This amazing modernist home was designed by Winthrop Faulkner, a name that’ll raise eyebrows at a cocktail party even among people who have no idea who he is. That name just sounds distinguished. It’s the name of a man who wears linen suits and will tell you to your face that you’re not good enough to date his daughter. This house he’s designed (originally for a labor organizer) is a passive solar home, which means that it gets electricity from the sun and that when you ask where it wants to eat, it’ll say “I don’t care,” but then complain about wherever you pick.
Inside, the home is airy and wide open, with massive exposed spruce beams and Brazilian mahogany floors. (When your friends leave after a visit, they’ll turn to each other in the car and say, “Why can’t he just say the floors are ‘wood’? Why does everything have to be made of a specific kind of wood?”) (They’re just jealous.) The living room is flooded with natural light, and opens onto the patio via three sets of glass doors. There’s also an adorable little knee-high fireplace that’s just perfect. Full-sized fireplaces, with their oversized mantles, always strike me as too large; they’re throwbacks to a time when men in top hats gathered round the fire to drink brandy and talk about their silver mines. This little fireplace is the proper size for 2018; it’s the tiny house of fireplaces. I support that.
The u-shaped kitchen is large by any standard, with a huge marble-topped island, marble counters, and more cabinetry than you could possibly ever fill, unless you’re one of those depraved psychopaths who buys like two Garfield mugs off Ebay every single week. And when I say “depraved psychopath,” I mean “my mother.” She’s had entirely too much time on her hands since retirement.
Up what’s probably the finest staircase I’ve ever seen – it could be in a museum as an art object – is the lofted overlook area. It’s super bright up here, thanks to the series of skylights above. (This house has 18 skylights in all, so make sure you bring your squeegee with the comically long telescoping handle.) There’s a cozy sitting room area up here, as well as the master bedroom suite. The master bedroom has vaulted ceilings, more exposed beams, and so much natural light that you’re going to have to put on sunscreen when you go to bed. The master bath features a deep soaking tub, a glass-walled shower, and a ton of marble. I don’t just mean there’s a lot of marble in here, I would actually bet there’s 2000 pounds of marble in this bathroom. Through the bath is the walk-in closet, which is easily large enough to hold all your clothes, plus several boxes of Garfield mugs if you run out of room in the kitchen. All the way down on the lower level is a sprawling rec room with another fireplace (this one full-sized) and a bedroom facing the street, and right at street level. Put your visiting in-laws in there and they’ll be so sleep-deprived after two or three nights that they’ll forget to pester you about having kids. Finally, there are two outdoor areas; one is a wooden deck right off the living room, and the other is a gorgeous fenced-in back flagstone patio surrounded by tall stands of bamboo. If there’s even the slightest chance you might own a panda bear in the future, the back patio alone makes this house a must-have.
3703 Porter Street NW
5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212