Newsletters

Get Open House delivered to your inbox every Tuesday Morning.

Looking for a fury friend? One of these cuties—all available at Washington-area rescues—might be your match.

Candy (above), a five-year-old Chihuahua-mix, is feeling a bit down because both her den-mates have been adopted and she misses their company. She’s a friendly, affectionate little dog who would make a great “couch potato” companion. Candy doesn’t need a ton of exercise, although regular walks to help her shed a pound or two would be ideal. Because of her small size, she’d rather live in a home without very young children. If you think Candy would be a good match for you, stop by the Washington Animal Rescue League to meet her.

Bright is a one-year-old, purebred New Zealand rabbit. He's very charming and loves to be held. He would do best in a home with owners who will give him love and attention and allow him to explore. You can meet Bright at the Washington Humane Society's New York Avenue adoption center.

Mango is a pitbull terrier-mix who is about 70 pounds and around three years old. Mango loves to watch the squirrels, roll in the grass, hang out with her foster brother, and chew on bones. She is very smart and affectionate. She does well with kids but needs to be in a home without cats. She would do well with another dog of the right fit. She enjoys running and hiking, and taking long naps. Visit the Rural Dog Rescue website for more information.

Virgo is a lab-mix who is about eight months old and 45 pounds. She loves other dogs and is quite playful in a group environment. She is very affectionate and will sit in your lap if invited. She enjoys walks and time at the dog park. Virgo is crate-trained and would make a great addition to any family. Visit the Rural Dog Rescue website for more information.

Janie (left) and Jackie (right) are a friendly, eight-month-old pair of sisters who recently lost their foster home. Janie and Jackie are good with people and other cats, and they both love to sit on laps. They're available for adoption through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Olive recently had puppies who have all found loving homes. Now it's her turn! Olive is a two-year-old husky/shepherd mix. She is an affectionate girl who gets along with people and other dogs of all sizes. She loves to go for walks. Olive is crate-trained and likes to ride in the front seat of the car. If you think she's the one for you, head to the Homeward Trails website.

Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 11/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The macaroni should be the only cheesy thing in sight. By Kay Wicker

We know, we know—the most important part of the Thanksgiving table is the food. But once you're done figuring out who's bringing the cranberry sauce and how to make sure the bird is juicy enough, consider upping the style ante at this year's feast. We're not talking about paper turkeys and "Happy Thanksgiving" banners—go for decor that offers a tasteful nod to the season. Here are six of our favorite finds.

1. Dapper Animal Plates at West Elm, $10-$12 2. 12-piece Shiny Copper Flatware set at CB2, $99.95 3. Antique Green Wedgewood Plate Jayson Home, $75 4. Turkey Trot Candleholder at CB2, $9.95 5. Matte Copper Candles at Crate & Barrel, $5.97-$8.97 6. Wood Tripod Antler Candleholder at West Elm, $5.97-$8.97.

Posted at 03:48 PM/ET, 11/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A Virginia winery that takes “dog-friendly” to the next level. By Gwyn Donohue
Photograph by Gwyn Donohue.

About an hour’s drive west of DC, Barrel Oak is not only dog-friendly—just about everything the winery does is focused on catering to our four-legged friends. Many local wineries allow dogs on their grounds and in outdoor seating areas, but at Barrel Oak, leashed dogs are welcome throughout the property, including inside in the tasting room.

Set in the rolling foothills of the Shenandoahs, you can spend an entire day enjoying the views, tasting locally produced wines, and listening to live music on weekends. You can bring your own snacks, or order from an assortment of light food options such as cheese and spreads.With temperatures dipping, you can park yourself on a cozy spot flanking the stone fireplace, or around the fire pit.

Winery owners Brian and Sharon Roeder have two Golden Retrievers, Barley and Justice, as well as Birch, a Visla, and Peanut, a mutt. Nearly every weekend there’s a fundraiser or food collection for animal rescue organizations, and the winery donates a portion of every bottle sold to various charities.

And one of the best parts of visiting is that you’ll never get dirty looks from other patrons when your dog sticks his nose in their lap to be petted—for the most part, people who don't like dogs know they shouldn't go to Barrel Oak.

Gwyn Donohue is the author of the blog Two Dog Tales. Head there to read about more events, activities, and news for Washington dog owners.

Posted at 03:17 PM/ET, 11/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every week, we get an expert to answer your pressing pet questions
Photograph via Shutterstock.

Have a question you'd like to ask a vet? Send your query to pets@washingtonian.com with the subject line "Vet Q."

Q: In a post-divorce downsize, my dogs and I moved from a house to an urban apartment. Previously, the dogs enjoyed a big back yard and two one-hour walks a day. What is the optimal dog walk amount and dog park time? How many times a day do dogs need to be taken out for bathroom breaks? Should I be concerned about moving my dogs to a smaller space with no yard?

