Let’s be honest, this place could be a louse-infested asbestos hovel, and you’d still make an offer, just because you want to be future neighbors with the Obamas. If I lived in Kalorama, I’d get a dog and perpetually walk it in a grid pattern around the neighborhood until I ran into them, and then pull the old, “hmm, you guys look familiar, have we met before?” My fake realness will be so refreshing that we’ll become close friends, and then bam, I’m pals with an ex-president. At that point it won’t take much more than a few casual remarks to get all my enemies shipped off to Guantanamo. (Yes, that entire scheme was just to get revenge on various HR ladies who fired me and that one neighbor who used to steal my mail. I’m petty, sue me.)
But yeah, Kalorama is probably the most coveted neighborhood now, thanks to the Obama factor. (Although some people do say that living near someone who has a 24-hour security detail and always travels in a police convoy is borderline life-ruining.) Even if the Obamas weren’t moving in nearby, though, you’d still covet this house. This Classical Revival townhome was designed in 1911 by noted architect Percival Emmert; twice at the open house – twice! – someone mentioned this, and both times I just nodded knowingly and said something like, “ah yes, of course, it has all the hallmarks of an Emmert!” even though I have no idea who he is. Inside, the house is an intriguing mix of old and new. There’s a ton of original woodwork; sometimes it’s more “Swiss chalet,” and other times it’s more “grandpa’s ping pong room.” But since it’s over a hundred years old, I guess you’re ethically obligated to just let it be. The living room is huge, and sports an antique fireplace and an oversized bay window. The dining room also has an antique fireplace, as well as louvered ceilings and again, lots of woodwork. Tons of woodwork. You could film a Victorian-era period piece here. In keeping with that theme, there’s also an awesome wood-paneled study that’s literally all wood except for the ceiling. If civilization ever collapses, prying pieces off these walls for fuel will get you through at least half a dozen winters.
The kitchen is very open and large, with a massive marble-topped island and top-of-the-line Dacor and Miele appliances. (There’s even a wine fridge.) But the real crown jewel of the kitchen is the breakfast nook-slash-dining area that’s set up like a booth in a Denny’s or something. It’s the sort of thing that you see and immediately think, “why doesn’t every kitchen in America have one of these?!” If I lived here I’d set it up like an actual Denny’s, with plush vinyl seats and packets of Splenda on the table. Every meal, I’d ask for eight coffee refills with patronizing fake niceness and then, after I’d eaten three quarters of my food, I’d go to the bathroom and make a quick escape. The Obamas would be looking out their window every morning like, “why is this guy always climbing out his bathroom window and then running down the alley snickering?”
Out back is a fantastic multi-level wooden deck, with a privacy fence and a pergola-like roof. It’s perfect for a relaxing breakfast, small cocktail party, or spying on an ex-President with high-powered binoculars. Upstairs, the master bedroom suite is staggeringly luxe; the bedroom itself is airy with tons of natural light, and the master bath features twin basins separated by a fireplace. I don’t know why anyone needs a fireplace in the bathroom, but I’ll tell you that I’d definitely be spitting my Listerine into the flames every night after gargling, to produce a huge fireball, like a Martha Stewart version of Burning Man. There are heated floors, and the massive shower is less of a shower than it is a marble-walled room that happens to have drains in the floor. Further on, there’s a long walk-in closet and dressing area that rivals anything I’ve ever seen on MTV Cribs. (If you ever tell anyone that I watch MTV Cribs, I’m never speaking to you again.) Of the eight bedrooms, I believe they all have a fireplace, which has to be some kind of record, and there’s a third floor balcony/porch with fantastic views. Finally, there’s a two car garage, and the lower level is a separate apartment, because life just isn’t that sweet unless it’s being subsidized by a sad bachelor living under your house.
1854 Wyoming Avenue NW
8 Bedrooms, 6 Baths
Photos and listing courtesy of TTR Sotheby’s, 202-607-4000