November Featured Home: The Seneca Estate in Great Falls, Va.

Exquisite artistry, quality craftsmanship and a touch of glamour combine in this spectacularly appointed newly built manor home set on .89 lush acres in the pastoral Washington, D.C. suburb of Great Falls, Virginia. No luxurious expense has been spared in this 5-bedroom, 6.5–bath property, sited near the Potomac River yet conveniently close to the quaint shops and fine dining of Great Falls Village. 

The dazzling reception area provides a captivating center to the 12,000 sq. ft. home that envelops guests in an atmosphere of pure elegance and uncommon attention to detail. Gorgeous amenities include the hardwood-clad library with a wall of fossil-stone granite facing handsome built-ins, and a richly paneled drawing room with 11 glass showcases for display of collectibles or fine art.

The superbly appointed gourmet kitchen will delight even the most discriminating chef, while family and guests relax in the adjoining solarium with vaulted bamboo ceiling and French doors which lead to an expansive deck and rear lawns that multiply entertaining possibilities.

Upstairs, the stunning master suite provides a breathtaking haven for relaxation. Features include silk and wool rugs inlaid into Brazilian cherry flooring, an alluring closet room of cedar-lined cabinetry, and the luxurious master bath showcasing a center spa tub, glass-enclosed steam room with stone seating and a separate marble steam shower.

The lower level offers an abundance of leisure activities:  practice swinging at the golf simulator, enjoy refreshments at the mosaic-tiled bar, play a game of billiards or just relax in the spacious recreation room, all outfitted in tastefully fashionable décor and modern hues with the ambiance of a private club.

A spectacular home cinema room, a fifth bedroom with attached spa bath and a Tuscan-style wine cellar and tasting room complete this level.

See for additional information and photos. Offered for $5.2  million.

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Posted by: Caitlin
Posted on: 10/9/2013 at 3:46 PM
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Lions Haven in Great Falls, Virginia

Tucked away along the illustrious River Bend Road of Great Falls, Virginia, is a grand estate of true distinction. Newly constructed in 2012 and host to a 16,500-square-foot residence, including a guest apartment, and another 8,000 square feet of spacious outdoor living terraces on all levels around the mosaic-tiled pool, Lions Haven is a remarkable luxury retreat. Featuring six exquisitely unique bedrooms, seven full and three half baths, this stunning property of nearly five landscaped and wooded acres displays a masterful blend of refined architecture and breathtaking interior design.

The formal entertaining areas and family living spaces are all harmoniously designed to be equally opulent and comfortable by GALA Award winning Luxury Living, LLC.  The home’s exquisite adornments, hand-painted gold leaf wall art, expansive millwork and coffered, domed ceilings, and countless other sumptuous details will impress even the most discriminating guests.  Enjoy the walnut-clad Library, Music Room and rich, gracious spaces of the Family Room and Breakfast Salon. The fully outfitted Gourmet Kitchen is a work of art unto itself.  Equally luxurious Master Suites on each of the three levels provide relaxing sanctuary. The Lower Level is beautifully designed for use as a “summer house,” and features a pub and wine cellar, living room, cinema room, “cigar room,” billiards room, fitness room and spa… in addition to the Master suite and convenient walk-out access to the pool deck and outdoor living/dining rooms. 

Offered at $7.9 million. Interested buyers can contact Fouad Talout at 703-873-3500.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 3/12/2013 at 10:08 AM
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Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Sweetwater in Cardinal, Virginia

A collaboration of the world's finest materials and a setting on 198 acres with over one mile of North River shoreline has created an estate of incomparable beauty. The estate comprises an incredible main house, a fantastic guest cottage, a poolhouse, a detached home office, and versatile hangar space for any hobby enthusiast. A masterpiece of design that has created a home of comfort, distinction, and efficiency. Easy accress to Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg and Washington DC. Perfect for a corporate retreat priced at $5,999,995. Interested buyers can contact Kelly Corbett at 757-570-7860.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 2/7/2013 at 8:38 AM
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Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties | Luxury Real Estate
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The Castle in Great Falls, Virginia

