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This Aspen-inspired estate may not have its own lifts—but it does have an indoor spa. By Michelle Thomas

Between the beamed, vaulted ceilings, the rugged stonework, and the rustic wood detailing, you'd really have to dig the luxe ski lodge look to fall for this Potomac estate. "Aspen-style" aesthetic aside, the place is enormous: More than 11,200 square feet of living space includes six bedrooms, 11 baths, multiple living rooms, an office, a bar, an elevator, a fitness center, theater, and an indoor spa. There's also four acres of manicured grounds outfitted with a swimming pool, a huge patio grilling area, and a pond. The home brings vacation living to a whole new level—the only thing missing is the ski lifts.

It's listed at $6.4 million. Take a glimpse below, then go to Taylor Properties for more.

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Posted at 03:43 PM/ET, 09/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This ten-bedroom mansion was the site of the design-focused fundraiser in 2010. By Michelle Thomas

This brick Georgian mansion in Chevy Chase, built in 1895, boasts a storied history—it hosted an inaugural party for Harry S. Truman and was home to two ambassadors—but more recent accolades include a 2010 turn as the DC Design House, a fundraiser featuring interioer reworks from dozens of professional designers. The 2010 showhome spotlighted the work of such pros as Nestor Santa-Cruz, Kelley Proxmire, and Victoria Sanchez

Though most of the designer-selected furnishings and decor are long gone from the 11,800-square-foot home, there are still plenty of gorgeous architectural and design elements to marvel at—including many of the dramatic Farrow & Ball-supplied wallpapers and paints (don't miss the ceilings, some of which are done in high-gloss paints and silver leaf), a gorgeous sun-filled solarium, a luxe dressing room, coffered ceilings and gilded trims, and stunning decorative moldings in the foyer and fanciful ballroom-turned-conservatory-turned-living-room.

The ten-bedroom, ten-bath mansion is listed at $5.2 million. Look inside below, then go to Long & Foster for the complete details and tour.

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Posted at 03:23 PM/ET, 09/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
So large that even the guest house counts 3,500 square feet of living space. By Michelle Thomas

How you know your home is on a different level of luxe: Its nickname involves the word "castle." This home, dubbed Castle Aziza, is indeed a pretty grand place, with more than 15,000 square feet, 9 bedrooms, and 14 baths. This villa-style mansion in Great Falls's Putnam Farm Estates includes such majorly fancy features as 12-foot carved-wood-and-glass doors, five fireplaces, a looming butterfly staircase in the double-height foyer, and extravagant decorative details such as opulent crown moldings and gold-leafed ceilings. Take a gander at the mirrored dressing room, which is so insanely enormous it takes up its own level. When you have visitors, send 'em to the attached three-bedroom guest quarters, which alone measure more than 3,500 square feet. There's an elevator to reach each of the home's four levels— and, of course, a crystal chandelier in the fitness room. What else would you expect from a castle?

The home is listed at $5.5 million. Take a look inside below, then go to Keller Williams for the details and full tour.

Fore more gorgeous home tours, follow Open House on Twitter at @openhouse.

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Posted at 11:30 AM/ET, 09/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Contemporary digs in a historic setting. By Michelle Thomas

Located just a few steps from the West End's Washington Circle, this townhouse in the historic Schneider Triangle is one of 21 homes built around the turn of the century. But that doesn't mean the place stays completely true to its historic roots—in 2005, the four-story interior was given a dramatic renovation by one of the area's premier architects, Mark McInturff. The overhaul created a three-story atrium in the center, an open floor plan on the main level, a gourmet kitchen, and a double second-floor living room. The result: a stunningly modern design, carved out of classic DC bones.

The three-bedroom is listed at $1.875 million. Take a peek below, then go to TTR Sotheby's for the full scoop.

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Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 09/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This massive manor is nestled on more than two acres and surrounded by park land. By Michelle Thomas

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.

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 09/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This two-bedroom condo works out to a whopping $1,359 per square foot. By Michelle Thomas

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.

Take a look below, then go to Beasley Real Estate for more details and here for the full tour.

Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.

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Posted at 12:34 PM/ET, 08/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
DC houses fetch close to $4 million and $7 million. Plus—a former NFL commissioner and player strike deals in the burbs.
This six-bedroom mansion in Massachusetts Avenue Heights sold to a UBS managing director. Photographs by David Pipkin.

This Victorian rowhouse with a wine cellar in Georgetown sold for $3 million-plus.


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.

In Maryland

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.

Built in 1925 and since expanded, this Dutch Colonial in Arlington went for $1.8 million.

In Virginia

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.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 08/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The place includes nine rentable lofts in addition to the über-custom, two-story owner’s penthouse. By Michelle Thomas

Offering an income-generating rental alongside an owner’s home isn’t exactly novel for the Washington real estate market. But this place? It has nine. English basements, these are not.

After Pierce School fell into disuse and later, disrepair, the building was purchased from the city—for a bargain price of just $275,000 in 2000—and has since been transformed into a set of large loft rentals, with a massive owner’s unit taking the crown penthouse position. Said owner’s unit holds court as one of Northeast DC’s most unusual properties, taking up more than 9,000 square feet and reincarnating classrooms as living areas, a huge gourmet kitchen, and a giant office, plus four guest bedrooms and a 14-person theater complete with seats from an old airplane. The building’s former life peeks out via chalkboards and lockers incorporated into the design, and hints of the original architecture take the spotlight in the soaring ceilings, oversize windows, exposed brick, and hardwood floors. A sprawling 800-square-foot private deck and glass-walled sun room offer panoramic views on the rooftop. And beyond the nine rental apartments, the rest of the building offers up a community fitness center and a secluded, sanctuary-like 38,000-gallon pool. 

The entire building went on the market in the fall of 2013, and has since dropped $750,000 to sit at its current price of $6.5 million. Check out photos of the industrial-luxe penthouse below, then head to TTR Sotheby's for the complete details.


Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.


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Posted at 02:32 PM/ET, 08/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This Dumbarton Street home spotlights tons of original ornamentation. By Michelle Thomas
Photographs by Fusion Photography for HomeVisit.

This Dumbarton Street home, just off Wisconsin Avenue in the heart of Georgetown, was originally built in 1875—and it still retains many of the era’s most beautiful historic architectural flourishes, from the soaring ceilings and double doors to the gorgeous moldings. Our favorite room: A large double-size parlor, decked out with a charming bay window, built-in display shelving, two fireplaces, and a pair of crystal chandeliers. Upstairs, the master suite opens to a lovely upper-level screened porch, and in back, there’s a secluded, lush terrace garden space. 

The five-bedroom, six-bath home is listed at $3.295 million. Take a look below, then go to Washington Fine Properties for a full tour.

Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.

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Posted at 01:45 PM/ET, 08/08/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Check out this four-bedroom, five-bath at the Ritz-Carlton Residences. By Michelle Thomas
Photographs by Fusion Photography via HomeVisit.

This isn’t the first time a penthouse at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown has listed at this price level—in April, this one went on the market for $7.995 million, gold-leafed powder room and all—but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive. Four bedrooms and five baths are contained within the condo’s 5,664 square feet of living space. A large foyer leads into a gallery and open layout living area, a kitchen with its own breakfast area, a library, and a huge master suite with custom closets, a sitting room, and a private balcony. Some of the highlights? The gorgeous herringbone Brazilian wood floors, decorative moldings, rich mahogany detailing in the library, and a sleek kitchen to add to the service entrance and garage parking.

It’s listed at $7.95 million. Take a look below, then go to Washington Fine Properties for the complete tour.

Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 08/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()