On a trek through rural Loudoun County, a curvy one-lane road dotted with horse farms splits off to a mile-long drive. Meandering past vineyards and a pond, guests arrive at a residence that combines a timeless, Prairie-style sensibility and all of the amenities of 21st-century living.
With its Pennsylvania bluestone walls, deep-red window casings and two-story pavilion, the structure bears no resemblance to its previous incarnation as a nondescript rambler. A Virginia-based executive and his wife discovered the 100-plus-acre property while searching for a weekend getaway. The couple, who frequently host large fundraisers and family events, wanted to create a gathering place where they could spend time with their three children and welcome guests with ease. They fell in love with the setting, but the outdated house was another story.
After acquiring the property, the couple asked BOWA vice president Tim Burch to evaluate it. Soon after, Burch invited architect John Heltzel, a frequent collaborator, to help with the design.
?The existing house was small, dated and needed a lot of repair work,? says Heltzel. ?But it had good bones and the foundation was in great shape. We decided to do what we could to salvage what was there and make the best of it.?
Working closely with their clients, Burch and Heltzel developed a plan that would completely overhaul the rambler?and eventually triple its size. ?They told us they like mid-western, Prairie-style architecture and they wanted something that was sympathetic and compatible with the site,? recalls Heltzel. ?As an architect, that?s exactly what you want to hear.?
The team deliberated over exterior and interior finishes that would blend new and old construction into a stylish, cohesive whole. ?We threw everything out the window as far as standard design stuff,? says Burch, who has also worked on the owners? main residence. ?We sat outside for three weeks looking at different paint schemes, making sure it all worked.? For the...