- - Thursday, July 28, 2011

The District may not be home to quite as many celebrities as New York City or Hollywood, but there are plenty of highly visible politicians, diplomats, lawyers and journalists who value the privacy of their home life.

While many of these well-known people choose to live on an estate in McLean or tucked away in a historic mansion in Georgetown, some also have found the leafy, quiet neighborhoods of upper Northwest Washington, such as Wesley Heights and Kent, appealing. These communities offer the opportunity for privacy and peace along with proximity to downtown and Georgetown.

The home at 5045 Cathedral Ave. NW in Kent once was home to a notable politician who served in several positions during the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. Set high above the street, this charming home offers light-filled, open rooms wrapped in windows, along with privacy created by the elevation and surrounding trees.

On the market for $1,235,000, the residence has approximately 3,400 finished square feet on three levels.

Built in 1928 as a Cape Cod-style bungalow, this home has been expanded and renovated. The front has two flights of wood steps leading to a brick front walk and brick stoop; the back of the home has a detached two-car garage. Between the home and the garage are an expansive deck, a lawn surrounded by a low stone wall, a flagstone path and landscaped garden beds. The deck includes a covered portion with a steeply pitched wood roof with a skylight, perfect for sitting outside during a gentle spring rain.

The glass front door opens into the formal living room, which has hardwood flooring, as do most spaces on all three levels. Along one wall are a wood-burning fireplace with the original detailed wood mantel and two built-in glass-front cabinets. The living room has oversized windows on three sides, recessed lighting and archways leading to the kitchen and to the adjacent dining room.

The open dining room and family room extend from the front of the house to the deck at the back, with two walls of casement windows and two atrium doors that link the family room and deck. The walls of this room are primarily glass, and the few visible areas of wall are painted a vivid red for a splash of color. The family room includes a wall of built-in bookcases and cabinets, and both rooms have recessed lighting.

In the center of the main level, a hardwood staircase with beadboard walls rises to the upper level. A skylight at the top of the stairs fills the upper-level hall, staircase and the center of the main level with natural light.

Near the stairs is a powder room, a charming room with a vintage pedestal sink, a window, a large linen closet and beadboard walls.

At the back of the house, the kitchen has terra cotta tile flooring, upgraded stainless steel appliances, light wood cabinets and granite counters. The kitchen has space for a table for casual dining along with a peninsula breakfast bar. At one end of the kitchen is a wall of floor-to-ceiling pantries for storage. The kitchen has large windows on two sides along with French doors that open onto the deck.

Upstairs, the master bedroom feels like a treehouse, with two walls of windows surrounded by the treetops. The master bedroom has recessed lighting and a deep double-door closet with a mix of shelves and clothing rods for maximum efficiency. The master bath has a terra cotta tile floor, a double-sink vanity with a marble counter, an oversized tile shower enclosed by frameless glass doors and an oversized whirlpool tub tucked under a gently sloping ceiling next to a double window. Two triangular windows are above the sinks. The bathroom has ceramic tile walls about halfway up and a closet with a full-size stacked washer and dryer.

The upper level has two additional bedrooms, including a front bedroom with a large window looking through the treetops and a back bedroom overlooking the garden. These bedrooms share a hall bath with beadboard walls, a deep tub and a window.

Hardwood stairs lead from the main level to the finished lower level, which has a spacious above-ground recreation room with five oversized windows and hardwood flooring. Two storage closets with space for games, books and movies are located next to the recreation room, along with additional storage closets near the stairs. A cozy den or study with a window is nearby.

The lower level has a spacious guest bedroom with hardwood flooring, a double-door closet and a built-in desk tucked into a corner with two windows. The bedroom also has two storage closets. The adjacent full bath has a glass-enclosed shower and a door to a kitchenette with a sink, small refrigerator and space for a microwave.

This delightfully private home makes a perfect retreat for a busy family as well as offering a floor plan with nice circulation for a large gathering.

DETAILS:

Address: 5045 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Community: Kent

Age: Built in 1928

Price: $1,235,000

Size: Approximately 3,400 finished square feet on lot of 8,755 square feet

Taxes: $10,531 in 2010

Exterior features: Cape Cod-style home, white picket fence, two sets of stairs to main entrance, expansive deck, lawn and gardens in rear, two-car detached garage

Interior features: Three levels, four bedrooms, three full baths, powder room, hardwood flooring, living room, dining room, family room, renovated kitchen, three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, finished lower level with recreation room, full bath, bedroom

Amenities: Wood-burning fireplace, deck, bedroom-level laundry, luxury master bath, zoned heating and cooling, recessed lighting, extensive storage, skylights

Close by: Minutes by car to Georgetown, shops and restaurants of MacArthur Boulevard, C&O Canal, downtown Washington

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m. July 31

Contact: Realtor Diann Heine with Washington Fine Properties at 202/329-7444

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