McLean, Virginia, home with garden oasis costs $3.5 million


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In 2011, when Leo Brooks first went with his real estate agent to view this property in McLean, Va., he didn’t walk into the house right away. Instead, he wandered around the back of the house, where he was beaten.

“I walked through their side door, walked into the backyard,” he said. “It was just amazing. It was summer and [there were] all these beautiful plants. They had this wonderful pool and a private setting. At that point, I thought, “I don’t know what it’s going to look like inside, but it’s going to be hard not to take it, just because of how the gardens look.” » ”

Distinguished Homes for Sale in the DC Area

McLean, Virginia, house | The four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 5,000-square-foot home on just under an acre is listed at $3.5 million. (Nathan Stewart/C. Gauthier Photography)

The house, which he calls a “cabin in the woods,” was built in 1963 but has been expanded over the years. Gabled roofs give it a storybook look.

Five years after purchasing the property, Leo and his wife, Debbie, undertook a renovation of the house and gardens. They hired McHale Landscape Design for outdoors and Akseizer Design Group for the interior.

“What’s great is when you have beautiful people who you can also collaborate with,” Debbie said.

Much of the exterior renovation was uncovering and refreshing. Azaleas wrapped around the pool, hiding it. Tall oaks and poplars surrounded the property, obscuring the view of the house.

“You couldn’t see the character of the house because there were so many trees out front,” Leo said.

Ten large trees were felled. Azaleas and other plants were transplanted to other parts of the garden. The English Gardens were laid out in a more formal arrangement. Debbie said only 40-45% of the plants are new.

The biggest challenge was “trying to marry the old with the new,” Anthony Cusat, senior landscape architect at McHale and renovation manager, told Home & Design magazine. McHale received an Award of Distinction for the project in 2019 from the Landscape Contractors Association of Maryland, DC and Virginia.

With staggered plants to bloom at different times, the Brooks has an ever-changing landscape as well as a secluded oasis.

“It’s very private,” Debbie said. “Wherever we could see an adjacent roof, we added another tree.”

McHale also installed a fireplace in a gazebo on the grounds, built a large courtyard with a fountain on the side of the house, and created what Leo calls his “man cave” – ​​an outdoor kitchen with a grill, a fridge, TV and high-top seats.

Akseizer Design Group helped renovate the kitchen and owner’s suite. The owner’s bedroom has a fireplace and a 15-foot vaulted ceiling with wood trusses. Double glazed doors open onto a covered terrace with automatic screens. The bathroom is done in a style that Debbie calls ‘formal British’. It has a heated floor, a double sink, a separate shower and bathtub, a fireplace and a television. The large dressing rooms have built-in shelves and cabinets.

The four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 5,000-square-foot home on just under an acre is listed at $3.5 million.

858 Canal Dr., McLean, Va.

  • Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4/4
  • Approximate area: 5,000
  • Lot size: 0.92 acres
  • Features: The 1963 house has been expanded over the years. The current owners have renovated the exterior and interior by engaging McHale Landscape Design and Akseizer Design Group. The grounds include English gardens, courtyard, heated swimming pool and spa, outdoor kitchen and gazebo with fireplace. The two-level house has four fireplaces. The three-car garage is attached.
  • Listing Agent: W. Ted Gossett and Joe KotulaBeautiful Washington Properties
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