It seems as though every day another beautiful, local Instagram feed pops up on my radar. (In fact, I'm now offically following way too many people and end up down the rabbithole for hours at a time. Send help.) We'll be chronicling our favorite new discoveries, whether they have 35 followers or 350,000. So here's the first batch of DC/MD/VA Instagrammers who are upping the standards for the rest of us.
It isn't often that the talented folks at Design*Sponge feature a home located in DC, but when they do, they really pull out all the stops. Ibie and Jeff Falcusan purchased this 1941 brick colonial in the District five years ago and have turned it into a chic, comfortable family home for themselves and their son, Jude. Here's how they made the most of the space:
Where: 23 S St. NW
How much: $949,000
When: Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Why: Still a relative steal for Bloomingdale (although, yikes, anything less than a million is now a steal?), this Victorian beauty still retains some of its tin ceilings and all its hardwood floors. With three bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a rentable English basement, it's positively massive. Plus there's a deck off the first floor and a kitted out roof deck. If nothing else, the mantles in the living and dining rooms won me over.
Grilling always feels like it belongs to the realm of the suburbanites. As if by opting for city-living we give up the priviledge of blackening our own franks. In some part, that's due to the fact that grill equipment seems so hulking and permanent. Where on earth would an apartment-sweller even keep one of those massive chrome fireburners? But there are actually plenty of options for spaces as tiny as a ten square foot patio. (Unless all you have is a fire escape; then you'll have to mooch.) The best part is they're all beautiful and functional, so feel free to invite over some friends.
For 34 years, Washingtonian and the Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects have recognized outstanding local architects with the Washingtonian Residential Design Awards. This year’s jurors—architects Julie Eizenberg of Santa Monica, Russell Windham of Houston, and Robert Silver of Boston—pored over 94 entries to select the 2015 winners. Here are the eight residences that most impressed them.
It's always a little thrilling when a new Ikea catalog lands in your mailbox (with a thud, those things are dense). The Swedish purveyor of cheap, stylish furniture and design decor just keeps on coming up with new takes on clean, organized, easy living. So while you may not be able to live in an all-white Stockholm apartment flooded with that gorgeous Scandinavian light, you can go a little wild with new 2016 collection, which is seriously brimming with amazing finds. While you wait for the paper version to arrive, check out our favorite pieces below. (There isn't a Poang armchair in sight.)
Another glassy, luxury condo development? These days, they’re everywhere you turn. But 2030 8th Street at Atlantic Plumbing, the 62-unit building from JBG at the corner of Eighth and V streets, Northwest, is a standout. Designed by New York’s Morris Adjmi Architects, the project features plenty of industrial references—floor-to-ceiling, warehouse-style windows and a steel facade—as an ode to the site’s former occupant (the actual Atlantic Plumbing). A full-service concierge and party-ready rooftop don’t hurt. The price, on the other hand, is a little painful: Studios start in the $300,000s; penthouses push $2 million. 2030 Eighth St., NW; 202-792-8880.
This prewar beauty at 14th and R streets, Northwest, has had many lives: a 1920s Studebaker dealership, a homeless shelter, and now the coolest apartment complex in DC. The architecture firm Eric Colbert & Associates designed the Mission apartments to incorporate three neighboring historic rowhouses and a new addition in the rear, but the best units are the ones in the old car showroom, which have exposed-brick walls unlike any you’ve seen (and if you’ve been in the District five minutes, you’ve seen tons). These show so many layers of old paint, they look like original artwork. The rent might be more than your mortgage (a 392-foot studio goes for $2,225 a month), but one look inside and you may consider moving. 1350 R St., NW; 202-779-9172.
This article appears in our July 2015 issue of Washingtonian.
On Monday, Urban Turf reported that Washington's shortage of available homes on the market has now continued for a shocking six years. As they explained, "The benchmark of a balanced housing market is usually a six-month supply of homes on the market. The inventory of active listings for sale in the District has been below the six-month level since July 2009." In other words, there have been too few homes on the market to meet demand since the second year of the Great Recession. And it's getting worse.
Best Flower Delivery: UrbanStems
We know, we know—the “Uber of flower delivery” sounds like a bad episode of Silicon Valley. But there are many reasons to love this DC-based service. If you forget a special occasion until the last minute, or if one pops up unexpectedly, you can order an arrangement and—unlike most other floral-delivery companies—have it sent, usually within an hour. The bouquets are affordable ($35 to $55) but don’t look it; stylish elements such as succulents, calla lilies, and burlap binding lend an expensive look. And unlike other services that require scrolling through dozens of options, UrbanStems offers four hard-to-get-it-wrong choices. If that isn’t enough, when your order arrives at its destination, the courier takes a photo and e-mails it to you.
Best Decor for Mad Men Fans: Peg Leg Vintage
If there’s a chance your mid-century-modern obsession is as fleeting as one of Don Draper’s love affairs (or you’re just into good deals), this shop may be your scene. Tulip tables, teak credenzas, bar carts—and the cocktail accoutrements with which to stock them—make this two-year-old shop look like the prop room used to dress the sets of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Its items may not have the pedigree of Modern Mobler (see previous page), but the reasonable prices (a sculpted-front walnut dresser for $695, a chrome-and-glass coffee table for $295) make up for it. Friendly service and delivery starting at $25 are bonuses. 9600 Baltimore Ave., College Park; 301-477-3423.
The District of Columbia's Office of Revenue Analysis (DCORA) released new findings today that show how the median cost of a three-bedroom home in Washington correlates to median test scores at the new elementary school attendance zones for District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), which go into effect in fall 2015. The findings are daunting for anyone in Washington who has small children or is considering starting a family. To buy a home in a zone that guarentees your child will attend a top-performing school, you'll need a budget far beyond the means of many.