- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2008

It’s an easy stroll to the Metro’s Red Line, a grocery co-op and the activities of Takoma Park’s Old Town section from the front door of the renovated five-bedroom home at 311 Ethan Allen Ave.

The house, on the market for $649,000, is in a prime location while boasting a spacious and serenely private backyard.

The quaint exterior, with its pale blue siding, red door and square columns anchoring the covered front porch, keeps in the tradition of the 1923 home and many of the neighboring residences.

Inside, however, the house was completely rebuilt in 2006-07 and has a more contemporary feel with features such as granite counters, French doors and recessed lighting in just about every room.

The front door has a leaded-glass panel, which makes for a sunny entrance. Oak floors gleam from the front door through the main and upper levels. In addition to a handy coat closet, the entry foyer has a half bathroom with a decorative ceramic tile floor, a pedestal sink and a window.

To the left of the front entrance is a set of French doors that open into a cozy parlor that can be used as a small living room or library. A masonry fireplace with a natural stone hearth is sure to add warmth and style. Built-in bench seats flank the fireplace.

Windows in the parlor and most of the other rooms help make this home a sun-drenched retreat. The kitchen is the next room that comes into view, and it is a crisp, open space filled with trendy features and amenities.

The maple cabinets are especially striking when coupled with the granite countertops.

The state-of-the-art Jenn-Air appliances are all stainless steel and include a side-by-side refrigerator with a bottom freezer, a dual-fuel five-burner range with two ovens, a dishwasher and a microwave.

Clearly the heart of the home, the kitchen sits in the middle of the main level, across from a designer staircase that leads to the upper and lower levels. It also opens directly into the dining and family-room areas in the rear of the home.

A wide archway at the breakfast-bar counter helps connect the kitchen and dining room, as you easily can pull up a stool to converse with family members or guests in both rooms.

The dining room opens into the adjacent family room, creating one large room filled with windows.

Adding to the impressive main level is the fact that French doors in the dining room lead outside onto a relaxing deck with a ceiling fan and wrought-iron railings. It is in this picturesque area that visitors realize how high the house sits from the backyard.

Meeting the treetops, the view from the expansive deck changes with the seasons. A set of stairs provides easy access into the two-tiered backyard. The first area in the yard has a walkway that works like a hall separating two distinct spaces. Another set of steps leads farther down into the backyard, where there is more natural landscaping.

The backyard also contains an unattached two-story garage that the homeowners use as convenient storage space. The garage has electricity, so it would work well as a workshop, too. A new concrete driveway on the side of the home leads to the garage.

An oak staircase with six soaring windows at the first landing and a Tiffany-style light fixture leads to three bedrooms on the second floor. All of the bedrooms feature wood floors and five-panel doors of Douglas fir.

The windows in the well-appointed master suite face the backyard and the side of the home. There are two lighted walk-in closets, and one offers access to the storage attic.

Ceramic tile floors, a deep Kohler soaking tub and a ceramic tile multihead shower all enhance the master bathroom. The his-and-hers vanities with granite countertops are separated by a window that sits between them.

The other two bedrooms are linked by a connecting bathroom with a granite counter, designer cabinetry and a soaking tub. Both bedrooms are comfortably sized.

Two more bedrooms are on the carpeted lower level. These twin rooms sit next to each other, and each has its own French-door entrance into the backyard. The doors open directly onto a covered deck.

The two rooms share a bath with ceramic tile flooring and a granite-topped vanity. The lower level also comes with a separate laundry room with a Whirlpool duet front-load washer and dryer that will convey.

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