Northwest Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood is home to elegant embassies and late 19th- and early 20th-century mansions, some of which have been converted over the decades into apartments and condominiums.
Part of Kalorama borders Adams Morgan and offers easy access to restaurants and night life, but the neighborhood identified as the Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places (www.nps.gov) has a quieter ambience.
Bordered by Connecticut and Florida avenues on the east and P Street on the south, this area of Kalorama has streets lined with sophisticated residences, museums, churches and embassies. A stone condominium building with Old World style at 2205 California St. features a semicircular cobblestone front drive with a fountain.
Residents of this Kalorama condominium can take advantage of a small neighborhood market just across the street or walk one block to reach the shops and restaurants on Connecticut Avenue. The Dupont Circle Metro station is a little more than half a mile from the building, and the Woodley Park Metro station is a little less than a mile away. Residents also can walk a few blocks to reach Rock Creek Park and Massachusetts Avenue.
The building, constructed in 1905, features an elegant lobby with marble flooring, marble and mirrored walls, high ceilings and elaborate moldings that have been repainted recently to emphasize their distinctive design. The building has a broad marble staircase along with elevators to reach the homes.
Most of the residences in this building retain their original configuration as apartments, which means they often have additional living space compared with newer condominium developments.
The No. 203 residence, on the market for $879,000, has 1,268 square feet of space, two bedrooms and a library. A parking space and storage space are included in the price of the home.
Hardwood flooring throughout the home has been restored carefully to its original sheen, and the crown moldings and trim have been restored or reconfigured to maximize their impact.
The most spectacular aspect of the restoration of this home is the elegant kitchen, which the owners spent $100,000 remodeling. The resulting room features high-end appliances and finishes and warm colors.
The kitchen, remodeled with the help of Justin Cunningham of Nancy Thornett Associates in Bethesda, features alder wood cabinets by William Ochs that were stained, glazed and burnished with a “buckskin” finish. The herringbone-pattern marble flooring is Pietra beige, and the counters are honed Calacatta Gold marble.
The range hood is custom-made of antique copper. Each shelf and drawer has been designed carefully to maximize function, and the appliances have been integrated into the cabinetry so they seem to disappear.
The Sub-Zero refrigerator appears to be another cabinet, and the freezer drawers also appear to be additional storage space.
Other appliances include a Bosch dishwasher, a GE Monogram Advantium Speed Oven and a Thermador Pro Grand gas range. Taller cabinet doors open to reveal a Bosch washer and dryer.
Although the kitchen might draw the most attention, this home also has been upgraded with a new heating and air-conditioning system, new windows and new blinds. Some of the original features of the home also deserve mention, such as the imposing columns and elaborate trim that frame the entrance to the living room.
The wood front door opens off the main hall into the formal dining room, which has a ceiling medallion and a chandelier. This space also includes two closets and easily can seat eight or more guests around the dining table.
The living room has a deep bay window at one end and polished hardwood flooring underfoot. Adjacent to the living room is the library, a cozy room with a built-in bookcase and a closet.
French doors open off the library onto a small balcony, perfect for reading on a pleasant day or simply for letting fresh air into the home.
The master bedroom has two large windows on one side of the room and a tall narrow window on the opposite side to let in more light. Double doors open into this room from the central dining room. A double-door closet with built-in organizers is just inside the bedroom. The private master bath with a glass-enclosed shower has limestone flooring and is a step up from the bedroom.
The second bedroom, nearly as large as the master bedroom, has a double-door closet with built-in organizers. The adjacent full bath has limestone flooring and a combination tub and shower set beneath a window.
The modernized kitchen may be the biggest draw to this home, but visitors also will appreciate the honor paid to the old-fashioned opulence in the building and the home, where carefully preserved marble and wood have been blended with newer amenities.