When your home is the statement of your success, this “castle” more than exceeds your expectations!  Opulent courtyard and fountain leading to the spectacular carved entry door and into the stunning foyer… that is just the beginning of the fantasy!  The main home consists of 14 living areas, 6 bedroom suites, separate dressing rooms, 4 custom walk-in closets, 8 bathrooms, a media room, a library and fitness center.  Attached staff/guest wing boasting 3,000 square feet offers private entrance for professional offices and staff access to maintain your privacy and security.  Tucked away in a small enclave of estate homes yet only 30 minutes to all that Washington, DC has to offer! Offered at $5,500,000. For more information, contact the Spear Realty Group at 703-618-6892.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 1/24/2013 at 9:49 AM
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Brigadoon Farm in Middleburg, Virginia

225 impressive acres of rolling countryside in the prestigious Scott District; The Place to live in Middleburg!  The hears of the Orange County Hunt with a rich historical presence.  Award-winning English-style stone manor home built to perfections alongside a working cattle farm.  Studded with ponds, creeks, a fountain silo, outbuildings and a barn.  Two home sites for future residences or a family compound.  Over 500 feet of frontage on Route 50.  Stunning views and spectacular sunsets! Offered at $8,175,000. Contact The Spear Realty Group at 703-618-6892 for more information.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 1/23/2013 at 9:46 AM
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Rustic Lakefront Paradise in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Experience the extraordinary... with this rustic luxury home, that stretches over nearly an acre on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. This home is designed to blend into the landscape surrounding it, with doors and windows opening onto the decks and porches, expanding the living space to the outdoors as you take in the serene lake views surrounding you... This amazing home boasts an infinity saltwater pool, decks, balconies, private herb garden patios, triple dock, as well as your own private put-put course...

This classic rustic masterpiece home offers an open floor plan, with several gathering spaces for entertaining, including a theater room. Majestic vaulted ceilings and windows soaring to the ceiling lend the great rooms to cozy spaces, as well. Distinctive stone wood burning fireplaces warm each level of the home. Outdoor kitchens and dining areas, from the decks to the dock, allow you to have a daily adventure with views of the lake and the mountain. The gourmet interior kitchen, consists of African granite, Italian gas stove, stone detailing and a separate wet bar.

Some other unique features of this 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home include 2 dramatic floor to ceiling rock fireplaces, solid interior ask doors, soaring over eight feet and walnut front doors. Seek peace and serenity with one of the three large master suites to choose from, complete with their own sitting room, private decks, or fireplace and incredible water views.

This custom designed hom by the Potters is located within one of Smith Mountain Lakes prestigious communities, The Waters Edge, which offers an equestrian center, signature golf course, private club house, restaurant, pools and tennis courts... so what are you waiting for? Begin your adventure today with this extraordinary rustic lakefront paradise.

For more information about this property, contact Leslie Becker at 540-797-0477.

Chateau Iman in McLean, Virginia

This beautiful estate sits majestically high on a 3.7-acre wooded and landscaped lot in one of McLean, Virginia’s most prestigious neighborhoods.  Certainly one of the most extraordinary homes in the area, this 15,000+ square. foot newly renovated French Chateau is uncompromising in luxury and ultimate distinction.  Resplendent with grand spaces and elegant design, this home is equally suited for lavish entertaining and the utmost in comfortable family living.  Fine appointments include 6 bedroom suites, 6 full and 3 half baths, luxurious master suites on both upper and main levels, great room with wet bar for serving, richly outfitted gourmet chef’s kitchen, breakfast salon and family room, brilliant hardwoods, gleaming marble and granite, spectacular domes, hand-crafted mahogany library, artful millwork, ceiling treatments and exquisite lighting throughout.  The home is also equipped with second, catering kitchen, 8 distinctive fireplaces, 6-car garage, cinema room, billiards/game room with pub-style oak bar, security and audio systems and independent generator.  The dramatic spaces continue on the exterior as well, with the pool and outdoor kitchenette for barbeque, 2-story guest house with its own private drive, and falcon house.