Dr. Chris Miller, AtlasVet DC: Change can be tough. Going through a divorce, uprooting your life from the suburbs and moving to the city, can be difficult for everyone involved. The good news is that going through these changes with a companion that possesses unconditional adoration for you can make the new experience much more tolerable. Simply knowing that you and your pets are both going through a transition period together can be therapeutic for both you and the dogs.

Much like with people, the effects of sudden alterations in lifestyle and environment for a pet can vary highly from one individual to another. Some dogs seem to take the new surroundings in stride, while others may become depressed and begin developing behavior problems. The only way to know how pets are going to behave is to monitor them closely once the change has been made. Dogs are active animals that naturally have a desire to run, roam, chase, and work. For this reason, exercise and keeping the mind active are the best ways to keep them happy and healthy. Achieving this while living in a smaller home combined with an urban setting is possible with a little effort and planning. Often, this change can lead to a healthier lifestyle for you and your pet.

Each dog is different, but typically one 30-minute walk per day is the minimum amount of activity recommended for dogs. Certain larger and high-energy dog breeds like German Short Haired Pointers, Weimaraners and Border Collies may struggle with the smaller space and decreased free time, and need more activity to burn off their high energy. Check with a veterinarian to assess how much exercise is appropriate for your dog’s age, breed and health status. In addition to exercise sessions, dogs will need a few other shorter walks for bathroom breaks throughout the day. This can be a challenge for many owners and might require significant planning and shifting of schedules. The two long walks your dogs were getting should be sufficient to keep them mentally entertained and physically fit as long as an appropriate diet is being fed. If you have long work hours, a dog walker is a good idea to help maintain these walks when you are away.

When I first moved from the peaceful suburbs of Alabama to Washington, DC, my greyhound took several weeks before he could easily relieve himself outside. In the following months, he became desensitized to the sirens, buses, and helicopters that constantly flew overhead. I quickly learned that the frequent walks I took him on were keeping me in shape, helping me meet my neighbors and helping my dog become as social as ever from the constant “meet and greet” that occurred around every corner. With a little work there is no reason to feel guilty about moving to the city. With a little planning, urban living can actually lead to both you and your pet becoming healthier and more social.

Find Dr. Chris Miller on Twitter at @DCVet.

Posted at 01:45 PM/ET, 11/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tons of amenities on two acres of property. By Kay Wicker

This eight-year-old property boasts five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens, six fireplaces, a gym, media room, and a library spread over three floors. Outside, you’ll find an expansive entertaining space, a swimming pool, and yet another kitchen, all overlooking rolling hills and a pond. And if all that luxury just gets to be too much, the owners can retreat to a master suite that includes a sitting area, wet bar, and a huge bathroom with a soaking tub and its own TV.

Take a peek at the photos below, then head to Washington Fine Properties for complete details.

For more real-estate picks, follow Open House on Twitter at @openhouse.

Read More

Posted at 12:39 PM/ET, 11/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The 11-bedroom, seven-bath mansion went for a record-breaking $3.9 million. By Caroline Cunningham

Logan Circle saw its highest residential sale in history on Monday when an 11-bed, seven-bath rowhouse sold for $3.9 million, as reported by the Washington Post. Built in 1885, the Victorian mansion was originally listed at $4.445 million. The 9,880-square-foot home, filled with exposed brick, original molding, eight fireplaces, an in-law suite with its own kitchen, and a spacious patio out back, sold in two months.

Take a peek inside 1332 Vermont Ave., NW below, then head to TTR Sotheby's for all the details.

For more real-estate picks, follow Open House on Twitter at @openhouse.

Read More

Posted at 01:30 PM/ET, 11/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This week, meet readers' pets Harlan, Scrapple, Aurora, Dolce, and Apollo.

Want your pet to be featured on our website? E-mail your pet's name, location, a brief bio, and a photo to pets@washingtonian.com, and use the subject line "Reader Pets."


"This is Harlan (above), a red tick coonhound and resident of Adams Morgan. Harlan's favorite things are being in Rock Creek Park, eating a Pleasant Pops dog treat popsicle, and sleeping in. Harlan was adopted from City Dogs Animal Rescue in December 2013."

"This is Scrapple the dog, who lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC. Scrapple is a Border Collie-Chow Chow mix who was a rescue by way of West Virginia. He resides in a row home with a sizable backyard that he likes to watch (and chase) squirrels in."

"Aurora is a fabulous tabby cat living in Dupont Circle. She rocked this outfit for DC Pride. She is an absolute cuddle bug and very tolerant of silly outfits. What more could you want?"

"This is Dolce. He is an 8 year old Toy Goldendoodle. We live in Bethesda and his favorite thing to do is watch TV or roam the streets for scraps of food. He also goes to Petsmart for daycare a few days a week."

"This is my grizzled old man, Apollo. We enjoy living in Columbia Heights. Apollo is a senior Great Dane that I rescued when he was about three years old. He is a lovable grump to those he considers family (and the ladies, he loves the ladies)."

