With beautiful Blue Ridge views, captivating gardens and 200 acres of lush pastures and mature forest, Fox Ridge Farm is a true delight. This active, equestrian Virginia estate near Free Union is often shared with the members of Farmington Hunt Club for fox hunting events and shows. The main house, built in 1945, was beautifully remodeled in 2015. The property is also home to 10 gorgeous horses, a hunter riding ring, a classically beautiful 20-stall working barn, cross-country horse jumps and wooded trails.
As guests on a Historic Garden Week tour meandered along the maple tree-lined drive on a spring day, they enjoyed even more wide-open acres with breathtaking scenes before passing a charming little apple orchard.
The elegant Neo-Georgian red brick home is a memorable sight. Its tasteful symmetry and proportions are impressive, and the slate roof gives the home added character. The herringbone brick pathway is lined with American Boxwood bushes, leading to a beautiful pillar-framed portico.
A Glimpse at Personal Touches Throughout the Home
The homeowners have created an airy oasis with a blend of modern and old-world for their young family. The golden twig chandelier sourced in Los Angeles creates a dramatic focal point. The walls of this room were especially painted to showcase the moody blue painting “After the Storm” by Charlottesville Artist Abby Kasonik. On the far side of the room is the small “Leviathan” on the table-top easel that was painted by Clay Witt, while the mahogany game table near the bay window stands ready for a friendly challenge of backgammon or chess. The pillows, a mix of faded Fortuny fabrics and embroidered tapestry remnants, are the perfect complement to the antique French armchairs covered in a Schumacher velvet strie. The eclectic accessories decorating the room were collected from traveling over the years.
The modern custom kitchen is an efficient cooking and island dining space. The cabinetry color was custom mixed by the homeowner in light gray and is highlighted with contemporary brass hardware. The Calcatta Altissimo marble backsplash and countertops, accented with pops of color, bring this space to life.
The sunroom is a favorite of this couple, with its peaceful creams and whites, symmetry and natural light. A classic armillary sits on the table in front of the mirror highlighting the Jeffersonian influences of this room.
Step out from the sunroom and onto expansive patios with multiple activity and seating areas surrounded by lush blooming borders with spectacular mountain views. A side patio beneath a large portico and white pillars is the perfect place for outdoor entertaining. Multiple fireplaces in the gardens add to the opportunities to enjoy cooler evenings out of doors.
A side patio beneath a large portico and white pillars is the perfect place for outdoor entertaining.
In the family’s formal dining room, the stunning amethyst-colored Venetian plaster walls were inspired by the damask linen curtains. Local artisan Paul King, using centuries-old techniques, hand-burnished the pigment onto the walls adding gold wax as the final layer. At candlelit dinner parties, the walls are especially magical.
The expressive painting of the Moorman River in the snow above the fireplace was created by Dean Dass, a University of Virginia art professor and a family friend, while a lovely pair of antique gilt French mirrors flank the doorway leading to the newly constructed part of the house. Post dinner, the party can head through the doorway into the kitchen and family room, a wide-open space ideal for entertaining.
Making the Most of Outdoor Spaces
A favorite for the children is the pool where they can splash or take a break in the shade beneath the pergola. They love to “pet” the marble sculpture, but there is no way they can pull it down, as it weighs 1,000 pounds. The charming kitchen garden, filled with herbs, vegetables and flower-filled borders, and a playhouse, make this a perfect spot for family time.
Below the lower terrace are a formal boxwood parterre garden and a boxwood allee complemented beautifully by colorful roses and blooming bulbs. Many varieties of hellebores, hostas, daffodils and lily of the valley brighten the driveway that leads to the garage.
Quaker Cottage, shown below, dates back to the 1800s and sits quietly on the property for extra guest quarters—charmingly ensconced in the blooms of a lovely Williamsburg-inspired garden. Nearby is a small cemetery, home to two graves dating back to 1797 and nine unmarked graves. A horse estate at heart, Fox Ridge’s lovely pastoral scenes greet visitors around every corner. The dark bay horse below—the owner’s fox hunter—and the little sorrel pony, also a fox hunter with a child astride her, welcomed guests on the 2017 Garden Week Tour. To learn more about the next Historic Garden Week Tours throughout Virginia, visit vagardenweek.org. ~
Architect of Addition: Bethany Puopolo|Kitchen Design: Karen Turner | Landscape Design: Rachel Lilly | Flower Pots: Libbey Kelso | Venetian Plaster: Paul King, Crown Contracting | Cabinetry: Willis Woodworks | Rugs: Hasan Rugs | Antiques: Kenny Ball Antiques | Plants: Ivy Nursery | Lutron Lighting and Savant Audio-Visual System: Prolink | Geo-thermal Heating: Installed by Beck Cohen | Kitchen Appliances & Custom Stove Vent Hood: Kraft Appliance | Steam Oven: Wolf | Refrigerator: Sub Zero | Range: Viking | Marble Countertops: Olivia and Sons | Antique Lamps and Side Tables on Terrace: Curious Orange Antiques | Table Linens: Pour la Maison | Artwork: Les Yeux du Monde | Curtains: Custom Interiors | Living Room Lampshades: Laurie Holliday | Kitchen Pendants: Ella Home available from Folly
JENNIFER BRYERTON, our co-publisher, holds a masters degree in education and grew up in a family of farmers and storytellers. She enjoys visiting exquisite gardens and vineyards, cooking, travel and decor and time at home, where beehives and a chicken coop dot the lawn, and borders overflow with roses, peonies and lavender.
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