brick and mortar

I know I promised a lengthy and well considered post about what I learned during those two hot and sticky years in sunny Luanda, Angola. Something nicely written with an appropriate amount of grit and cultural sensitivity that talks about how I’ll always be so grateful for the experience. Something about becoming a mother for the first time and the isolation and identity shift. Yawn.

Truth be told, I’m having a hard time focusing on much else than the fact that I want to swing from the fan blades howling like a loon. You guys, pop the champagne and raise your glass high…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!smile for the camera, gorgeous!I never thought that this would be such a “the new phone books are here!!” occasion in my life, but just writing this makes the butterflies in my stomach begin to dip and swirl anew. In the foreign service, the concept of “home” becomes very nebulous. Moving every few years, all of your treasures wrapped and packed and stored for years at a time. It’s because of this, I suspect, that our new home has affected me so thoroughly. So please pardon me while I shout from the rooftops of Capitol Hill and sing the praises of our beautiful new place.

After a stressful month of shuffling finances and scrutinizing every last dollar to our names, we closed this past Thursday on one of the sweetest little row homes my eyes have ever had the pleasure of resting on. When I say she is a honey, I mean she has the most welcoming and comfortable embrace I have ever felt from a home. I knew it when our agent took us through. My knees buckled from beneath me and I got tears in my eyes. Wacky for sure. But after going through so many gut job formulaic contractor rehabs with the SAME stainless appliances and granite counter tops I had almost given up my hope for something with a little character and personality. I am smitten. Without further ado, welcome to our new home!!!

(pictures which follow are all from the previous owner’s real estate listing, though fixtures stay as do built-ins).

DSC00964Exposed brick wall runs along the length of the house. A rack to mount bicycles to the wall just to the left of the door. Note the stunning vintage brass moose head sconces which flank the fireplace and the fabulous built-in shelving unit.DSC00930Open floor plan continues into dining area and through kitchen with a two person breakfast bar then opens out back onto beautiful patio… but I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s linger for a moment in THE KITCHEN…just humor me.DSC00941DSC00945DSC00975Whew. THAT is a sizzlin’, smokin’, dare I say sexy, “come hither and let’s spend some quality time with a sweaty brow braising, searing, roasting, and baking” kind of stove. I never thought I’d own such a beautiful piece of machinery. A white Viking range, my dear ones! Who knew that such a beauty exists? I may unroll a sleeping bag right here the first night I am able. Have I mentioned those pristine black walnut floors? Or the poured concrete countertops?DSC00951DSC01017DSC00999Half bath downstairs with a sweet old industrial sink. Back patio with slate flooring. We plan to get a nice gas grill and a dining set with a colorful umbrella and comfy seats made for lingering long after dinner. DSC01066Check out the upstairs now, shall we?DSC01070DSC01088DSC01071DSC00819DSC00806DSC00807Two full bathrooms and two bedrooms, only pictures of one bedroom here since previous owner had other set up as media room/guest room. Full sized washer and dryer in hallway and an ample amount of storage in built-in hallway closets. And finally, onward and upward.DSC01004The second bedroom opens onto this little lounging deck (seen here from above) and continues up a spiral staircase to the rooftop deck. Holy moly. It just keeps getting better.DSC00775My plan for this rooftop area is to put some comfy loungers and side tables. Though Snakes has ambitious plans of rooftop dinners, I just can’t see tip toeing up and down a spiral staircase with a steamy soup tureen and multiple wine glasses. So until he installs a dumb-waiter up the back, I think we will stick to cocktails and sweets. Every man for himself. Just one more detail I forgot to mention. Flip back through these pictures paying close attention to any ceiling shots. You see them now? Yeah, those are speakers imbedded in the ceiling of every room of the house, all controlled from a central receiver located in the kitchen. I am over the moon.

So, the tragic part. Tragic for us anyway since we have a lease through October and leave for Chile at the end of the year. A massive stroke of luck for any TDY-ers headed to DC. Starting August 1st, this heart throb on the hill is available for rent. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths. We will work with per-diem, utilities, wifi included. 1.5 blocks from Harris Teeter grocery store, Capitol bike share, Potomac metro(orange/blue line- straight shot to foggy bottom or arlington shuttle to fsi). 20 minute walk to Nationals Stadium. 15 minute walk to Eastern Market. Pet friendly, of course. Shoot me an email if you have more questions and after I dab these tears of elation from my eyes I’ll be happy to respond.



18 thoughts on “brick and mortar

  1. Wow that looks totally amazing!!! We bought a house in March. Maybe it is an Africa thing? Cannot be more excited. We finally get to move in next week.

    1. I suspect more than an Africa thing it was an interest rate thing! Although, that bonus pay and no where to spend it didn’t hurt… Hope you guys are settling in nicely to your new home!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE your house!!! So happy for you! Much more exciting to read about than time spent in Luanda 🙂 🙂

  3. Okay, that is very cool! I am currently waiting for my call to A100, but will hopefully be able to contact you for info on how to do the renting thing while I am out of the country. This is truly a fabulous house. Well done!

  4. Sweet!! Glad you’re stateside for a while.
    If you decide to do any touring we’d live to see you all. Headed to jersey shore for wedding 9/21 if you want to meet up!

    1. Just back from jersey shore! We were in cape may with the in laws. It was beautiful. Would love to catch up with you sometime. Hope you and the family are doing well.

  5. I am leaving my FS assignment in Nairobi tonight and heading to DC for a domestic tour. Your place looks great. I’ll give you a call! –Kirsten Thompson

  6. gah, I just drooled over this house and then whined to Chris “i wanna buy a house!” It is so, so beautiful and THAT KITCHEN! 🙂 So bittersweet that you won’t live there before Santiago but so happy that you will have it to come home too! ps. what are you thinking for schools when you guys live there and bushbaby is in school? Chris and I wonder all the time about that since we want to live in the district not the suburbs when we get back. I’m guessing you guys have done far more research than we have and would love to hear it sometime!

    1. It is so grounding to know that we have this tiny little patch of the city to call our own. Nice that we and the bushbaby will have this to return to in between tours as well. There is an incredibly active amazing yahoo group “moms on the hill” or MOTH that I belong to. It seems to me that a lot of people are sending their kids to the public schools around here. Capitol Hill is VERY family friendly and has gentrified at an alarming rate since we last lived here in 2011. I haven’t researched much since we are still a few years out but I suspect we won’t have any problems.

  7. It’s beautiful, Eve. LOVE that kitchen, the exposed brick, the back patio, and roof deck. Just gorgeous. Congrats!

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