Northwest Washington's Palisades neighborhood offers a completely different city living experience than residing in the heart of Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter or Columbia Heights. In the Palisades, neighbors enjoy a small-town ambience, with an eclectic mix of homes; a park with a playground and tennis courts; a library; and a recreation center with a basketball court, arts and crafts rooms and plenty of classes and activities for all ages.
Palisades residents can find everything in their neighborhood from cozy cafes to a sophisticated wine shop, a grocery store, specialty markets, a drugstore, a jewelry store and ethnic restaurants to satisfy every palate.
The community comes together at a weekly farmers market and to support community efforts such as keeping the median strip along MacArthur Boulevard neatly landscaped. On July Fourth each year, residents from the neighborhood and surrounding areas gather for an old-fashioned, small-scale parade.
Outdoor enthusiasts in the Palisades can choose between hiking on the C&O Canal towpath or the Capital Crescent Trail, renting a canoe or kayak at Fletcher's Boat House or ambling through Battery Kemble Park. But this small town also is easily accessible to downtown Washington and Georgetown by bus or car, and residents can quickly access the Maryland and Virginia suburbs via Chain Bridge and the Beltway.
The homes in the Palisades run the gamut from farmhouses and Victorian-inspired homes to Cape Cod classics and sleek contemporary residences. One of the loveliest streets in the Palisades, Sherier Place, splits into two one-way streets with a wide park in the middle with benches for relaxing and chatting with neighbors. One of the farmhouses on this street, at 5531 Sherier Place NW, is on the market for $989,000.
A manicured front garden enclosed by a low wrought-iron fence forms a graceful entrance to this pale-yellow-painted stucco home, which has gray shutters and white trim. Even from the exterior, it is clear that this home will have plenty of light, with myriad windows and a bay window bump-out on the side of the house.
At the front of the home, the owners enclosed the porch, which has windows on three sides and a set of French doors with sidelights and transoms. The porch has a ceiling fan, two skylights and terra-cotta tile flooring. A second set of French doors opens into the foyer, which has restored hardwood flooring, wood stairs to the upper level and a window on one side. The staircase has a carved newel post.
Adjacent to the foyer is a living room with hardwood flooring and built-in bookcases framing the front window. The owners added a wood-burning fireplace to the corner of the living room, with a marble hearth and surround and a white-painted mantel. Two windows are next to the fireplace.
A wide doorway links the living room with the dining room, which has a chandelier and a double window on the side. French doors link the dining room with the kitchen and with the family room.
The owners, working with Case Design and Remodeling, expanded their living space with an addition off the back of the house. Hardwood flooring flows seamlessly from the dining room into the family room, which has double glass doors flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows and a narrow half-moon window above framing a view of the backyard.
The glass doors open onto a deck with plenty of space for relaxing and entertaining outdoors and steps down to the backyard, which has a lawn and mature plantings. The fully fenced garden extends to an alley and has space to add a garage.
An arched doorway links the family room with a home office or den, a cozy room overlooking the backyard. Next to the office are a deep closet with shelves and a renovated powder room with beadboard walls and a double-door closet.
The renovated kitchen has been expanded with extra cabinets and counter space as well as a sun-filled breakfast room with three tall windows and a skylight. Both the kitchen and breakfast room have hardwood flooring. The kitchen has new granite counters, a new dishwasher, wood cabinets, an upgraded electric range with a downdraft, a built-in microwave and a side-by-side refrigerator.
The main staircase to the upper level has a landing with a window that brings in more light to both the upper and lower levels. Hardwood flooring extends through the hallway and into the three bedrooms on the upper level.
The master bedroom overlooks the backyard and includes a double window and a set of French doors leading out to the roof above the main level. Future residents can add a balcony or deck in this space. The bedroom has two walk-in closets and a linen closet.
The renovated master bath has a Palladian window overlooking the backyard and a complementary arch over the combined tub and shower. A double window above the tub adds even more light to the room, which has ceramic tile flooring, a ceramic tile tub and shower surround, and a granite sink.
Two additional bedrooms on this level each have a closet and two windows. These two rooms share a renovated hall bath with ceramic tile flooring and a ceramic tile tub and shower surround.
The upper level also has a large laundry room with ceramic tile flooring, a window and an oversized linen closet.
The finished lower level has ceramic tile flooring throughout and a separate side entrance along with the entrance from within the house, so it easily could function as an in-law or au-pair suite. This level has a living room or recreation room, a separate room with windows on each end and a wide, double-door closet, and a renovated full bath with an oversized shower. In addition, there are a fully equipped kitchenette with space for small dining table, closets and another laundry room with plenty of storage space.
While this Palisades farmhouse has a charming exterior, it also appears much smaller than the reality of the interior rooms. High ceilings and myriad windows add to the sense of space in this home and allow light to filter throughout the rooms on a sunny day.
Address: 5531 Sherier Place NW, Washington, DC 20016
Age: Built in 1927
Size: Lot of approximately 6,494 square feet
Taxes: $6,051 in 2010
HOA fee: None
Exterior Features: Farmhouse-style stucco home painted pale yellow with gray shutters and white trim, deck off main level with steps to fully fenced garden with mature plantings and space to add a garage
Interior features: Three bedrooms; three full baths; powder room; hardwood flooring throughout main and upper levels; enclosed front porch with tile flooring; living room with built-in bookcases; separate dining room; French doors leading to family room with glass door to deck; first-floor office; renovated kitchen with granite counters, plenty of storage, open to breakfast area with three windows; upper-level master suite with two closets and renovated full bath; laundry room with extra storage; two bedrooms on the upper level share a renovated hall bath; finished lower level with recreation room, kitchenette, extra room with closet, full bath, laundry/storage room, separate side entrance
Amenities: Wood-burning fireplace with marble surround, enclosed front porch, gas furnace, radiator heat, central air conditioning
Close by: Shops, restaurants, library, community center, Palisades Park, playground and tennis courts, C&O Canal towpath, Fletcher's Boat House, the Capital Crescent Trail and Battery Kemble Park are all nearby; easy access by bus or car to downtown Washington; easy access to suburban Maryland and Virginia
Schools: Key Elementary, Hardy Middle, Wilson High
Open House: 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 13
Contact: Realtors Nancy and David Hammond of Evers & Co. Real Estate at 202/262-5374
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