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Tell us who you trust with your pets.
Photograph via Shutterstock.

In an upcoming issue, Washingtonian will update its guide to pet care, which includes listings of the area’s best veterinarians, emergency clinics, groomers, pet-sitters, kennels, trainers, and more.

You can help us by taking a few minutes to fill out our survey, which asks whom you would trust with your pets. Answer as many questions as you can. Please take care to spell all business names correctly; otherwise, your answers may not be tabulated.

Thanks for your help! Click here for the survey.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Three decks, a garage, and a wet bar-equipped carriage house. By Caroline Cunningham

Just a stone’s throw from Logan Circle, this recently renovated three-story rowhouse is practically begging for a party. The 2,272-square-foot home has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, plus a handful luxe upgrades, such as hardwood floors, exposed-brick walls, and a sleek modern kitchen, decked out with a white subway-tile backsplash, a marble waterfall island, and built-in wine shelving.

But the real assets of interest are around back: There’s a one-car garage—extra-valuable in this neighborhood—and a petite second-story carriage house, complete with a wet bar and its own deck. Plus there’s another deck accessible through French doors off of one of the main house’s bedrooms and a balcony off of the third-floor master suite. Throw in a few other fun features, such as the charcoal-gray, open spa shower, and we’re sold.

The property at 1420 12th Street, Northwest, is listed at $1,289,900. Peek inside below, then go to Beasley Real Estate for all the details.

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Posted at 12:57 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | 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

Beaetta (above) is an adorable senior Border Terrier mix. She weighs about 15 pounds and is an ideal pup for apartment/condo living, since she's quiet—except when she tells you it's time for a walk—and she loves to cuddle. Beaetta is good with everyone, including other small dogs, but she would also be fine as the only dog if she gets lots of love. She is blind, but she doesn't know she has a handicap. She is available for adoption at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Charmin and Gloria are a beautiful, bonded pair. He is a Flamepoint Siamese, and she is a Himalayan mix. He is very playful; she is more laid-back. Both are around two years old and are available for adoption through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Pumpkin Spice is a handsome and charming ten-month-old guy. He is always down to play and go on adventures, and he loves to snuggle up next to you when he’s tired. Pumpkin Spice is smart, too, and has learned many commands in a short amount of time, including "sit," “down,” and "focus." You can meet him at the Washington Humane Society's New York Avenue shelter.

Kayla is a gorgeous, two-year-old, long-haired cat whose owner gave her up because of landlord issues. She is friendly, playful, gentle, and affectionate. Kayla enjoys her scratching post and toys that squeak. And when she’s done playing, she likes nothing better than to curl up in your lap for some quality time. Stop by the Washington Animal Rescue League to meet her.

Kohana is an adorable two-month-old, hound-mix puppy. She's friendly, playful, curious, energetic, and always up for a good time. Kohana is one of almost 20 puppies currently available at the Washington Animal Rescue League. So if you are interested in adopting a puppy, now is the time!

Marshmallow is a sweet four-year-old Mini Rex rabbit. He is gentle and loves to play and be petted. Marshmallow is available for adoption through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, but you can currently visit him at Pet Supplies Plus in Falls Church, where he is helping to educate people about the wonderful bunnies available for adoption at the shelter. He was given up because the children in his previous family were not caring for him. With that in mind, a quick disclaimer: Though wonderful pets, rabbits are not low-maintenance and children younger than teens should not be expected to manage their care.

Palm and Beach are a pair of three-year-old blue and white Budgies. They're both girls and are good friends. You can find them at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Posted at 09:48 AM/ET, 10/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The designer, collector, and TV personality visits the Building Museum next week to sign her new book. By Michelle Thomas
Lisa Roberts, her new book, DesignPop, and Joris Laarman's Polygon Maker Chair. All photographs courtesy of Lisa Roberts.

Usually, it's a book that inspires a TV show. Not this time: The inspiration for Lisa Roberts's book was sparked by her 2011 docu-series My Design Life, which followed the design expert and her team as they visited museums, exhibits, trade fairs, and shops to hunt out only the most unique of high-design finds. The result is the newly released DesignPop, a neon-pink-vinyl-jacketed tome that offers a glimpse at 82 game-changing contemporary designs dreamed up since 2000, ranging from the unusual (Marcel Wanders's otherwordly Zepplin chandelier) to the everyday (Nest's smart thermostats). Roberts visits the Building Museum next week to present and sign the new book, and we caught up with her to get her insider take on the world of contemporary design.

