Construction at 703-759-6116 or visit www.greatfallsconstruction.com.

Park Place Annapolis Creates a Buzz


Park Place Annapolis is known as a vibrant, family-oriented community where neighbors meet neighbors at such events as the annual chili cook-off. And with one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium homes starting in the $300s, it’s also a community whose value is creating a buzz. Within walking distance of historic downtown Annapolis, it’s the perfect spot for a primary residence; a luxurious, easy-care retirement perch; or a fun, pedestrian-friendly second home near the water. The time is ripe to consider a luxury condominium at Park Place Annapolis, currently offering special incentives for buyers.
For more information, call 866-413-0840 or visit the Web site www.distinctly


2008 Monument Awards - Winning Residential Designs

This year, the big winner was Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc.
The company walked away with seven Monument Awards
for its Beechtree development, including the Villa.

Winning Residential Designs
A panel of judges comprised of nearly 50 real estate industry professionals visited dozens of new homes and communities this summer in order to choose the winners of the 2008 Monument Awards. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and the Maryland-National Capital Building Association, the Monument Awards recognize superior home design and community site-planning throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. To determine this year’s winners, the judges considered floor plan innovation; the balance of design, value and curb appeal; and of course, consumer acceptance.

The Monument Awards gala was held on September 4, 2008, at the new Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center . Entries filled 65 categories from single-family homes, town homes and condominiums, to site- and land-planning, energy efficiency, environmental quality innovations and high-end custom homes. Developments from rural Virginia to Annapolis to Southern Maryland were represented.

“The Washington new homes market is one of the most competitive in the country,” says Larry Nordhauser, Chairman of the Monument Awards. “The Monument Awards program is the most prestigious residential design competition in this market. Winning an award translates into true value for the consumer.”

A Big Day for Mid-Atlantic
Leading this year’s charge among Monument Award winners was Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc., which, for the second year in a row, received seven awards—more than any other builder in the area.

“We are honored to win one Monument Award, so winning seven is truly exhilarating,” says Stephen Paul, executive vice president of Mid-Atlantic Builders. “Even in a slower market, Mid-Atlantic is constantly creating new designs and products to generate excitement for our customers. It feels great to be recognized for our quality and excellence in architectural design.”

The company took home the following 2008 Monument Awards:

  • The Amherst model at Beechtree won in the category of Single Family Homes $600,000 to $700,000 on lots over 7,000 square feet.
  • The Venezia model at Beechtree won for Single Family Homes $800,000 to $900,000 on lots over 7,000 square feet.
  • The Verona Villa model at Beechtree won in the category of Attached Housing including townhouses, back-to-back townhouses & duplexes ranging between $700 and $800,000.
  • The Master Suite in Mid-Atlantic’s Verona Villa Model at Beechtree was named Outstanding Feature in a New or Remodeled Home.
  • The Siena Villa at Beechtree was given an award of merit for Attached Housing including townhouses, back-to-back townhouses & duplexes between $600 and $700,000.
  • The Amherst Model at Beechtree won honorable mention in the Lifestyle

    Kitchen category.

  • The Master Suite in the Verona Villa model at Beechtree won honorable mention for Outstanding Feature.

For more information about Mid-Atlantic Builders’ single-family homes, villas, or town homes, visit www.midatlanticbuilders.com.

Beechtree Sets the Pace
It’s no coincidence that all of Mid-Atlantic’s awards were bestowed on homes in the new community of Beechtree, located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Beechtree itself took home an award for Special Achievement by a Golf Course Community for Overall Amenities & Environment. This is the second time the community’s developer, Ryko Development, has been recognized by the Monument Awards program. “The first Monument Award we received for Beechtree recognized our original site plan design and vision for the community,” says Aref Hinedi, Ryko’s vice president of marketing. “To now win an award for bringing that vision to life, and for delivering on our promises, is incredibly gratifying.”

Beechtree is the home of Lake Presidential Championship Golf Course and Clubhouse, which officially opened on May 1, 2008. Lake Presidential was developed by Landmark Land, a company renowned for creating world-class golf courses, including Kiawah Island Ocean Course, Oak Tree Golf Club and Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland.

