- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2000

The old adage that you can't judge a book by its cover, often applied to people, sometimes fits homes as well. The old-fashioned Colonial-style home at 3806 Warren St. NW in North Cleveland Park exudes a street presence of unsophisticated charm.

One expects the deep front porch with its vine-covered columns, the perfectly maintained garden beds on either side of the slate walkway, and the hardwood flooring found inside the front door.

What is less expected is the dramatic master suite upstairs, a glamorous room filled with angles, soaring spaces and sunlight, including a private balcony and a marble-filled bathroom. Also unexpected are the kitchen and adjacent open family room with its walls of windows and glass doors overlooking the multilevel backyard deck.

On the market for $895,000, this classic center-hall Colonial brick home was built in 1929 and renovated in 1990. The front porch and walkway are covered with slate from Vermont, and the professionally landscaped garden has year-round attractions. Adjacent to the home is an attached one-car garage.

Inside, hardwood flooring is found in almost every room, along with historic chestnut millwork and window trim. High ceilings are found in all rooms, and some include dramatic vaulted ceilings. Formal entertaining and casual family life both are accommodated by the enhanced floor plan of this home, which still maintains the flavor of its Colonial style.

Pocket doors of antique chestnut allow both the formal living room and the formal dining room to be closed off from the foyer. The elegant dining room has recessed lighting, four double-hung windows, two double closets along one wall, and wall-to-wall carpeting over the hardwood flooring. This room is being used as a home office.

All rooms on this level have 9 1/2-foot ceilings, increasing the sense of space. Across the foyer is the formal living room, which features oversize double-hung windows and a masonry fireplace with a marble hearth and surround and a wood mantel.

French doors lead from this room to the adjacent den or library, a cozy space with sliding glass doors leading to the deck. The kitchen nearby has 42-inch gray-stained contemporary-style wooden cabinetry, granite counter tops, a granite back splash and a greenhouse-style picture window over a double porcelain sink. The oversize center island includes a granite counter top, additional cabinetry and a Thermador four-burner gas cook top with a griddle and pop-up downdraft.

The 12-inch stone-look ceramic-tile flooring of the kitchen extends to the adjacent family room, which has two sets of oversize glass doors opening onto the deck. A fieldstone fireplace with a raised hearth and a built-in wood box warms the family room, which is accented by built-in display shelves and cabinetry.

An Asian flavor is imparted to the back yard through bamboo plantings and a board-on-board fence. Multiple tiers of pale gray decking with built-in benches surround the pergola at the center of the yard, which has vine-covered wood supports. Garden beds are dispersed between sections of decking, and a built-in masonry barbecue at one corner of the house makes outdoor entertaining a breeze. Around the corner is a handmade wooden garden storage shed.

A traditional oak staircase that has been opened up dramatically with vaulted and barreled skylights across the ceiling and multiple clerestory windows reaches the second level of the home. At the top of the stairs is the entrance to the master suite, which includes a private sitting area with an angled ceiling covered with tongue-and-groove wood that extends onto the ceiling of the private balcony.

The balcony has accent lighting and ceramic-tile flooring, and the indoor sitting area is enhanced by one side of the two-sided wood-burning fireplace, which has a marble hearth and surround.

Built-in bookcases and cabinetry with drawers add practicality and attractiveness to this space, which is open to the bedroom area.

A raised platform has been built for the bed under a vaulted ceiling, while behind the bed is a columned room divider with accent lighting. Behind the room divider is a dressing area with two walk-in closets, a customized shoe closet, a double clothes closet, a linen closet and three windows. Nearby is a spiral staircase leading to the loft-studio area, which includes a window seat and a vaulted ceiling.

The luxurious marble-floored master bath is warmed by the second side of the sitting-room fireplace, which faces a deep whirlpool tub surrounded by etched-glass windows and a marble platform. Nearby are an oversize shower with bench seating and etched-glass doors, a double vanity, and a full-size, stacked washer-dryer.

Two additional bedrooms share a hall bath, which has 6-inch-square ceramic-tile flooring and wall tiles. The second bedroom has a private door to the hall bath, and a door connects the two bedrooms, both of which have hardwood flooring, three large windows and large clothes closets.

The finished lower-level in-law suite includes a living room with built-in bookcases, recessed lighting and four closets for storage or clothes. Nearby is a full kitchen with ceramic-tile flooring, oak cabinets and a stacked washer-dryer.

A room that could accommodate a home office, den or guest bedroom has recessed lighting, a clothes closet and a small window, while the adjacent bedroom has two windows and a clothes closet.

The full bath has ceramic-tile flooring, and nearby is a storage closet. As part of the renovation process, three-zone heating and air conditioning were installed, along with two gas water heaters.

While the amenities of this home certainly are enough to attract a buyer, its location is another attraction. Residents can walk to the Van Ness and Tenley Metro stations and will find shops, restaurants and movie theaters within two blocks.

Despite the definitely urban lifestyle provided by the home, the neighborhood along Warren Street retains the old-fashioned air of a small village, with residents strolling in pretty weather and greeting those relaxing on their front porches.

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