The 48th annual McLean Woman’s Club Holiday Homes Tour, set for Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on Langley Farms, an enclave of large custom homes across Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) from McLean’s business district. Most of the houses in this quiet, rather private neighborhood, were built on the sites of much older, smaller homes, expanding or completely replacing them. The houses sit on large lots along narrow streets and have easy access to and from Route 123 and Georgetown Pike. Because parking in Langley Farms is limited, the area will be served by free minibuses based at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., less than a half-mile away. As in previous years, the Woman’s Club MarketPlace (this year called Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe) will be here during the same hours. The tour houses will be festively decorated in accordance with owners’ wishes, and music of the season will be featured in some homes or nearby. Tickets for the tour will be available at Mesmeralda’s Ltd., of McLean, 1339 Chain Bridge Road; Karin’s Florist Inc., 527 Maple Ave., East, Vienna; and Great Dogs of Great Falls, 9859 Old Georgetown Road, as well as at the tour homes and at Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe (the MarketPlace). The cost is $25 before Thursday, Dec. 4 (the day of the tour) and $30 on Dec. 4 at the tour houses or at Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe.
The four tour houses are located on Ballantrae Lane, Langley Lane (two houses) and Chain Bridge Road. For ease of reference, they are designated Houses 1 through 4 here and in the tour booklet/ticket. Specific addresses, as well as a general map of the area, appear in the tour booklet/ticket.
House No. 1 (Ballantrae Lane) – Two houses in one
This home consists of two sections: a handsome but conventional-looking front section built and equipped for a handicapped family member and an extended rear section intended as the primary residence for the rest of the family. Each section has its own entrance and is self-contained. However, the owners describe the house as “totally accessible for wheelchairs and walkers,” as well as having automatic controls nearly throughout to make the home accessible to the handicapped, especially in the front half. Windows are low for outside visibility from a wheelchair. Steps have been eliminated, and transitions between flooring are seamless. The owners have eschewed carpeting in lieu of elegant inlaid floors. Other accommodations include an oversized elevator and a full basement with a physical therapy and workout area and a pool for rehab. Furniture is simple and modern and includes a large, attractive inlaid dining table for special occasions. There are four porches/patios and two garages, one of double size that is designed to accommodate vehicles with lifts. The driveway is designed for easy access, and the streetside mailbox is wheelchair accessible. The house has a 9-kilowatt solar panel system, and heating and cooling are geothermal.
House No. 2 (Langley Lane) – English country style
This English-country-style home was built on the site of a small 1920’s Cape Cod bungalow. The current home has a stucco and stone façade, an arrival court off a circular drive and L-shaped landscaping in front, with gardens, terraces and a pool. Other interesting features include a nine-piece, random “true-slate” roof; custom, self-watering window baskets and walk-out slate terraces off the living room, foyer and family room. Inside, the front part of the home contains the “public” elements -- living room, dining room and foyer on the first floor and three guest bedrooms on the second. The back of the house was designed as a “private” area, with a kitchen and family room on the first floor and a master bedroom/bath and study on the second. Noteworthy details include antique doors on the front powder room and closet, custom “cast-stone” fireplaces, cast-concrete countertops, radiant-heated concrete floors in the kitchen and family room and a “shadow” detail in the crown molding in the living room. The home has five fireplaces and two attached garages.
House No. 3 (Langley Lane) – Nantucket style
Two doors down from House No. 2 is this multistory Nantucket-style home, built, like its neighbor, on the site of a small, much older Cape Cod but, unlike No. 2, retaining some of its features and layout. The first floor of the original house became the family room, library and part of the kitchen of the present home. The newer part of the home includes a step-down living room almost as large as the earlier house, a marble-floored foyer that continues from the front door to the rear French doors overlooking a pool and garden, a dining room large enough for sizable gatherings, a winding staircase to the upper level and a lower-level game room with French doors leading to a sunken rear patio. The small original kitchen was expanded to include a large eat-in area, a butler’s pantry, a party service area and a half-bath. The large rear patio is covered with a unique glass-covered extension, providing shelter during outdoor parties. The original slate roof of the 1920’s home was extended over the expansion of the house using slate from the same Pennsylvania quarry so one cannot detect where the old and new meet.
House No. 4 (Chain Bridge Road) – Modern western
The owners of this house say they have always admired the architecture of the western United States and were delighted to be able to build a custom home bringing the western style to Chain Bridge Road, which is a favorite street of theirs. At the same time, they describe the interior of the house as having “transitional modern lines.” The house has an open floor plan for the kitchen and family room spaces, with some smaller, more formal areas. The owners feel that all of the areas blend well for large-party entertaining. There is a comfortable, cozy library, but everyone’s favorite spaces seem to be the contemporary-style kitchen and the covered outdoor patio, which in effect serves as an outdoor room. A striking, western-style wall made of stone with convenient niches on the kitchen side separates the kitchen from the adjacent hall. In the spring and summer, the pool area can be seen to have simple, modern lines enhanced with seasonal potted annuals. The pool is 600 square feet, and there is a nearby Jacuzzi. The home has two open porches/patios, a lower-level recreation room and four fireplaces. The exterior walls are stone with some HardiPlank; the roof is composition shingle.
Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe
The Woman’s Club’s other major fundraiser, Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe, at Trinity Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature numerous vendors, and will sell estate jewelry, all types of women’s handbags, decorative items, home-baked goods, specialty candy, collectibles, floral arrangements, discounted gems, handmade items gifts (for teachers, hostesses, family and friends), ceramics, LED lights, soy candles and Homes Tour tickets. There will also be a silent auction of items valued at over $100, and lunch and drinks will be available. Admission will be free, and there will be ample parking in the church lots. All proceeds of the Homes Tour and the Christmas Shoppe will be donated to local charities and nonprofits, including Alternative House, Fisher House, the Wounded Warrior program, Capital Caring, Share, Inc.; the McLean Symphony, the McLean Project for the Arts and the McLean Volunteer Fire Department, as well as used for scholarships and education. The honorary host for both events will be Mr. Doug DeLuca, local designer, builder, artist and community supporter.
For more tour information: 703-556-0197 or www.mcleanwc.org. For more information on Ye Ole Christmas Shoppe: 703-356-0089.