THE NORDBERG RESIDENCE in Chevy Chase, Md., looks like it's been there for decades—and that's no accident. Built on an acre that was once home to a humble rambler, this English-inspired brick beauty takes full advantage of its corner lot, complete with mature trees. “To make the program work with all that the owners and architect wanted, and save those trees, everything had to be within inches,” says builder James E. Gibson.

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The timelessness of the materials—brick, slate, limestone—reinforces the home's been-there-forever feeling. “In this area, brick is probably one of the least used materials right now,” says Gibson. “It was originally meant to be whitewashed, but once the brick was up it looked so beautiful that the owner decided not to wash it.” That change in plans was fine with architect David Jones. “The brick makes the house a little quieter looking, not as bright,” says Jones. “It blends in well with the landscape.”

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Category: Custom, one-of-a-kind, 3,500 square feet or more (tie); Entrant/Builder: Gibson Builders, Washington; Architect: David Jones Architects, Washington; Landscape architect: Graham Landscape Architect, Annapolis, Md.; Interior designer: Erika Del Priore Interiors, Washington