I never understood the appeal of cul de sacs until my parents retired. Now that they spend all day at home, they take an intense interest in every car that drives by. I’ve seen my mom fling down her fork in mid-bite and run from the dinner table just to glare at a passing motorcyclist through the Venetian blinds. Then she goes and posts in the neighborhood Facebook group about “noise pollution.” (Every post in the group is either about “loud cars” or is an old lady asking “was that a gunshot or fireworks?”) I dunno, I guess quiet becomes much more important as you get older. If this is you (and if it ain’t, it will be), this secluded contemporary home, secreted away in a cul de sac right on Rock Creek Park, is the house for you.
But hey, even if it was literally ten feet from the shoulder of the Beltway, it would still be worth a long look. One of the dirty little secrets of luxury real estate is that a huge percentage of the houses look exactly the same, but this house is one-of-a-kind. The grounds are landscaped enough that you’ll get a bit of privacy, and that light brick, blocky asymmetrical facade is just unique enough to be hip. Inside, you enter into the wide foyer, where your view is dominated by a spiral staircase that resembles either a DNA double helix or an MC Escher print, depending on how high you are. The main level is largely open, with an airy living room that flows into a huge dining room, all of which gets so much pitiless natural light that you might as well not even bother wearing makeup, because you aren’t going to be fooling anybody. The gourmet kitchen sports black marble countertops, and high-end stainless steel appliances that are worth more than the last three cars I’ve owned put together. There’s also a cute little breakfast nook that opens, via sliding glass doors, onto the patio.
Elsewhere in the house is a fantastic library-slash-study with tons of built-ins for your books and your multi-volume boxed set of “The X-Files” on VHS. (I’ve dragged that monstrosity through at least three moves with the vague idea that if I ever need money, I can sell it on Ebay. Yes, it’s basically my retirement fund.) The master bedroom is huge, with a sloped ceiling and access to a private deck. There’s also a fireplace, so each night you can toss your socks into the fire like the villain in a “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. The master bathroom is partitioned off from the bedroom by a swinging translucent door, so you’ll be able to see the silhouette of your significant other in there sensually lathering up in the shower, but you won’t quite be able to make out the fact that they’re mouthing the words “Tom from Marketing” over and over. The master bath features twin basins, a glass-walled shower, and a nice deep soaking tub that might be solid enough to jump into if your cousin who works for the government ever calls you in the middle of the night and says, “Russia launched their nukes 15 minutes ago, good luck!!” (Hey, it worked in that crappy “Indiana Jones” movie.) There’s also a large walk-in closet, so all the clothes that you usually throw out because they’ve gone out of style, you can now keep in storage until they come back around.
The lower level (accessible via elevator!) has a huge rec room that would make a great “man cave” or “girl grotto,” if that’s your thing (yes, I just coined the phrase “girl grotto”), and a cozy little au pair suite for the young Eastern European woman your children will love infinitely more than you. And finally, out back is an intensively landscaped brick patio that’s perfect for sunbathing, dining al fresco, or, if you want to go full-blown AMERICA, keeping a car up on blocks back there until rats have eaten all the rubber hoses and wire covers and the rest of it literally rusts into dust.
4214 Lenore Lane NW
5 Bedrooms, 5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Coldwell Banker, 202-333-6100