Living in Reston — Reinvented

Living in Reston — Reinvented

“Design Interventions” on display at 17th Annual Reston Home Tour.

Now that’s a kitchen! A wall of windows adds spectacular natural light to the Xeller home, massively remodeled for this family of seven, who can enjoy gatherings of family and friends at this amazing kitchen island. A new downstairs master suite gives the adults their own retreat, as well.

Now that’s a kitchen! A wall of windows adds spectacular natural light to the Xeller home, massively remodeled for this family of seven, who can enjoy gatherings of family and friends at this amazing kitchen island. A new downstairs master suite gives the adults their own retreat, as well. Photo by Andrea Worker.


Reston Home Tour attendee Julia Sullivan really loved this “fun space” in the Brown/Everett home on Ring Road. Volunteers Kristi Guidry and husband Ben enjoyed showing off the basement renovations.


The Vollman/Hobrlo home on Basset Lane takes full advantage of Reston’s famous green spaces and natural beauty by adding this “coffee balcony” to the master suite addition.

The annual Reston Home Tour is one of the most anticipated events on the local activities calendar. The major fundraiser for the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, enabling the organization to continue its mission to “preserve the past, inform the present, and influence the future of Reston,” the tour draws them in from Reston, around the county, and even well beyond.

Reston has always been on the cutting edge, from its historic beginnings as Bob Simon’s dream “New Town,” to today’s additions of creative new high-density living alternatives clustered around the ever-expanding Reston Town Center and the new Silver Line Metro stations, and to the innovative approaches to that Restonians employ when implementing the “design interventions” of their own dwellings.

Reston is growing up, getting older, and so are its existing homes. Many residents are faced with deciding whether to move on or stay and make some “design interventions” to reinvent their living spaces to keep pace with their changing lifestyles. In the case of the six private abodes on the tour on Saturday, Oct. 13, the homeowners who graciously allowed the curious crowds to see the fruits of their architectural and design and decorating labor, chose the latter – all to stunning effect.

Stephen and Tara Xeller took their “intervention” to the limit when remodeling their home on Round Pebble Lane.

With a fifth child on the way, the former renters decided they needed a place of their own to spread their familial wings. They put an offer on the house from the hospital as Tara went into labor.

THE LABOR PAINS continued over the next several years, as the couple, with the help of architect James McDonald and builder Mike Carr, began the transformation of their home to accommodate the large, busy family. So much work was done, that the family had to move into a short-term rental while the home experienced its own nine months of growth and change.

Additions to both sides of the traditional-style house gave the adults their own spacious downstairs master suite, with the two boys owning their own wing on one side of the upstairs, and the three girls in charge on the opposite site.

Tour attendees were especially taken by the kitchen with its enormous island/dining space, perfect for gathering the family and friends, with a wall of windows to bathe the room with natural light.

Just across Reston Parkway from the Xeller home, Chuck Levergood and Patty Rollin used “design intervention” for the opposite purpose – reimagining the house that had once served a family of four into the perfect surroundings for two well-travelled, active empty-nesters with an obvious taste for good wines. Homeowner Chuck and designer Kim Casson of Salmon-Casson, Ltd. collaborated to design and install a custom-made, temperature controlled wine display area – snugly fitted into a space carved out underneath the stairs leading to the basement entertainment area. Add a fabulous new bar and cozy seating area to the mix, and this “rec room” cocktail is a perfect blend.

Patty needed “her” space to also reflect her changing lifestyle, so Beth Goldsmith of Beth Goldsmith Creative Works, Inc. helped her create the kitchen and dining areas of her dreams, and a master suite for elegant relaxation.

SHOWCASING just what can be done with a veteran Reston abode, Kevin Brown and Emily Everett let their own creative spirits soar – sans architect - when renovating their circa 1969 home.

Success was probably always in the cards, since these two were also the authors of a Moorings Drive condo renovation that was a hit on the 2014 Home Tour.

This time they took the compartmentalized mid-century-styled dwelling and turned it into an open floor layout, mixing high-end pieces and bargain buys.

“Post-modern, mountain house/cabin/farmhouse chic” is how they describe the finished product. Whatever you call what they have achieved, tour goers were impressed. Many seemed inclined to stop and rest awhile in the basement “fun room” which is styled reminiscent to an old-fashioned candy store.

The southern side of Reston was well represented on the Tour, as well.

The Vollman/Hobrla home on Bassett Lane is another example of reinventing a space to reflect empty-nesters, rather than discarding the place where more than 25 years of family memories were made. Designer Amelia Vallone went to work on the kitchen, then the dining room. Then it was time to move upstairs.

Topping the list of improvements might well be the new master suite, an addition to the house built over the garage. The space now includes a spa shower, soaking tub, walk-in closet, and best of all – to Lee Hobrla’s way of thinking – a “coffee balcony” that allows for some down time with peaceful views of Reston’s forests to help a coffee – or wine drinker – just chill. A lot of new landscaping and a beautiful shade garden created by Hidden Lane Landscaping completes the picture.

Another older home got a facelift when the Blausteins bought their home on the waterways of The Wharf on Glade Drive in 2016, with updates to the second floor bathroom and installation of Smart Home technology throughout the property.

“In-town” living options were also on display.

Larry and Mary Wright’s penthouse at The Paramount condominiums offers breathtaking views in all directions from the 500-square-foot terrace, while inside the condo, pride of place is no doubt the “twinned kitchen” created by custom builder Ron Savino. With two of just about everything, the couple who love to cook together can do so in comfort and with ease. The backsplash provides the area’s chief talking point, being made with nine 50 million-year-old fossilized fish from a dried lakebed in Wyoming.

There was one more stop on the tour, an offering for those who might be more interested in having someone else do all that work and giving them a move-in ready, complete in-town experience. That could be achieved at the latest addition to Reston Town Center, the Signature at 11850 Freedom Drive, with floor plans to suit most everyone, and amenities like multiple common areas, chat spaces, gathering rooms with fireplaces, barbeques, gardens, a pool, fitness and yoga studios, waterfalls, a dog park, amazing views and more.

AS THE ICING on the Signature cake, residents also have Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market on the ground floor. The popular new “foodie” spot highlighted their catering abilities by serving up food and beverages for tour-goers in one of the common entertaining areas. Resident also benefit from only having to walk a few steps to enjoy all of the fun and action of the Town Center without ever turning a car key.

As they have done so generously in the past, the Wine Cabinet, located in the North Point shopping village, once again offered wine tastings to tour attendees, donating 10 percent of “tourist” wine purchases on the day to the Reston Trust and Museum.