For more information, contact Fouad Talout at 800-297-0098.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/1/2012 at 2:50 PM
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Riverview Manor in McLean, Virginia

Overlooking the majestic Potomac River, Riverview Manor is located just outside the nation's capital in McLean, Virginia. The secluded, gated property is situated on five acres, giving a sense of solitude, while just minutes away from Washington D.C. and Reagan National and Washington Dulles International airports.

Riverview Manor has stunning, expansive water views from all levels, twelve months of the year - a unique feature that truly sets this estate apart from the other properties along the banks of the Potomac. The presence of the river is felt throughout. Positioned on a wide section of the river, the picturesque landscape is not only visually capitvating with views of islands, rapids and the occasional kayaker, but "you can also hear the river rapids from the outdoor areas of the estate," says Marianne and MaryAnn of Long and Foster. "It's sight and sound stimulation!"

Beginning with the breathtaking great room, in which soaring two-story arched windows showcase unparalleled all-season views of the Potomac, and continuing on to the upper-level awe-inspiring river views from the elegant master retreat, it is evident that the estate was beautifully designed to take advantage of the year-round river views - from the fog rolling in on cool mornings to the incredible sunsets in the evenings.

The attention to detail is evident throughout this superbly built home with beautiful appointments and exquisite craftsmanship. The stone classic colonial features timeless elegance tempered with refinement and comfort, creating a majestic atmosphere perfect for entertaining dignitaries, while at the same time, intimate enough for smaller family gatherings. A separate guesthouse allows visitors their own space while enjoying the serene surroundings. The full-equipped pool house provides ample opportunity for relaxation with views across the infinity-edge pool and beyond to the river. Offering privacy and convenience, Riverview Manor is truly a hidden treasure with an aura of peace and tranquility. Price is available upon request.

For more information, click here.

The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains


A gorgeous country estate with a 2-tiered beach nestled on the pristine Smith Mountain Lake is yearning to be plucked up by a home buyer desiring a fun and relaxing lifestyle and looking to make a great investment in a beautiful, economically stable area of Virginia. This 3-level home has five bedrooms and four bathrooms and is offered for under $1 million.

A number of other striking estates are available in the Smith Mountain Lake area. With a reputation of being the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” the 23,000-acre lake has over 500 miles of stunning shoreline where residents and visitors can indulge in recreational activities like boating, sailing, rowing and biking. It is the ideal mountain area: cool, but not damp, where winters get cold but not too snowy. For the winter adventure-seeker, ski resorts are a short 2-3 hour drive north into West Virginia.

“Every season is the season here,” says Leslie Becker, Broker for Smith Mountain Lake Properties Inc.  “This is the most unique mountain setting on the entire east coast. We not only have seasonal homes, but we have full-time living here due to all the jobs in Lynchburg and Roanoke.”

Although somewhat of a private and undiscovered area, Smith Mountain Lake is near two major cities with direct connections to metropolitan areas around the United States. Smith Mountain Lake offers the same active lifestyle and is as full of culture as many major cities, but better. Here there are also equestrian and golf centers, including four major signature golf courses, sailing regattas, antiquing, historical sightseeing, frequent art festivals and concerts, and national award winning vineyards.

Make the trek to Smith Mountain Lake. Discover the undiscovered. It is truly a jewel, and the perfect blend of mountain and lakefront living. You’ll jump at the chance to call it home.

For more information visit


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Posted by: Keri Mahoney
Posted on: 9/24/2012 at 10:35 AM
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Top 10 Inviting Gardens

The garden is one of many features a visitor sees when they visit your home. Often majestic, colorful and widespread throughout the grounds, a well-groomed garden is a reflection of the homeowner. Whether it's an English garden, xeriscape type, ornamental garden or custom-designed one, most reflect the area's regional climate as well. We all love to see a beautifully established garden. We have reviewed and selected the Top 10 gardens below from those that submitted. Perhaps you will find one that you love and create at your place!

