On one hand, I love this sort of house as an antidote to a lot of the antiseptic, ahistoric modern architecture you see these days, but on the other hand it’s kind of like a person who shows up to your dinner party in a historically accurate Bavarian peasant outfit, complete with feathered hat, green velvet culottes and lederhosen. Yes, it’s a look, but is it a good look?
Yeah, I guess it’s an okay look. If that hilarious Nicholas Cage movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” was a house, it would be this palatial Tuscan. It’s so Italian that as we strolled through the place, I couldn’t help saying everything in an Italian accent, until my girlfriend pulled me aside in the pantry and hissed, “You sound like Mario from the Nintendo games!” (I couldn’t even argue; that doesn’t mean I stopped using the accent, though.) It’s new construction, so it’s got that “new car smell,” so to speak; the floors are gleaming with floor wax, not decades of accumulated foot sweat. The pristine facade is brick and “cementitious” stucco, which I’m 99% sure is not a word but whatever, technically neither are “Dasani” or “iPhone.” You enter into a massive foyer and on through the “mud room,” which is like a really nice kitchen minus the appliances, with tons of cabinets and counter space and a large utility sink. I know it’s traditional to have a sink in the mud room, but no one’s tromping in anymore with a bundle of freshly-dug turnips that need washing. Maybe it’s time to replace the sink with, like, a cellphone charging station?
The dining room has a cedar-beamed ceiling and an awesome rectangular metal chandelier that could double as a grill if you draped it with raw meat and built a fire underneath. The kitchen is where you reach MAXIMUM TUSCAN, with dark wood cabinets, tiled floors, and low-hanging wrought iron chandeliers that li’l Kevin should swing to decapitate a home invader in the inevitable R-rated “Home Alone” remake. (With an extra-roided Zac Efron in the Macaulay Culkin role.) There’s a large wooden pantry that could hold several months worth of food (*quickly adds this address to my list of houses to raid after the zombie apocalypse hits*), and a wine room that looks eerily like a prison cell out of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” which I think is a good thing. I would trust any bottle of wine that came out of a room that looked like this, even if there was clearly a cartoon elf on the label.
The breakfast room opens, via two sets of French doors, onto a beautiful paved terrace overlooking the property. When your child is a teenager and you go out of town for a business trip and they have a house party, there is at least a 60% chance one of their friends will break both ankles drunkenly jumping from this terrace into the fountain below. Upstairs, the master bedroom is very large, and has its own private balcony. The master walk-in closet is truly a hoarder’s dream come true; I don’t see how you could ever fill it up unless you’re just going to Goodwill every weekend and buying random trash bags full of unsorted clothes. The master bath has a freestanding soaking tub conveniently located right in front of two large windows, so every time you get in or out of the bath, you can give the neighbors something to talk about. (“How many times can he do that before we can report him to the police for public lewdness?” “Give me a minute, I’m still dry heaving.”) Elsewhere in the house is a media room, an art room, and an exercise room, which are just arbitrary terms that listing agents use when there are just too many darn rooms in a house. (“And here we have the lowfat dairy room, then the full fat dairy room, and right next to that is the horse-shaped pillow room … “)
Outside is the aforementioned fountain, which is like 75% of a pool, but is not actually a pool. Not sure what the thinking here was, though admittedly almost no one uses their pool enough to justify the space it takes up, and fountains do have a sort of charm. At the very least, you can tell your kids and their friends that if they throw a coin in and make a wish, their wish will come true, and then after they go to bed you can use a kitty litter scoop to get all the change out and use it to buy beer. (I may have kids just so I can trick them out of beer money.)
1938 Foxview Circle NW
4 Bedrooms, 5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212