You know how sometimes you’ll meet a person who seems totally boring and looks like everyone else, but once you get to know them, you realize they’re actually very unique and interesting? Oh wait, that never happens. People who look boring turn out to be boring 100% of the time. Houses, on the other hand, will surprise you once in a while. This Capitol Hill rowhome, for example, looks like your standard-issue DC rowhouse, but inside it’s actually pretty slick. (Although maybe I’m not giving enough credit to the all-black facade. This might be the District’s first goth house.)
Inside, the house features clean lines and open spaces; from the front door you can see all the way to the back patio. Don’t get on my bad side or I’ll buy a thrift store bowling ball, come to your Super Bowl party, and roll it from your front door, down the length of your apartment, and out your glass patio doors. Now that the open floor plan has taken over the present moment, I can’t think of any reason why houses had rooms in the first place. Was it a heating thing? Were rooms just a holdover from when every family had nine kids and phones were physically attached to the wall of your house, making privacy more valuable than aesthetics? Or maybe it’s just a cyclical thing – I live in an old apartment that used to be a big open loft space, but back around the Seventies they put in a bunch of sloppy walls (and dropped ceilings) for no apparent reason.
The living room area is lit by oversized windows, and flows into the large dining room area; next to that is the gourmet kitchen, which is done up in an all-white minimalist theme, like a combination travel toothbrush case and soap dish you’d buy at IKEA. There are stainless steel appliances, tons of cabinet space, a long island-slash-breakfast bar, and a sunny sitting room area that’s basically a sunroom, considering the entire rear of the house is made up of windows and glass doors. I know we’re supposed to avoid the sun now, lest it turn us into a haggard, prematurely-aged leatherface, but I still love a sunroom, even if every time I take a nap in one, I wake up twenty minutes later from a desert nightmare, dripping with sweat.
Upstairs, the master bedroom features an absolutely massive picture window, so if you plan to ever sleep past 10AM, don’t forget to bring a staple gun and some black trash bags. The master bath has a glass-walled shower and twin side-by-side basins, because LORD KNOWS you and your beloved don’t ever want to be apart, even when you’re flossing. (You two make me sick.)
Out behind the house is one of the finest outdoor spaces I’ve ever seen; an all-wood modular patio with raised beds, a rock garden, and privacy walls. And finally, the house’s lower level is an absurdly nice basement apartment; I almost feel like it betrays DC’s historic tradition of terrible English basements. As a token of respect, maybe we should brick up some of these windows, get some black mold in here, and cover the walls with fake wood paneling. Sue me, I think we should respect tradition.
112 4th Street NE
4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths
Photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy RE/MAX Allegiance, 202-547-5600