- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2000

If the restaurants within a block of your house include such diverse places as the casually elegant Paolo's and charmingly old-fashioned Martin's Tavern, you are living in one of the world's most sought-after neighborhoods Georgetown.

Like New York's Greenwich Village, Georgetown offers an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants that appeal to college students, tourists, suburbanites in for a day of city fun and Washington's Old Guard types who have lived in the community for decades.

Visitors to Georgetown often wonder what it must be like to live in one of the many brick row houses that line the side streets.

Many of the houses look tiny from the street but offer hidden delights of sunlit spaces and private gardens.

One such Georgetown gem, located at 3126 N St. NW, recently was placed on the market for $799,000.

This unobtrusive century-old brick house has decorative front shutters and a carriage lamp along with a location a few steps from Wisconsin Avenue.

The house, renovated last year, sports a light-filled and elegant floor plan. The renovation made use of the original heart-of-pine flooring and wood doors.

For all practical purposes, this is virtually a new house, with new plumbing and electrical systems, repaired or replaced sewer and storm-drainage systems, new gas piping and new central air-conditioning and heating systems. A security system, intercom system and built-in speaker system for the whole house also have been installed.

The main-level entrance foyer has the original heart-of-pine flooring, a two-story ceiling, crown moldings and recessed lighting. Recessed lighting has been added throughout the house to maximize the amount of light without detracting from the house's style.

At the top of the heart-of-pine staircase that leads to the main level is a large skylight, which lets more light into the house.

To the left of the foyer is a bedroom suite that can be used for an au pair, guests or permanent residents. The bedroom includes two large windows with custom-designed blinds, Berber carpeting, a gas fireplace with a brick surround and a classic wood mantel, and a walk-in closet with lighting. An elegant full bath shines with white ceramic tile and white marble trim.

Nearby is a wine cellar tucked under the stairs. Its wood door is outfitted with a glass window that offers a glimpse of the house's original brick walls. The wine cellar also can be used as a storage space. A laundry room nearby includes overhead lighting and an extra freezer. A large unfinished basement room, which includes a utility sink, is available for storage.

The home is sited so that the front of this level is above ground while the rear is below ground level.

Above the basement storage room is a charming private terrace that has a curving brick patio, a lawn area and garden beds. The garden is fully enclosed by a green-painted wooden fence that has a trellis in one corner. The terrace includes lighting, so it can be the setting for intimate dinner parties all summer.

Access to the terrace is through a full wall of floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows in the dazzling kitchen. This room has a perfect blend of the warmth of the original heart-of-pine flooring and the drama of gleaming granite counter tops, an oversized granite-topped center-island work space and a breakfast bar. The kitchen features high ceilings; recessed lighting; crown moldings; and upgraded appliances, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a black porcelain sink with instant hot water, and stained wood cabinets with beveled panels and brass hardware.

One corner of the kitchen is large enough to accommodate a couch where friends can relax while the residents cook. Nearby is a powder room with a pocket door, heart-of-pine flooring, a granite vanity and decorative lighting, including a light inside the rim of the sink. Pocket doors are used throughout the house to maximize the space and create an open look yet allow for privacy when desired.

The rest of the main level is divided between an elegant formal dining room and a spacious living room.

Arched entrances connect these two rooms and are echoed by double entryways between the dining room and kitchen. A double-sided gas fireplace with an arched brick surround on each side adds warmth to both the living room and the dining room, and each side also has a classic white-painted wood mantel. Both rooms have high ceilings, crown moldings and recessed lighting along with brass chandeliers and matching wall sconces.

These lighting fixtures are "gasolier" fixtures, which include regular electrical sockets and gas light for romantic old-fashioned evenings.

The upper level is reached by another heart-of-pine staircase with recessed lighting and crown moldings along the walls and upper-level landing. Two master suites, each with a private bath, share this floor with a full-size laundry alcove with extra shelving.

The larger master suite at the rear of the house features one full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and Palladian-style French doors overlooking the rear patio and garden. Three custom-designed floor-to-ceiling double closets fill one wall with drawer and closet space. Pocket doors lead to the master bath, which has marble floors and wall surrounds, crown moldings, a double-sink marble vanity, a claw-footed tub and a marble shower stall with a built-in seat and a glass door. A window has been placed near the tub, which allows more light into the bathroom.

The second master suite at the front of the house includes a large closet and two tall windows overlooking the street. The narrow full bath that serves this suite has decorative marble floors, a window, a marble vanity and an extra-deep marble shower with a glass door.

Living in this elegant quintessential Georgetown house with its perfect blend of old and new could be a dream come true to some home buyer.

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