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Take a sneak peek inside the still under-construction property. By Marisa M. Kashino

The DC Design House—an annual tradition that benefits Children's National Health System—doesn't open until spring, but we got an early look inside the under-construction custom home where this year's event will be held. This is the first time in the fundraiser's eight-year history that the Design House is located in Virginia, and only the second time that it's been in brand new construction.

The home is part of Mackall Farms, a 12-property development in McLean from Artisan Builders. True to the community's name, the house incorporates rustic, farmhouse-style features that Artisan principal Stephen Yeonas says are meant to make it look "like it's been there a while, like it didn't just pop up as a McMansion in the middle of nowhere."

The Design House has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and three half baths, spread over 9,000 square feet. Its various spaces, including hallways and foyers, will be divided among more than 20 interior designers to decorate. The public can tour the results from April 11 to May 10. After that, the home will hit the market for $4.5 million.

Here's a sneak peek inside.

A view of the foyer from the dining room.
The family room. Stone and other materials from a historic house that was torn down were incorporated into this home.
This living room mantel was salvaged from the historic house.
The master bath.
A back hallway on the first floor.
Master bedroom.
A rendering of the finished house.

Posted at 10:02 AM/ET, 12/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Peek inside the under-construction condo project off U Street. By Marisa M. Kashino
The Atlantic Plumbing condo building, still under construction. Photographs by Marisa M. Kashino.

Developer JBG Cos. recently announced prices for its Atlantic Plumbing condos at Eighth and V streets, Northwest, with junior one-bedrooms starting in the high $300,000s to penthouses for $1.9 million. Though the 62-unit project won't be done until March 2015, Matt Blocher, JBG's senior VP of marketing and communications, says a third of the condos have already sold.

Named for the Atlantic Plumbing building that used to occupy the site just off U Street near the 9:30 Club, the JBG project consists of both the condos and a larger, 310-unit apartment building across the street, scheduled for completion toward the end of 2015. Look a block southward down Eighth, and you'll spot two other under-construction JBG buildings: the Hatton (condos) and the Shay (apartments), which should deliver in late spring.

For now, here's a sneak peek at the progress being made at the Atlantic Plumbing condos.

The lobby, with elevators etched to resemble the cage doors found in historic buildings.
What will become one of two restaurants on the building's ground floor. JBG says it will announce the names of the restaurants soon.
Cabinets on the even-numbered floors of the six-level building will feature this light tone, while those on odd-numbered floors will be darker.
Living rooms, like the one above, all have floor-to-ceiling windows.
All units have either one or two bedrooms. Here's one of them in progress.
A rendering of what a finished kitchen/living space will look like. Renderings courtesy of JBG.
A rendering of the completed exterior.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It's safe to say no one will forget which house is yours. By Michelle Thomas

Passerby have long slowed to gawk at this amorphous Bethesda home off Western Avenue—which locals have dubbed the "mushroom house," the "blob house," and the "hobbit house," among other inventive nicknames. The 1923 cave-like abode, a late-1960s renovation by futuristic architect Roy Mason, was even spotlighted in Matt Lake's 2006 book Weird Maryland. Now, owners Edward and Frances Garfinkle have put the polyurethane foam creation on the market. In addition to the four bedrooms and 3,700 square feet of quirk, the place also offers up a legal one-bedroom rental. Just $1.2 million to make this baby yours, folks.

Take a look inside—full details at Long & Foster.

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Posted at 12:43 PM/ET, 10/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Its seller worked with the Wolf of Wall Street and advised pro sports players—then got caught up in Ponzi scheme allegations. By Marisa M. Kashino

By most measures, Washington is a great place to be a seller—the real-estate market is booming, and bidding wars are the norm. But there are some exceptions, like the recent sale of a seven-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath Colonial on Marwood Hill Drive in Potomac, which was listed as a potential short sale. Its former owner, Jinesh "Hodge" Brahmbhatt, sold the home for $1.9 million, according to Maryland property records; he bought it in 2006 for $2.6 million.

You might've read about the former financial adviser last year when he was under investigation for steering his athlete clients, including former Washington running back Clinton Portis, Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, to invest in an alleged $18 million Ponzi scheme. Brahmbhatt's lawyer, Alan Futerfas, says his client didn't know the investments were fraudulent and was deceived by the scheme's operator.

Nonetheless, Brahmbhatt, who in the 90s worked at Stratton Oakmont—the brokerage house made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in the The Wolf of Wall Street—lost his firm, Jade Wealth Management. And the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred him from the securities industry for failing to appear at a disciplinary hearing related to the alleged fraud. Futerfas says Brahmbhatt had to sell the Potomac house as a result.

Among the home's features: a grand two-story foyer, a home theater, a massive master closet, and two kitchens.

Find Marisa M. Kashino on Twitter at @marisakashino.

Posted at 01:08 PM/ET, 10/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Before this weekend's house tours, compare Contemporaria owner Deborah Kalkstein's modern home and Frank Islam's classical mansion. By Michelle Thomas
Tech entrepreneur Frank Islam's enormous mansion will be one of four homes spotlighted on this weekend's Potomac Country Home Tour.

Your weekend eye-candy opportunity awaits: On Saturday and Sunday, Potomac's seasonal festival—which includes such varied activities as a shopping night and a petting zoo—kicks off its annual house tour. Four homes are included on this year's tour, but we'd go for just these two alone: a sleek modern-industrial home designed by Contemporaria owner Deborah Kalkstein; and Norton Manor, the lavish mansion owned by tech entrepreneur Frank Islam and his wife, Debbie Driesman, which draws its grand inspiration from the White House, the Capitol, and the Palace of Versailles, and boasts an incredibly massive 47,000 square feet on ten acres. Oh, and that includes a koi pond, which at 2,000 square feet is easily larger than many Washington apartments.

