Friday, May 14, 2010

Chloethiel Woodard Smith, an architect and urban planner in the Washington area best known for her design work at Harbour Square in Southwest Washington, Waterview town houses in Reston, Va., and the National Airport Metro station, also designed individual homes throughout the city and its suburbs during her long career.

Smith’s innovative, contemporary style influenced both residential and commercial architecture, including the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and L Street Northwest, where she designed three of the four office buildings there. Local critics and other architects have referred to this intersection as “Chloethiel’s Corner.”

On a smaller scale, Smith designed an innovative contemporary-style addition to the home at 6347 31st St. NW in the Barnaby Woods section of Chevy Chase in the District. On the market for $699,000, this single-family home rests on a large lot with views of woods and a creek in one of the most sought-after residential sections of the city.

Smith’s addition floods this home with light from myriad angled and curving windows, and she added an open wood staircase to all three levels that brings interest and contemporary flair to the home.

This Barnaby Woods home presents a traditional facade to the street, with a brick-and-siding front and a flagstone walkway leading across the lawn and past garden beds to the front porch. The generously sized front porch, with a beadboard ceiling overhead, is large enough to function as an outdoor room for entertaining or simply relaxing with a good book and a glass of iced tea. A step down from the front porch leads to the flagstone side porch, an uncovered area with more space for dining outside or sunbathing. A low gate links this porch with the backyard.

This home features a deep backyard with plenty of space for a lawn and garden beds extending all the way to a line of tall trees and a small creek at the back of the property. The grounds include a detached one-car garage and a shared driveway.

Some neighboring homeowners have used their backyard space to expand their living space, which is a possibility for this residence as well. The unfinished lower level, which includes laundry and utility equipment, opens to the garden and has plenty of possibility for finishing as a home office or playroom.

The owners added a full bath to the lower level with a combination tub and shower along with a pedestal sink.

The main and upper levels of this home have refinished hardwood flooring and high ceilings. The main level includes an entry foyer with a large coat closet.

Just beyond the foyer, the living room includes a wood-burning fireplace with a slate hearth and surround and a wood mantel. A sliding glass door links the living room to a wide deck overlooking the woods. The deck floor recently was replaced. Residents can dine on the deck or simply relax, watching birds flit among the trees and enjoying the occasional sight of a deer.

The living room and dining room both have windows on two sides, adding to the natural light in this home. The formal dining room has two built-in corner cupboards from the 1930s.

The main level also includes a kitchen and breakfast room, both with ceramic tile flooring. The modern kitchen has stainless steel appliances and white cabinets, with track lighting and a double window over the sink. The breakfast area seems almost to float in the woods, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing woodland views in every season.

A focal point for the home is the open wood staircase that angles its way from the main level up to the second level and down to the lower level. The breakfast room is open to the staircase, which allows more natural light to filter through the home.

Upstairs, all three bedrooms and the main hall have hardwood flooring. Pull-down stairs lead to attic storage space, which also may be available for future expansion. The three bedrooms share a hall bath with tile flooring and a large window.

The master bedroom has windows on two sides and a large closet. The secondary bedroom is generously sized and has a walk-in closet. The third bedroom overlooks the woods.

This home has gas-fired radiator heating with supplemental electric heat in the breakfast room addition. The roof was replaced within the past five years.

Barnaby Woods, an entirely residential section of Chevy Chase, consists primarily of homes built in the 1930s on some of the larger parcels of land in this part of Northwest Washington. Woods and creeks have been preserved between the homes, and neighbors gather at Lafayette and Livingston parks. Rock Creek Park also is nearby.

While the woodland setting of the homes in Barnaby Woods sometimes gives the community a suburban or even rural feel, residents are minutes away from the Friendship Heights Metro stop along with shops, restaurants, a library and entertainment along Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues. Both Bethesda and downtown Washington are easily accessible, too.


Address: 6347 31st St. NW, Washington. DC 20015

Community: Barnaby Woods area of Chevy Chase

Age: Built in 1933

Price: $699,000

Size: Lot of approximately 7,250 square feet

Taxes: $5,962 in 2009

Homeowners association fee: None

Exterior features: Colonial-style single-family home of brick and siding with contemporary flair in back; deep backyard with mature trees, creek, lawn and garden beds; shared driveway leads to detached one-car garage

Interior features: Three bedrooms; two full baths; entrance foyer with coat closet; living room with fireplace and sliding glass door to deck; formal dining room with two built-in corner cupboards; modern kitchen opens to breakfast room with counter space, extra storage and wooded views; master bedroom with large closet; large second bedroom; third bedroom with wooded views; pull-down stairs to attic storage; hall bath; unfinished lower level with full bath, laundry equipment, storage space and access to garden and garage

Amenities: Deck overlooking woods and creek, covered front porch, uncovered side porch with gate to backyard, restored hardwood flooring on main and upper levels, gas-fired radiator heat, roof less than five years old

Close by: Just off Utah Avenue, this home is located near Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase Circle for shops and restaurants; easy access to Bethesda and to downtown Washington.

Schools: Lafayette Elementary, Deal Middle, Wilson High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Steve Agostino of Long & Foster Realtors at 202/321-5506 or

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