Modern house in Great Falls | The European modern farmhouse in Great Falls, Va., was designed and built by ZSD Design Build. It is listed at $3.8 million. (HomeVisit)
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The three decided to construct a European modern farmhouse with just enough contemporary elements to be innovative but not so many it was off-putting to the traditional Great Falls homeowner.
“We were watching what other people in the area were doing, what we thought was good, what could be improved upon,” Cormicle said. “We felt like the audience was out there and we wanted to deliver to that audience what we thought the buyer wanted, but we also wanted to keep some of the design more traditional. We didn’t want to overwhelm people.”
Finding the right location was key. When they came across this wooded lot on the top of a hill, they knew it would give the house a commanding presence and provide seclusion. Without the higher elevation and mature trees to screen out prying eyes, having all the large panes of glass would have felt like living in a fishbowl.
Instead, the massive windows invite in the outdoors and create a bright, airy space. The 12-foot ceilings and 10-foot doorways add to the spaciousness. What keeps the house from feeling cavernous is its layout. The design has the same flow found in open-concept houses but cleverly arranged nooks create intimacy, not restraint. Rooms have function and purpose.
“The rooms, they are proportioned correctly so that you don’t have just lots of wasted space throughout the house,” Cormicle said.
“That’s a delicate balance with an open plan,” Pomajambo added. “You have to have your proportions correct. With high ceilings and big doors, you don’t want it to feel oversized.”
The massive mahogany doors at the entry open to a 60-foot entrance hall. The idea for an entrance hall sprang from conversations Pomajambo had over the years with clients who eschewed the traditional living room.
“I said, what is a formal living room? It’s a space that nobody ever really uses,” he said. “It’s where you bring somebody new to your house. You kind of stage them there and then lead them to wherever you need to.”
The long corridor functions as an entertaining space, art gallery and music area. The more casual sitting area, just off the kitchen, allows for cozy conversations. The fireplace wall clad in oil-rubbed, hot-rolled steel is a focal point. Another visually arresting backdrop is found in the master bathroom. The veins in the book-matched marble ripple along the wall behind the double vanity.
The five-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 9,362-square-foot house on 1.6 acres is listed at just under $3.8 million.