Washington Post Explores Vienna Grove

An enclave of Craftsman-style single-family houses in Vienna, Va.

By Audrey Hoffer September 20

On a little piece of land just up a driveway from Courthouse Road in Vienna, Va., eight spacious Craftsman-style single-family houses are taking shape along a short cul-de-sac.

This is the Vienna Grove property by Christopher Cos., a locally owned firm based in Oakton, Va. One day recently, there was one model house, one framed, one foundation laid and one tall pile of dirt next to a red dump truck filled with construction materials. The site remains a work in progress that shows the evolution of a house from hole in the ground to skeleton to half-finished to ready for sale.

Lot sizes range from about 7,000 to 13,000 square feet, or a little more than a sixth of an acre to a little less than a third. One house is sold and seven are on the market. McWilliams Ballard is handling sales.

They live on the northeast side of Vienna and wanted to stay in Vienna because “it’s an eclectic town,” Wilson said.

They looked around for a while and then went to 11 houses in one day. “We were either crazy or dedicated,” he said. “This was by far the best one we saw.” So they signed a contract.

“As we walked through, the craftsmanship and attention to detail was excellent, and there were no minor flaws. The other thing appealing to us was the high level of standard finishes. We didn’t need to get upgrades. They were definitely a selling point,” he said.

Lots face trees: The kitchen, in the back left corner, has space for a breakfast nook with a table and chairs and melds seamlessly with a large family room. Wilson liked that the “family room and kitchen are in one piece and the den is on the first floor. The space isn’t broken up with a formal living room,” he said. A deck can be built off the kitchen, and on most of the home sites, it will face trees. A mudroom leading into the garage is a place for sneakers, sunscreen and bug spray, and boots in the winter.

Four bedrooms fill out the second floor, and none of them share a wall, enhancing privacy and quiet. Two bedrooms share a bathroom, one has an en-suite bathroom, and the master bedroom and bath stretch across the back end of the house. Wilson and his wife like the upstairs layout and the master bathroom with dual vanities on opposite walls.

The finished basement is designed to be personalized into a bedroom suite, a lounge (perhaps with a wet bar), a play area, a media room, an office, or an exercise room. If it becomes an exercise room, a rubberized floor, full wall mirror and recessed ceiling lights are options.

“The lot size is very nice, too,” Wilson said. “Not too big or small. Having an acre is nice, but someone has to mow it.”