Sundays With Strangers

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Looking at the glorious splendor of this fully-detached Kalorama carriage house, it’s hard to believe it used to be a building in which horses defecated. But it was. It definitely was. If anything, it’s a powerful argument for the American possibility of reinvention, albeit a much less sexy one than, say, Kim Kardashian’s butt implants. If a friend of mine lived here, I would make sure to bring this up as much as possible, just so they didn’t get too big of a head over their fancy carriage house. “So there, where you’re sitting – you think a horse poopped right on that spot at one point? I definitely think so.”

Since I knew this place was a carriage house before I went to see it, I thought I might be able to write in some kind of “tiny living” angle, but this place was huge, so I guess the angle is just “living.” The only way you’d ever know it was a carriage house is because it’s sort of tucked behind this other, larger, house, though in a funny twist, the smaller carriage house is now by far the nicest of the two. It’s like one of those ugly duckling teen comedies from the Nineties where two girls take the short nerdy guy from school and turn him into the class hunk so he doesn’t go on a shooting spree at prom or something. (I’m just guessing, I never saw any of those movies.) The interior sports an open floor plan, so you enter into a wide bright space; you can actually look through the living room and out the other side of the house. There’s a spacious formal dining room, and a pretty fantastic chef’s kitchen. White marble, a long breakfast bar, tons of counterspace, and one of those professional-style ranges with six burners, which is about five more burners than you need, and really you’ll only use that one burner to awkwardly light cigarettes at 4AM.

Upstairs, you remember that you’re in a carriage house; the rooms have wackily and irregularly-angled ceilings, and I spent a good twenty minutes hoping I’d see someone whack their forehead on a jutting eave or something. (No luck.) I think this sort of thing adds a unique touch to a home, though it may just be me – growing up, I always insisted on taking the attic for my bedroom when we moved to a new house. (Which is why to this day I can walk silently up and down any flight of stairs, no matter how creaky.) Up here, there are hints of the “tiny living” aesthetic – the master bedroom features a gorgeous, intensely space-efficient walk-in closet, and an entire wall of built-ins. (The house was renovated in 2012.) Outside, there’s a huge brick patio and landscaped terrace that’s perfect for a dinner party, wedding reception, or just a bunch of people milling around and drinking for no particular reason. (Why do we need a reason?) And the house is right on Embassy Row, so it’s quiet and lots of foreign billionaires will park their cars so that two wheels will actually be in your yard, and there’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, keying their car would, in diplomatic circles, be considered an act of war. (All the more reason to go ahead and key it, in my opinion.)

2206 Decatur Place NW
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths
$2,249,000

 

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