- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

STEPHCO, a design and construction firm based in Washington, focuses on two important themes: maintaining and improving the aesthetic appeal of a home within its site plan and neighborhood, and developing a home that is energy efficient and meets high standards of environmental safety.

A recently completed STEPHCO renovation at 4221 Fordham Road NW presents a stately stone and cedar shake facade that blends easily with other homes in the Spring Valley neighborhood.

Now on the market for $1,975,000, the home has been entirely gutted and remodeled inside, transforming a 1940s-era home into a charming modern home with a traditional style.

STEPHCO workers moved doors, walls and windows and even removed all the original exterior stone from the home, replacing the stone after additional window openings were created.

Inside, the home includes wide plank oak floors that have been stained with an environmentally friendly stain, environmentally friendly paint, pesticide-free carpet squares in the lower level, dual-zone heating and air conditioning and energy-efficient appliances.

The redesigned home is a traditional center-hall Colonial with a front porch and a flagstone terrace for enjoying outdoor living.

Inside, the formal living room includes a picture window at the front of the house and two additional windows on the side.

Two exposed beams and extensive millwork with built-in bookcases add charm to this room, which includes a wood-burning fireplace. Across the hall, the formal dining room includes two front windows, a chandelier, a built-in china cabinet and a faux-painting of a second china cabinet.

STEPHCO paid careful attention to details in this home, such as carefully choosing light fixtures, kitchen and bathroom drawers that smoothly slide back into place if left open and moldings meant to evoke the original period of the home.

A coat closet off the hall, for example, features elegant wallpaper and brass fixtures inside, while the powder room across the hall has a furniture-quality vanity and an antique light fixture.

While the formal rooms at the front of the house are designed for classic entertaining, the back of the home reflects the modern taste for an open kitchen and family room and a blend with the outdoors.

Three sets of French doors link the family room with flagstone terrace, and the white-painted beams of the family room ceiling extend across the patio to form a trace of a ceiling under the open air. The beams create an “outdoor room” effect for the terrace, extending the living space of this home in three seasons.

The back of the home faces south, filling the family room, kitchen and bedrooms above with sunshine.

Just beyond the terrace is a landscaped garden bed.

The family room includes two walls of built-in bookshelves and cabinets, all prewired with surround sound and ready for Internet and cable access.

The kitchen, open to the family room, has been designed for environmental safety, practicality and beauty. Windows stretch across the back of the kitchen above a large extra deep custom sink.

The center island includes a wood top that blends with the flooring and grants the family chef additional workspace. Most of the white cabinets include mullioned glass fronts, and the marble counters extend along the wall for a marble backsplash.

The energy-efficient appliances include a Thermador six-burner range, a double oven, a warming oven, a large Sub-Zero refrigerator and a deep microwave drawer. An added touch is a pipe extending from the wall adjacent to the stove for filling pasta pots with water.

Just beyond the kitchen is a butler’s pantry with untreated walnut counters, a second dishwasher, a wine cooler, an ice maker and racks for glasses. This space includes an antique light fixture and drawers specially designed for storing silver.

The central staircase to the upper level features oak stairs for a classic look, yet they are wider than usual, adding to the sense of space in the house.

The master suite has a tray ceiling and windows facing both south and west. Two walk-in closets have been outfitted with the California Closet system and can easily be customized.

Double doors lead from the bedroom into the luxurious bath, which STEPHCO made more expansive by raising the roof.

The dual-sink vanity includes multiple drawers and cabinets, with arched wood moldings surrounding mirrors with sconces.

The bathroom includes a glass-enclosed shower, recessed lighting, a heated towel rack and an air tub, which uses air rather than jets to circulate the water. The tub includes a heated back to add to the pleasure of a long soak.

The second bedroom features two casement windows with treetop views and a deep closet. The third bedroom has both a front window and a small side window, with built-in bookcases and a long closet.

These two bedrooms share a linen closet and a bath off the hall that has marble flooring and a marble wall that extends along the sloped ceiling above the glass-enclosed shower. An extra linen cabinet is inside this bath.

Three steps down from the hall is the fourth bedroom, a charming space with a steeply peaked ceiling, a built-in dresser, a built-in bookcase and a low door leading to an extensive storage closet or a perfect children’s hiding place on a rainy day.

This bedroom includes a double-door closet and a marble bath with a window, a glass-enclosed shower and a built-in storage cabinet.

A pull-down staircase off the upper hall leads to additional attic storage space. The finished lower level features FLOR-brand carpet tiles, which are certified to be pesticide-free and can easily be replaced square by square, if needed.

This room can function as a recreation room or playroom and includes a storage closet under the stairs.

Off the recreation room are a hall and wine cellar with slate flooring. The adjacent laundry room includes slate flooring, an upgraded, energy-efficient, front-loading washer and dryer, a laundry sink, cabinets and counter space. A full bath is located off the laundry room and includes a glass-enclosed shower.

Buyers may choose this home for its classic charm, and the environmentally friendly finishes add appeal. Beyond the house itself, though, this Spring Valley home provides an ideal location for walking to shops and commuter routes.

Address: 4221 Fordham Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Community: Spring Valley

Age: Built in 1940; renovated 2006

Price: $1,975,000

Size: About 4,000 finished square feet on lot of 4,775 square feet

Taxes: To be determined based on renovation

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: Stone and cedar siding, Colonial-style home with slate roof, front porch with columns, landscaped front and rear yards, attached two-car garage; flagstone patio.

Interior features: Four bedrooms; four full baths; powder room; living room; dining room, hardwood flooring on two upper levels; crown moldings; open kitchen and family room with three sets of French doors; master bedroom with two walk-in closets and luxury bath; second bedroom with private bath; two additional bedrooms share a hall bath; finished lower-level exercise or playroom with adjacent wine cellar, laundry room and full bath.

Amenities: Wood-burning fireplace, built-in bookcases, all new energy-efficient appliances including front-loading washer and dryer, environmentally friendly materials, dual-zone heating and air conditioning

Close by: Walk to shopping center, Metro bus and American University; minutes to Wisconsin Avenue, Friendship Heights or Tenleytown Metro, downtown or Bethesda.

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Caroll Dey of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Georgetown at 202/320-0441.

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