The 11,000-square-foot Golf Course Clubhouse boasts a restaurant with full bar, a conference room, a closed-door dining room, and stunning views of Beechtree’s 30-acre lake “When people come to Beechtree and play Lake Presidential or have lunch in the Clubhouse, they literally feel like they belong to a country club,” says Nathan Presnal, Lake Presidential’s head golf pro. “The quality level is so high, we’re constantly having to inform people that it’s not a private facility and they don’t have to pay annual dues to belong. They’re definitely pleasantly surprised.”

Great Falls Custom Beauty
Great Falls Construction of Great Falls, Virginia, took first place in the category of One-of-a-Kind Single Family Homes over $1,500,000 for a stunning, custom-built French Country home. Originally a spec home, it featured two finished levels with an owner-elected option to finish off 2,600 square feet of space on the basement level. Final square footage on the first and second floors combined: 5,700 square feet.

The exterior of the house features real three-coat stucco on wire lathe, with integrated Eagle Ridge stone applied in a random pattern; the brick and stucco chimneys match the home’s overall coloration. Exterior trim consists of Western Red Cedar half-timbers, and stained and finished wood window trims. The home’s roof is Vermont slate in semi-weathering green-grey with copper flashing, gutters and downspouts.

Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc. also took home Monument Awards
for its Venezia model as well.

The house makes a grand first impression, with the entry floor’s inlaid grid pattern of oak and walnut hardwoods. The majority of the first floor areas feature rift-sawn, stained white oak and oak plank flooring. The family room features a flagstone hearth with a stone profile surround that creates a focal point for the room. The study is finished with stained custom wainscoting, built-in cabinets and bookshelves.

The great room is accented by a faux-finished, coffered volume ceiling, while a carved limestone fireplace surround adds a touch of formality. The master bath features limestone flooring; all bathrooms feature custom-designed vanities by Holiday Kitchens. The gourmet kitchen features custom-designed cabinetry in maple and alder by Holiday Kitchens, and granite countertops. The backsplash is finished in onyx tile.


Other winners in the “Customized” or “One-of-a-Kind” categories include:

  • Creekstone Builders’ Potomac model at Fox Run, winner in the category of Customized Single Family Homes $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.
  • Botero Homes Galley’s Spring 3 home, winner in the category of Customized Single Family Homes $3,000,000 to $4,000,000.
  • Chateau Noble De McLean, winner in the category of Customized Single Family Homes Over $10,000,000.
  • M&A Custom Homes’ Putnam II model at Putnam Farm Estates, which took top honors in the category of Single Family Homes on lots over 7,000 square feet priced over $1,100,000.

For a complete list of this year’s Monument Awards Winners, visit www.nvbia.com

The amherst was another Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc.
model that received an award.

The award goes to Great Falls Construction for this stunning,
French Country home, which won first place for single family
homes over $1,500,000.

M & A Custom Homes, with its kitchen above, took top honors
for single family homes over $1,100,000.


The exterior design of congressional overlook blends
beautifully with the venerable government buildings
across the street.

In the Shadow of the Capitol
It took a little legwork for developer Alger Stoneburner to get his Congressional Overlook luxury condominium project approved for construction. However, that’s to be expected when you’re building six brand-new luxury condominiums across the street from the Congressional Office Buildings, and just a block or two away from the U.S. Capitol. “Because these homes front Federal buildings, our design had to be approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and the Historic Preservation Review Board,” says Stoneburner. “It was quite a process, but in the end we were able to build these incredible homes in an unbelievable location.”

The location, on D Street Southeast—also within walking distance of the new Nationals Park baseball stadium-—puts Congressional Overlook smack in the middle of the halls of power. “I’ve had a couple of realtors tell me this is the most powerful address in the country,” laughs Stoneburner, “not including 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” According to Stone-burner, these are the first new residences to be constructed this close to the Capitol in over 100 years.

Thanks to all that oversight and review, as well as the careful work of project architects W.J. Maiden and Associates and Eric Colbert and Associates, and contractor McCullough Construction, the exterior design of Congressional Overlook blends in perfectly with the historic buildings surrounding it. Even details such as the color of the mortar and the exact type of brickwork lend authenticity.

Inside, the two-level homes feature two bedrooms, two and a half baths, formal living and dining areas and a contemporary kitchen. Lower units have both balconies and patios, while upper units have a unique rooftop terrace accessed through a power-operated skylight/door that opens at the touch of a button. Granite countertops, custom cabinetry and heated bathroom floors are just some of the details that combine to make Congressional Overlook an oasis in the heart of Washington, DC.

