Ten months is not a lot of time to build a dream home, but architect Bulent Baydar, along with designer David Mitchell and builders Stephen Yeonas, Mitch Racoosin and Richard Ellis, all worked together to make it happen. The result of all their hard work is the 2005 Old Dominion Showhouse at Spring Hill Farm in McLean, which will be featured in the November/December issue of Southern Accents magazine.
"We had 10 months total for everything, to get it designed and permitted ... about 7 or 8 months of that was construction," said Baydar, an architect with Harrison Design Associates, the firm that handled the project.
According to Baydar, Harrison Design Associates has completed a little over a dozen show homes, four of which have been for Southern Accents.
The showhouse, located at 1125 Spring Hill Road in McLean, will open for public touring on Thursday, Oct. 20 and will stay open through Dec. 4. Tickets are $20, and $13.75 of the ticket price will go toward Ronald McDonald House Charities which provides "a home away from home" for children with serious illnesses.
"We have two existing Ronald McDonald houses in the area — one in Northern Virginia and one in Washington D.C.," said Sarah Glass, Director of Development for Ronald McDonald House Charities. "The one in D.C. is not meeting the needs ... so we have to build a larger, totally new house."
STEPHEN YEONAS OF ARTISAN BUILDERS, LLC says that when he and his partners Mitch Racoosin and Richard Ellis met with Baydar, they all "got along really well," which started the project off on the right foot.
"We tried to do something different," said Yeonas. "We came up with this 'courtyard concept.'"
Using California homes, Italian country homes and Pennsylvania farmhouses as their inspiration, Baydar, Mitchell, Yeonas, Racoosin and Ellis created a home that has an inner courtyard as its focal point — a feature that they believe lends a comfortable, homey feel to what is actually a rather sizable structure.
"We wanted an intimate courtyard effect, partially to get away from the road ... everything has been added on to the house to create a rambling effect which adds to the privacy and cozy feel of the house," said Baydar. "No points of the house are overwhelming."
The house has 5 bedrooms, 7 full baths, 3 half-baths and 18 rooms total. It features an outdoor entertainment area, a media room, a bar and game room, a wine cellar, wine dinner alcove, exercise and spa areas and a separate detached two-car garage and "Zen Room."
"I think what is really neat is when you walk into the foyer there is an element of surprise," said Yeonas. "In most other homes, you walk into the foyer and you see all the rooms at once, and that's it. Here you keep walking down the hall and discovering new rooms."
Artisan also lowered the ceiling on the second floor to 9 feet because it adds to the feeling that the house is an old renovated farmhouse.
"People always say that they want to have that older home feel, so we made these cropped ceilings."
According to Yeonas, the Spring Hill Farm site is the largest privately owned undeveloped piece of property left in McLean. Artisan Builders plans to put 18 homes on the 25-acre site, but Yeonas says that he and his partners are hoping that the Southern Accents show home "inspires the buyers."
"Each home will have kind of a unique design — we wouldn't repeat this on any lot," said Yeonas.
DESIGNER DAVID MITCHELL was excited to have the whole house to his own devices, as it is fairly rare to give one designer total control of an entire show home.
"The whole idea is that in other show houses they hire several designers so that you get different rooms with different themes, but if you hire one designer, you get a congruent kind of piece," said Mitchell.
For this particular project, Mitchell decided to go with a natural theme.
"This house is an idea house. It's a very American house, although it's based on an Italian country house. It's u-shaped and it is set up so that it has organic and natural themes in every room — it was really a pretty thing to work with and the whole house has really good flow to it."