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THRILL OF THE HUNT

Belgian-born interior designer Natascha Folens and her Belgian husband and business partner, Luc Dejager, run their successful interior architecture business from the Washington D.C. suburb of Great Falls, Virginia. But they retreat on weekends to the heart of Virginia hunt country.


Although they didn’t know each other when they were growing up in Belgium, both were avid competitive equestrian riders and their love of the sport has endured. So when the couple decided to look for a weekend house, they focused on the pastoral epicenter of Virginia’s fox-hunting country around the small hamlet of Middleburg, population 600, just an hour from Great Falls. They quickly joined the Loudon-Fairfax Hunt, but the search for the right house took longer.


“We looked for two years, for a little hunt box, a cottage, that was the idea,” she says. As they commuted on weekends for regular hunt meetings, Folens scoured the local real-estate listings. Then, the right house popped up. Just five minutes outside town, the home, portions of which date back more than a century and a half, was set on twenty-two acres of rolling pastures and forest along Goose Creek, the land interlaced with the area’s stacked-stone fences. “Just two hours after viewing it, we put in an offer,” she says. The couple was also taken with the property’s stone barn, which has become a guesthouse, and another picturesque stone building that houses a spring.

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INTERIOR DESIGN BY NATASCHA FOLENS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA
WRITTEN BY JEAN BOND RAFFERTY

This story appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of MILIEU.