Beyond the interior’s fit and finish, the walls of these homes hold their own surprise. “We went overboard on engineering, because I wanted these homes to be quiet and restful retreats from the pace of the city,” Stoneburner explains. “And a big part of that is noise reduction. We chose to go with eight-inch thick cinderblock construction, clad in brick, which resulted in 12- to 15-inch thick walls. These homes are built to provide a mental haven from the outside world.”

Only four of the original six homes remain available at Congressional Overlook. Prices start at approximately $3 million. For more information, contact Alger Stone-burner at 443-454-2905, or Katy Jordan at 540-364-6909.

Elevator Condos at Bulle Rock
The Residences at Bulle Rock in Havre De Grace, Maryland, has plans to add 144 elevator condominium homes to the resort-style community, known for its five star Bulle Rock Golf Course—home to the McDonald’s LPGA Championship.

Construction on the first two buildings is scheduled for mid-2009; Ryan Homes, which has already built and sold a total of 112 condominium homes at Bulle Rock, has been commissioned for the project. “We have experienced a high level of market demand for Ryan’s homes and look forward to continuing that,” says Brenda Desjardins, a spokeswoman for The Residences at Bulle Rock.

Developed by Manekin, LLC, Clark Turner and H&S Properties Development Corporation, the gated community will ultimately comprise approximately 2,200 single-family, villa and condominium homes built by Clark Turner Signature Homes, D.R. Horton, NVHomes, Ryan Homes and Ryland Homes. All homes will feature first-floor owners’ suites, open floor plans, vaulted ceilings, garages and additional luxury amenities.

Located near I-95, between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware, The Residences at Bulle Rock’s centerpiece is the 37,000-square-foot Residents’ Club, which features indoor and outdoor pools, a cardiovascular health and wellness center, tennis and bocce courts, a cyber café and much more. For more information, call 410-939-8700 or visit www.bullerock.com.

A High-Style Grain Elevator
Constructed in 1923, Baltimore’s Silo Point was once the largest, fastest grain elevator in the world. Today, the 24-story tower has been converted into a condominium community overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Featuring more than 200 contemporary condominium and penthouse units, this luxury enclave offers a choice of more than 30 floor plans, as well as a sky lounge, a nine-story parking facility and easy access to the nearby Locust Point and Federal Hill neighborhoods. To help buyers visualize each uniquely designed space, five different designers were engaged to create interiors in Silo Point’s model homes. The result is a wide variety of styles:

  • Tiffany Zappulla, a Baltimore film and commercial set designer, emphasized the building’s industrial feel with a design that includes salvaged machinery, a coffee table made out of a floor grate and lighting that mimics an industrial pulley system.
  • Baltimore’s Jenkins Baer Associates has created a more classic ambiance using linens and pale grays, and a deep-pile shag rug for warmth. The loft-like unit features a home office with a custom-built, eight-foot desk, separated from the living space by laser-cut, classical draperies.

    The well-appointed Residents' Club at the Residences at Bulle Rock
    exemplifies what the condiminiums have to offer.
  • Akseizer Design Group used high-end textiles, sophisticated window treatments and glass and stainless steel to give the unit style and class with an urban edge. Tone-on-tone beige neutrals contrast with sleek, black baseboards. Designer Jeff Akseizer used large built-in pieces to give the space a sense of permanency.
  • Designer Jeanine Turner focused on the single, professional female as a profile for her unit. She created a space for a contemporary lifestyle; there’s an emphasis on privacy and security, but also on entertaining, with a large living room that flows into the kitchen. Original artwork throughout the space shows personality; ceiling fabric hangs between the living room and the vast window in the dining area to create a more intimate setting.
  • Northern Virginia-based Carlyn & Co. opted for minimal accessories to create maximum impact in their two units—one for a budget-friendly lifestyle and one with all the amenities. Neutral bases with cool blue and warm orange accents create a perfect balance of color and texture against the exposed concrete and hardwood floors.

For more information, call (410) 539-7456 or visit www.silopoint.com.

Residents will enjoy spacious, contemporary kitchens at
the Congressional Overlook.

