Ever daydreamed of living in a chateau? This massive McLean mansion offers up more than 15,000 square feet of extravagant living space inspired by France’s famed Château de Chambord. It aims to replicate the classical architecture of a French palace, including such features as marble floors, decorative moldings and medallions, rustic stonework, and exposed beams. In case the enormous main kitchen isn’t enough cooking space, the home also comes with an equally lavish gourmet indoor-outdoor kitchen that opens to the back patio, which is decked out with a pool and spa. Other luxe highlights? A wine grotto, fitness center, billiards room, and an elevator.
This five-bedroom, nine-bath home is listed at $12.9 million. Take a look inside below, then go to TTR Sotheby’s for the full tour.
Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.
Updated Friday, August 29: Ari Gejdenson confirms his restaurant group, Mindful Restaurants, will open three places at Hecht Warehouse. In an e-mail, he says: "We're in the process of wrapping up the lease and I'm thrilled that Mindful Restaurants can be a part of the exciting revitalization of Ivy City and the Hecht warehouse. It's the most beautiful warehouse I've ever seen and, having grown up in NE, it means a lot to me that this historic building and it's surrounding neighborhood will once again be a thriving part of our city."
Unless you're low on gas, have a fast food craving, or want to spend the night in a cheap motel, there's not much to stop for along heavily industrial New York Avenue, Northeast. On Thursday, the city announced plans to attempt to rectify that. The five-year Ward 5 Works plan aims to adapt industrial land to encourage the growth of business, residential, and cultural areas.
It's good news for Douglas Jemal, president of Douglas Development, who made an early—and sizable—bet on Ivy City, the small neighborhood just off New York Avenue, with Hecht Warehouse District. Housed in the building formerly used as the distribution center for Hecht's department store, the project is slated to bring 350 apartments, plus retail and restaurants. By January's groundbreaking, Jemal had lined up two retail tenants for the space: Mom's Organic Market and Planet Fitness.
As it stands now, though, it's tough to imagine, say, a Banana Republic or a trendy restaurant setting up shop there. But Jemal insists that's exactly what's on the way. During a conversation with Washingtonian earlier this week, the developer shared this list of tenants that he expects to open in the Hecht project: Banana Republic, Gap, Nike, Petco, Busboys and Poets, and three restaurants from the restauranteur behind Ghibellina (on 14th Street, Northwest) and Acqua Al 2 (near Eastern Market). We've reached out to Busboys owner, Andy Shallal, and Ari Gejdenson, owner of Ghibellina and Acqua Al 2, for comment, and will update if we hear back.
Construction of the retail space is scheduled to begin early next year—we'll stay tuned.
Find Marisa Kashino on Twitter @marisakashino.
This Foggy Bottom condo—a penthouse on Pennsylvania Avenue—is loaded with custom luxuries. Private elevator? Check. Hand-cut herringbone floors? Yup. Huge terrace? Naturally. Plus the place features a sleek, modern stone fireplace, built-in shelving, limestone counters, and top-level appliances in the kitchen. The 2,300-square-foot apartment is listed at $3.2 million.
Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.
Stephen and Diana Goldberg sold a nine-bedroom, 11-bath Tudor on Garfield Street in Wesley Heights for $6.6 million. The 12,000-square-foot home boasts a three-story guesthouse, his-and-hers master bathrooms and walk-in closets, a theater, and a pool. The philanthropists are best known for two $25-million donations—in 2001 and in 2008—to Children’s National Medical Center, among the largest ever to an American pediatric hospital.
Dale Gray, a senior risk expert at the International Monetary Fund, and wife Cheryl, a director at the Inter-American Development Bank, bought a Victorian rowhouse in Georgetown for $3.1 million. The renovated four-bedroom, six-bath home has a wine cellar and gourmet kitchen.
Margaret Warner, a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, sold a five-bedroom, five-bath house on Loughboro Road in Spring Valley for $2.3 million. The Georgian has a master suite with dressing room and fireplace, plus enough parking in its circular driveway for ten cars.
Roderick and Alexia Von Lipsey bought a French Provincial-style mansion in Massachusetts Avenue Heights for $3.3 million. At almost 6,000 square feet, it has six bedrooms and six baths. Roderick Von Lipsey is a managing director at the financial-services firm UBS.
