- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some residences simply exude an old-fashioned charm that draws in visitors, tempting them to sink into a comfortable couch by the fire no matter what the weather may be outside. These homes often feel as if they have a story to tell, a tale about happy family gatherings, the arrival of grandchildren or just the memory of a gentle spring day on the patio spent admiring the pale pink azaleas.

The home at 4435 Garfield St. NW, on the market for $2,295,000, presents a delightful charm from first glance. Located in Wesley Heights, a community with a mixture of grand and cozy homes with elegant Tudor and Mediterranean exteriors along with Colonial and Cape Cod styles, this home attracts attention because of its simplicity and temptingly deep front porch with columns. The white clapboard exterior includes one wall of stone.

Mature gardens surround the home with healthy swaths of green lawn, mature trees, azaleas, rhododendrons, weeping yew, laurels, hydrangeas and boxwoods. A flagstone walkway leads from the sidewalk past the front lawn and garden beds and over a delightful arched wooden footbridge to the covered front porch. The one-third-acre grounds that surround this home include a fully fenced backyard with a flagstone patio. A shared driveway provides off-street parking for two cars, and this quiet neighborhood also has ample street parking.

The front door leads from the porch into a foyer with hardwood flooring, a coat closet, decorative light fixtures and an archway that leads into the formal dining room. This home has been designed for comfortable family living and for entertaining on a grand scale in generously proportioned formal rooms.

The main-level rooms include extra-deep window sills that accommodate radiators for heating and add charm to the spaces. The formal living room has windows on two sides, a wall with traditional wood detailing and chair-rail molding, original hardwood flooring and a beamed ceiling. The focal point for this room is an oversized clay-lined wood-burning fireplace with a brick hearth and surround and a traditional wood mantel.

The formal dining room, accessible from the living room and the foyer, easily accommodates a large gathering under the crystal chandelier. This room has hardwood flooring, two large windows, traditional chair-rail moldings and a glass door to the back gardens and patio.

Just past the dining room is a cozy breakfast nook with a chandelier. Past the breakfast nook, the kitchen has custom-designed white cabinets, a pantry, granite and butcher-block counters, built-in bookshelves and a built-in desk. Two windows add natural light to the kitchen, which has a four-burner gas range, a dishwasher, two self-cleaning ovens and a refrigerator-freezer. A door leads from the kitchen to the covered back porch and the flagstone terrace beyond the porch.

The library, the room that commands the most attention in this home, sits by itself on a level between the main level and the first of two upper levels. A wood-beamed cathedral ceiling soars overhead, while a wood-trimmed Palladian window fills one wall of the room, framing a view of the side garden. Built-in mahogany bookshelves, cabinets and paneling line the rest of the walls of this warm room, which has two storage closets and flagstone flooring.

While the Palladian window and handsome wood bookshelves draw plenty of attention, in winter, the massive fireplace in this room must be the gathering point for all who are home. The oversized wood-burning fireplace has a stone hearth and surround with a wood mantel. It is easy to imagine sinking into a comfortable armchair to enjoy the warmth of this room in solitude or to share it with close friends and family.

Hardwood stairs lead to the first of two bedroom levels, where each bedroom has a charming sloping ceiling, a dormer window or a nook. The master suite has two deep dormer windows, a window seat, recessed lighting and two large closets. This bedroom has hardwood flooring and a private full bath with a marble sink, a custom-designed vanity and a built-in medicine cabinet.

The second bedroom has a double-door closet, two windows and built-in bookcases. The third bedroom includes a wall of closets with three sets of double doors, two oversized windows and built-in bookcases in one corner. The fourth bedroom has a deep dormer window, a second oversized window and a walk-in closet. These three bedrooms share a full bath off the hall with a built-in vanity and tile flooring. A linen closet is nearby.

The finished attic level includes a bedroom with a cedar closet and two half-doors that lead to extensive under-eaves storage space. Another cedar closet and a storage or linen closet with shelving are on either side of the stairs on this level. A charming bath with a soaking tub and a Palladian window with plantation shutters complete this level.

The lower level includes a light-filled recreation room with paneled walls and wall-to-wall carpeting and two sets of windows with window seats that include storage underneath.

Stairs lead from the lower-level hall to an unfinished basement that includes laundry and utility equipment, extensive storage space and access to stairs to the rear garden.

With charms such as the little wooden footbridge, the deep front porch, the flagstone patio, the gardens and the handsome but comfortable library, this New England-style Colonial offers a unique opportunity to own a solid representation of American architecture.

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