- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2001

When Michele Lurie, a Washington interior architectural designer, saw the abandoned home at 5007 Nebraska Ave. in Northwest, she was horrified at the condition of the house. Yet she had the vision to foresee its transformation.
The cozy house had sat untouched for six years, with its Victorian contents resting inside rooms that had remained unrenovated since 1939, when the home was built.
Dark rooms filled with knickknacks and dusty books greeted Mrs. Lurie when she gained entrance. But in place of the gloomy interior, she saw the possibilities for a cheerful, bright and sunny home.
For the past three months, Mrs. Lurie has diligently worked with contractors and her own sense of taste to bring the home up to date with an open floor plan, which in her words, "not only makes the space of the house seem bigger but encourages people to entertain. This floor plan suits the way people live today, with the possibility of many activities happening at the same time."
Now on the market for $429,500, this home has three finished levels completed with refinished or new hardwood flooring, all new windows and doors, recessed lighting, and all new appliances such as a full-size washer and dryer.
While using an open floor plan creates a more modern look on the main level, Mrs. Lurie added detailed moldings at the baseboards and ceilings and trim around the windows and doors that are appropriate to the home's age.
The most significant structural change made was eliminating a screened-in porch at the front of the home and replacing it with a den that adds to the interior living and entertaining space.
The original porch had con-crete flooring, which has been replaced with hardwood flooring to match the rest of the home. A tall casement window on one side of the den is complemented by a deep bay window at the front of the house, which also has a seating area.
The den opens onto the living room, and its wide doorway is framed by attractive moldings. The living room has a fireplace with a black-painted brick hearth and surround, and a white mantel above with charming filigree moldings. Built-in bookshelves flank the fireplace, and wall sconces have been installed above the mantel.
At the rear of the main level the home has been equally trans-formed, with the old-fashioned and narrow kitchen gutted and a wall removed so that the kitchen is now open to the large dining room. Hardwood flooring has been extended into the kitchen, and a large picture window in the dining room adds light to both rooms.
The kitchen has a back door with a window and a window over the sink, as well. Contemporary-style, tall maple cabinets, in-cluding some with glass doors, line the walls of the kitchen. The counters are granite, and all new stainless steel appliances have been installed.
The galley-style kitchen in-cludes such conveniences as a Lazy Susan cabinet in one corner to maximize the space.
The new owners may choose to add a deck off the kitchen and dining room to add outdoor living and entertaining space.
The second level has been completely renovated, as well, with new windows, refinished flooring and all new bathrooms.
The master bedroom at the front of the house features a walk-in closet with a window, a second closet, and a private bath with a skylight and a shower. Two additional bedrooms at the back of the home share a hall bath, which has a skylight and a combination tub and shower.
While many renovators of basement levels choose to paint the walls bright white to maximize the light, Mrs. Lurie chose a soft pale gray for the walls with white trim, preferring to add warmth as well as light.
The recreation room at the front of the home has recessed lighting, a built-in bookshelf with a cabinet below, and a narrow bookshelf built into one corner. A hallway leads to the all-new powder room, which has been designed for the easy addition of a shower, if desired, by new owners. An unfinished storage/utility/laundry room fills one corner of this level.
The home originally had a one-car garage accessible from a steeply sloping driveway that rendered it largely useless. Mrs. Lurie chose to create additional living space from the garage, which is now carpeted and can serve as a large den, exercise room or guest bedroom.
Cable and telephone access has been placed in both rooms on the lower level, along with the kitchen and den.
Renovating this home has been hard work and yet rewarding for Mrs. Lurie, who usually works on individual projects for her clients who want to add a room or refurbish a lower level.
"This is the first time I've bought a home and redone it completely, and it was fun," she says. "It has been amazing to see the difference from that dark old house to this bright and sunny and open home. We even redid all the ceilings because they were swirled all over with a pattern, and we wanted to make them smooth and bright."
No detail has been overlooked by Mrs. Lurie, from the sleek polished pewter kitchen knobs and handles to the freshly painted cheerful front door. The new owners need only bring in their furniture and decorative items and appreciate her hard work.


Address: 5007 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20015
Community: Chevy Chase/ Wakefield
Age: Built in 1939, completely renovated 2001
Price: $429,500
Size: About 2,000 finished square feet on lot of 2,022 square feet
Taxes: $2,582
Exterior features: Stone and brick Colonial-style, single-family home, all new landscaping, back door off kitchen, freshly painted bright red door.
Interior features: Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, hardwood flooring throughout home, den with deep bay window and window seat, open new kitchen, master bedroom with two closets and private bath, finished recreation room and separate office/guest room on lower level with powder room and laundry room with storage space.
Amenities: Off-street parking behind home in common driveway, fireplace in living room, detailed moldings and trim added, all new windows and doors, new lighting, all new appliances including washer and dryer.
Close by: Half a block to Connecticut Avenue shops and restaurants, easy access to Georgetown, downtown, Rock Creek Park and Beltway.
Open house: Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Contact: Realtor Barbara Zuckerman of Long & Foster Realtors at 202/364-4900

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