Scarlett O’Hara probably would have liked the main staircase in the model at Stanmore, an enclave of new stately single-family houses in Olney, Md.

The curving dual stairs in the foyer make an impression.

“It has that dramatic effect,” says Damon J. Bradley, sales manager for the Williamsburg Homes development in Montgomery County.

The two-story ceilings in the foyer and family room are also striking.

But the Columbia-based builder has also included subtler details. For instance, there’s a hidden nook under the basement stairs, ideal for storing holiday decorations.

“This is also a great hiding place for kids,” says Bradley, chuckling.

Thirteen houses are planned, built in two cul-de-sacs off Batchellors Forest Road. Houses will sit on sites of one-third to one-half of an acre, backing to protected conservation areas and angled to maximize privacy and views of nearby woods.

“We want a community that maintains a rural feel,” Bradley says.

Sky’s the limit with options: Construction at the former dairy farm began last year, and the Rutledge model opened this past April.

Six other models — each with open floor plans and several exterior options — are available, and all can be customized. Some lots offer the potential for an in-ground pool.

“If you can dream it, we can build it,” says Bradley, who once arranged an indoor badminton court for a buyer. “There’s a lot of opportunity for people to be creative.”

Allen Janofsky and his wife were able to add an extra bathroom and expand one of their daughters’ bedrooms in place of the two-story foyer in the Dorchester IV model. They also added a side entrance, 13 windows in the basement and located the “conservatory” space to the breakfast room area to open up the floor plan further.

“What we really loved about Williamsburg is the ability to customize,” says Janofsky, whose family is moving from Rockville when the house is complete this fall. “Our house is very open, and that’s exactly what we wanted.”

The models have a few things in common, including either front- or side-entry garages with space for two or three vehicles. They also have 30-year architectural roof shingles and concrete walkways.

The Rutledge model of the Stanmore has high ceilings throughout the house. The ceiling in the living room is two stories high. (Benjamin C. Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Inside, 10-foot ceilings on the first floor and 9-foot ceilings on the second floor and basement level are standard on most models. Some have optional walk-out basements.

Kitchens feature stainless-steel appliances and maple wood cabinets with crown molding. The kitchen and butler pantry countertops are granite.

Crown molding is standard in the first-floor foyer, living room, and dining room, which also has chair rails.

In addition to two-zone heating and cooling systems, there are high-efficiency energy and water conservation features on the appliances and fixtures. Laundry rooms can be upstairs near the bedrooms or downstairs in the mud room.

In the Rutledge model, the living room and library spaces can be opened into one larger room, and there’s an optional one- or two-story “conservatory” that buyers could use as a main-floor bedroom.

In addition to a formal dining room, the kitchen opens into a breakfast area. There is also a powder room, butler’s pantry and two closets on the first floor.

An elevator can be installed in place of the rear staircase near the family room, where two-story windows facing the woods provide natural light.

“It will bring nature into the home,” Bradley says.

On the second floor, there are four bedrooms, including an “owner’s suite” with a sitting room, large bathroom and three walk-in closets.

The Rutledge model has “been a popular design for several years now,” says Bradley. “But for the most part, the sky is the limit.”

The 1920s-era Olney Ale House is a popular nearby attraction. (Benjamin C. Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

What’s nearby: A historic pub might not be a reason to buy in the upscale development, but the popular Olney Ale House (a 1920s-era roadhouse) is in walking distance. The Olney Theatre Center is another nearby landmark.

Olney is known for its recreational amenities, including the Olney Manor Recreation Park, which has ball fields, a skate park, a dog park and an indoor swim center. The Olney Boys and Girls Community Sports Association offers eight youth sports.

“It’s very family friendly,” Bradley says.

Olney has many shopping basics, including five grocery stores, retail such as Home Goods and restaurants such as Panera Bread.

Schools: Sherwood Elementary, Farquhar Middle, Blake High (Northeast Consortium cluster), and private schools including Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sandy Spring Friends and St. John’s Episcopal.

Transit: The Glenmont Metro station is about seven miles away; the Shady Grove Metro stop is about 11 miles away. The Intercounty Connector is about five miles away.


940 Gratitude Court, Olney, Md.

Starting prices of the single-family houses range from $899,999 to $1,089,990.

Builder: Williamsburg Homes Group

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4 to 5 / 3 to 6

Square footage: 3,270 to 5,196

HOA fee: $174 per month, includes snow removal, lawn cutting and common area maintenance.

View models: Daily by appointment. Sales center open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Contact: 410-707-3062 or