Open House | Inside a Spacious Retreat on George Washington’s Original Mount Vernon Estate

When entertaining friends or family at home, it is a wise host who provides multiple spaces for guests to get away—especially during seasons where social distancing is a concern. Communal areas, private nooks, peaceful libraries: all of these can offer visitors respite while they gather. Situated on 16.5 acres of what was once George Washington’s Mount Vernon landholding, River View estate is a prime example of how to bring people together with enough room for everyone to spread out and relax.

Fit for a founding father, River View is a 21st-century creation: built in 2018, the home is outfitted with eco-sustainable amenities including geothermal heating and state-of-the-art well water management. Architect Jim Rill’s contemporary design takes its cue from the Federal style architecture of America’s constitutionally formative years. The influence can be seen in the home’s symmetrical façade, mullioned windows, and entryway fanlight. This semi-elliptical glass piece not only references a historical style, it also sets the stage for the natural light cascading into every room of the 16,000-square-foot estate.

Alexandria, Virginia | Heather Corey, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Light plays to great effect throughout River View, from the bright kitchen with its own fanlights to the sitting room, where floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors line the modern white walls. The wood-paneled reception room with its coffered ceiling makes the most of daylight for guests who opt to take up a game of chess near the window, while the glow of the fireplace leaves open the invitation to nightcaps and fireside reading.

For group activities in the off hours, settle into the property’s 15-seat home theater or enjoy a round of billiards in the gaming room. Dark wood, stonework, and ornate rugs add a layer of warmth to the games space, complemented by the room’s full bar and two television screens.

Outdoors, residents can venture beyond the lounge-chair-lined terraces to the River View grounds. Inspired by blueprints found on the property, the gardens are a blend of English boxwood and roses, with existing tree groves offering shade. Rotunda-style miniature gazebos and a fire pit serve as gathering spots, while visitors in search of wilderness can take the stone path through the nearby woods, or walk a stretch of the 400 feet of shoreline.

For guests looking for physical recreation, River View serves up an elegant take on the home gym in a pool-adjacent workout room with a vista over the Potomac River. The nearby resistance pool gives residents the opportunity to swim no matter the season, and for well-earned unwinding, the home features a hot tub, sauna, and steam room.

For getting away from it all, it’s hard to surpass the estate’s tasteful bedrooms. The home’s master bedroom is an oasis of muted tones, with French doors that lead out to a private balcony. In the ensuite, herringbone marble flooring and a freestanding tub reinforce the sense of lightness and ease. Guests can retire and recharge in the 2,600-square-foot guest house, which has three bedrooms and baths of its own.

River View sets its visitors only 10 miles from the American capital and at a convenient distance to the region’s three airports. But with so much space and tranquility to hand, it may be difficult to drum up reasons to ever leave. 

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