- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2002

Sophisticated contemporary homes are rare in the District, and the one now on the market for $1.595 million in the Palisades section of Northwest Washington is unique for at least three reasons.

First, this three-level white brick home has a spectacular Potomac River view in all seasons from the master bedroom deck and the finished third level, which can be developed into a roof deck.

Second, the repeating theme of arched doorways and rounded rooms creates a warm yet luxurious feel throughout the large main level.

Third, this home rests on a corner lot on one of Washington's quietest neighborhoods, yet is minutes away from the nightlife of Georgetown.

Built in 1989, the home at 5501 Potomac Ave. NW is one of three built by the same architect. He built the end home with the premium lot for himself. The current owners have loved their fenced garden and their expansive master suite with its sun-filled sitting room, along with the large main-level rooms that make entertaining easy.

The dramatic exterior of this home, with its rounded corners and tall windows, offers a glimmer of an idea of what the inside holds. To add to the drama of the distinctive design, the white-painted brick home has a contrasting black-painted brick staircase that encases flagstone steps and a flagstone landing at the front door. Wisteria vines soften the staircase, and garden beds add color, as well. A manicured lawn surrounds much of the property, and a fenced back yard provides more space for outdoor living.

The double wooden front doors with etched-glass inserts open onto a marble grand foyer with an open wood staircase leading to the upper and lower levels on one side. The main level features 10½-foot ceilings and arched doorways throughout the rooms. Curving arched rooms complement the doorways, as the theme plays out from room to room.

A second theme in this contemporary home is light, with every room positioned to attract the sun through tall windows. Detailed crown moldings and oversized trim adds elegance to the rooms, and recessed lighting throughout the main level adds light in the evenings.

The formal living room features bleached hardwood flooring and a row of arched windows along one wall. At the end of the room is a deeply set bay window with several more arched windows. An arched doorway with arched niches in the walls on either side of the doorway defines the living room and formal dining room. Richly painted red walls add warmth to the oval dining room, which includes a window seat along with a deeply set bay window with arched windows to match the living room.

Across the foyer from these rooms is the more casual family room, breakfast room and kitchen. The family room includes a wood-burning fireplace and plenty of windows and is open to the breakfast area, which has a deck overlooking the fenced garden.

The adjacent kitchen includes a peninsula for use as a breakfast bar and extra work space, along with a center island with a Jenn-Air cooktop. A wall of windows along one side floods the room with light that reflects on the marble floors, the wood cabinets and Corian counters. Upscale appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator. This level also includes a large guest closet and an elegant powder room with a marble floor, Corian vanity and a window.

The second level includes a master bedroom suite with his-and-her walk-in closets, upholstered walls in the bedroom, and a sitting room/solarium with walls of windows. A large oval-shaped deck curves off the master bedroom and the sitting room and offers spectacular Potomac River views in every season. The marble master bath has a soaking tub, a separate shower and a bidet.

Two additional bedrooms on the second level share a full bath that has recently been renovated. This marble bathroom includes a floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed shower and a designer free-standing sink. Each bedroom is in use as an office and includes custom-designed built-in shelves and cabinets.

The third level has one built-in wall of storage and panoramic views of the Potomac. The two adjacent homes have turned this space into a roof deck, an upgrade that could be easily accomplished in this home.

The lower level has been finished with a large family room or den with built-in cabinets and shelves. This room includes a wall of bowed windows and a sliding glass door to the landscaped back yard. A stone-tiled wet bar and kitchenette allow the lower-level bedroom to serve as an au-pair or in-law suite. The large bedroom has an adjoining tiled bath, and there is also a powder room for guests.

The lower level also includes a second laundry room, large storage closets and access to the garage. This home's comforts include a security system, four heating and cooling units, and built-in stereo speakers.

Details

Address: 5501 Potomac Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016-2555

Community: Palisades

Age: Built 1989

Price: $1.595 million

Size: About 5,659 finished square feet on site of 6,092 square feet

Taxes: $11,000 in 2001

Exterior features: Custom-contemporary home of white brick with black-painted brick wall, flagstone steps, walled garden, professionally lit and landscaped yard, two-car garage.

Interior features: Four bedrooms, three full baths, two powder rooms, marble foyer, curved archways throughout, formal living room with bleached hardwood floors, formal dining room, center-island kitchen, breakfast area, family room, master suite with sitting room, third level with built-in storage and Potomac views. Finished lower level has built-ins, stone-tiled wet bar and kitchen, powder room, second laundry room and large bedroom with adjoining tiled bath.

Amenities: Deck off master bedroom with views of the Potomac River, security system, four heating and cooling units, built-in stereo speakers.

Close by: Potomac River, MacArthur Boulevard shops and restaurants, Georgetown, Virginia and Maryland via Chain Bridge.

Schools: Key Elementary, Hardy Middle, Francis Junior High and Wilson High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtors Daniel Hynes and Susan B. Clark of Long & Foster Realtors at 202/364-5200, Ext. 221

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