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The Highlight of Virginia Garden Week

garden week in virginia windsor houseIt’s not often that you’re called in to rescue a home for the good of the neighborhood, but when your name is Gottwald in Richmond, Va., you’re a likely candidate for the job. Windsor House (above) was the centerpiece of the lovely Windsor Farms neighborhood. The 1945 Colonial Revival home sits on a large tract of land where the original Windsor Farm sat, but it had fallen into disarray and its well-to-do neighbors worried about its future. They approached Thomas E. Gottwald, a Windsor Farms resident, who they thought might save the day. Someone knew what they were doing.

Gottwald is president and CEO of a chemical company (and on Forbes’ radar with $1.7 mil in annual compensation). He and his wife took on the project and after an extensive renovation the home was open for the first time this year during Historic Garden Week in Virginia’s Windsor Farms tour. It stole the show.

virginia garden week windsor houseThe decor was restrained and surprisingly casual. A pool table anchored one side of the living room and a large built-in cocktail bar sat in the middle of the kitchen. The family has several grown sons who I’m sure love that, but the Gottwald’s must entertain a good bit, too.

Off the kitchen, an English-made conservatory created a bright breakfast space. But I wondered, with no shades, how hot that would get in the summer. Maybe it was positioned to avoid direct afternoon sun. Here’s what it looked like inside …

virginia garden week windsor houseThe unusual, square breakfast table sat eight and looked like it would make for a lively brunch spot, great for conversation.

garden week in virginia windsor house

One of the farm’s original buildings (at right) was extended to create a spacious pool house/guest house with large covered patio overlooking a bluestone terrace, fountain and pool.

virginia garden week windsor houseAnd the biggest surprise of the day were the alpaca! I’m surprised they can keep them in the city, but the family has three alpaca with a lovely little shelter in a shaded corner of the property. Not bad living for these guys.

Garden Week in Virginia takes place in April each year with homes open across the state. Check it out, I think it’s one of the best house tours around. If you missed Garden Week this year go see the Fan Women’s Club Kitchen & Garden Tour on May 1.

See more CultureFix posts about house tours.

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