- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The homeowners’ creativity shines throughout a lovingly preserved 1920s-era home in Takoma Park. Personally handcrafted contributions range from decorative glass accents to custom built-in bookcases.

Located at 612 Elm Ave. in Takoma Park, in a charming neighborhood close to the village market and quaint shops, this house has a deep, flat lot graced by towering trees, mature evergreens and perennials. Stairs lead to a front porch that spans the width of the house and beckons company to sit and enjoy the fresh air.

A heated in-ground swimming pool and a private detached art studio highlight this three-bedroom, three-bathroom house, which is on the market for $785,000.

Longtime owners have provided meticulous care, and it shows. Improvements within the past two years include a new fiberglass shingle roof. In addition, the gas boiler has been replaced, the upper-level windows all have been replaced, hardwood floors on the main level have been refinished, and 200-amp electrical service has been added.

One item that might slip by unnoticed — except for those with experience in older homes — is that the homeowner included ample electrical outlets on all of the walls.

Floors throughout the house are a combination of oak, maple and pine.

The front porch opens directly into the gracious living room with a large entryway. The living room has a fireplace, track lighting and pale yellow walls. The owners have used a fun but sophisticated color scheme, allowing rooms to flow together while each maintains its own personality.

Handmade adornments in the living room include a colorful glass key box on the back of the entry door, a light post that sits on the stair railing and a ceiling decoration. The owners also made the cabinetry and shelves and even the tile radiator covers.

Wide, custom bifold glass-and-wood French doors separate the living room from the spacious dining room. With seating for 12, the dining room is perfect for hosting formal and casual dinner parties.

The centrally located dining room also has track lighting and connects with the living room, kitchen and family room, which offers a rich burst of red paint combined with dark wood trim.

A wall of windows ensures that natural sunlight will brighten the dining room during the day.

In fact, the owners say there are 45 exterior windows throughout the home, as well as several interior windows.

The owners knocked out walls in the kitchen to open it to the rest of the home. This updated eat-in kitchen offers ample cabinetry, including storage space below the breakfast bar, as well an option for meals.

Appliances include a refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal and gas stove. Lights underneath the cabinets brighten the counters.

The rooms appear all the more spacious because the house has 9-foot ceilings throughout.

About 20 years ago, the owner stained and polyurethaned all of the trim around the windows. Wood blinds were installed to match the trim.

The owners also handcrafted the bookshelf in the family room.

The family room is a great place to sit because a row of windows provides a picture-perfect view into the serene back yard. Off this room is a refurbished bathroom decorated with blue and black tiles.

A wood staircase in the living room leads to the second level. At the top of the stairs is a hall cedar closet.

One of the bedrooms is painted light blue and faces east, pulling in the morning sun. Two of the bedrooms share a renovated hall bath.

The master bedroom has its own full bathroom with a linen closet. The master bedroom has a smaller room attached to it that can work as a den or sitting room. This space is being used as a dressing room.

The bedroom has wood-paneled walls and a cedar bed built by the owner.

The bed will convey to the buyers, if desired. It is situated close to windows to take advantage of the chance to wake up to the peaceful backyard scenery.

An unfinished basement has a crawl space and offers some storage options.

The back yard has a weeping cedar tree, Japanese maple and exotic plants — all providing a stunning backdrop to the pool.

A door in the family room provides quick access to the back yard, which features a broad deck.

The custom in-ground pool awaits warm-weather visitors. This pool is heated and has underwater lights and a heavy-duty vinyl lining.

At the far end of the yard is an impressive 18-by-18-foot studio where the owners have enjoyed working with glass and crafting their many other creations.

The studio, added in 1989, features a wood-burning stove, a high ceiling with two fans, and screened windows all around. The screens have doorlike covers that can be closed when the studio is not in use.

In addition to being near a variety of shops, this house also is within walking distance of the Takoma Park Metro station on the Red Line.

Address: 612 Elm Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912

Community: Takoma Park

Price: $785,000

Homeowner association fee: None

Age: Built in 1920

Size: 2,134 square feet of living space on .29 acre

Taxes: $6,014 in 2005

Exterior features: Front porch, new fiberglass shingle roof, in-ground heated pool, landscaping, deck, detached studio, off-street parking

Interior features: Three bedrooms, three baths, sitting room in master suite, 9-foot ceilings, refinished wood floors

Amenities: Two wood-burning stoves, cedar closet, ceiling fans, track lighting, halogen lighting

Schools: Takoma Park Elementary, Takoma Park Middle, Montgomery Blair High

Close by: Farmers market, shops, restaurants, parks

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Patricia Vucich of RE/MAX Realty Services at 301/652-0400, Ext. 4135.

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