Hot House: 1307 Walnut Hill Lane, Ruxton, MD 21204

This Hot House is sponsored by Roofing Contractor in BaltimoreFour Twelve Roofing

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French country-style house in stone and stucco, circa 2000, with extensive wine cellar and heated swimming pool. Seven bedrooms, five full and two half-baths over two stories and 6,685 square feet. Full, finished lower level with indoor sports court and theater. Entrance hall, open living area with fireplace and multiple French doors to pool. Timber ceilings and lintels. Vintage barn wood floors. Large kitchen with raised-hearth wood-burning fireplace, Traulsen fridge. Distinctive mantels from France. Dining room and main-floor bedroom, also with French doors to pool. Guest suite with kitchen above three-car garage. Central air. Two-acre property with mature plantings and professional landscaping: $2,499,000

What: The luxurious house would be at home in South Hampton, Mill Valley or River Oaks, where it would be triple the price. The French country architecture is formal when viewed from the front, and more welcoming at the back, where it is all about outdoor entertaining, gardens and the beautiful freeform swimming pool–California-by-way-of-Dorgogne.

Inside, timber beams are strategically deployed in the ceilings, framing windows and topping lintels, where they lend definition and character to all of the open space. Similarly, the wooden floors, of varied woods and widths, create a natural California vibe, leading you through the French doors and on to the porches and patios that ring the organic shape of the pool. There is a main-floor bedroom with doors leading out to the pool, which is completely private and enclosed by tall hedges. The master bedroom, also, is a stunner.

Where: Walnut Hill Lane is a long, winding road that ends in a cul-de-sac. It starts just off Bellona Avenue in Ruxton near the intersection at Joppa Road. This house is down at the end of the lane, about a mile from Graul’s Market, 10 minutes from Towson Town Center and 30 minutes to downtown.

Why: Love the French/California thing.

Why Not: Suspicious of anything French.

Would Suit: Buyer who’s California Dreamin’. David Hockney.

NB: The first freeform pools were built in California, which dominated residential pool design in the 20th century. One of the first was built for Pickfair, the Los Angeles estate of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.