Highlands, North Carolina |

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada |

Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii |

San Clemente, California |

Charlevoix, Michigan |

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia |

Brentwood, Tennessee |

Coronado, California |

Casa Piena, Southern California |

Highlands, North Carolina |

17th Anniversary Top 10: Celebrity Estates

John Smoltz | Milton, GA |

Pete & Bridgette Sampras | Thousand Oaks, CA |

Stephen Sommers | Malibu, CA |

Formerly Elizabeth Taylor's Estate | Middleburg, VA |

Trevor Immelman | Orlando, FL |

Siegfried & Roy's | Las Vegas, NV |

Brad Radke | Belleair Beach, FL |

Richard Childress | Livingston, MT |

Formerly Katharine Hepburn's Estate | Old Saybrook, CT |

Allison Janney | Palm Springs, CA |

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Known as a premier vacation destination and perfect spot for relocation, Smith Mountain Lake is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia. Located a few hours from Washington, D.C. it is a picturesque rural landscape of mountains and lake. Dubbed the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” the area is home to families, business moguls, and retirees, attracted by both its beauty and accessibility.

Diversity of home styles and a wide array of cultural offerings give Smith Mountain Lake a decidedly European-like flair. In fact, many of the area’s year round residents hail from around the world. “People know that you get great value and high quality of life here,” says Leslie Becker, broker/realtor at Smith Mountain Lake Properties and owner of Premier Vacation Rentals at Smith Mountain Lake.

A low-key yet active lifestyle is one of the area’s main draws. Popular recreational offerings include signature golf courses, equestrian centers, and sailing regattas. “You can go full-throttle all year long with any activity you want,” says Becker.

Blessed with a 22,000-acre lake and 500-miles of shoreline, Smith Mountain Lake provides ample opportunities to purchase the perfect waterfront home to suit any lifestyle – whether it’s a luxury condo, vacation retreat, or year-round home. A “controlled” deep water lake, Smith Mountain Lake never loses more than three-feet of water, which protects the shoreline and beaches. “Savvy homebuyers know this fact,” Becker says. “It is one of the reasons people from around the world buy lakefront homes here.”

A beautiful example of the area’s waterfront properties can be found at the Love Stone Inn, a $995,000 or turn key  $1,250,000 French country lakefront estate with breathtaking views of the mountain and lake. Its Peaks of Otter stone exterior is a rare find on the lake.   

Additional features of the over five-acre property include a private dock and terraced beachfront as well as a separate guest cottage.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/15/2012 at 5:12 PM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | Luxury Real Estate
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Brigadoon Farm

Located two miles west of Middleburg, Virginia, Brigadoon Farm is more than just a farm – it’s a “complete escape from the realities of urban living,” says John Ballenger, current owner of Brigadoon. Named after Ballenger’s favorite musical, this farm offers more than meets the eye: a rich line of historical ownership, a plethora of potential uses, and an incomparably serene setting.

Brigadoon Farm was originally owned by philanthropist Paul Mellon, who passed it down to John Warner – Secretary of the Navy at the time – after his marriage to Mellon’s daughter, Catherine. When the marriage ended, Warner kept ownership of the land, using it for a cattle-farming operation. In 1976, Warner married Elizabeth Taylor, and two years later, he made his first run at the Senate. In order to assist in financing his campaign, Sen. Warner sold a part of his land holdings to Ballenger, who notes, “Sen. Warner and Elizabeth [Taylor’s] signatures appear on my deed as the prior owners.”


When Ballenger took ownership more than 30 years ago, he used the land primarily for his Black-Angus cattle operation, but he also built a home designed to reflect 15th-century European gatehouses. In 1991, the Stone Institute of America Magazine recognized Ballenger’s home as the best-designed country stone house in America.

