“Wait, what?” That’s what I said when I first laid eyes on this unique U Street home. Not that I didn’t like it, it’s just that it’s a bit jarring in the context of an otherwise conventional DC block, like if you walked into church and there was a guy in a metallic silver jumpsuit sitting in the front row. But again, nothing wrong with that. The regular DC rowhome facade can get a bit tedious to look at, and this modernist/cubist/weirdist house will appeal to anyone who read the Steve Jobs biography, tries to keep their Google glasses on during sex, or just doesn’t want to live in a house that looks like everyone else’s.
Inside, the design choices are just as adventurous. The living room sports a horizontally-oriented picture window and an awesome fireplace encased in a protruding, modular sort of console that looks like the entrance hatch to an escape pod on “Star Trek.” (“Hey, get a photo of me pretending to slide in!” I said as I got ashes all over my shoes and pants for a pic that only got, like, three likes.) Up on a raised landing is the kitchen, which is as mod as the rest of the house. The flat-paneled cabinets are all white, except for the ones that are stainless steel; yes, there are stainless steel cabinets in here. You’d think it would look like a medical supply store or something, but it actually looks pretty good, if a bit decadent. It’s not exactly decadence on the level of Saddam Hussein’s gold toilet, no, but it’s just a notch below that. The appliances are also high-end stainless steel; not a lot of steel stains are going to be seen in this kitchen. If you absolutely cannot abide the sight of stained steel, buy this house.
The spine of the house is the floating steel custom staircase that goes up through the center of the structure; at the bottom is a surprisingly large concealed storage area that could hold all the crap you don’t need but have nevertheless lugged through every move. (I have a decade’s worth of unread New Yorker magazines that I refuse to throw out because then I’d have to admit that the subscription was a waste of money.) You could also rent it out as a dwelling for an elf, or a particularly desperate intern. Upstairs, the bedrooms are full of light; even the hallway has a skylight. This skylight actually made me think to myself, “skylights are so pleasant, why not have one in every room?” And then I remembered that night my best pal called me at 1am and asked if he could crash on my sofa; when I asked why, he said, “I just woke up to someone in a mask looking down into my bedroom skylight.” So yeah, let’s not overdo the skylight thing.
The master bath is a master-piece (see what I did there?) of sleek design, with a glass-walled shower, an inset soaking tub, and a long counter with double basins. It’s an immaculate place to do disgustingly un-immaculate things. The master bedroom is equally sleek, and sports an incredible walk-in closet that could bring out the OCD in anyone. I could certainly spend hours just moving my belts from one slot to another. Outside is a long outdoor patio that’s private but also seems open. Most outdoor spaces are one or the other; either a meticulously-landscaped and vaguely oppressive hedge prison where you could eat brunch in the nude, or a sunny, open space in which you’ll always have this faint feeling that the neighborhood kids are taking iPhone video of you as you sunbathe. Also, keep in mind that you’re only two blocks from U Street, which was miraculously saved at the last minute from being passe by the sudden emergence of 14th Street, which went from “new” directly to “uncool,” skipping the “cool” phase entirely, and thus passing the area’s “cool” crown back to U Street, possibly for good. You’d also be right by 930 Club, if you like to listen to poor renditions of your favorite songs while being elbowed by strangers, and the upcoming Atlantic Plumbing movie theater/retail/condo complex, which will surely make your property value rise even more. Makes sense actually, this house looks exactly like an ATM machine.
2122 10th Street NW
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths