After nearly 20 years, Barry Dixon is saying goodbye to Elway Hall, his pastoral estate near Warrenton, Va. Dixon, one of Washington’s most sought-after interior designers, whose work has been featured in House Beautiful and Southern Accents and on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and HGTV, is just the fourth owner of the 1907 Edwardian manor.
With its 14-foot ceilings, 17 fireplaces, 10 bedrooms, a ballroom and a dining room that can seat 30 for a hunt breakfast, Elway Hall resembles an English country manor. Its generously proportioned rooms are ideal for intimate gatherings with family members and friends, as well as large galas for hundreds of guests.
The three-story, stone-and-wood house with a terra cotta tile roof was built by Johnson Newlon Camden for his daughter Annie as a wedding present. Camden was a U.S. senator from West Virginia and an industrialist who helped John D. Rockefeller found Standard Oil Co. Camden’s daughter married Gen. Baldwin Day Spilman, a West Point graduate who served several years in the Army before becoming a coal operator in West Virginia. Annie, who is immortalized in the Tiffany window above the stately carved oak staircase in Elway Hall, gave the parish house to St. James’ Episcopal Church in Warrenton as a memorial to her husband.
Dixon fell in love with Virginia’s horse country many years ago, during his drives to design projects at the Inn at Little Washington. He scooped up Elway Hall in 1999, just after it had undergone a million-dollar renovation.
The home provided Dixon with a lavish canvas to implement his design vision, sometimes described as sophisticated Southern with international influences. But, in the end, Dixon altered Elway Hall very little. He updated the kitchen, expanded the master bedroom suite and added a swimming pool. He also transformed the third floor into his design studio.
“Anyone who owns an old house is a steward,” he told the Piedmont Virginian last year. “In a way, the house owns you. You take care of the home during your time there, then you pass it on.”
Elway Hall retains the timeless elegance of the Edwardian period. Elongated windows provide abundant natural light. Polished oak floors ground the space.
During his time at Elway Hall, Dixon embraced country living. He raised goats and llamas, kept horses and bees, and tended an orchard, as well as vegetable and flower gardens.
“Whenever I get a case of designer’s block,” Dixon told Traditional Home, “I can coax Ellie, my wire-haired fox terrier, into a walk over hill and vale to the barn. By the time I’m back at my desk, with a handful of thistle or a fruit-laden bow, the creative juices are flowing freely.”
The 10-bedroom, nine-bathroom, 20,000-square-foot house is listed at $10.5 million.
Listing: 8394 Elway Lane, Warrenton, Va.
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