Who's Building What

Designed by David Easton, Glen Love Cottage is the first
home built in the new Vineyard Estates.

Kluge Winery Opens Luxury Community
Set on the grounds of Patricia Kluge’s scenic Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard near Charlottesville, Virginia, the new community of Vineyard Estates offers the best of fine living in a natural vineyard setting. Custom estates will be developed on 511 acres of Kluge’s 2,000-acre property and more than half of the 24 planned home locations will have their own vineyards. Owners may even choose to participate in the actual winemaking process.

Homeowners will also have access to a 24/7 concierge service, the Vineyard Ballroom (a pavilion on the winery property) and the Kluge SP Winery’s special-event rooms for large private events as well as intimate gatherings.

The first home built in the new Vineyard Estates, Glen Love Cottage, is designed by David Easton and situated on three acres that include a half-acre vineyard planted with Chardonnay grapes. The home is approximately 6,400 square feet and has five bedrooms with five full baths and two powder rooms. The cook’s kitchen is outfitted with Viking appliances and Durango limestone countertops. A swimming pool flanked by orchards, formal flower gardens and an herb garden are some highlights of the exterior surroundings.

The house was created to set the standard for Vineyard Estates and to put its green-building practices in place. Glen Love Cottage uses geothermal heat and has a sustainable generator for emergency back-up. It was also built to be equipped with solar panels at the discretion of the owner. Exterior materials include cypress, some of which was reclaimed from Southern riverbeds. Hardwood floors on the interior are made of oak reclaimed from old barns and factories.

Homes at Vineyard Estates will be sited on parcels varying from three to 33 acres. Sites with homes will be priced between $7 million and $23 million and raw land between $1.3 million and $5 million. Each home will be built to the owner’s custom specifications in one of the following six styles: Early Virginian, Georgian, Federal, Gothic, Beaux Arts and Early Modern.

For more information, call 434-220-5902 or visit www.vineyardestatesonline.com

The Greenbrier Sporting Club Goes Green
The Greenbrier Sporting Club, located on the grounds of The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is adding a green neighborhood to its newest real estate development at Summit Village.

Situated atop the 3,300-foot peak of Greenbrier Mountain, the new green homes feature architectural designs that blend into their dramatic forest surroundings while providing the comfort and convenience that club members expect.

Green homes will be built on 56 unique home sites ranging in size from slightly less than one acre to more than six acres.

Assembling a “whole-house” design philosophy, architect Campion Platt consults on design for the green homes. He has developed a palette of healthy, “green” interior finishes and eco-friendly “green” furniture packages for the new homes.

“In addition to preserving the land, this is truly one of the first green villages dedicated entirely to whole-house design, energy use and environmental impact,” says Dan Paquette, Director of Development, DPS Sporting Club Development. “On many lots the opportunity exists to harvest supplemental energy from geothermal sources and capture rainwater for reuse. Each green home at The Greenbrier incorporates environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the planning, design and building process. Home sites minimize environmental impact, while enforcing the extraordinary architectural principles already a hallmark at The Greenbrier.”

Homes will be built and maintained through Model Green Home Building Guidelines set by the National Association of Homebuilders, which encourage the use of building materials (exterior or interior) sourced within 300 miles of the home site to minimize the carbon footprint.

Interior doors in the green homes will be made of either recycled materials (molded doors) or sustainable fir veneers while wood floors will be either reclaimed from local sources or indigenous, regionally harvested and sustainable oak. Countertops will be soapstone, granite or marble supplied from regional sources.

Member residents at the Sporting Club have access to the resort’s world-class amenities including Audubon Certified Golf Courses, fly-fishing on some of the best rivers east of the Mississippi, falconry, shooting ranges, equestrian stables, luxury spas and fine dining.

For more information, call 888-741-8989 or visit www.greenbriergreenhomes.com

Custom Builder Awards of Excellence
Thirty-two local custom homebuilders, architects and remodelers were recognized recently in the 15th Annual Custom Builder Awards of Excellence, sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association. The Awards celebrate excellence in construction, architecture and design in the Washington metropolitan region.

Bell Builders took home top honors in the category of Traditional Custom Homes for a home designed by architect Hutchinson & Associates. Chuck Sullivan Homes and architect Studio Z Design Concepts won the top prize in the category of Transitional Custom Homes. The winners in the Contemporary Custom Homes category were Stevens Builders, Inc., and architect Dan Ball and Associates.

In the category of Custom Homes Under 3,500 Square Feet, Block Builders and GTM Architects won the gold medal. Rosenthal Homes and Studio Z Design Concepts took top honors in Custom Homes Between 3,500 and 5,000 Square Feet. Two gold medals were awarded in the category of Custom Homes Between 5,000 and 7,500 Square Feet, one to Block Builders and GTM Architects, and one to Bell Builders, Inc. and architect Hutchinson + Associates, LLC.


Parade of Homes 2008

Classic design gives way to modern technology in this Vienna
home by J.D.A. Custom Homes.

Whether you’re considering building a new custom home or planning a renovation of your current home, there’s no better way to envision the possibilities than at the Northern Virginia Custom Builder Council’s 11th Annual Parade of Homes.

This year’s Parade features homes throughout Northern Virginia—some completed and some under construction—built by more than two dozen of the region’s finest custom-home builders. These stunning and unique homes will open their doors on Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, the Custom Builder Council has selected HomeAid Northern Virginia as the event’s beneficiary. One-hundred percent of the ticket proceeds will help build shelters for today’s homeless children and families. In the past 12 months, CBC members have completed six projects, donating their time, materials and services for families in need. Since 1998, the Council has raised more than $100,000 for local charities and more than $300,000 in time and materials for HomeAid.

Grand Homes, Green Homes & High-Tech Dream Homes

The Parade lets homeowners get a first-hand look at homes in a wide variety of styles; it also provides a chance to meet custom builders in person.  A custom builder can make your dream home a reality, no matter what you desire. Whether your style is opulent, understated, energy-efficient, child-friendly or high-tech, when you are building a custom home you are limited only by your imagination and your budget. The Parade of Homes reflects this diversity with a wide variety of beautiful homes to tour, including the following:

A gracious home located in downtown Vienna, Virginia, custom built by J.D.A. Custom Homes, Inc., exemplifies both classic style and modern efficiency. This home features handcrafted molding; a custom family room with built-ins; a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen; and a luxurious master suite with a private balcony, an Italian ceramic bath and a fabulous walk-in closet. J.D.A. also incorporated the latest building techniques and in-home technologies into the design, including energy-efficient appliances, network wiring and an integrated speaker system.

A 12,000-plus-square-foot home built by Creighton Enterprises in the community of Grenata Preserve in Loudoun County, Virginia, will wow you with its hard-to-find combination of grand size and genuine warmth. The elegant design and easy flow from room to room give no indication that the walls hide 17 miles of wiring that connect all the home’s systems—from lighting to security to H/VAC monitoring and home entertainment. It’s all easily controlled via a portable

wireless touch-screen tablet and wall-mounted consoles. Aside from technology, this home features incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. Oversized stone fireplaces, handcrafted molding, a large cherry-paneled library, a full butler’s pantry and a workout room complete with sauna and steam shower are just some of its standout features.

Apex Custom Homes is showcasing a magnificent custom estate in Leesburg, Virginia’s prestigious Beacon Hill community. Parade goers will marvel at this home’s extensive use of exotic hardwood and marble, its large custom chandeliers and its 1,100-square-foot gourmet kitchen. A hand-built custom stone wine grotto is the perfect spot for a tasting party, while auto enthusiasts will appreciate the five-car garage. Apex has its own line of custom millwork and stonework, and the attention to detail is evident throughout this Parade entry.

Waterford Home Builders’ Parade entry is an example that luxury living needn’t cause a huge carbon footprint. Constructed using structural straw-insulated panels and a pre-cast concrete foundation, this Lovettsville, Virginia, home features solar and radiant heat with geothermal backup. Energy savings are further maximized thanks to passive-solar design, a front entrance airlock and consistent two-foot overhangs on the exterior that minimize mechanical loads. In addition, the home’s floors are manufactured from reclaimed hardwood, its shingles are made from primarily recycled materials and only low- or no-VOC paint products are used throughout.

The custom home designed and built by Sagatov Associates in Arlington, Virginia, combines a modern floor plan with numerous windows and high-end finishes throughout. The three-level, 5,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms, and is certified by both the national Energy Star program and the Arlington Green Home Choice program. Ceiling heights vary from nine feet in the basement to 10 feet on the main floor, and measure 15 feet in both the great room and the second floor’s three vaulted bedrooms.

The main level’s modern open floor plan features a huge screened porch located just off a spectacular professional kitchen highlighted by red birch cabinets, stainless-steel and granite countertops and a lime-green glass backsplash. Perhaps the home’s signature design feature is a stunning custom-built, burnished steel staircase with natural oak treads and hand rails.

Speeding the Custom Building Process

Participating in the Parade of Homes is the perfect way to kick off the journey that leads to building your own custom home. The Parade is your only chance all year to tour so many new and established custom homes of all different designs and styles in the space of one weekend. And while designing and building a true custom home takes time, the Parade can help you get out of the gate quickly, providing examples, showcasing materials and helping you create your own master list of likes and dislikes. That list can be a valuable starting point when it comes time to sit down with an architect and/or builder to decide how to proceed.

Parade tickets are available for purchase online at www.vaParade.com. Directions to each home can be found on the Web site’s Tour Map page. Tickets for the Parade can also purchased during the event at the door of any Parade home for $20 per family group.


This elegant kitchen is just one of many luxurious spaces in the
12,000-plus-square-foot Grenata model by Creighton Enterprises.

Attention to detail, from hand-carved woodwork to masonry,
makes this Leesburg home by Apex Custom Homes one of a kind.

This home by Waterford Home Builders is an environmentally
friendly Parade entry, which incorporates reclaimed and
recycled materials, passive-solar design and low- and no-VOC
Modern style and energy-saving design combine in this Energy
Star-certified home by Sagatov Associates.

Who's Building What

Central Parke at Colonial Charles

Eco-Friendly Central Parke

Slenker Communities recently became the first recipient of the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association’s (MNCBIA) prestigious 2007 Michael T. Rose Community of the Year Award recognizing exemplary environmental stewardship in developing Central Parke at Colonial Charles, a 55+ lifestyle community in Waldorf, Maryland. The Springfield, Virginia-based community developer also earned the Environmental Award for Land Development for Colonial Charles.

“We are thrilled to have Central Parke at Colonial Charles singled out for our environmental efforts,” said William T. Slenker, president of Slenker Communities. “With each community we create, we pay particular care and attention to maintaining, improving and enhancing the environment. We want to be good stewards of the environment and design with the natural surroundings in mind.”

According to the MNCBIA, the judges chose Slenker Communities and Central Parke at Colonial Charles because of the “outstanding example of a successful integration of land development into the natural environment that demonstrates Slenker’s dedication to the preservation of the natural beauty of the land through innovative ideas and resourceful thinking.”

Central Parke at Colonial Charles had originally been designed for 575 homes, however, Slenker Communities reduced the project density to 449, which resulted in the preservation of 30 acres of forested wetlands and 42 acres of vegetated open area within this 128-acre project. Additional buffering was added to the wetland area to make way for nature trails. The community’s intricate storm water management system was dubbed an “environmental masterpiece” by Maryland’s Department of the Environment.

For more information on Slenker Communities, visit www.slenkercommunities.com or call 703-462-9150.

Chester River Landing
Chester River Landing is currently offering luxurious townhomes, condominiums and single-family homes in a stunning waterfront location near charming and historic Chestertown, Maryland. With historically significant architecture and luxury appointments, Chester River Landing is a prime Eastern Shore retreat. In a convenient location within walking distance to the shops and restaurants of downtown Chestertown, Chester River Landing will be a community of just 49 residences with its own private marina boasting 36 boat slips. Other amenities include a private pool, shell-lined walking paths and optional in-home elevators.

Chestertown is a quaint waterside town graced with a distinctive collection of perfectly preserved 18- and 19th-century homes. It hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and is home to Washington College.

Condominium homes at Chester River Landing are priced from $595,000, and some penthouses are still available. Townhomes in the community range from $795,000, and single-family homes are priced from $1.1 million.

For more information, call 866-618-9642, or visit www.chesterriverhomes.com.

Chester River Landing

Hot Trends in Luxury Homes

A one-of-a-kind home by Great Falls Construction

Developers of homes and communities designed for upper echelon buyers are competing in a lucrative market. To stand out from the crowd they have to anticipate what their buyers will want in tomorrow’s luxury homes and high-end communities. Beyond the great room with soaring ceilings, builders are getting creative in their attempts to woo the well-heeled home buyer. The following trends are driving many of their decisions.

Health and Wellness
Steam rooms, saunas, massage rooms, a home fitness facility and media and game rooms are just a few of the more popular choices among luxury-home buyers looking to stay fit and have fun without leaving home. Home swim spas or treadmill-type pools such as an Endless Pool are in particularly high demand.

Yours and Mine
Forget his-and-hers sinks in the bathroom, how about his-and-hers bathrooms? Separate closets, dual dressing rooms, separate garages, and his-and-hers living areas are also increasingly common features in million-dollar properties. Gender-specific spaces may include yoga rooms, cigar rooms, reading rooms and putting greens by the pool.

Turning Green
Solar power, geothermal heating and cooling systems and sustainable and non-toxic building materials are just a few of the choices available. Savvy buyers are also demanding more environmentally friendly kitchen materials, including glass and metal instead of plastic, forest service-certified wood and chemical-free adhesives.

Safety First

Luxury home buyers recognize the need for safety and security. Whole house back-up generators, privacy measures, secure wireless home networks, state-of-the-art security systems and even safe rooms are just a few of the in-demand family security products in the luxury home market.

The Best in Technology
Many homeowners work and play in their homes; the demand has never been greater for home media rooms; whole-house wireless networks to control lighting, window treatments, HVAC, and entertainment systems; and full home offices. These are just a few of the considerations to take into account when designing the technological infrastructure of your new luxury home.

Getting Out
Pretty views, open spaces, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools, outdoor spas, decks, sunrooms, solariums, and greenhouses are popular choices as homeowners seek to extend their luxury living spaces outdoors.

A Catchall By the Kitchen
Luxury-home buyers are increasingly asking for a room adjacent to the kitchen to use as a computer/home management center. It’s a place where kids can do homework and the whole family can surf the Internet. Sometimes called a keeping or hearth room, it’s the perfect place to sweep all that kitchen clutter before guests arrive.

Speaking of Kitchens

Remember when houses had one kitchen each? These days, in addition to a main kitchen, super luxurious homes often have special catering kitchens and mini-master-bedroom kitchens. In climates conducive to alfresco living, complete outdoor kitchens with stainless-steel grills, granite countertops, warming drawers, wine coolers and ice makers are gaining popularity. These cooking spaces often include everything from the outdoor kitchen sink to refrigerators, icemakers and elaborate grills. And some homes feature well-appointed nanny or in-law suites complete with their own kitchens.

Cleaning Up
The stress-busting bathroom is another must-have feature for true top-of-the-line homes. Multiple-head showers are gaining popularity, while the newest bathtubs feature colored LED lights you can change to suit your mood, pop-up TV screens and hydrotherapy jets. Luminous glass and handcrafted tiles in a variety of colors are also showing up in the bath. The addition of upholstered furniture—from chaises to recliners—is making bathrooms more like home spas. Towel warmers and heated floors ensure that all you touch is toasty.

Getting Out

Backyards are gaining increased scrutiny from affluent homeowners looking to relax in the great outdoors. Multiple gardens, potting sheds and outdoor accessories and art are popular appointments. Swimming pools are common again in new homes, some with elaborate pool houses. Tennis or multi-sport courts are popular, as are outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and pizza ovens.

The Graceful Garage

Forget the old cluttered garage of the past. Today’s finest luxury homes have garage space for three or more cars, often in two separate buildings in a motor court type of arrangement. Inside, these garages are clean and crisp with the latest organizing systems, a beverage fridge, a wall-mount TV, and high-end tool storage.

High-End Niche Communities
More and more high-end home buyers are searching for a home in a community with a little something different, and the market is responding. While country club and golf communities are certain to remain popular, a new breed of luxury home community is cropping up to meet the growing needs of a younger generation. Private Reserve communities are an ecologically pristine option for the environmentally conscious home buyer who enjoys the beauty of nature.

Equestrian communities offer horse lovers a return of the gentleman’s farm, with riding trails and complexes combined with an elegant lifestyle in a noble tradition.

Watermark Development Group's oasis pool design.


