This contemporary gem was designed by well-known architect Gregg Mobius, who I hope introduces himself as a “Starchitect” when people ask him at parties what he does for a living. (I would.) The facade is classical and lowkey, but colored a sort of flat matte gray that reminds me of the Batmobile or that weird anti-radar skin on spy planes. It’s the sort of look you go for when you’re tired of the jaunty purples and daffodil yellows people are painting their houses, a look that says, “I’m too cool to stoop to conventional aesthetic standards.” (I have an ironic mustache, so of course I loved it.)
The interior is no less edgy. The main level is really two levels, with the living room and sitting room overlooking the level below, where the kitchen and family room are. The living room is all-white and looks vaguely like the inside of a spaceship in a Seventies sci-fi movie. There are even modular sliding wall panels, so if you’re one of those people who makes a point of telling everyone that you “don’t even own a television,” you can still watch “The Bachelor” in HD, but then when you hear your friends coming in downstairs, you can quickly slide the wall panel over the television and maintain your reputation. Just make sure to turn it off first. The sitting room features a beautiful gas fireplace, and overlooks the family room below, so if you invest in high-quality binoculars and you’re sneaky enough, you could probably see who exactly it is your significant other is always texting when they think you’re not around. (Shyamalan ending: they’re actually googling “why doesn’t my significant other trust me?”)
Downstairs, the family room has an entire wall of windows that look out onto the back patio. Next to it is the kitchen, which features a fantastic oval-shaped stainless steel island. If you’re like me, and you occasionally enjoy one or two or eight drinks, you’ve probably banged your hipbone on your right-angled marble island many times, so this is a welcome innovation. The cabinets have frosted translucent fronts, so guests will be able to tell you have dishes, but they won’t be able to tell they’re plastic Spongebob plates you got from the clearance bin at Target. There’s also a huge gas fireplace here. I’m not saying you should try to cook next year’s Thanksgiving turkey on a spit over an absolutely massive roaring gas flame, but I’m not saying you shouldn’t.
Upstairs, the master bedroom is bright and spacious, with subdued lighting and tons of concealed built-ins that within a month of me moving in would be crammed full of drool-stained pillowcases, dirty socks, and nudie magazines. The master bath is unusual; there’s another gas fireplace, which is cool, because who likes showering in a chilly bathroom? The shower is NOT glass-walled, which you don’t see very much these days; it has a regular rock wall, so it’s like a shower room cabana-type thing you’d use at a really high-end gym. I’m in favor of this. I’m no prude, but when I’m using a glass-walled shower and someone walks in, even my significant other, I quickly make myself a fig leaf out of lather. Some walls shouldn’t be see-through.
Outside, the patio is walled for privacy and gorgeously designed. There’s a stone waterfall that would be wonderful to sit beside on a summer afternoon; the sound of trickling water is so meditative it might even take your mind off of why why why did you put that ten thousand dollars into bitcoin instead of just paying down your credit card?! You don’t even know what a bitcoin is, you just read an article on the internet. (Shyamalan ending: it’s literally not even a coin.) And finally, there’s an enclosed garage with two parking spaces – a line that, once Uber’s self-driving AI car fleet comes online in a few years, will quickly become about as common in real estate listings as “generously proportioned coal bin!” or “butter churn storage closet.”
2016 Hillyer Place NW
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy McEnearney Associates, 202-903-2200