“There are also tons of built-ins, so if you see your significant other walking across the courtyard to visit you, you can quickly pick up all the piles of clothes and heaps of garbage on the floor and stuff it into various cubbyholes. Actually, better yet, let it all stay on the floor, so there’s no chance they’ll try and get you to move into the main house with them.”

dc9834554_2_0Remember how scandalized everyone was when it came out that Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter lived in separate houses?  It turns out that this is actually a very common arrangement in Europe, where couples often maintain separate residences even after they have kids.  It’s a long and proud tradition that respects each person’s autonomy.  If this sounds like a well-practiced spiel, that’s probably because I’ve rattled it off to every girlfriend I’ve ever had, when we hit the “time to move in together” stage of the relationship;  I snore, stay up until dawn, and my stuff is organized using the Piles System, i.e., everything’s laying around my apartment in random knee-high piles.  Moving in with my significant other, the few times I’ve tried it, has led to a breakup within a year.

So what’s the alternative?  Paying for separate apartments is really the only other way, and that’s a huge waste of money on par with “rustproofing the undercarriage.”  So you can understand why I was so excited when I found this place.  It’s two separate residences, a historic Georgetown home connected, via private cobblestone walkway, to a fully-finished carriage house.  By the time you read this, I may have already closed on it, providing that one of these Powerball tickets hits the jackpot.  (This two-houses-in-one is priced at just under $2.5 million.)

The main home is a freestanding square-shaped house, so it’s a refreshing change from the oblong bowling-alley-style rowhomes that are so common in the area.  You enter into a large, well-lit living room that features a white marble fireplace with an awesomely narrow mantle; mantles give me great anxiety because then you have to come up with either cheesy family photos or “quirky” knickknacks to put up there, and no matter what you choose, party guests are going to look at them and be like, “hmmm ……… interesting.”  Better not to have a mantle at all.  The kitchen features top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances that look so sturdy, I doubt they’d even be scratched if a meteor struck your home.  There’s a marble island and a whole lot of counter space too, so when you get home from grocery shopping you can be like, “why bother putting stuff away, there’s plenty of room to just throw everything on the counter,” and then go and play Xbox.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is very bright, and features another white marble fireplace with a micro-mantel.  Off the bedroom is a very large private porch that’s perfect for taking telephoto lens pics of your neighbors for future blackmail.  (“Uninstall your stupid car alarm that goes off eight times a night, or the neighborhood listserv gets photos of you and your wife playing ‘Grave Robber.'”)

On the lower level is a family room (with a gas fireplace) that looks out onto the patio separating the main house and the carriage house.  Down a cobblestone path and you’re at the other house, which is perfectly sized for one person.  It has two levels; a sitting room/living room/kitchen downstairs, and the bedroom area upstairs.  And that’s about it.  But what it gives up in square footage, it makes up for in style, with oversized floor-to-ceiling windows, a spiral staircase, and a skylight.  There are also tons of built-ins, so if you see your significant other walking across the courtyard to visit you, you can quickly pick up all the piles of clothes and heaps of garbage on the floor and stuff it into various cubbyholes.  Actually, better yet, let it all stay on the floor, so there’s no chance they’ll try and get you to move into the main house with them.

1309 35th Street NW
4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths$2,495,000

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