If you would’ve made me take a guess, I would have guessed that no, there are not any midcentury modern homes in the District. I guess I would’ve been wrong. Oh, and [obligatory “Mad Men” reference that must be made, under penalty of law, any time midcentury modern design comes up in conversation]. Midcentury modern is one of those things that I never would’ve thought would become popular, mostly because a lot of its appeal comes from being, well, kind of ugly. It’s like the high-waisted jeans of architectural styles. It’s the Adrien Brody of architectural styles. (Okay, that was mean, I’m sorry.) This house is super striking, though.
From the front it looks kind of like a fancy birdhouse, or that stack of art books on your coffee table that you will never ever look through even if you live ten thousand years. Inside, it’s insanely bright, with tons of natural light streaming in through huge windows. The living room features a vaulted, louvered ceiling, a sleek fireplace, and an entire wall of separate, rectangular windows. If one of your exes crept into your yard one night to throw a brick through your window (for doing that thing to them that one time, you know, the thing you’re thinking about right now), it would take them a good ten minutes just to decide which window to throw the brick through. There’s also a huge wall of built-in bookshelves, and access to the outdoor patio via a pair of glass doors. This level is very open, and there’s a large dining room area that’s large enough to accommodate that oversized oak family heirloom table that your parents are always bugging you to take, despite the fact that you haven’t regularly sat down to eat formal meals since Jerry Springer was relevant. (Raise your hand if you think he should run for president.)
The kitchen is very streamlined, all lightcolored wood and stainless steel, like the cockpit of a spaceship in a Wes Anderson movie. There are tons of windows in here too, so at least once a week, you’re going to be drinking milk straight out of the carton late at night and suddenly think, “someone could be watching me right now.” The master bedroom upstairs is really cool, with side by side built-in dressers and closets and, yes, a whole lot of windows. The master bath sports twin basins and a shower with those frosted glass block windows, so anyone in the bathroom won’t be able to see you in there lathering up, unless you press yourself right up against the glass, in which case everyone involved is going to be very uncomfortable. Oh, and there’s a door in the master bath that opens right out onto the backyard. I got very excited about this, although I’m not sure why. I guess it’s just a novelty, having outdoor access straight out of your shower. Although keep in mind that you better keep it locked, or a confused UPS guy might accidentally walk in and see you flossing in your faux-silk dollar sign-print boxers while doing your daily affirmations in the mirror.
Outside, there are two sizable patios on each side of the house, so you can keep your friends and your significant other’s friends separated. (If they mix, it’s guaranteed at least a few of them will pair off and then you’ll be obligated to their wedding and do the Chicken Dance with their great-uncle Burt while saying to your significant other, through gritted teeth, “I TOLD you we should’ve kept them separated!”) The tiered, private yard is extensively landscaped, to the point that you’ll probably feel obligated to take your shoes off before walking across the lawn. There’s also a really cool trapezoid-shaped swimming pool, so get ready to spend the first week or two of June googling, “can I swim in a pool that hasn’t been cleaned” and “will I die if I swim in green water.”
3204 Rowland Place NW
4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Washington Fine Properties, 202-944-5000