Karla Cook is an old-timer in the new Shaker Knolls community on the edge of Fairfax County. She and her husband moved in the week before Christmas 2013.

“We were the first people to sign and the first to live there. We watched every house being built and now our neighbors call us the pioneers,” she said.

They have lived in the area for 22 years. “When we talked about moving we knew we wanted new construction that was close by,” she said. As it happened, “we walked into the model, which was attractive, comfortable and offered a beautiful layout. When I walk into a place, I know in 10 seconds if I like it or not. Well, I walked in and said, ‘This is it.’ ”

Shaker Knolls is a little enclave of nine large luxury homes, each sitting on about four-fifths of an acre near Herndon. A narrow stream crosses the property, which is part of the 10-mile valley running between Herndon and the Potomac River.

A narrow border of woodland grows along both sides of the stream, and the property gently slopes upward from the water’s edge. Many young trees have been planted across the 18-acre grounds. Even though the trees have not reached maturity, the landscape is still striking.

“It’s really beautiful back here. Less suburban, less crowded and the home sites are pretty. You can hear church bells every hour,” said Anjali Lipman, referring to the ringing from Dranesville United Methodist Church. She, her husband, Peter, their young son and daughter and a dog moved in October. “This will be our first spring and summer.”

“It was really nice to be able to watch the house being built,” she said, describing a daily drive-by as she took her son to school three miles away. “On weekends we came over to look inside.”


The solarium in one of the homes at Shaker Knolls (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Adaptable floor plans: CarrHomes is a semi-custom builder and offers four floor plans for these houses. “We can make the footprint bigger, raise the ceiling height and add columns as a decorative element,” said Phil Ceconi, sales manager. “We can turn the four bedrooms into five. We can make the family room larger and put an owner’s suite on the first level.”

The Lipman family added a long front porch to the house “so that it’d be more than just an entrance and we could all sit outside,” she said. They also installed a side entry door through the mudroom and built quartz counters in the kitchen.

Six of the nine homes are sold; two are under contract; and one, the model, is for sale at a recently reduced price of just under $1.4 million.

This three-story, 7,300-square-foot house has a finished lower level with recreation and media rooms, wet bar, bedroom and bathroom.

The first floor is spacious with high ceilings, crown moldings in the family and dining rooms, and large windows. A breakfast room with greenhouse-like walls of windows and a family room with stone fireplace and mantel surround the kitchen. Storage space is plentiful with abundant cabinets, pantry shelves and closets.

The entry hall is double height and dominated by a pale-carpeted staircase offset with white spindles and dark brown banisters.

The four bedrooms upstairs are large with ample closets. The master suite is adorned with matching his-and-her walk-in closets outfitted with built-in shelves, drawers and hanging racks for suits and dresses. A hexagon-shaped tub is built into the corner of the en suite bathroom below a double window. A Roman-style tiled shower offers double showerheads and a stone bench. The toilet is enclosed in a private mini-room.


The kitchen in the model home at Shaker Knolls (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Outdoor recreation: The community woodland is home to birds and “we see deer and fox go through, too,” Ceconi said. Ducks occasionally stop by the pond and on a recent visit two hawks flew overhead and eight geese in flight formed a V.

Shaker Woods Park is a small neighborhood park steps away. Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, managed by Fairfax County Park Authority, has trails and fun stream crossings over round concrete ramps set into shallow water. Folly Lick Stream Valley Park is not far away.

Woody’s Golf Range is designed for family outings. Lessons, mini and junior golf, driving range and batting cages, and rental space for parties are open to all.

Schools: Forestville Elementary; Cooper Middle; Langley High.

Transit and shopping: Shaker Knolls is approximately equidistant from Virginia Route 7, Dulles Access Toll Road and Virginia Route 28. It’s about 29 miles from D.C. via Interstate 66 west to the Toll Road and then to Fairfax County Parkway/Virginia Route 286. Dulles International Airport is a few miles away.

“It’s a great location because we’re close to everywhere,” Lipman said. Reston Town Center is a short drive and has restaurants, cinema, fashion, banks and gym.

Giant Food and Pharmacy is located in North Point Village Center on Reston Parkway and Wegmans Food Market is in Dulles 28 Centre at the intersection of Virginia Routes 28 and 625. MOM’s Organic Market is also in Herndon.

Audrey Hoffer is a freelance writer.

Shaker Knolls

11740 Shaker Knolls Ct., Herndon, Va.

The single-family homes range from $1,134,900 to $1,399,990.

Builder: CarrHomes

Features: The houses are three-level, 4,000+ square feet with three-car garages. They sit on a private road ending in a cul-de-sac. The exterior façade, front stoop and steps are brick. The front door opens onto a hardwood floor and grand two-story foyer. Kitchens have 42-inch cabinetry, granite countertops and GE stainless appliances.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4/4

Square footage: 4,028 to 7,300

Homeowner association fee: $110 per month.

View models: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Wednesday.

Sales: Phil Ceconi, 703-598-3095 or www.carrhomes.com.