Homes in The Gateway Grand enjoy ocean views along
the beach at Ocean City, Maryland.

Located within driving distance of most East Coast population centers, the communities of Maryland and Delaware’s Atlantic shore and the Chesapeake Bay are ideal for second-home buyers. As a weekend getaway spot or a place to spend a significant part of the year, these waterside communities can’t be beat, thanks to their easy access and soothing water-riented lifestyle. The following condo communities by the water offer luxurious appointments, prime locations, great views, resort-style amenities and a virtually maintenance-free lifestyle.

Rivendell is located on the bayside in Ocean City, Maryland. The community’s two-, three- and four-bedroom luxury residences feature open floor plans, nine-foot-high ceilings, private balconies and marble master bathrooms with air-jet tubs and separate glass-enclosed showers. Amenities include resort-style indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, an oceanview courtyard and controlled-access covered parking for every residence. For more information, call (888) 574-8363 or visit www.rivendellcondos.com

Fleete’s Harbor in Irvington, Virginia, is a condominium community offering resort-style living at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and Rappahannock River. This community’s residents-only Westland Club will feature a media room, an expansive clubroom with a billiards area, a business center, a children’s game room, a guest suite residents can reserve for visitors and a private second-floor terrace with sweeping views of the marina and Bay. Residents here will enjoy garage parking, private white-sand beaches, a private outdoor pool with bathhouse, a fitness center, a nature trail to a fishing beach on the bay, a canoe and kayak launch, outdoor grilling pavilions and priority status for slips at the community’s marina. For more information, call (888) 964-5578 or visit the Web site www.liveatwindmillpoint.com

The Peninsula On The Indian River Bay is a resort community in Millsboro, Delaware, featuring a private Jack Nicklaus golf course. Residents here are already enjoying the community’s completed amenities package, including the golf course, a nature center, a racquet club, a beach on the bay and more. Just one of many home styles available at the Peninsula, condominiums here combine sumptuous luxury with easy single-level design, perfect for beach getaways or rewarding full-time living. Built by Ocean Atlantic, the condominium homes of The Peninsula all feature kitchens with space for entertaining, private balconies and up to three bedrooms. For more information, call (302) 947-4717 or visit www.peninsuladelaware.com

HarborView, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, offers a choice of home styles from high-rise condominiums to Pier Side Loft condominiums and luxury townhomes all with easy access to the water. The community features a marina, a pool, a café, a full-service restaurant and a health club. For more information, call (410) 528-1122 or visit www.harborviewcommunity.com

The Gateway Grand enjoys a prime Ocean City, Maryland, location on more than 250 feet of pristine Atlantic beachfront. The Gateway Grand offers stunning ocean views and luxury condominium homes just steps from the sand. Amenities include indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness center. Named one of the region’s top “Hot Spots” by Baltimore Magazine, The Peninsula has amassed more than 20 awards for its land planning, community design, home designs and amenities. For more information, call (888) 400-6275 or visit the Web site www.thegatewaygrand.com

Silo Point on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is built in a renovated 1920s-era grain elevator with stunning views of the waterfront. The community features homes with industrial-rich designs that include towering ceilings up to 19 feet high and open, warehouse-style floor plans. Homes come with customized automated whole-home control systems that operate lighting, climate controls, and music and home theater. Other luxury appointments include kitchens with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, spacious owner’s baths and designer fixtures throughout. Residents will enjoy a fitness center, a community lounge, a wine club, and a choice of restaurants. For more information call (410) 539-7456 or visit www.silopoint.com

Sunset Island
is a private, 37-acre island community two blocks from the beach in  Ocean City, Maryland. Residents enjoy a gated entry, a clubhouse with pools, private bayside beach areas, a canal, a community pier, elevators, open-air garage parking and a path system encircling the island along the water’s edge. All-new condominium designs for Sunset Island at Ocean City are being created by Ryan Homes in a variety of floor plans with up to three bedrooms. For more information, call (888) 343-7926 or visit the Web site www.sunsetislandocmd.com

High ceilings and expansive views of Baltimore’s Inner
Harbor fill condos at Silo Point.

The Rivendell community is located on a scenic bayside
in Ocean City.

High-rise condominiums in the HarborView provide easy
access to life in Baltimore.
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