Posted at 12:35 PM/ET, 11/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Elegant upgrades and a rentable basement for under $735,000. By Caroline Cunningham

This three-story rowhouse is only a few blocks from the NoMa Metro station, and it’s in up-and-coming Truxton Circle, just south of Bloomingdale. Built in 1900, the 2,028-square-foot home had a recent makeover that included vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and hardwood floors throughout, and a kitchen with white granite countertops, a subway-tile backsplash, and stainless-steel appliances. The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home also boasts excellent city views from its roof deck and a lower level that could potentially become a separate rental unit.

55 New York Ave., NW, is listed at $734,900. Take a peek inside below, then go to ReMax for all of the details.

For more real-estate picks, follow Open House on Twitter at @openhouse.

Read More

Posted at 03:43 PM/ET, 11/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Looking for a furry friend? One of these cuties—all available at Washington-area rescues—might be your match. By Marisa M. Kashino

Nicole Kitmom (above) is an eight-pound, domestic shorthair cat, rescued by the Washington Humane Society on March 4, 2014. She found a home shortly after, but her owner had to return her because she was too busy at work. After this setback, Nicole is really ready to relax and stretch out in a permanent home. She is very sweet and likes to cuddle. You can meet her at the Washington Humane Society's Georgia Avenue shelter.

Calleigh is a two-year-old, American Staffordshire mix, weighing 50 pounds. She wants nothing more than to please and snuggle with her owner. She is crate-trained, house-trained, has great recall, and knows all basic obedience commands. Calleigh would also make a great running partner. Her ideal home would be outside the city, and one where she is the only dog. Calleigh is currently in foster care with K-9 Lifesavers.

Ophelia is a three to four-year-old Boxer/American Staffordshire mix, weighing 45 pounds. She's very sweet and low-key. Ophelia is house-trained, knows some obedience commands, and does well with other dogs and kids. She loves going for car rides and does well at adoption events. However, she's not a fan of cats or horses. You can meet her through K-9 Lifesavers.

Galena is a nine-year-old Labrador mix, but she has more energy than some dogs half her age. She especially enjoys a game of fetch. Galena qualifies for the Washington Animal Rescue League’s “Boomers’ Buddies” program, which means her adoption fee will be waived for adopters age 50 or older. So stop by the Washington Animal Rescue League and meet her.

When Jeely arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League in August, she was so timid she didn’t want to come out of her kitty condo. But over time, with lots of encouragement from staff and volunteers, the two-year-old tabby has become social, confident, and playful. She would love a home where she could spend lots of time with a human companion willing to give her plenty of head and neck scratches. You can meet Jeely at the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Bigfoot is the only cat in a dog rescue and he's ready to find a home of his own. Bigfoot has big feet (polydactyl), a big belly, and an even bigger heart. He spends his days lounging on the sofa and making sure the house is safe from spiders and bugs. For more information on adopting Bigfoot, visit the Rural Dog Rescue website.

Lincoln is a hound mix rescued from a high-kill shelter in Halifax County, Virginia. He is likely about a year old. He gets along well with all dogs and loves people, too. He's still young and learning his manners, but he's very eager to please and will make a wonderful companion. For more information on adopting Lincoln, visit the Rural Dog Rescue website.

Posted at 11:50 AM/ET, 11/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Trend-spotting among the high-end home furnishings at the Design Center's open house. By Marisa M. Kashino

The 2012 announcement that a Bible museum would take over the Southwest DC building occupied by the Washington Design Center meant the collection of high-end home furnishing showrooms had to find new digs. The hunt for space ultimately led to the Franklin Court building at 14th and L streets, Northwest, where Wednesday evening, the Design Center debuted its new home with a ribbon-cutting and open house. Here are some of the top trends we spotted while touring the three floors of showrooms.

Anything-but-stuffy wingbacks
At the AmericanEye showroom, the classic shape was done up in vibrant colors and laid-back textiles.

A Lee Industries chair in a Peruvian striped fabric. Photographs by Marisa M. Kashino.
Also from Lee Industries, this time in a more dramatic silhouette with a contrasting white welt.

Glam cockail tables
Though compact in size, these were big on style.

A set of six geometric cocktail tables at Michael-Cleary can be clustered together or divided up.
The swirl effect of this McLain Weisand table at the Hines & Company showroom comes from marbelized paper and silver leaf.

Sculptural chandeliers
Not just for the dining room, these fixtures make a statement.

Aerial chandelier by Currey & Company at AmericanEye.
A Sputnik-like fixture on display at the Century showroom.

Haute hides
We saw lots of fur and leather, but these two pieces were our favorite examples of the trend.

Bronze, antler-like legs and moss-hued hyde made this ottoman a stand-out at the Holly Hunt showroom.
Comfy and chic: A Mongolian lamb and walnut arm chair by Berman Rosetti at the Hines & Company showroom.

Posted at 12:20 PM/ET, 11/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()