Houses with a contemporary design have several things going for them. They have a timeless quality, they tend to stand out no matter the setting, and they use lots of glass to let in plenty of light while offering expansive views.

The house at 316 Ironside Cove in Aquia Harbour is one of those. Sitting high on a hill and surrounded by mature trees, the house provides a view of Aquia Creek that becomes increasingly dramatic as the leaves fall. The home’s large and plentiful windows provide panoramic views of the lush surroundings.

The house has 4,118 square feet on two levels, with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half-bath. It sits on a double lot totaling one acre.

Owner Clair Pierce and her late husband, Arthur C. Pierce III, had the house built in 1987 by the Acorn Deck House Co. of Acton, Mass. Arthur Pierce played key roles with the company on the home’s design and construction. Just in case a major storm came up Aquia Creek, he sought to bolster its construction by extending its heavy, Douglas fir-beams across the main living area to the wall of windows. The modification not only strengthens the construction, it enhances the interior’s contemporary look.

Pierce has reluctantly decided to put the house on the market after 32 years there. She’s listed it with Greg Kolandjian of the New Castle Group and Keller Williams Capital Properties in Stafford. The asking price is $599,900.

Probably because of the home’s unique design and secluded location, there are already offers on the house even though it was just listed at the end of July, Kolandjian said.

Aquia Harbour’s location in North Stafford County has made it popular with people who commute to Northern Virginia and Washington. At nearly eight square miles, it’s a relatively large subdivision, with 6,727 people and 2,223 households, according to 2010 census figures. Amenities include a country club and nine-hole golf course, a marina, two swimming pools, horse stables and nine parks that include assorted courts and fields.

The community has a police department that maintains security and operates a main entry gate that’s manned 24/7. There is also a rescue squad stationed within the community.

Aquia Harbour straddles Aquia Creek. The property at 316 Ironside Cove is east of the creek, toward the back of the community.

A paved drive leads to the main entry and attached garage. The combination of brick and brown-painted western red cedar siding helps the house blend with its wooded surroundings.

Upon entering the foyer, one takes in the cedar ceilings, mahogany trim, tile floor in varying shades of brown and beige, and sight lines through the large windows at the rear of the home. There is a cozy yet open feel. The Scandinavian interior design provides a simple and functional look.

The house is designed with two wings connected by a center portion. Moving through the foyer, past the staircase on the right, is the family room with fireplace. The fireplace has a wide brick chimney that defines the space. It separates the family room from a sunny and wide-open area with soaring ceiling that includes a casual eating space and seating areas next to the two-story wall of windows.

The view from here is lush greenery during the spring and summer that gives way to views of Aquia Creek as the leaves fall from the trees in autumn. Main-level living spaces have sliding-door access to the rear deck.

The wing on the right-hand side of the house holds a laundry and utility room off the foyer, and then the formal dining room and kitchen beyond that. Scandinavian design gives the kitchen a clean and functional appearance. Cream-colored cabinets outlined in wood, tile countertops, a stainless-steel dual wall oven and a separate Sub-Zero freezer and refrigerator round out the kitchen’s features.

In the opposite wing is a comfortable seating area that could become a recreation or game room.

In the center portion upstairs is a loft with a fireplace that shares the flue with the family room fireplace directly beneath it. The loft combines a seating area and home office.

One of the upstairs wings holds the master suite with a vaulted ceiling. It’s interesting to note that the contemporary design puts the closets outside the exterior walls rather than taking interior space from the rooms. The master bath features a deep soaking tub and separate shower. Fixtures are dark blue with gold faucets and handles.

The opposite wing holds two secondary bedrooms that share a full bathroom.

The main level is built with a 4-inch air gap between 2 level concrete slabs that even out temperature variations for an energy efficient floor. The house includes a central vacuum system.

The rear deck has plenty of space for seating and dining areas. It’s the ideal spot to take in the leafy setting and enjoy the tranquility.

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Richard Amrhine: 540/374-5406 ramrhine@freelancestar.com

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