Almost all mansions are all-white inside, which is the height of impracticality, although what’s the point of being wealthy if not the defiant embrace of total impracticality? I used to think the all-white was a symbol of a “fresh start” – “Yes, I sabotaged and backstabbed every other junior partner at the firm to get here, but from here on out I’m a changed person!” (Isn’t this how half of Shakespeare’s plays begin?) Sort of like how brides still wear white even though no one is a virgin on their wedding day anymore: “Yes, everyone here knows what I did in 2009 in the Cancun Señor Frog’s restroom, but this dress signifies that from here on out, I’m a new woman. Though I reserve the right to think about the Señor Frog’s incident in the shower from time to time.”
But nowadays I think the all-white interior signifies a purity of a different kind – not freedom from moral corruption, but a freedom from practical considerations. “I am untainted by the realm of everyday worries like heating bills and fingerprints on the walls, not only do I have a color scheme that requires a weekly pressure-washing, I also have a pool that I use like 6 weeks a year, and even the guest bathroom has a hotel-style ‘cowboy draw’ wall-mounted blow dryer.” At any rate, if a house is all-white, it’s probably nicer than yours.
This Wesley Heights manse is a 1926 Tudor with, yes, all white walls. You enter into a regal foyer that hints at the scale of the rest of the house. Further on, the living room sports a fantastic window seat, and a black marble fireplace, which are coincidentally placed so they’re facing each other; I’m just warning you now that if you invite me over, I’m going to try and spit sunflower seeds into the fireplace while sitting in the window seat. There’s a huge formal dining room with an elegant crystal chandelier that would look at home in a royal palace or at least an upscale candle store. There’s a beautiful sunroom with more window seats and tons of built-ins, and a legitimate library with great light and enough shelving for thousands of books, none of which will ever successfully grab your attention unless you dropped your phone in the toilet or something. The kitchen is huge, with black marble counters and blonde wood finishes; there’s a dining area overlooking the backyard, so while you eat you can keep an eye out for lawn furniture thieves. (This is pretty much all my dad does now that he’s retired.)
The master bedroom is downright massive, and opens, via French doors, onto a private terrace. You have a perfect view of the massive backyard swimming pool from out there, which is hard not to interpret as permission to engage in some pervy binoculars-aided spying. Not only is there a pool out there, there’s a 900 square foot poolhouse for your personal Kato Kaelin to crash in for a week or two or six months. Scattered around the grounds are also beautiful English-style gardens which are fully mature, which means if you’re out with them on a weeknight, they’ll look at you sideways when you order a fourth drink and passive-aggressively ask, “You’re having another one? Don’t you have to work tomorrow?”
3001 44th Place NW
5 Bedrooms, 6.5 Baths
Photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Christie-Anne Weiss, TTR Sotheby’s, 202-234-3344