Before she ever laid eyes on the house at 11107 Hampton Road, Joan Marie Barringer knew exactly what it would look like. In fact, she had drawn it.
Joan, a counselor, artist and author of “Magic for Manifesting,” visualized and drew the home she wanted before beginning her house search in the late 1990s. “When I walked into the [Hampton Road] house, everything I had imagined was there,” she said about the 10,300 square-foot home. “In the living room I saw the wood beams that I had drawn. For the kitchen, I had drawn cherry cabinets, and they were there, too. And, I wanted arches, lots of arches, and they were everywhere in this house.”
In fact, the list of features that Joan had first imagined and then discovered in the house was long, ranging from sunroom skylights to a tiered, outdoor fountain. “It didn’t take long to decide on the house since it was exactly what I had envisioned,” she said about her 1999 purchase.
The six-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial, built in 1988, had plenty to offer. A gallery foyer leads to a formal living room with fireplace on one side, and a formal dining room on the other. The main level also includes a vaulted ceiling sunroom (Joan’s favorite space), a library, a guest bedroom suite, and an eat-in kitchen that opens to a family room with fireplace. A wrap-around deck with curved stairs to the ground level can be accessed from the family room, library and sun room.
The second-level landing wraps around and overlooks the foyer; it is used as an art gallery. The large master bedroom suite includes a gas fireplace, a sitting room finished with Christian Dior wallpaper, and a master bath with a Jacuzzi tub marketed as fitting four people. Joan described the suite as having “a bed and breakfast type ambience.”
There are three other bedrooms with baths on the second floor; the smallest bedroom has been converted to an executive office.
On the walk-out lower level is a recreation room with bar, a media room, billiard room with juke box, exercise room and spa, and a full au pair suite.
The home also has a four-car garage with a workshop.
Park-like Grounds with Country Club Amenities
The home sits on five park-like acres with amenities ranging from a multi-tiered fountain and a gazebo to a heated swimming pool and tennis courts. “It’s like a resort…a country club,” Joan said.
The lighted tennis courts, which also can be used for basketball, have an uncommon feature: an observation deck with seating. “When I had a tennis coach come in and teach my family and neighbors, I used to serve food from the observation deck for those who weren’t playing,” Joan said.
A kidney-shaped pool includes a waterfall and small spa. Joan pointed out another backyard highlight: “There’s a hot tub that turns different colors and holds 12 people.”
The grounds, landscaped per Joan’s design and including herb and vegetable gardens, also have a large field for badminton and croquet.
“This is a house that has everything you need,” Joan said.
Joan noted that before she bought it, the house had been known as “the party house,” and she has kept it true to its name. “We use every part of this house,” she said, and often that has been for entertaining.
Joan has hosted numerous parties at the house, including fundraisers, a luau for 350 members of her church, and a sit-down dinner for 50. She once had a Canadian ambassador visit with his sons. “He told me the house was like a mini-embassy,” Joan noted.
The home also was the site of her cousin’s wedding. “The couple came through the sun room, down the curved stairs of the deck, and to the gazebo, where the minister was,” she explained. “The children threw rose petals in the pool.”
To accommodate book club meetings, Joan had the library fitted with a long table and chairs; they also come in handy for her large Thanksgiving dinners. She has used the formal living and dining rooms for teas, and the gourmet, eat-in kitchen — it includes two ovens, two sinks, two dishwashers, a wine cooler and a warming drawer — for cooking demonstrations.
The recreation room in the lower level has been a great place to have groups over to watch football games. A lower-level suite that includes a bedroom, bath, kitchen, laundry and small living room has been used for both household staff and guests.
The home and the outdoor living areas are wired for sound.
All that entertaining requires the right decorations, and Joan has plenty of space to store them in her main floor “party closet.” “The closet is the size of a room. I store all the decorations for the different seasons,” she noted. “It looks like a store.”
The Freestanding Studio
Joan is an artist who paints oil landscapes with a spiritual bent. In 2002, she added a large, freestanding studio/office to the estate. The studio has arched windows, oak paneling, wood beams and floors and a bathroom. She said that Sun Design, which built it, received an award for the room.
“I wanted a separate space, right in the middle of nature,” said Joan. “It’s almost like having a tree house.” She has used the studio to host other artists, members of a nature center, and a neighborhood social group.
Joan named the house Chateau Olympia. She explained that the moniker is partly a nod to Mediterranean influences in the home, such as its many arched windows and doors with arched glass transoms. (Some shelves are also arched.) One wall of the dining room features urns, and the house is decorated with Joan’s many artifacts from her global travels. The home also has custom silk drapes that she described as “very much Greek style.” Yet, in other ways the house is what Joan called “typical Virginia,” with classic cherry cabinets and colonial furnishings.
“I adore the house,” Joan said. “Despite being large, it’s very comfortable.”
However, Joan feels the time has come for her to downsize. The home is for sale for $1,295,000 through Dana-Jean LaFever with Weichert, Realtors.