Privacy, light and a blurring of boundaries between exterior and interior areas are hallmarks of traditional Japanese architecture. They are also key design principles that distinguish the serene and minimalist contemporary home at 7049 Western Ave. NW.
Built in 1951 and totally re-imagined in 2008, this steel, glass, marble and wood mid-century modern house offers 2,898 square feet of living space on two levels and includes four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two fireplaces, beautifully landscaped front and rear yards, and an attached single-car garage. It is now on the market for $1,175,000.
Set back from the street and fronted by ornamental grasses and evergreen shrubs, the house is white brick with burnished brown-gray trim. It transitions organically from the outdoors to the inside via two covered decks back-lit by large horizontal-paned windows that suggest shoji screens — an element that repeats throughout the home.
On the lower deck, a simple concrete table, four low stools and a Buddha sculpture recall a Japanese teahouse. (There’s also room for a large gas barbecue.) An open ironwork banister defines and frames the upper terrace that leads to the main door.
Inside, the open-flow layout reveals a compact yet airy living and entertaining space connected by light oak flooring. Straight ahead, a wall of windows and sliding doors overlooks the terraced rear garden and spacious patio. To the left is the kitchen, which is enclosed — Bento-box style — in dark mahogany and which opens into the dining area. To the right is the living room with a feature wall of creamy Fiorito marble tile, a gas fireplace with simple wood mantel, recessed television and vertical built-in wood bookcase.
In the professional chef’s kitchen, Fiorito marble lines the floors and backsplash, contrasting nicely with the glossy white cabinets (some with glass doors) and brushed nickel pulls and hardware. Appliances include a Kenmore Pro five-burner gas range, double wall oven and oversized French door refrigerator-freezer with water and icemaker; GE Profile dishwasher; and Whirlpool microwave. The impressively sized stainless hood over the range is custom-fabricated, as is the extensive countertop, which is a single continuous piece of stainless steel.
There are three bedrooms on the main level, each in its own corner and separated from the main living space for maximum privacy and quiet. There are also two en-suite baths (a third is downstairs) and one hall bath, all similarly fitted with floating wood vanities, sleek chrome fixtures, and marble floor and backsplash.
Off the living room at the front of the house is a guest room with floor-to-ceiling windows, a large walk-in closet with custom built-ins, and an en-suite bath. At the back of the house is the master suite, with a bedroom/sitting room with tray ceiling, three oversized windows, two walk-in closets, and a sizable mahogany wardrobe/storage unit that camouflages the TV and a Whirlpool stainless washer/dryer.
The master bedroom opens onto a secluded flagstone patio that’s large enough for lounging, meditating or enjoying a morning yoga session. Its climbing hydrangeas complement those in the rear garden, which also has hostas, sculptured bushes, a magnificent fig tree and a programmed in-ground irrigation system.
The master bath is a zen-like retreat with a Kohler soaking tub, glass vanity with molded recessed vessel sinks, Grohe faucets and a glass-doored shower with a bench.
Also located on this level, off the kitchen on the other side of the house, is a third bedroom or office and hall bath.
Downstairs, the au pair suite is every bit as thoughtfully designed as the rest of the house. A mini-version of the upstairs space, it features many of the same marble, wood and glass design elements and similar top-of-the-line kitchen appliances (stainless counter, Whirlpool fridge, Kenmore Pro dishwasher, and GE Profile oven, range and microwave). There is also a fully equipped laundry room with GE washer and dryer, a stainless sink and shelves for hanging and folded storage. A sea green glass tile feature wall adds textural interest here and in the mini kitchen. The fourth bedroom and full bath complete this sleek living area.
Located on the border between the D.C. and Maryland areas of Chevy Chase, the home is a few blocks from Rock Creek Park and a short drive from several vibrant retail and restaurant centers.
The four-bedroom, four-bath home at 7409 Western Ave. NW is listed for $1,175,000 with McEnearney Associates. For details, contact Santiago Testa at testarealestate.net or 202-552-5624. For a video tour, visit spws.homevisit.com/hvid/195771.