U Street has become increasingly dominated by huge, luxury high-rises that I can’t afford, so it’s a breath of fresh air to come across an intimate little home like this. I mean, I can’t afford this place either, but at least it’s cute. It looks like a house you’d see in the bottom of an aquarium, and you know if it was like thirty years ago, that fence out front would be a picket fence. It even has a porch! You could sit out there and talk to your neighbors as they walked by. (“Thanks for inviting us to the block party, ma’am, but we’re just the HVAC guys from the high-rise next door.”)
Inside, the main level gets amazing natural light. It’s a fully detached home, and the previous owners took full advantage of this by converting an entire wall of the living room into a massive window. I’d be tempted to do the same to the opposite wall, and really turn this place into a chamber of sunlight, but if you took out another load-bearing wall, the entire house would probably collapse, which might hurt the resale value. Further on, the kitchen features a marble waterfall island, high-end stainless steel appliances, and pristine white cabinetry. (Between the living room’s window-wall and the kitchen’s white cabinets, you’re going to have to open a line of credit just to afford enough cleaning wipes.) There are also a pair of sliding glass doors that directly access the outside, so if your significant other is ever like, “try this guacamole I made, I put peas in it,” you can immediately walk out and not come home for like three days. (Trust me, no one will blame you.)
Off the kitchen is the sprawling dining room, which opens via more sliding glass doors onto the back patio. The patio’s paved with stone and surrounded by a high privacy fence, and there’s a tiny toolshed back here that might pass for an accessory dwelling, depending on how gullible your prospective tenant is. Upstairs, the second level has deeply burnished hardwood floors, and the master bedroom has a private balcony from which you can see down into at least a dozen nearby backyards, which I bet just thrills you, you pervert. The master bath features twin basins, a marble countertop, and a really cool mirror framed by seasoned wood, which I would probably not carve my initials into until the second or even third week I lived there. There’s also a glass-walled shower with a rainfall showerhead, which is hands down my favorite meteorologically-themed bathroom accessory. (Least favorite: the lightning toilet.)
Up on the top level is a lavish recreation room with a wet bar, so once you take that weekend class in mixology you’re always talking about, you can make elaborate cocktails for your friends that they’ll discreetly pour into a potted plant the second you leave the room. And finally, outside on the roof deck is – hold onto your hats – a HOT TUB. I might make the occasional hot tub-related wisecrack, probably involving Cinemax movies I watched late at night as a teenager, but I’m the first to admit that if I had my own hot tub, I’d be in there every single night. Have you ever sat in a steaming hot tub on a snowy winter night? It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a religious experience, or to starring in my own personal Cinemax movie, which is pretty much the same thing.
1909 12th Street NW
3 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Compass, 202-386-6330