- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Georgetown’s charms are well-known. Tourists often wander the residential streets, wondering about the delights they might find if only they could be invited inside one of these intriguingly narrow homes.

While some of Georgetown’s homes retain their original floor plan, with tiny rooms and a kitchen and dining room on a separate floor from the living room, others have been remodeled to appeal to modern tastes.

At 1641 34th St. NW, the semidetached home has a simple yet elegant exterior that only hints at the transformation of the indoor space. On the market for $1,800,000, this home was built in 1925, then completely gutted and remodeled in 1992.

The owners at that time had three daughters and wanted to build a home with space for entertaining and family togetherness. They also succeeded in blending traditional and contemporary detailing so future residents could opt for traditional or contemporary furnishings or combine different styles with ease.

The most dramatic change in the house is the addition of a three-story entrance hall with a ceiling of skylights far overhead. The front door opens into this hall, which has one wall of brick with windows on the highest level. The inner wall of the hall, originally the exterior wall of the house, includes interior windows on all three levels, which allow light to filter in from the skylights and other windows. Hardwood flooring has been placed on the diagonal in the hall, adding to the drama of the room.

At the front of this home is the formal dining room, which has hardwood flooring, a ceiling medallion and pocket doors linking the room to the kitchen.

The kitchen, remodeled by the current owner, has a polished brick floor and a brick backsplash with colorful tile accents. An opening has been cut out between the kitchen and the rear hall to make the room airier.

The kitchen includes granite counters; wood cabinets, including some with glass fronts; and upgraded stainless steel appliances, including a five-burner Thermador stove, double Thermador wall ovens and a GE Advantium stainless steel microwave oven. A tall pantry with pull-out shelving is in one corner of the kitchen.

Closet space has been added in every possible location, including two closets off the entrance hall and a closet with shelving in the rear hall next to the kitchen and powder room.

A brick archway leads from the entrance hall to the living room at the back of the home. The living room has a wall of glass facing the enclosed garden, with two sets of French doors and a mullioned picture window in the center of the wall. The living room includes hardwood flooring, a fireplace and built-in bookcases with cabinets.

The fully fenced garden has a brick wall and a towering mulberry tree at one end, garden beds, an oval lawn and a flagstone patio with space for a table and grill.

The current owners have entertained as many as 150 friends in this home by transforming their garden with a heated tent, opening the French doors and turning the dining room into a buffet area.

A gently curving wood staircase leads to the second level, which has hardwood flooring and is full of light. At the center of this level is a sitting room or family room with a wall of windows facing into the upper portion of the entrance hall. This room has recessed lighting. Around the corner is a deep double-door closet with a washer and dryer and shelving.

At the back of this level is the master suite, which includes three tall windows overlooking the garden. The master bedroom has built-in bookcases, a ceiling fan, three closets and a linen closet. The new master bath has an oversized glass-enclosed shower.

On the opposite side of the sitting room is the second bedroom, which currently functions as a home office. This spacious room faces the street, with a sitting area, a closet and a full bath, which is also accessible from the central sitting room.

Wood stairs lead to the upper floor, which also has hardwood flooring. The rear bedroom on this level also could function as a master bedroom because it is equal in size to the master bedroom below. This charming room includes three tall windows facing the garden, each with a window seat with storage under the seat. This bedroom includes a double-door closet and a second standard closet. A full bath is just across the hall.

This level includes a cozy sitting area tucked under a sloping ceiling, large enough for a love seat or a small couch.

At the front of the home is the “tower room,” with dramatically high ceilings and transoms tucked just under the roofline above a sitting area. This bedroom has sloping ceilings in the main part of the room, which also has a semicircular window facing the street.

A full bath links this bedroom with another bedroom, which has built-in bookcases and cabinets, built-in drawers and two closets. Transoms at the top of this room allow additional light to filter in from the skylights above the entrance hall.

The hall linking the bedrooms is lined with skylights and windows that provide views of the rooftops of Georgetown.

In addition to all the closets in each bedroom, the upper two levels include linen closets and storage closets along the hall. Pull-down attic stairs provide access to an attic storage area, and steps lead from the entrance hall down to the unfinished basement storage area.

This home provides some hidden surprises that are invisible from the street.

Address: 1641 34th St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

Community: Georgetown

Age: Built in 1925; completely remodeled in 1992

Price: $1,800,000

Size: 3,549 square feet on lot of 2,016 square feet

Taxes: $13,644 in 2006

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: Colonial-style three-story semidetached town home of wood siding.

Interior features: Five bedrooms; 41/2 baths; hardwood flooring; blend of traditional and contemporary styles; dramatic three-story entrance hall with one brick wall and ceiling of skylights; formal dining room; kitchen with brick floor, stainless steel appliances, granite counters; living room with fireplace and French doors to garden; second-level sitting room with wall of windows; master bedroom with full bath; bedroom or home office with private full bath; closet with washer and dryer; finished upper level with sitting area, two bedrooms with connecting bath and a third bedroom with a private bath.

Amenities: Enclosed private garden with flagstone terrace, oval lawn, garden bed and mature trees; central air conditioning, gas heat, attic and basement storage areas.

Close by: Walk to Georgetown Library, shops and restaurants, easy access to downtown Washington or to Virginia.

Open house: Feb. 25, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Broker Cathie Gill of Cathie Gill Inc. Realtors at 202/364-3066.

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