REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Bellair beauty: Lots of upgrades and lots of price


Address: 32 Old Farm Road

Neighborhood: Bellair

Asking: $1,090,000

Assessment: $902,700

Year Built: 1954

Size: 3,231 fin. sq. ft. / 747 unfin. 

Land: 2.6 acres 

Agent: Tommy Brannock, Real Estate III, 434-981-1486

Curb Appeal: 9 out of 10

Old houses, new houses, red houses, blue houses. After a few months of house hunting, don't they all start to slide into the same Dr. Seussian story? 

And yet we continue to search for our dream house with a sunny kitchen and window seats, and whose bottom line fits our budget. Beyond its four walls, the right house oozes comfort, standing as the perfect complement to the lives of its owners.

If Southern Living is your dream, drive into Bellair. Past the communal pond and its resident ducks, tucked in among the azaleas, lies this lovingly renovated house— for those with the jingle to pay the million-plus price. 

To be fair, the current owners have put a lot of work into the place— around $600,000 worth over two years, according to the agent.

Every detail has been attended to, starting with red granite kitchen countertops. The kitchen's ecru and red brick color scheme is picked up both in the backsplash and in the cherry cabinetry below counters and the cream-colored cabinets above. Top-line appliances (Sub-Zero, Miele, Wolf) blend in as well, with wooden facades (cherry for the dishwasher, ecru for the fridge) styled to look like the cabinets. 

Further down the hall is a small sitting room, with French doors leading to a hardscaped patio. The sitting room could be turned into an eat-in kitchen, but for those who like their meals served with aplomb, there's a formal dining room next door, complete with a pineapple chandelier (think Williamsburg, not Coconut Tropic). 

The large adjoining living room has a wood-burning fireplace (there's also one in the den below), and both have gas starters for fuss-free fires. Such a bonus is just part of the many perks in this neo-colonial paradise; others include blowsy florals and custom bathrooms. 

The only half-bath in the house, just beyond the living room, has a pedestal sink and a magazine rack. The statement here, however, is made by the wallpaper: black and white ink drawings of pagodas on a lipstick-red background.

The master bath is equally breathtaking, with green granite countertops and the bathtubs surround. The cabinets are sea green, with a triple coating of high-sheen paint that creates a lacquered look. The white-tiled floor has embedded green mosaic tiles in a geometric pattern. The full-body shower has five different shower heads for massage, and part of the glass wall serves as a transom window, letting the steam circulate throughout the room. 

After the shower, dry off in the adjoining dressing room (with built-in vanity) before choosing an outfit from the large walk-in closet (with two shoe shelves and a full-length mirror). 

The bedroom proper is also huge, with built-in bookshelves and a media center. 

If all this isn't enough to make you bolt the doors and take call in sick, there's plenty of space downstairs (the "terrace level") with a patio edging the length of the house, which overlooks a slope of wide, grassy lawn. A screened-in porch on this level has windows on two sides. 

The two bedrooms also have windows overlooking the garden, as does the blue-green den, with built-in bookshelves and the aforementioned fireplace. The two full baths on this level, tastefully done of course, are in taupe and black and white. The closets are smaller, but there's plenty of extra storage in the large laundry area and a dry storage room.

For those who like their Brooks Brothers with a side of mint julep, this place is a shelter-mag centerfold come to life. For the rest of us— lower tax-bracket wage slaves, kilim-craving academics, and anyone with a hankering for the grungier side of house porn— the search continues.



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