We snagged a sneak peek inside the two homes—click through the slideshow to get a preview.

Potomac Country House Tour, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 PM. $30 advance purchase online, or $40 day-of at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 10033 River Rd., Potomac.

Posted at 12:46 PM/ET, 09/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Interior architect Michael Stehlik shows us his carefully curated space. By Michelle Thomas
All photographs by Andrew Propp.

It seems only natural that someone who practices design full-time should have an amazing home—and Michael Stehlik is no exception. As a professional interior architect who leads his own self-named design practice and also acts as a design associate for Room & Board on the side, Stehlik boasts an impressive design pedigree that includes a master’s degree in architecture and a background in residential remodeling. It all shines through in the home he shares with his partner, media executive Justin Waller; since buying their Adams Morgan rowhouse in 2008, they've developed an eclectic, carefully curated look that skillfully blends eras and styles, combining gems like a midcentury tulip table and an antique Steinway piano with playfully masculine art and cheeky decor (check out that rhino head!). 

We stopped by Stehlik and Waller’s home recently to take a peek at their ever-evolving aesthetic. Read on to hear more from Stehlik on his home, then click through the slideshow to see the tour.

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Posted at 12:22 PM/ET, 08/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Raji Radhakrishnan’s Northern Virginia home is a study in perfectly paired contrasts. By Michelle Thomas
Inside interior designer Raji Radhakrishnan's home in Brambleton. Photography by Rikki Snyder.

Perhaps it’s obvious that interior designers would have jaw-dropping personal spaces—they’re pros, after all. But designer Raji Radhakrishnan is no exception. Last year, the designer remodeled her 5,000-square-foot Georgian manor-style home in Loudoun County’s Brambleton to transform the original open layout into enclosed rooms, and incorporate classical architectural elements into the interior’s design, creating four-foot-wide enfilade-style aligned entryways and adding moldings and wall paneling. She adorned several of her room’s walls with large-scale wallpaper murals from her own line, set to contrast a carefully curated selection of French-modern furniture, sculptural finds, and contemporary artwork from the likes of Henri Matisse and Lucienne Olivieri.

A mixture of textures, styles, and periods collide in Radhakrishnan’s rooms—such as the vintage Willy Rizzo burlwood coffee table positioned next to Marc Newson’s modern polished white fiberglass “Felt” chair and, across the room, a custom console table formed from an antique 18th-century French balcony. In the office, dramatic black walls and bookcases play against a chic ’30s Art Deco desk and Roy Lichtensein pop lithograph.  Even the children’s playroom is thoughtfully designed.

Head to the slideshow to get a glimpse inside the designer’s space! 

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Posted at 01:43 PM/ET, 07/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What we would buy if we had $2.595 million. By Michelle Thomas

We can’t pinpoint just one thing we love most about this Cleveland Park home. Maybe it’s the playful cheetah-print wallpaper in the powder room. Or the kitchen’s juxtaposition of rustic, warm wooden beams with cool, glossy marble. Or perhaps the copper piping, or the gold hardware, or the statement pendant lamps. Regardless—this place is a stunner. The five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home near the National Cathedral, a 1925 build that recently went through a down-to-the-studs restoration, is spot-on with its airy light, thoughtful design choices, and measured balance of contemporary elegance with original detailing. It doesn’t hurt that the decor is catalogue-perfect, too. The four-level home is listed at $2.595 million. One can dream, right? Take a peek below, then go to Long & Foster for more.

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Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 06/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Heirloom furniture mixes with a colorful palette in this 140-year-old home. By Michelle Thomas
All photographs by Angie Seckinger.

This week’s waterfront house—a 140-year-old farmhouse in the Eastern Shore farming community of Trappe—offers a completely different vibe than our previous two modern designs. The owner enlisted Washington-based interior designer Kelley Proxmire to transform the place from a weekend and summer home into her full-time residence—and to help merge the heirloom furniture and accessories from her former Washington home into their new, more casual setting. Proxmire repurposed the inherited pieces into the new space in different ways and added a few of her signature touches, such as painted ceilings (high-gloss green in the bedroom, lighter green in the living area, and pale blue on the porch) and textured and patterned wallpapers. A palette of greens, oranges, and blues combine with playful signs to infuse a touch of cheerful charm to a relaxed, homey design. Take a virtual tour of the home in the slideshow.

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Posted at 12:25 PM/ET, 05/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This Grasonville home was updated to include three water-facing balconies. By Michelle Thomas
All photographs courtesy of GTM Architects.

There’s nothing like a rainy spring morning to make you crave a sun-filled beach getaway. This week, we’re taking you to Grasonville on the Eastern Shore, where this contemporary renovation sits on the shore of the Chesapeake. Originally a 3,800 square foot home dating to 1985, the current owners worked with GTM Architects to expand and update their place to include a more functional kitchen, a larger family room, modern bedrooms, and newly built rec and exercise rooms. The result? A modern, open layout, with a skylit cathedral ceiling and an updated pool terrace that features a mudroom, recreation room, pool bath, and wet bar. The first-floor master and five second-floor bedrooms were brought up to date, and three new balconies were added—all with fantastic views of the water, of course. Keep reading for a glimpse at this home.

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Posted at 12:24 PM/ET, 05/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()