Real-estate developer Conrad Cafritz sold a Colonial on Garfield Street in Wesley Heights for $3.9 million. The four-bedroom, five-bath house features a 60-foot-long pool and was renovated by award-winning architect Mark McInturff. Cafritz is CEO of Cafritz Interests, which owns 100-plus properties valued at a total of more than $1.2 billion.
Paul Tagliabue and wife Chandler bought a three-bedroom, three-bath condo in Chevy Chase for $2.9 million. The 2,500-square-foot space includes built-in shelving, multiple balconies, and a master bath with a whirlpool tub. Paul Tagliabue was commissioner of the NFL from 1989 to 2006. A graduate of Georgetown University, he’s currently chair of the school’s board of directors.
Joan Rohlfing and husband Pallav Das bought a five-bedroom, four-bath Dutch Colonial in Arlington for $1.8 million. Built in 1925 and since expanded, it includes a sunroom and a spacious patio. Rohlfing is president and chief operating officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit focused on preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
Steve and Terry Largent sold a Colonial-style townhouse on Randolph Court in Arlington for $1.6 million. The three-bedroom, five-bath home has an elevator, theater room, and large master suite. Steve Largent played 14 seasons as a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks before serving as a congressman from Oklahoma from 1994 to 2002.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby International Realty.
This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Though we've certainly seen our share of renovated rowhouses, sometimes it's the small design choices that take a place from average to awesome. This one falls in the latter category. The renovation—which turned the 1908 Victorian into several separate condos—features a mix of classical architecture (such as the decorative moldings and arched corner turret) with modern touches (like the floating and spiral staircases and sleek kitchen, outfitted with white cabinetry with display detail and a luxe metallic tile backsplash). Three of the building's units are up for grabs; they range in size and are listed for between $689,000 and $799,000. Take a look below, then go to Redfin for more details.
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.
This McLean estate is one of those mega-pricey mansions that takes luxe living to its utmost levels—the place is loaded with only the fanciest of finishes, from the herringbone hardwood floors in the entryway and hand-painted and silver-leaf wallpapers in the dining room to the ornate decorative millwork and coffered ceilings. Also on the laundry list of extravagant amenities: a gourmet kitchen with two Carrera marble islands, stainless steel counters, two double sinks outfitted to dispense “reverse osmosis drinking water,” and a limestone tile range; a mahogany library—that’s in addition to the office and the study on other levels of the home—with wainscoting, built-in shelving, a carved mantel fireplace, grasscloth wallpaper, and a Vaughn chandelier; and an expansive master suite that includes a private patio, a bay-window sitting room with a mini fridge and morning bar, and a decadent master bath that features marble floors, a rock crystal chandelier, two marble vanities, and custom double walk-in closets. Elsewhere, there’s an in-law suite, rec room, gym/dance studio, and, of course, a room set aside just for wrapping gifts. Guess that’s just what you do when you have 12,000 square feet of living space.
The five-bedroom, seven-bath home is listed for $5.625 million. Take a peek below, then go to Washington Fine Properties for the complete tour.
Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.
Last summer, a beagle with a blue tattoo in his left ear dropped into my home as if from another planet. He was underweight, and when I lowered him onto a dog bed, it was clear he’d never, in his four years of life, encountered anything so squishy and soft. He clung to that bed as if it were a life raft.
Among the few things I knew about this creature: His vocal cords had been cut, and he had probably never seen stairs, so I didn’t bother blocking off the second level of my Capitol Hill rowhouse. When he dared to leave, he did so guardedly. Catching his reflection in the side of a car was enough to send him pulling me home, frantically. His anxiety drove him to several escape attempts, once maneuvering through my balcony railing onto a neighbor’s roof.
In a way, this dog did arrive from another world—one in which breeders send their puppies to laboratories to become testing animals, each identified by a tattooed tracking number. My beagle was rescued with six others from a Virginia lab by a nonprofit organization called the Beagle Freedom Project. On the day these hounds left the only life they’d known, it was clear that even the most basic canine experiences—walking on grass and touching humans—were alien.
