I normally post these stories when I list a home. After selling John & Linda’s house in April of 2016 in less than three hours I completely forgot about telling their story. So here it is but the home is now off the market.
Linda and John Niedzwick have loved Williamsburg since they first vacationed here in 1988. At that time, the couple resided near Rochester, New York, where Linda was a nurse and John worked for Kodak. They lived in a log cabin that John, a talented carpenter and wood worker, had built. But the history buffs’ attraction to Williamsburg drew them south.
“We both just love history and the whole Williamsburg area… Yorktown, Jamestown,” said Linda. “We were visiting here several times a year. And the more we came, the more we came back.”
Colonial Charm. Not surprisingly, the couple wanted a Colonial style home, and initially planned to build one in the Stonehouse community. But an advertisement for a classic brick Colonial on a 1.25-acre wooded lot in Banbury Cross caught John’s eye. “We found it was almost exactly what we wanted to build,” Linda said.
The 3-bedroom, 2.5- bath home, which was nearly hidden from the road by trees, featured a long and winding brick driveway that also drew the couple. “We love brick,” Linda noted. “In Colonial Williamsburg everything is brick and we find it very appealing.” That love of brick was further fulfilled when the couple later re-did the driveway and added a huge brick patio that took five masons nearly three months to complete.
John and Linda were drawn to the home’s simple layout and circular flow on the main level, which includes a living room with brick fireplace, formal dining room, half bath, large kitchen, butler’s pantry, and spacious breakfast room. John used his woodworking talents to add custom crown molding and picture frame wainscoting to every room. He also built a corner hutch in the dining room, custom cabinets in the kitchen, and shelves, cabinets and cupboards in most of the other rooms. Some of the home’s furniture, such as the Mission style buffet in the breakfast room, was also handcrafted by John.
Living in Color. The rooms are painted in rich Colonial colors, such as blue in the dining room, deep green in one bedroom and violet in another, all with crisp white wainscoting. Perhaps most vibrant is the charming breakfast nook, Linda’s favorite spot. The top half of the walls are painted with wide cranberry stripes against a pale yellow—it took John two days to map it out on the walls—with white wainscoting on the bottom. Linda has a rooster theme, and calls the nook her “little café.” The room is filled with sunlight from three large windows that overlook the back yard. “It’s so beautiful, all wooded, and we can see deer and birds and butterflies.”
Through the Windows. The couple created a unique interior window design element that offers benefits of open concept living while remaining true to Colonial styling. Instead of removing walls when they renovated their kitchen, they created large window-like openings between the kitchen and the breakfast room, and the breakfast room and the living room. As a result, they can see through the two interior windows from the kitchen all the way into the living room.
The home’s three bedrooms and two full bathrooms are on the second floor. The spacious master suite includes a loft that can be used as a reading room or home office. The full basement is used for John’s woodworking shop and a large home gym. “John has been a weight lifter for many years,” Linda noted. “He has even done competitions.”
The Great Outdoors. For the Niedzwicks, one of their home’s greatest features is its private, peaceful natural setting. After moving in, they cleared out the trees that had hidden the house from the road, and opened up part of the yard with a huge patio and a fire pit. A small outbuilding that looks like a playhouse houses the firewood they use nightly during cold weather. They built an English terraced garden in the side yard and have a rose garden with 30 rose bushes.
“I love to be out in the garden,” Linda said. “I grew up on a farm and love the outdoors. We have deer, wild turkeys, and an owl. I love the quietness here, the trees, blue skies and peacefulness.”
Location, Location. Colonial Williamsburg is about 10 minutes from the home. “We try to get there as often as possible. We love their programs and activities,” Linda said. “John likes to go there and grab a coffee and walk around. We also love to go to Yorktown.”
“Another advantage is that it is only about five minutes to I-64 and I-99,” Linda added. “We are far enough away that we don’t see or hear the highways, but close enough that it’s very convenient.”
The private, heavily wooded Banbury Cross community is not gated “but it’s very safe, very friendly, and very private,” Linda said. There is a small park with benches and a walking/biking trail near the entry to the community.
Time to Go. The couple no longer needs such a large home and has decided to downsize. They knew John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf through a mutual friend, and asked him to help with the sale of their home.
Will the Linda and John stay in the area? “Yes, we love it here!” Linda said. “We are staying in Williamsburg,” downsizing to a smaller one level home in the 55+ Active adult community of Colonial Heritage.
Why the stories? Because these aren’t just houses, they’re homes.
Mr. Williamsburg knows that when you’re looking for a new place, you’re searching for more than just four walls plus amenities, you’re looking for that welcoming refuge we call home. That’s why we go beyond the standard “4 bedrooms, 3 baths on large lot” statistics, to share how others have lived in this house, to reveal the home’s unique personality, to help you decide whether this is a place where your family could thrive.
Likewise, we realize that you’re seeking not simply a development within a particular zip code, but also an opportunity to become part of a community. That’s why we share our sellers’ experiences as members of that neighborhood.
We trust these stories will assist you in finding your way home.
Want to tell your home’s story? Contact John “Mr. Williamsburg” Womeldorf at (757) 254-8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com and we’ll get you started.