Log on: Pottery barn adds possibilities

ADDRESS: 3350 Reas Ford Lane

ASKING: $549,9000

SIZE: 2,367 fin. sq. ft., 2,100 unfin.

YEAR BUILT: 1977/1989

NEIGHBORHOOD: Earlysville

CURB APPEAL: 8 out of a possible 10

LISTED BY: Jim McVay of Roy Wheeler Realty Co.

434-951-5122

The anticipation of arriving at a new destination often makes a journey seem longer than it actually is. Everything looks new, and excitement makes every new vista and landmark interesting. Of course, do the same trip a hundred times, and eventually you'll have your mind on other things. That's why most accidents happen within five miles of home.

This property– at the end of a long (relatively speaking) dirt road– is miles away from the hustle and bustle of everything. Thanks to its rustic setting, this log house seems to evoke some primal pioneer dream that still resides in the foothills of Virginia. But that's only the exterior, because these days, what would life be like without, say, electricity?

The original part, constructed in the late '70s is accessed from a covered side porch. As it opens up to a hallway, light streams in. Floor to ceiling is pine– which could become oppressive if it were not for the extra windows. There's a bedroom at one end of the hall with full bath and laundry facilities. At the other end, a country kitchen sports quarry tile flooring, an exposed stone chimney with woodstove, and a breakfast area.

Around a corner, the space expands to a great room with cathedral ceiling. On this side, the stone surrounds a fireplace and 18-foot chimney. A dining area with a 6' x 4' window looks down a long grassy avenue to the Rivanna River, 100 yards away. Another covered porch serves as a wonderful extension of the living areas and is wide enough for entertaining. Current building codes demand that decks now have vertical pickets no wider than two and half inches apart, but in 1976 there were no such requirements, and here there's only one horizontal beam between you and the view.

Upstairs, a classic country loft provides room for a full bath and master bedroom. Directly above the great room is an extra space, but its wide open design makes it useful as a library or sitting area.

All of this is indeed beautiful and ideal for a couple. But when the current owner took possession in 1989, she required a studio for her pottery business. Seamlessly attached to the house (via covered walkway) is a space with lots of creative productivity going on behind closed doors.

Also designed to convert to a garage with an apartment, the huge 33' x 27' main room with windows along both walls could host any number of home businesses. Beyond are a 30' x 11' room with three windows and a door to the outside as well as stairs leading to a 30' x 8' room with skylights. The Class B zoning allows for two employees and per requirement has a handicapped accessible bathroom and water fountain.

A separate 17' x 15' glass and screened-in area now houses an industrial-sized kiln. Except for the cathedral ceiling, the room is reminiscent of a backwoods kids' camp cabin.

All of this is somewhat daunting but also inspiring when one considers the potential. Any number of successful businesses could thrive here: retreat center, yoga studio, classrooms. Or put that kiln to good use with a brick factory. With its separate heating and cooling systems away from the residence and a heavy duty firewall, the possibilities abound for experimentation.

And while we thought the drive back to town would give us ample time for contemplation, before we knew it, we were in the thick of traffic. Obviously, our minds were on other things.