Airwell Bed and Breakfast, Purcellville VA: Loudoun County Stunner

Airwell B&B main house Purcellville VA

In 2010, when retired teachers, Todd and Lisa Peterson, walked into the 1876 Airwell home, they instantly “fell in love with its uniqueness and beauty.”

Once owned by landscape artist, Lucien Powell (until he died in 1930), both the main house and his art studio cottage had fallen into decline and then were restored in the 1940’s.

Lucien Powells renovated studio as BnB cottage Airwell BnB

Powell was born in Loudoun County VA – his father, Levin, founded Middleburg – and studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. He purchased the home as an escape from the city, calling it “Airwell” for the fresh air there. It’s where Powell did much of his painting, including the Venetian landscape that the Petersons purchased at auction in 2011. The watercolor now hangs in the main house foyer.

Todd and Lisa set about updating two bedrooms to luxury B&B standards (hardwood floors, Oriental rugs, handsome drapes), and completely renovated what was Lucien’s art studio, and a second cottage, both just steps from the house.

Second cottage at Airwell BnB

First Impressions of Airwell Bed and Breakfast

Airwell Bed and Breakfast‘s main house and cottages sit on five acres of lush gardens, trees, and stone fences, which presumably haven’t changed much since Powell’s time. No doubt the stunning and serene landscape was his muse. And the reason many guests return.

Visitors can luxuriate in the tranquility of Blue Ridge Mountain views; ponder life with a glass of wine (purchased from a vineyard nearby) on one of the patios; or soak in the main house hot tub; or winery-hop nearby.

Airwell Bed and Breakfast wood panel library

Inside, sitting rooms, a dining room, and a wood-paneled library are elegant and cozy. They make optimal reading – or snuggling – nooks when it’s nasty or cold out.  

Lucien Powell art studio now luxury cottage at Airwell BnB, Purcellville VA

Guest Rooms

While the two rooms in Airwell’s main house are “more elegant,” according to the Petersons, both cottages are incredibly lovely in their attention to detail, and in my case, the history.

I stayed in Lucien Powell’s former studio. When they renovated the property from 2010-2015, the Petersons had to jack up what remained of the shack. It had deteriorated nearly beyond repair.

French Country decor in Studio Cottage Airwell Bed and Breakfast VA

Underneath, in the dirt, they discovered a whiskey jug, two etched glass bottles and a wooden palette knife flecked with paint. “It very well could have belonged to Lucien,” Lisa told me. All these artifacts are on display in the main home.

The studio, now a meticulously designed French-Country-chic cottage, features a full kitchen, wood fireplace, and a flat-screen TV in a separate sitting room. It’s a prime example of the Peterson’s hospitality, with water and soft drinks in the fridge and freshly baked cookies and snacks set out on the counter.

Upscale bedding Airwell BnB Loudoun County VA

The stylish bathroom sported a pedestal sink and black and white mosaic tiles. My bedroom, painted in soft yellow, with a delft-blue patterned bed quilt, made for a most pleasing, and easing, cocoon. The cottage was close enough to the house to feel safe, and private enough for a perfect romantic getaway.

Gourmet breakfast delivered to cottage Airwell BnB


Each morning, Lisa and Todd deliver a hamper stuffed with a 3-course gourmet breakfast to each of the two cottages. “You never have to step foot in the main house if you don’t want to. We were set up for Covid even before the pandemic!”

Although I could have unpacked the food and eaten it outside on the patio, the wet weather forced me inside. Conveniently, a table for two had already been set in eye-pleasing, Pottery Barn fashion. The fresh fruit parfait, perfectly cooked Asiago Chicken sausage, and wonderfully fluffy Caramel-Pecan-Apple French Toast made my taste buds jump for joy. 

Things To Do Near The Airwell BnB


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine,, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

1 thought on “Airwell Bed and Breakfast, Purcellville VA: Loudoun County Stunner”

  1. Airwell is an amazing place. We run our own B&B (Stone Gables) a few miles away and wanted to get away for one night since we didn’t have any guests. It was great and a well needed quick time away. Breakfast was delish and we love Lisa and Todd. A must stay!

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