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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Where We Live: Swiss chalet at The Maine

There are so many unexpected delights about Kim and Jim Ries’ home in the First Colony neighborhood.

The Rieses, who were both born and raised in Maryland, even surprised themselves when they purchased the 2,100-square-foot cabin-style home about 18 months ago.

Jim, who fell in love with Colonial Williamsburg on his first field trip there as a child, had a certain vision of what a home in the area should look like. He and Kim and their two daughters, who are now grown, spent a lot of time vacationing in Williamsburg and they owned a condo right near the historic area.

“One vacation a year turned into two, three and four,” said Jim. “This was our second home before we moved here.”

Jim said that school trip he took to the Historic Area in elementary school sealed his fate.

“I just felt like I belonged here,” said Jim. Something about the area and colonial history just spoke to him.

So, when his wife Kim showed him the listing for a “contemporary Swiss chalet-style” house in Williamsburg, he was dubious.

“This was 100 percent opposite of what I was thinking about,” laughed Jim.

But there was something about the home’s uniqueness that appealed to him, and Kim loved it.

“I thought it was really cool,” admitted Jim.

“The house is just so fun,” Kim added. “It’s totally out of the box.”

Built in 1976, the home is solid cedar, inside and out. Complete with a sloped roof, which was a common ski house design because it allowed snow to quickly slide off the roof instead of accumulating. A pair of skis leaned against the outside of the home, as well as thick blankets of snow surrounding the exterior, would not be out of place.

High-beamed ceilings, large windows, a loft, wood-burning stove and multiple decks and balconies round out the home’s “chalet” appeal.

The Rieses didn’t lose the colonial aspect altogether, though. The furniture and decor speak to their love of the 18th century.

“I describe it as 1976 meets 1776,” said Kim.

Since they moved here permanently, the Rieses are enjoying every aspect of the community. They love First Colony, which offers a marina, beach access and pool and have made new friends and neighbors.

“There’s so much to do here,” said Kim. “And it’s such a different way of life for us. “Not only do we have the Williamsburg experience, but we have this lifestyle and have met so many amazing people.”

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