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The Washington Post: Where We Live – A century-old Bethesda home that values its privacy

(Photo by HomeVisit The most spectacular room is the ballroom-size living room with its soaring ceilings, hefty crown molding, graceful pediments and an ornate Italian fireplace mantel.)

By Kathy Orton June 30, 2017

One of the original estates in Edgemoor, this 1913 home was given a grand update in 2013.

Edgewood, as it was then called, was one of the first residential neighborhoods in Bethesda created by a local development company. Walter E. Tuckerman purchased 185 acres and divided it into 250 lots in 1912. The leafy neighborhood, later renamed Edgemoor, was known for its architecturally diverse homes, active civic association, proximity to downtown Bethesda and renowned tennis and swim club.

Tuckerman’s original advertising brochure for the development stated, “Those of refined taste, demanding a better social atmosphere than surrounds the usual suburb; a more picturesque environment for an all-year-round home out of the city, without the expense and responsibility of a large estate; will find these qualities happily realized and united in Edgewood.”

The owners of this home employed a team that included Gibson Builders, architect George Meyers of GTM Architects and interior designer Mary Douglas Drysdale to bring the 100-year-old home into the modern age. Drysdale has consulted on close to a dozen renovations of various homes with the owners over nearly two decades.

“The interesting thing about having worked with a specific family on so many different projects, you really get to see how their taste changes, evolves, how their needs do as well,” Drysdale said.

Drysdale knew the owners wanted a home that could be used for large-scale entertaining but one that wasn’t formal or stuffy.

“I wanted to make sure that they had places to be at home and be very comfortable,” she said. “It had to be a dog-friendly house. It had to be a kid-friendly house. It had to be a cozy house.”

(Photo by HomeVisit Shades of blue make a dramatic statement in the kitchen.)

The home, which was featured in House Beautiful and Home & Design, boasts grand spaces but it also encourages intimate gatherings. The most spectacular room is the ballroom-size living room with its soaring ceilings, hefty crown molding, graceful pediments and an ornate Italian fireplace mantel. By arranging the furniture into welcoming clusters, the room becomes inviting rather than intimidating.

Various hues of blue — the wife’s favorite color — cascade throughout the main level. It is elegant in the dining room, dramatic in the kitchen and restful in the family room. Drysdale has nothing against white kitchens but said a bold shade was needed there. “If that kitchen had been your typical white kitchen, the easy relationship between the kitchen and the living room might not have existed,” she said. “I really planned the business end of the kitchen so that if you’re standing in the living room and looking into the kitchen you don’t see the appliances.”

(Photo by HomeVisit The swimming pool offers a place to cool off on hot summer days.)

For a home that is steps away from downtown Bethesda, it is exceptionally private. The house is set back from the street with a spacious front lawn providing a buffer. Mature trees offer shade and more seclusion. In addition, the entrances to the home are on the side of the house rather than facing the street. The formal entrance is so understated as to be overlooked. The informal entrance is tucked near the garage behind a fenced courtyard.

The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 11,241-square-foot house on 1.34 acres is listed at $9.995 million.

Listing: 5215 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Md.

Listing agent: Marc Fleisher, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

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