This is just the gatehouse for the castle, and it’s nearly 4,000 square feet.
Sadly, the castle this gate used to lead to was long since demolished.
I am really digging the over-the-top detail, both inside and out. The stairs!
The library! The kitchen cabinets!
If you’d like to read a little more about the history of this house, hit up this Washington Post article.
Wow! I could live here.
Wow, indeed. Just imagine what the actual castle must have looked like. The older I get, the more clearly I realize that so many things are “works,” not merely structures: continual works, which cease to be without that river of resources.
We’ve said “over the top” before, but I think this is the first time it’s been both figurative and literal, as in the over-the-gateway part. But it’s the figurative aspect that’s…. hypnotically prolific. The decor looks like an ad for Toscano catalog, complete with gargoyles, antique military replicas, and ornate furniture. (http://www.designtoscano.com/) The concept in general isn’t necessarily bad, but the non-stop, wall-to-wall plethora of goo-gaws is. It’s like a nightmare combination of hoarding and compulsive gambling. These folks never met a piece of framed artwork or Persian carpet they didn’t like. Seriously, even the Smithsonian has tons more stuff in storage than they do on display. Not these folks.
The two exceptions to my desire to see it all chucked in the wee Loch Lomond are the bedstead and armoire in Pic 15. Gorgeous. In a bigger room, and without all the accompanying distractions, these would be even more stunning. I half expect Narnia to be out the back of the armoire. (Perhaps another potential storage location for said plethora?)
However, if you mentally strip down the walls and floors and remove 2/3 of the furniture, this is quite a fun place. Pointy arches, sunken rooms, both wood and stone flooring, a medieval door with medieval hardware (Pic 14), and a great (though desperately in need of scrubbing) stone fireplace. And to top it all off – again literally – a four story spiral staircase.
The one place the stripping won’t work, though, is the kitchen. As with the rest of the decor, it is both fascinating and repulsive, all at the same time. The wood-working skill is impressive, but I’m reminded of the Jurassic Park quote – You were so busy figuring out “could you” you forgot to ask “should you.” In another context it might be fun indeed, without all the competing trinkets, that is. But in a kitchen, well… IMO distractions, sharp knives, and hot surfaces are a bad combination. Oh, and more loose area rugs? Um, yeah… no.
A perfectly nice towered castle overcome by visual overload, with nary a nod to highlighting individual artistic achievement through focused attention. But damn if $1.5M in Chevy Chase a steal!!