You’ve Got Mansion: AOL Founder Puts Home on Market
The Internet’s Good Old Days
If you’re old enough to remember when the Internet was in its infancy, then you undoubtedly recall receiving free CDs in the mail from AOL. “1000 hours free!” they’d exclaim, and “Sign on today!”
So, you’d sign up for the trial, because why not? After it had run its course, you’d call to cancel and you’d realize just how serious AOL was about keeping you as a customer. They’d wheedle and whine, strong-arm and beg you for what seemed like forever. Ah, the good old days.
The House That Free CDs Built
While you were on the phone trying to cancel your Internet service, AOL co-founder and tech wizard Mark Kohler was busy building this stunning manse in the wilds of Virginia. As it turns out, some people actually didn’t call to cancel when the trial was up – a lot of them, apparently.
For proof, just look at 13768 Balmoral Greens Avenue. It’s clear that no expense was spared to build a home as beautiful to behold, as it is comfortable to inhabit.
One With Nature
Kohler and the home’s designer, Barry Barr Dixon, envisioned a dwelling that, rather than razing the natural setting it would inhabit, would blend in with the forest and allow the local wildlife to continue going on about their usual wild business.
As a result, graceful, old-growth trees and lush meadows surround this 12,000 square foot estate. Looking at the pictures, one can almost hear the birds chirping and the gentle wind whispering through the leaves.
Tour the Grounds
There’s a host of alluring outdoor amenities on site. Care for a swim or a soak? Spend a relaxing afternoon by the poolside, surrounded by verdant countryside.
Or, perhaps you’d prefer a game of tennis or basketball? There’s a spacious sport court nestled among the towering deciduous trees.
Of course, there’s nothing quite like a horseback ride through the untouched meadows. Saddle up at the generously appointed stable and take your favorite steed for a canter around the grounds – you’ve got 13 acres to explore, and that’s just your property.
Let’s Go Home
After a long ride through sun-dappled meadows and shady groves, you’ll probably be ready to head home. And what a home it is!
Lesser luxury homes are designed to give the illusion of opulence, but there’s nothing illusory about this grand home. Everything here is the genuine article, from the rich hardwoods to the superlative textiles to the stately stone. Exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, impeccable woodwork and masonry – every detail here shows the labor of love that went into its creation.
A True Masterpiece
But the sum is surely greater than the parts. Taken as a whole, this home is a masterwork – a case study in what can be accomplished when great design meets impeccable craftsmanship.
Take, for example, the elegant great room. Here, beneath rustic, double-height ceilings and bespoke chandeliers, you’ll enjoy chatting with friends next to a crackling fireplace, with views of the green wilderness available from nearly any vantage point.
And feast your eyes on that kitchen. With its top-of-the-line appliances and expansive central prep island, it’s an ideal playground for the consummate chef. There’s bar seating for casual breakfasts, and in the adjacent rotunda, a breezy and inviting casual dining room with nearly 360-degree views of the surrounding treetops.
Care for a movie? The home theater in this home is as money as it gets. There, you can take your pick from a wide selection of luxurious seating options, from bean bags to overstuffed chairs, all arranged stadium-style so there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Fitness buffs will love the on-site gym. It’s equipped with everything you’ll need to stay in peak form, and for post-workout relaxation, there’s a spa-quality sauna and steam room.
At the end of the day, you’ll retire to the sumptuous master bedroom. It comes equipped with a private parlor and fireplace, a luxurious master bath with an oversized, jetted tub and high-tech shower, and a dressing room that will make your inner fashionista swoon with delight.
Perhaps the best part of this home is that it takes care of all the little details for you. That’s right – this place is controlled by a 28-computer smart home system that works behind the scenes to make sure your every moment is comfortable and worry-free.
Disconnect, But Stay Connected
For the wealthy gadget geek who also happens to be a nature lover, this is the perfect home. It’s the perfect blend of natural living and high-tech luxury – secluded and private, but with a level of technological connection that puts the world at your fingertips. And if you happen to have the budget, it’s an excellent deal.
If you were to build a home like this on your own dime, you could expect to spend quite a bit more than the $7.495 million asking price.