Reflections on an Emerging Loudoun

Posted February 15, 2018

By Quinn Collins, former Loudoun County resident

Quinn Collins Loudoun Homebuyer
I grew up in Loudoun County when there were just four high schools (Loudoun Valley, Loudoun County, Park View and Broad Run). Now, there are 11. In the third grade, I wrote a report on the history of Ashburn – farmlands that were just turning into neighborhoods. My how that has changed! My parents were native Washingtonians who were drawn to Loudoun for its different pace, its abundance of horses (my father was a horse dentist – yes, it is a thing) and the tight-knit community and excellent school system (my mother was an English teacher and later middle school counselor throughout the County).

It has been 15 years since I’ve lived in Loudoun County, but every time I come back I am both amazed by its growth and in awe that I still get that same sense of community the minute I cross over the County line. A recent visit to Brambleton was no exception. The community of Brambleton is a special one. It has masterfully married Loudoun’s natural aesthetics with gorgeous new homes from builders Knutson, Van Metre, Miller & Smith and Winchester in a very connected, urban-feeling environment.

Driving throughout the development, I was instantly taken with the walkability of the community. The winding paths encourage not only fitness, but also a connection with nature. I envisioned summer evening strolls with my husband and two daughters in tow – perhaps with a stop to Cold Stone in Brambleton’s Town Center because – ice cream + summer – hello!

As I toured each of the new model homes, I was so impressed with the various layouts and design as well as the ample light and connection to the community outside. I currently live in a townhome and know that it is no easy task to let the outside in. You would never know you’re in a townhome at Brambleton. Developers Knutson, Van Metre and Miller & Smith have taken a nod from urban design by incorporating rooftop decks and terraces into their homes. These bonus living spaces transport you to a completely different environment – a relaxed escape that I could see myself enjoying throughout the year.

But, what Brambleton has done that is unlike the Loudoun I grew up in is creating a sense of place for everyone – not just young families. Walking through the Town Center I noticed mothers with strollers, teenagers after school, Millennials heading to happy hour, and empty-nesters heading to a movie. This is what I so enjoy about living in a more urban environment and Brambleton’s masterful design allows for all of these groups to coexist and thrive together. So, perhaps it’s finally time for me to return to Loudoun….at Brambleton.