This house was custom built, so like a custom suit, you know it’s perfect in every detail. Also like a custom suit, it will be the envy of all your friends until, almost overnight, it will go from “really cool” to “who are you supposed to be, Austin Powers?” (The cool cycle for houses is way longer than fashion, though, so you have a good 15 or 20 years before you’ll have to renovate or endure passive-aggressive comments about how the kitchen “sure is … something … I guess?”)
But for now, it’s the epitome of style, from the arched stone facade to the long elegant windows. Built in 2012, it anticipated the present-day craze for the open floor plan, though to be honest, I don’t think the “cramped, excessively partitioned” floor plan was ever really in. The house gets more natural light than almost any place I’ve ever been in, since the exterior wall is basically one continuous floor-to-ceiling window. You know how on the Golden Gate bridge, the painters start at one end, and by the time they finish, it’s time to go right back to the beginning and start over? That’s how it’s going to be for your window washer. They’re going to be Sisyphus with a squeegee. The living room area features a beautiful gas fireplace, which is way more convenient than a traditional wood fireplace – try finding firewood in the middle of the District on a December weeknight – but does come with the slight penalty of jolting awake in the middle of the night every now and then and whispering fiercely, “is that gas? do you smell gas?” There’s also a huge dining room area, and a family room with a nice view of the yard, which is probably more enjoyable to watch than half the stuff on prime time network television.
The kitchen is huge, with an oversized marble island with an embedded stainless steel gas cooktop so you can pretend you’re on your very own cooking show, except every episode ends with your family ordering pizza and then two days later one of them is diagnosed with botulism. There are also two wall ovens, which will be great for shoe and magazine storage, since no one bakes anymore. (Personally, I don’t bake because my oven is filled with shoes and magazines.) Heading upstairs, the top of the stairs are barricaded by a waist-high pane of perfectly clear glass that, no matter matter how often you Windex it, will always be covered with more greasy fingerprints than 9 year old’s smartphone. The master bedroom is very simple and open, with a long console window, space for a sitting area, and more than enough room for that huge heart-shaped vibrating bed you bought at the motel bankruptcy auction. The master bath is truly incredible, with one of the largest soaking tubs I’ve seen in recent months. There’s also a glass-walled shower so huge that you could do that arm-twirling “Sound of Music” thing under the shower spray, though man oh man it would be embarrassing to be caught by your significant other doing that. What would you even say? “Uh, there was a spider on my arm, I swear there was.” Downstairs, the basement is fully finished, with a wet bar and a sitting room area; every time there’s a “big game” on, your friends are going to be showing up unannounced. Don’t even bother locking the doors, they’ll just kick them down.
Out behind the house is a long, fenced-in yard that’s perfect for croquet, lawn bowling, and other activities that will accelerate the inevitable uprising of the proletariat. Oh, and there’s a small futuristic prison for any unruly cyborgs you might – no, wait, it’s just an ultramodern guesthouse. Cubeshaped, minimalist, and with asymmetrical windows, it’s actually a perfect little home for one person; I’d be starting arguments with my significant other constantly, just to have an excuse to come out here for a “cooldown week.”
5000 16th Street NW
6 Bedrooms, 5.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Keller Williams, 202-243-7700