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A $13.5 million home for sale in McLean, Va., is a Europhile’s dream

The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house includes antique accents

A stone veranda overlooks the landscaped backyard. (Adam Albright)

There’s little not to love about the rolling vineyards and charming country estates of Western Europe. Returning from a trip to Italy and France in the early 2000s, Maria and Kirk Galiani were so enchanted by their travels that they decided to build this tribute to the European tradition in McLean, Va.

The couple bought the land in 2005, but a year and a half passed before construction began. During that time, they worked on their vision with the Galileo Group, a custom home builder, and architect Steve Busch.

“I gave [Busch] my ideas and some plans, and he literally went back to his hotel room and just drew it in one night,” Maria said. “And I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s my house.’ He was such a true artist.”

Construction took 3½ years, giving Maria, an interior decorator, ample time to source antiques for the new estate. She said she prefers to decorate with “unusual, unique and one-of-a-kind” objects. She collected cast-iron registers and doorknobs from the 1800s, now in use throughout the house. The exterior was built with 300 tons of fieldstone primarily sourced from century-old structures around the 50-mile mark of the Oregon Trail in Missouri. A fireplace in the living room, built in 1900 and signed by its designer, was created for a French castle.

Despite her meticulous attention to detail during the planning process, Maria was surprised to discover which rooms she liked most once she moved into the house with her husband and their three children in 2010. One popular space, a big room with walls of wood and stone, has a basketball hoop — though no court lines on its antique-oak, suspended-spring floor — and it leads to an outdoor terrace.

“I wanted it to double as an entertaining pavilion for parties,” she said. “But every time I had a lot of people over, whether it was for Thanksgiving or birthday parties, a lot of times, people of all ages would end up in the basketball court, playing cornhole or basketball or lacrosse.”

The hearth room, dubbed the “conversation pit” by the residents, is the smallest room in the 16,000-square-foot house, and it’s Maria’s favorite. It has a round, built-in couch and a fireplace that bears the face of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus — a fitting presence in a room where Maria said she gathered small groups of guests to chat over libations.

The primary bedroom suite — on the second floor, or main level — is connected to a private office and has two walk-in closets and a bathroom with a free-standing tub and a walk-in shower. There are high arches in warm-hued hallways that lead to a modern kitchen with an old-fashioned look, a double-height dining room and a two-story library with a spiral staircase. This floor also has a living room — dubbed the “great room” by the Galianis — with exposed wood beams in the ceiling. The great room opens to a stone veranda that overlooks the property’s approximately 1¼ acres, designed by landscape architect Charles Owens.

Garage parking is available at both ends of the house. The property was designed to accommodate as many as 160 guests, although the Galianis never hosted such a large event there.

On the lower level, the house has a bedroom suite and kitchenette, a sunlit entertainment room, a professional-quality gym and a circular wine cellar. An additional room could be used for seating or other purposes, and two large, connected areas provide ample storage space.

The top floor has five bedrooms, three of which have private bathrooms. The other two share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, with direct access from both sides. A bar and game alcove adjoins the second floor of the library, where a ledge overlooks the main level.

Although the Galianis are downsizing with their move, they’re not going far. They like the area so much that they bought a house down the street.

“Being so close to Tysons and the CIA and Langley High School, it seems like a busy area,” Maria said. “But you drive into our neighborhood, and it’s quiet and private.”


1113 Langley Lane, McLean, Va.

  • Bedrooms/bathrooms: 7/9
  • Approximate square-footage: 16,000
  • Lot size: 1.26 acres
  • Features: The mansion was built in 2010 by Galileo Group. Inspired by Italian and French architecture, it has a distinctly Old World feel and is decorated with antique finds. Unusual features include an indoor sport court/entertainment pavilion, a two-story library and a stone veranda. There are two garages, each with two doors, on either side of the house.
  • Listing agent: Will Thomas and Mark Lowham, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when Maria and Kirk Galiani took their trip to Italy and France. They visited in the early 2000s. This version has been corrected.