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Lots of marble. Zero clutter. By Michelle Thomas

You’d have to be a pretty devoted minimalist to live in this Georgetown condo. Über-contemporary with a super-slick design and exacting viewpoint, this austere one-bedroom penthouse was renovated by Schlesinger Associate Architects for owner Bruno Lassus a few years back, and the finished product spotlights sleek, cool expanses of Calcutta marble, clear and frosted glass walls, and rare wood accents, combined with sculptural architecture that includes a striking marble staircase and impressive biofuel fireplace. Top-of-the-line contemporary finishes complement the modern feel—the condo is outfitted with a Bulthaup kitchen, Alessi and Waterworks bath fixtures, Lutron lighting, and Bang & Olufsen audio. Our favorite part: That incredible glass-enclosed soaking tub. Check your modesty at the door.

1045 31st St NW is listed at $2.5 million. Look inside below, then go to TTR Sotheby’s for more details.

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Posted at 11:27 AM/ET, 03/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Four levels—and lots of glass. By Michelle Thomas

At 4,500 square feet, with four levels, five bedrooms, and four and a half baths, this penthouse-level condo in the Ventana building at Penn Quarter’s Ninth and F streets, Northwest, easily dwarfs most of the city’s slender rowhouses. But sheer size isn’t the only draw. It’s also a high-style place, with a playful approach to contemporary design that’s surprising and striking, if perhaps unconcerned with privacy—the corner unit boasts walls of glass in most of its rooms, including the master bathroom. The condo’s cool glass perimeter and custom steel fireplace contrast with the touches of organic warmth from cerused-white-oak floors and cabinetry, a wood-paneled entryway wall, and a raw-edge oak dining table.

Other highlights include Caesarstone counters, high-end Miele appliances, and a built-in entertainment center on the first floor; on upper levels (accessed by the floating stairway with laser-cut decorative rails—or by the elevator), there’s a custom built-in floating desk in the office, a children’s playroom with a full-wall mural and retractable partition, an entertaining area with a wine bar and full-size wine refrigerator, a “green lounge,” and an outdoor terrace on the rooftop. The master suite’s crown jewel is the insanely spacious bathroom, with a spa-like feel and an enormous Calcutta marble soaking tub, plus dual vanities pushed up against the glass. 

The condo is listed at $4.5 million. Take a peek below, then go to Central Properties for the complete tour.

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Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 07/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What we’d buy with $1.345 million. By Michelle Thomas

Regardless of how you might feel about the recent trend toward splitting old Victorian rowhouses into multiple units, this one—on Riggs Place in Dupont—comes close to sophisticated perfection. Light and airy, with just the right touches of historic detail, this condo is the two-story penthouse in a four-story home that dates to 1916. Lock 7 Development transformed the place into its current iteration, featuring knockout design choices such as dark hardwood floors, elegant moldings and medallions along the walls and ceilings, big picture windows, and a gorgeously intricate (closed-off, but still!) fireplace mantel in the open-layout living area. Off the upstairs bedrooms—there are three—is a two-level private deck overlooking the city skyline. It’s listed at $1.345 million. Take a quick peek below, then go to Lindsay Reishman Real Estate for more (or check it out in person Saturday at the open house).


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Posted at 01:44 PM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The minimum cost of entry: $3 million. By Michelle Thomas
Renderings courtesy of EastBanc.

Another day, another über-luxe condo development: Sales for the seven residences in Georgetown’s still-under-construction, canal-facing condo development—dubbed 1055 High after the pre-1895 name of Wisconsin Avenue—started yesterday. Built with an eye toward evoking the historical architecture of the neighborhood while infusing the design with modern-industrial details, the building boasts some pretty lavish-looking amenities, such as a garden roof terrace with a 45-foot pool and a glass-enclosed rooftop fitness center. The private residences are huge—all three or four bedrooms units of up to 4,300 square feet—and feature private terraces or balconies, walls of windows that overlook the C&O Canal, Georgetown, and garden views, and two garage parking spots each. Naturally, the prices reflect the luxuries: The condos start at $3 million and range up to more than $5 million for the corner penthouse. They’re slated to be ready for a late fall move-in. Check out the just-released renderings below, then head to the development’s website for more details.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 05/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s the first riverfront residential project in Alexandria this century. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph by Thomas Arledge of

Starting early next month, the newly minted residents of Old Town’s brand-new Oronoco development begin moving in to the waterfront building, which houses 60 high-end units, about 80 percent of which have already sold­—starting at $1.5 million and working all the way up to $4 million. Developed by Bethesda’s EYA and designed by architecture firm Shalom Baranes, the six-story construction is the renovation of a former office building, and the redo has created units of up to 3,500 square feet that include such luxe detailing as floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, fireplaces, wet bars and wine coolers, soaking tubs in the baths, and huge private terraces. As for the building amenities? They include the basics, such as round-the-clock concierge and security, plus bonus features like a pool, fitness center and yoga room, children’s playroom, meeting room, and dog-washing station. All of the condos include two garage spaces and a storage room. We snagged an exclusive first glimpse inside the new condos—click through the slideshow to scope it out.

A rendering of the finished Oronoco condo development along the Potomac in Alexandria.

Posted at 11:20 AM/ET, 05/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Couches, tables, and beds that make the most of their footprint. By Michelle Thomas

City dwellers know the drill: One price of urban living is the inevitable lack of space—or the actual price of paying for more room. That’s why it’s so important to maximize space-saving and storage-containing in every inch of your teensy home. Click through the slideshow for ten furniture buys designed to stay small, do double-duty, and stash all your stuff.