Though Brigadoon Farm is fully equipped to use for any farming operation, Ballenger notes that the property is adaptable. “It would make an ideal location for a horse farm or equestrian facility, while another part of the land would be perfect for growing a vineyard,” Ballenger says. “I built and designed the home so that is could be used as a weekend escape, but also as a full-time residence, depending on what one wanted.”

With the home overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ballenger says there’s something about Brigadoon that makes people realize the bigger picture. “It is a spot for someone who thinks he or she has everything, until they taste and feel the quietness and elegant beckoning privacy of the Brigadoon ‘call’ – that’s when one senses that, without Brigadoon, life really is not complete.”

The Spear Realty Group
Kim Spear
(703) 618-6892

The Top 10 Entry Ways and Foyers

The entry ways and foyers to our homes are transitional spaces outside to inside - or the first area your guests will experience as they enter your home. This space is the equivalent to a first impression, with the potential to "wow" guests from the start with a unique and telling design. Whether contemporary, traditional, modern or eclectic, the entrance should be inviting, setting the tone for the rest of your living space. When the design of the front door, floor, staircase, wall coverings and accessories all come together to fit a particular style, the outcome is much more than an area to hang one's hat. These entryways are composed of a single harmony that points the way into the more elaborated upon design themes of your home.

McLean, Virginia • Long & Foster Realty • Fouad Talout • 703-459-4141 • •

McLean, Virginia • Long & Foster • Marianne Polk • 703-403-7655 •

Las Vegas, Nevada • Luxe Estates Collection • Lee M. Medick • 702-494-8270 • •

Henry Luce III Estate • Fishers Island, New York • Mystic Isle Realty • Jim Reid • 631-788-7882 •

Virginia Beach, Virginia • RE/MAX Alliance • Jeanne West • 757-714-1771 •

San Juan Capistrano, California • Canaday Group with RE/MAX Fine Homes • Lee Ann Canaday • 949-249-2424 •

San Juan Capistrano, California • Canaday Group with RE/MAX Fine Homes • Lee Ann Canaday • 949-249-2424 •

Hidden Hills, California • RE/MAX Olson • Jordan Cohen • 818-435-5220 •

Mississauga, Ontario • RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Brokerage • Derek Greber • 416-832-0999 •

Scottsdale, Arizona • West USA Realty • Michele Somers • 602-818-9286 •

duPont Marketplace: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake is a 4-hour drive from Washington , D.C., yet feels a world apart from the hustle-and-bustle of big city life. Its laid-back lifestyle is set amongst the backdrop of a picturesque rural setting of mountains, water and woods. "Smith Mountain Lake is the best kept secret on the East Coast," says Dana Montgomery, associate broker with Prudential Waterfront Properties in Hardy, Virginia and a lifelong resident of the area. "You can't help but be in awe of how beautiful our lake is."

A wonderful place to retire or raise a family, Smith Mountain Lake is a great place for an active lifestyle. Its popular recreational activities include boating, hiking, fishing, and waterskiing. Two private golf communities and country club-living offer buyers high-end amenities and elegant living.

Smith Mountain Lake's 500 miles of shoreline provide ample places to purchase waterfront properties. "The homes here are different architectural styles," Montgomery says. "There is everything from log homes to luxury townhomes or condominiums to exquisite upscale homes and everything in between." Low taxes and a low cost-of-living add to the attraction for luxury buyers looking to put down roots or purchase a vacation or second home.

A beautiful example of the area's waterfront properties can be found in Moneta, Virginia's prestigious Waverly neighborhood. The $1.45-million, European-inspired home was designed by renowned architect, Donald Gardner. A perfect place for entertaining friends and family, the home's many features include a gourmet kitchen, formal dining, and entertainment room. Each bedroom is a guest suite with its own full bath for privacy and comfort. An outdoor terrace overlooks the lake.

The 5,229-square-foot home boasts 102 feet of water frontage on Smith Mountain Lake. A private dock with a boathouse has a jet ski and boat lift.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/3/2011 at 2:43 PM
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