Sunday, September 11, 2011

Your Next Place

By Franklin Schneider

A fully detached, three story Victorian on a huge lot in Ledroit Park? The District will have a Republican mayor before another house like this comes along.

Right off the bat, I liked this place. Ten foot ceilings, fireplace, tons of windows. After so many rowhouses, I forgot how much more light you get in a freestanding house. The interior is fully and perfectly restored – the living room has the original trim, mantelpiece, and pocket doors, and the grand staircase has been beautifully restored. But it’s also wired for sound. I like modern things, but living in a completely new bleeding-edge place can feel a little sterile, like living on a “Star Trek” set or something, whereas living in a totally historic house with antique fixtures can sometimes make it hard to relax. You feel like you should be wearing a powdered wig or something. This house strikes the perfect balance between the two – classy, timeless, irresistibly likable. If this house was a person, it would be George Clooney.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a sizeable pantry where you could hide if a serial killer broke into the house, or where you could have illicit trysts with your lover, depending on what movie you’re in. Upstairs are the three bedrooms; the master bedroom is en suite with huge closets and a huger bathroom. The attic is fully carpeted and has its own bathroom (with floor to ceiling marble). There’s a windowseat in the turret and the angled planes of the peaked roof gives the place a very interesting ambience. If I lived in this house, I’d insist on having the attic as my room. Rectangles are for squares.

In back there’s a large wooden deck that overlooks a sizeable yard. Also, the basement is a separately metered 1 bedroom apartment, and one of the nicest basement apartments I’ve ever seen. Most of these “English basements” are dank, dungeonlike ratholes for bachelors or couples who have no idea what they’re getting into – my pal lives in one, and no joke, you walk in and can smell meals he cooked months ago. But this apartment is large, relatively bright, not oppressively low-ceilinged, has lots of windows (fully detached!) and even has access to its own outdoor minipatio. It’s absolutely the gold standard of basement apartments.

1873 3rd Street NW
5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths


Anonymous said...

Next time you feel compelled to sport some tweed in a historic home, remember furnishings. You don't need to be a slave to the building's style. On the other hand, if you try to warm up a Star Trek condo, just go with minimalist but textured warm tones.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that lens is not distorting anything. I've never seen double-wide dishwashers and appliances like that....


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