DesignPop presentation and book signing. Tuesday 12:30 to 2 PM. National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW. RSVP online.

What's the secret to great design?

There is no magic answer to that question, but great design succeeds in form, function, and emotion. Functionality is objective: How well does the object perform its task? Form and emotionality are subjective: How pleasing is the form, and does it speak to you on an emotional level? Since both of these depend on your point of reference, there really isn’t a singular formula for great design.

Which up-and-coming designer is most interesting to you right now?

The Dutch designer Joris Laarman. He works with some of the most advanced production technologies of 3D printing, CNC milling, robotics, and advanced software. As an artist as well as designer, he often incorporates hand assembly. A great example is his Polygon Maker Chair. It’s composed of mathematically designed CNC milled pieces that are assembled by hand [see bottom-right photo above].

Who's your personal design hero?

Michael Graves. He started out as an architect creating some of the most iconic postmodern buildings of the 1970s and '80s. In 1985, the Italian housewares manufacturer Alessi asked him to design the quintessential American product. He created the Whistling Bird Tea Kettle, which, arguably, has become the most successful architect-designed product in history, selling more than $300 million dollars worth of tea kettles. He then went on to design products for Target, bringing high design to the masses and making him a household name. After an illness left him a paraplegic, he has devoted much of his design practice to creating well-designed objects for people with disabilities.

What's the best place to find high design on a budget?

Museum shops are great places to find high design without paying museum prices. Also, I like Target. They have programs where they invite high designers to work on their budgets.

You have a huge collection of contemporary design objects. If you had to just pick one, which is your favorite?

I love the Vermelha Chair by the Brazilian brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana. Early in their careers, they were inspired by the discarded and leftover materials of Brazilian manufacturers. They used these to make their prototypes, although once in production, the materials were new. This chair incorporates 1,500 feet of rope that is wrapped and woven to provide a structural and very comfortable chair. Mine is sitting in my foyer. I love its bright color, enveloping shape, and soft seat—form, function, and emotion!

What's the next frontier in modern design?

That frontier is already here: wearable technology. It will sit on your wrist, be incorporated into your clothing, and even be attached directly to your skin.

Posted at 01:15 PM/ET, 10/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It has 16 bathrooms and gilded crown molding. By Kay Wicker

Grandeur and luxury are in no short supply at this Potomac mansion. Just the numbers alone are impressive: The Montgomery County Colonial has nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, two kitchens, and three dining rooms spread across more than 16,700 square feet. It’s on nearly four acres of land. There are eight fireplaces. The master suite involves not only a sitting room and balcony, but also enormous his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing closets. There’s a finished basement large and fancy enough to rival most people’s entire homes, including a wine cellar and tasting room, another kitchen, a home theater, and a sauna. Outside, there’s a decadent fountain, a terraced patio, and a massive pool. And then there's the laundry list of ultra-extravagant decorative detailing—magnificent spiraling staircases, inlaid-marble floors, carved fireplace mantels, huge palladian windows, and opulent gilded crown moldings.

The home is now listed at $9.75 million, down from the original price of $15 million. Take a peek inside below, then check out Long & Foster for the complete details.

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Posted at 01:37 PM/ET, 10/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We asked for your cute pet photos, and boy, did you deliver. In our inaugural post, we meet Gus, Tom, Brinkley, and Mischief.

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

"Meet my cat, Tom Michael (above). He goes by his formal name, Thomas William Michael. He was adopted in Frederick and now lives in Glover Park. Tom is overweight, extremely lazy, and a picky eater. He loves to cuddle (but on his own terms) and enjoys visits from family and friends, especially his Nana. His favorite toy is his catnip rainbow. I'd tell you his favorite game, but he doesn't have one. He's doesn't like fun. This is a candid photo of Thomas saying, 'Hey, ladies!'"

"Gus, a French mastiff puppy (four months), lives in Bethesda. His favorite place to sleep is on a glass coffee table. Once he grows to full size—160 pounds—that won't be possible. He makes frequent appearances at Quartermaine Coffee and Olazzo in Bethesda."

"Brinkley is a very happy, energetic four-year-old chocolate Lab residing in NoMa. She loves anything that involves a tennis ball (ideally at the beach) and enjoys every type of food (especially baked goods left cooling on the counter). When she's not chasing squirrels, eating, or fetching, she can be found snoring on the couch with her legs up in the air."

"Mischief cheated death twice: first when she was rescued from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina, and then when she contracted distemper when she was two months old. She just celebrated her first birthday, and is the happiest and most playful cat. She runs around our apartment in Alexandria carrying her favorite toy mice in her mouth and begs for attention in ways that make it seem like she thinks she is a dog. Another favorite past time of Mischief's is drinking milkshakes."