Each of the DC7, as they became known, was named after a Founding Father. Six weeks after I began fostering Alexander Hamilton, his personality was still clouded by fear and I didn’t know how much he would change. After all, labs claim that these dogs—with their lack of exposure to the real world—don’t make suitable pets. Freeing them only draws public attention to the 70,000 dogs still in testing facilities (many of which are beagles, because they’re so docile). According to the Beagle Freedom Project, this is how labs justify killing them as standard practice, discarding Hamiltons as if they were test tubes.
I told Hammy that if I adopted him, every day would be an adventure. “You’ll have to be very brave,” I said. He looked at me with his quiet brown eyes. We struck a deal.
As summer turned to fall, Hammy relaxed enough to walk around the block. I remember the first time I saw his tail wag in his sleep, and I imagined his dreams about running free. His veterinarian told me that his vocal cords—which had been cut so lab techs wouldn’t be disturbed by howling—could grow back. Before long, he was barking at the mailman. My neighbor quipped, “He’s like Pinocchio! He’s turning into a real dog.”
Hammy wasn’t the only one who’d been transformed. Sitting with him for hours upon hours, trying to fill his early silences with comforting words, had changed me, too. I started to boycott products tested on animals, buying laundry detergent and mascara from “cruelty-free” companies such as Method and Lush. Uncharacteristically, I took on a cause, telling my beagle’s story to all who would listen and showing them the tattoo in his ear.
This past spring, Minnesota became the first state to require that dogs and cats in taxpayer-funded laboratories be made available for adoption after testing rather than put to death. Around the same time, Hammy went for a 50-mile ride in his bike trailer, camped, joined me on a standup paddleboard, and visited his 16th state.
This summer, the DC7 returned to Washington to celebrate a year of freedom. As the families and dogs walked around the Capitol grounds, tourists asked if a beagle convention was under way. I looked at all the wagging tails and marveled at the difference a year of love and patience can make.
These days, Hammy’s need for human touch is profound. When he’s sleeping, I watch little pffts of breath leak out of his cheeks. I run my hand over his soft face and floppy ears and wonder what they did to him on the other planet. He wakes, stretches, and looks at me with sleepy eyes. Then he paws me insistently, wanting affection. And I oblige.
The Dogs After Their Rescue in 2013
Washington writer Melanie D.G. Kaplan’s website is melaniedgkaplan.com. This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Though the District may harbor its fair share of converted schoolhouses, the renovated industrial buildings of urban loft fantasies prove to be much harder to come by. This building—Georgetown's Sheridan Lofts, a former 1920s garage that was converted into residential lofts in 2008—is one of the city's few.
This particular unit sits as the building's penthouse, and it offers plenty of loft design signatures, including an open layout and walls of windows, plus some special add-ons such as built-in shelving, a sleek fireplace, and a cool spiral staircase that leads to the upper-level loft and a private roof deck. Bonus: There's a main-level balcony, too, and the place comes with two parking spots to boot.
It's listed at $1.299 million. Check it out below, then go to Washington Fine Properties for the full tour.
This renovated townhouse on Constitution Avenue in Capitol Hill hits that perfect fusion of contemporary warmth, pairing expansive windows, crisp white, and airy open spaces with a measured dose of white oak for a hint of organic, Scandinavian-inspired design. A collaborative project between one of our favorite development firms, Ditto Residential, and architecture group Dep Designs, the rowhome stands out for its abundance of light and atypical layout. The pièce de résistance? An amazing rooftop skylight beaming through the center of a wooden spiral staircase.
“We wanted to do something different from just the typical rowhouse diagram of a single loaded corridor down the length of the house,” said Dep Design’s Chuong Cao in a press release. “All floors are visually connected, where light becomes the focus and the organizing element of the house; it’s the center of circulation, spatial programming, and social and celebratory activities.”
Beyond the stairwell, luxe design choices abound. A short list of the highlights: an open kitchen with white quartz counters and custom cabinetry, 11-foot ceilings, and accordion doors that open the family room to the terraced back patio. Smart-home technology includes a custom audio system that connects to the first floor, roof deck, and patio.
The four-bedroom, four-bath rowhouse is listed at $1.2999 million (as is a mirror-image twin, next door). Take a peek inside this stunning home below—then go to Washington Fine Properties for the complete details.
Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.