Posted at 10:36 AM/ET, 03/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
According to the developer, 70 percent have been sold already. By Carol Ross Joynt
CityCenterDC. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

A month ago, the rental apartments at the new CityCenterDC were unveiled with a lively and well-attended party complete with a Champagne bar and a buffet from the kitchen of chef Fabio Trabocchi, as well as group tours of a $4,700-a-month two-bedroom unit.

The adjacent condominiums, however, are being shown off more quietly: no party, and by appointment. Maybe that’s because sales have been brisk. Since they went on the market last year, 70 percent of the 216 units have been sold, according to Howard Riker, vice president of Hines, the real-estate company that developed the megamillion-dollar complex, which is also gradually rolling out a roster of approximately 60 retail tenants.

We met Riker Wednesday for a private tour of one of the two condo buildings at 920 I Street. The setting was serene, the hallways hushed, though distant drilling reverberated—probably to be expected in a complex where the finishing touches are still being added.

The condos are more richly detailed and larger than the rentals. Prices start at $600,000 for a one-bedroom, climb up to $1 million and more for two-bedroom units, and then reach what Riker called the “upper brackets” for anything larger. Most of the smaller apartments have sold, but four luxurious terrace apartments are still available.

As with the rental apartments, the condos share a roof deck with splendid views of downtown and beyond, common or party rooms with a large screen television and kitchen facilities, and a fitness center. The condo party room has wine storage; the fitness center has a private treatment room, and the building plans to hire a company to provide spa services, according to Riker—although none of that is available to rental customers. There is also an extra unit, fully furnished, that owners can reserve for guests at a “much better rate” than a hotel, said Riker.

The two model two-bedrooms we saw, 406 and 411—both decorated by Patrick Sutton Associates—go for just under $1.5 million. Each comes with two parking spaces and two—but only two—bedroom closets; additional storage costs extra. The washer and dryer are in a laundry closet. There’s an entry-hall coat closet. The kitchen is incorporated into the open living and dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows abound.

Riker said tours of the condos have been happening at a steady pace. A visit can be arranged through the sales office at 202-232-2022.

Posted at 01:16 PM/ET, 02/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Check out that roof deck. By Michelle Thomas

The listing for this top-floor corner condo deems it “exceptionally private.” While it may be right on Adams Morgan’s 18th Street—which is a far cry from the city’s quietest street—the description is apt: Not only does this place have its own keyed elevator entry, but it also features a huge wrap-around balcony, a second-floor terrace and a killer private rooftop deck with a hot tub and fire pit. Other highlights? Three bedrooms and four baths spread out over 3,000 square feet (plus the 1,650 of outdoor space), double-height ceilings that soar to nearly 19 feet, full walls of south-facing windows in the living areas, marble floors, cherry cabinetry, indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces, a wet bar and two wine coolers, remote-controlled Lutron window shades, a movie projection system, and a master-bath soaking tub complete with views of the Washington Monument. It’s listed for $2.695 million exclusively through Washington Fine Properties. Keep reading to get a shortened tour of this modern-luxe space, then head to WFP to see a complete tour.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 02/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The two-bedroom apartment comes with three balconies. By Carol Ross Joynt
Photographs courtesy of Breshkie Gardizi of Keller Williams Realty.

Former California congresswoman Mary Bono, who was defeated for reelection last year, has put her two-bedroom Arlington condo on the market for $569,000. According to the lister, the apartment comes with a “gourmet kitchen,” a “spacious master suite,” and “three private balconies.” The condo complex is called the Eclipse on Center Park.

Bono, who was elected to Congress in 1998, in a special election after her husband, Rep. Sonny Bono, was killed in a skiing accident, won all her subsequent reelections until she was defeated by Democrat Raul Ruiz a year ago. She remarried twice, most recently to Connie Mack of Florida, who gave up his House seat and then lost in a 2012 bid for Senate. In May they announced they were divorcing.

After leaving the House, Bono joined FaegreBD Consulting, which has offices in Washington, the Midwest, and Silicon Valley.

UPDATE, 11:45 AM: The lister, Breshkie Gardizi of Keller Williams Realty, said Bono is selling the condo because she is looking to buy a house in the North Arlington area. She also has homes in Palm Springs, California, and Durango, Colorado.

Posted at 10:42 AM/ET, 11/27/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The industrial-modern space of Room & Board’s head visual designer is one of five homes featured in the new design book by the bloggers behind AphroChic. By Michelle Thomas
Angela Hays Belt's Navy Yard apartment is featured in the new book Remix, by the husband-and-wife team behind design blog Aphrochic. Photographs by Patrick Cline courtesy of Random House.

Thursday night, Logan Circle’s Room & Board store hosts a book launch party to celebrate the release of design blog AphroChic’s first book, Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul. The bloggers behind the site, policy-attorney-turned-designer Jeanine Hays and her husband, Bryan Mason, will be on hand to chat about their aesthetic and sign books, but here’s our favorite part: Turns out Hays’s sister, Angela Hays Belt, is Room & Board’s head visual designer right here in DC. Impeccable design taste must run in their genes: Belt’s Navy Yard apartment (which she shares with her husband, Leon, a videographer and graphic designer) is one of the five homes featured in the book, and it’s chock-full of inspiring design. Keep reading to see more of the Belts’ artistic-meets-midcentury-industrial loft, then swing by the 14th Street store tonight to meet both Hays and Belt in person.

AphroChic book launch party, Thursday 6 to 8:30 PM. Presentation at 6:30 PM. 1840 14th St., NW; 202-729-8300. RSVP online.

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Posted at 10:22 AM/ET, 11/07/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()