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 10/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate Oktoberfest with your pup, go to a costumed scavenger hunt, or check out adoption events. By John Scarpinato
Dress up your pup for a scavenger hunt this October. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Friday, October 17

Everyone likes to think their pet is smart, but now’s your chance to prove it. Wylie Wagg hosts its monthly pup game night, allowing you to put your dog to the test with interactive games and puzzles. The fun starts at 4 and runs until 6 at Wylie Wagg’s Arlington location.

Saturday, October 18

Check out the “Fall in Love” adoption event at the Fitzgerald Auto Mall in North Bethesda. Dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens will all be on site hoping to go home with a loving family. You're encouraged to bring pet food and supplies to donate to the Washington Animal Rescue League’s Rescuers' Food Bank. 10 AM to 1 PM.

Saturday, October 25

Grab your pup and walk for a cause. This year's Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk benefits Doorways for Women and Families and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Participants are encouraged to come dressed up, so don't forget your—or your pup's—costume. Beginning this year, you can even get a professional photograph of your dog. Registration is $30 for adults, $20 for youth 16 and under, and can be done online. The walk begins at 9 AM and runs until 11:30 AM.

What could be better than sipping a cold one while bonding with your pet? This year, join the Washington Animal Rescue League at Barktoberfest at Yards Park. You can enjoy food, beer tasting, live music, and a costume contest, and there'll be an agility park for your dog to play in. Tickets are $35 in advance and $10 for non-drinking guests. 1 to 5 PM.

Start the Halloween activities early with the first ever Doggie in Disguise scavenger hunt in Alexandria. You and your dog should arrive in costume ready to walk, as the scavenger hunt will lead you throughout historic Alexandria. Clues lead to treats and toys for your sidekick, allowing for some quality bonding time. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. 9 to 11:30 AM.

Sunday, October 26

Join the Big Bad Woof for a monthly “yappy hour” on the patio of Republic in Takoma Park. From 3 to 5, you can enjoy $1 oysters and tons of drink specials with your dog by your side.

Visit Dog Paws ‘N Cat Claws for an adoption event between noon and 2 PM. Homeward Trails volunteers will be there to talk about each animal as well as the adoption process.

If your organization has a pet-friendly event to share, send the details to

Posted at 12:22 PM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This one’s got a gorgeous kitchen and a marble-lined spa shower—for under $800,000. By Caroline Cunningham

Though converted English basement condos can get a bad rap (who hasn’t seen their share of dungeon-like “garden levels”?), this large two-floor condo defies the stereotype. With a properly excavated basement, this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath condo features glass double doors that open out to a slate patio, plus a bevy of modern-sleek amenities. Those include Italian Carrera-marble countertops and custom display cabinetry in the kitchen, Brazilian Arabescato marble lining the spa-inspired master bath, and stylish two-toned built-ins flanking a fireplace in the living room. Bonus: This place sits in a prime location straddling both U Street and Columbia Heights.

It’s listed at $799,900. Peek inside below, then go to Redfin for all the details.

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Posted at 09:57 AM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A veterinarian will answer a different question on every week, so send your queries our way.
Photograph via Shutterstock.

Wondering something about your pet's health? Considering adding a furry friend to the family, but need answers first? If you've got a question you're dying to ask a veterinarian, send it our way. Starting next week, the experts at AtlasVet in Northeast DC will weigh in on a different reader query every Wednesday right here on Open House.

Send your questions to with the subject line: Vet Q.

(And this probably goes without saying, but if you have a pressing concern about your pet's health, visit or call your own vet right away!)

Posted at 09:41 AM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Brightwood home was custom-built to LEED standards in 2011. By Michelle Thomas

Open and airy, this five-bedroom home just off upper 16th Street, Northwest, was custom-built by HRY Design in 2011 to fuse organic warmth—via rich walnut floors and lots of wood accenting—with contemporary design style features, such as white marble, sleek white, glass-walled balconies, and stainless steel stair rails. Walls of windows allow natural light to flood each of the four levels, and upstairs, a wall of planked walnut and marble fireplace add a chic vibe to the large master suite. Other highlights? The open rainfall shower and soaking tub in the spa-like master bath, and a duo of wet bars, one each on the lower and top floors.

The property is listed at $1.499 million. Take a look inside below, then go to Long & Foster for the complete tour.

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Posted at 01:11 PM/ET, 10/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()