REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Sunny side up: House and views sparkle and shine
ADDRESS: 3135 Watts Passage
NEIGHBORHOOD: Stony Point
ASSESSMENT: $1,024,600 ($785,800 under land use)
YEAR BUILT: 2001
SIZE: 4,300 fin. sq. ft., 300 unfin.
LAND: 15 acres
CURB APPEAL: 9 out of 10
LISTED BY: Roger Voisinet 974-1500 (c)
Lots of people design a dream house in their minds, place it lovingly on an idyllic parcel, and recollect it in moments of tranquility, when they're falling asleep at night or while passing time on a monotonous train, plane, or automobile ride. Few, however, are able to make the dream a reality– and obviously the grander the plan, the less likely the execution for most people.
But for the owner who imagined this house, making her dream come true was just a matter of finding the perfect location. And find it she did– out Stony Point Road. Before deciding, though, she and Peter Eades, her builder, must have visited the site in the morning, because judging from some photographs in the house, sunrises from the house's many windows rival works of art.
Which may explain the name of the spread: Sunshine Farm.
One enters the "farm" down a gravel driveway past an elaborate fountain/fish pond, and it's obvious right away that opulence is the name of the game. Facing the driveway is an enormous door to an over-size garage that looks like it might have been designed to accommodate a boat, but in fact it hides a space designed for a huge motor home (although why someone would want to galavant away from this house in a motor home is a mystery). The mobile home having hit the road, the space is now used as a sunroom/greenhouse, a clever revamping of what would be otherwise wasted space– until a new MH or boat arrived. (In addition there's another separate garage with room for two SUVs.)
The front door is also unusual: rather than opening to provide a view of the great room (and sunny vista beyond), visitors find themselves looking at a wall, and then having to turn down a short constricting hall before really getting into the house. Once in the big central room with its wall of French doors and window-filled cathedral ceiling, however, the full impact of the house is apparent.
An open two-sided stone fireplace/hearth divides the dining room from the rest of the space, and a long counter with glass cabinets above separates that area from the kitchen. It's hard to pay attention to the design elements, though– striking as they are– because the views outside are so compelling. Beyond a large screened porch, an in-ground pool and tidy gardens lead to open land. (Ten of the 15 acres are cleared and have to be mowed– unless new owners can continue a current deal with a local farmer to "hay" the fields.)
A half bath and large pantry lead to a separate apartment (carpeted instead of with the red oak used elsewhere) with full bath, large bedroom and living room, and a utility kitchen. Ten-foot ceilings and big casement windows make the rooms seem spacious, not constricted as might be expected of after-thought mother-in-law or au pair quarters.
But then, very little is as one might expect here (unless one's expectations were shaped at Versailles): case in point, the first "dog bath" we've encountered– a plush half-size shower exclusively for Fido, in a utility room off the separate quarters.
On the opposite side of the house, the owners' living quarters consist of three bedrooms and two full baths, the one in the master suite replete with requisite Jacuzzi and separate enormous shower. A his/hers walk-in closet is almost as big as a bedroom in typical houses. Two guest bedrooms are currently serving as studies for the owners– and why not, with the sumptuous guest suite over there beyond the kitchen standing by to house visitors? One of the studies has a pretty bathroom of its own (behind a pocket door), with nice tile around the shower, while the other has pretty views of the pool and back 40. The small deck off this room and the master suite beside it currently provides perches for flocks of birds at several feeders, but the space looks just as inviting for human friends in good weather.
The owners use the unfinished basement (enormous, almost the full length of the house) as a place for the dog to run in winter (Spot can cavort about outside in summer thanks to invisible fencing), and a big unfinished attic over the guest quarters has expansion potential, although only the Swiss Family Robinson or the vonTrapps would need more room than is currently here.
One last word– about the kitchen: it has all the things it needs– seemingly numberless "pickled" cabinets, tile back-splash, casement windows, and a pot-filling faucet over the stove. No hint of granite or soapstone was a pleasant surprise, but our appreciation of that modesty was offset when we learned about the "reverse osmosis water filter." Whatever that is, it's clearly just the thing to complete the impression of Sunshine Farm as a place unlike almost any other under the (Stony Point) sun.
PHOTOS BY ROSALIND WARFIELD-BROWN
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