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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 ()
A finalist in the network’s Doory Awards, this sleek space is on the market for $791,000. By Kathleen Bridges
All photographs courtesy of John Eric at Washington Fine Properties.

With a private roof deck, 25-foot ceilings, and top-of-the-line finishes, this Rosslyn condo has been selected by's real-estate website--as a finalist in its annual Doory awards, a competition where the website's editors select 200 homes for sale across the country in 20 categories--from beach homes to curb appeal to kitchens--and then ask readers to vote for their favorites.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 04/13/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Living near transit means easier commutes and higher home values. By Melissa Romero

Chancellor's Row, in DC's Brookland neighborhood, will have 237 brick-front townhouses. Photo courtesy of Chancellor's Row

Washington’s average commute of more than 30 minutes ranks as one of the worst in the country. Every day, the District’s population swells by about 70 percent as workers pour in from across the region. Drivers also crisscross DC, Maryland, and Virginia to get to jobs in employment hubs such as the Dulles corridor, Tysons Corner, and downtown Bethesda.

Worsening traffic has made living along the Metro and near Maryland’s MARC and Virginia’s VRE stations more desirable. Rail commuters save time, money, and—in some cases—their sanity. “While on the train, you can answer e-mails or read a book,” says Kenneth Wenhold of Metrostudy, a real-estate consulting firm. Homes near transit have also held their value better during the recession. “They tend to be priced higher and sell faster,” Wenhold says.

Here are eight new-home communities near Metro, VRE, and MARC stations.

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Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 06/10/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
From historic bungalows and brick Colonials to stylish apartments and lofts, Alexandria's Del Ray has got you covered. By Kyle Jameson
The new apartments at Del Ray Central have nine-foot ceilings and open floor plans.

When Amy and Justin Kim were ready to buy their first home, they came up with a list of what they wanted: a two-bedroom close to the Metro with a back yard for Twiggy, their chihuahua. Their price target of about $500,000 led them to Del Ray.

Bounded by Braddock Road, Route 1, Glebe Road, and Russell Road, Del Ray started out 100 years ago as a community of railroad workers from nearby Potomac Yard—then one of the biggest railroad yards on the East Coast. Today Del Ray is an artsy enclave of working professionals drawn by proximity to the Metro and Old Town; affordable, charming homes; and the sense of community.

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Posted at 10:57 AM/ET, 01/27/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
These seven condo and apartment buildings have new units for sale or lease By Mollie Reilly
Park at Courthouse residents can walk to both the Clarendon and Court House Metro stops.

Birchwood Apartments (525–545 N. Pollard St.; 703-465-0050) is a 43-unit apartment building four blocks from the Virginia Square/GMU Metro station. Units have floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and granite countertops in the bathroom; amenities include a billiards room and fitness center. Rents range from $1,875 for one bedroom to $3,195 for three.

Less than a mile from the Ballston Metro, Buckingham Commons (4330 N. Henderson Rd.; 703-875-0303) is a development of Federal-style red-brick townhouses. The first phase of construction—which included 69 townhouses—hit the market two years ago; three units from that group are still for sale. A second phase of 51 homes goes on sale next year. Built around courtyards, each four-story townhouse has a rooftop deck, hardwood floors, and a two-car garage. Three-bedrooms start at $675,000, four- and five-bedrooms in the low $700,000s.

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Posted at 11:20 AM/ET, 01/20/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
At housing auctions, homes sell in minutes for a fraction of their value. By Emily Leaman

>>This item is part of the May 2010 cover story Tales From the Boom and Bust. To read an excerpt from the article, click here. To read the complete account of the rise and fall of the housing market in Washington, pick up a copy of the magazine, now on newsstands.


Wonder what happens to houses after foreclosure? Welcome to the fast-paced world of housing auctions.

At 8 am on a Saturday, about 100 investors, homebuyers, and spectators gather at the Grand Hyatt in DC’s Penn Quarter. James Brown’s “Living in America” blasts at nightclub decibels.

The auction house REDC has 50 homes on the block, and bids start as low as $5,000. The crowd is hungry for bargains.

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Posted at 06:05 AM/ET, 05/10/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()