- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

When the owners of the home at 4872 Reservoir Road in Northwest decided to commission a new house next door to their old one, they knew exactly what they wanted: a contemporary structure that would complement the more traditional homes in the rest of the neighborhood and at the same time dramatically frame the tranquil wooded landscape surrounding the house.

Now on the market for $1.695 million, this 11-year-old home achieved the goals of its owners with a unique design.

The front of the house is whitewashed brick, hidden behind a tall hedge for privacy and raised on a gentle slope. Flagstone steps lead from the street and the driveway across a trim lawn to a flagstone terrace and the front door. In contrast to this traditional facade, the rear of the house is a wall of glass doors and windows that reveal the interior's contemporary flair.

The house rests on land that once was part of a 1,500-acre apple orchard and enjoys views of many of the original trees. The National Park Service owns much of the land behind the houses along this block of Reservoir Road and maintains the grass and trees. Homeowners have added their own spectacular garden beds, creating a bucolic scene, a lovely tranquil oasis within walking distance of city shops and restaurants.

Besides maximizing their home's unique setting, the owners created a comfortable and casual place for entertaining and relaxing while demonstrating their love of artistic and unusual elements. Several doors in the house, including the front door and a door to the sunroom, include lovely decorative glass panels that they commissioned from a Thai artist. Many of the rooms feature contemporary steel ceiling fans.

While the residence has about 10,000 square feet of living space, it has been designed not to be overwhelming. The focal point is a dramatic living-dining entertaining room at the center of the house with 22-foot ceilings and an entire rear wall of glass in two tiers. This great room includes an extra-wide gas fireplace with a marble surround, a built-in bench near the 26-foot-wide wall of windows, an arched picture window, a chandelier in the dining area and numerous recessed lighting fixtures with multiple controls.

The rest of the house has been designed into two wings on either side of this great room. To the left on the main level are two bedrooms that share a connecting bath. One of the rooms, which has a lovely woodland view, is furnished as a home office.

Above these two rooms is the house's second master suite, which has a huge platform bed that can be removed easily by future owners. This bedroom has perhaps the house's most luxurious bath, with a deep whirlpool tub, a skylight and an oversized glass-enclosed shower.

The larger wing of the house, on the opposite side of the great room, has a sleek open kitchen and a family room with a pass-through to the great room. The kitchen has a vaulted ceiling, custom halogen lighting, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, a picture window overlooking the front lawn, bleached hardwood flooring, Corian counters and a large center island with a gas cooktop and a seating area for four.

The large family room open to the kitchen has recessed lighting, custom built-in shelving and cabinets, a marble wet bar with glass cabinets and sliding glass doors to the deck that runs the length of the rear of the house. One of the windows commissioned from the Thai artist divides the family room from the adjacent sun room. The sun room, which also has sliding glass doors to the deck, has recessed lighting, walls of windows overlooking the garden, and Italian porcelain floor tiles. This room also can function as a breakfast room for casual dining.

Above this wing on the upper level is the main master suite, which has a private deck overlooking the rear garden, a landing off the private staircase with a curving wall, recessed lighting and custom-designed cabinets for a television and storage.

His-and-her bathrooms have been built adjacent to two separate walk-in closets, each with built-in drawers and storage. His bath includes an oversized shower and tub, and hers has an oversized walk-in shower, granite floor tiles, a picture window and a cathedral ceiling.

The finished lower level is accessible from the main level and from the garage, where a wall of storage closets has been placed. At one end of this level is a large, sunny laundry room with lots of built-in cabinets and counters. In the center of this level is a multipurpose recreation room with built-in bookcases, two large closets and plenty of recessed lighting. At the opposite end of this level are a huge exercise room and a large sauna. A half-bath has been built near the laundry room, but rough-in plumbing exists nearby for the easy addition of a full bath.

Additional rooms are available for storage. The entire lower level easily could be reconfigured with an additional bedroom in place of the laundry room, if desired. Throughout this level, the 9 1/2-foot ceilings and the recessed lighting create a bright atmosphere even though there are only two aboveground windows for this large space.

After 11 years of family living, this home still looks new and fresh, ready for the next owners who appreciate both contemporary style and the joy of plenty of sunshine and natural woodlands.


Address: 4872 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Community: Palisades

Age: 11 years

Price: $1.695 million

Size: 10,000 finished square feet on lot of 10,668 square feet

Taxes: $5,671 in 2000

Exterior features: Brick and cedar with boxwood hedges creating privacy from street, landscaped front courtyard with flagstone steps to street and driveway, flagstone front terrace, rear walls of glass overlooking lawn and garden beds and wooded surroundings.

Interior features: Four bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 22-foot-high ceiling in living room, sleek kitchen open to family room, sun room with sliding glass door to deck, private stairwell to master suite with his-and-her bathrooms and walk-in closets and private deck, two main-level bedrooms with connecting bath, second master suite with bath, finished lower level with sauna, exercise room, recreation room, bookshelves, laundry room, and numerous finished and unfinished storage rooms.

Amenities: Backs to federally owned parkland, security system, dual-zone heating and air conditioning, two-car garage.

Close by: Within walking distance of C&O; Canal and towpath and of shops and restaurants, within minutes of Georgetown, embassies, Kennedy Center and downtown Washington.

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Long & Foster Realtors, Craig Davitian at 202/339-9207, or Sarah Howard at 202/339-9227, or Marc Fleisher at 202/364-5200

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