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Good Deal or Not? Weekly Wed. House Porn “floating staircases/ironwork” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth — August 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm 35 Comments

This house is located at 1114 Lamont St, NW:


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The listing says:

“Stunning four-level, two-unit brownstone rowhouse completely renovated! Unique spacious/open design with exposed brick walls, red oak hardwood, custom floating staircases/ironwork, plantation shutters, four skylights, custom closets, 2 parking spaces, 2 decks, and 2BR apartment with two rear decks and large front/back yards. Rental apartment with CofO rents for $1600+!”

You can see more photos here.

This 6 bed/5 bath is going for $1,250,000.

  • Floating staircases, eh? It *would* be pretty cool to live in Hogwarts…

  • Anonymous

    Nice that it’s not split into 4 condos. But I feel queasy thinking about navigating those stairs in the dark. I prefer the non-floating variety.

    • huh?

      4 units? i see 2

      • I think you missed the word “not” in Anonymous’s first sentence.

  • Anonymous

    That duct work is awful.

    • Agreed. I could look no further after seeing those ducts running across the center of the living room ceiling. Yikes. (I do think the kitchen rug is pretty groovy though.)

    • Like living inside a Chipotle restaurant.

  • Rich

    The second bedroom/suite looks like the highlight. the basement unit seems oddly claustrophobic given the way everything else is laid out–there must be a large utility room down there. The stairs are a bit much and the living room seems rather narrow.

  • Concerned Drunk

    Navigating the “floating” stairs would be very dangerous if one were inebriated.

    • Josh

      Really? I’ve had one of these staircases in my home for years and I’ve had some people remark on that, but I’ve never seen or had any problems at all. I’m not even sure exactly what the concern is. What’s the scenario that people are worried about, that they can somehow fall through the stairs? Or their leg could somehow slip and they’d get stuck and break it or something? When I’ve been drunk these stairs have never presented me any additional challenge beyond regular stairs.

      • anon

        I was afraid of floating stairs when I was a kid and getting stuck or falling through might have actually been possible.

        I retain a sense of uneasiness partly for this reason, and partly also because I’m afraid of heights and don’t want to see a distant floor below what I’m actually stepping on.

        Depending on how they’re situated, floating stairs can give skirt-wearing women unwanted exposure.

        If I had a friend whose house had floating staircases, I’d never say, “Dude, I hate your stairs,” but I wouldn’t be thrilled about having to use them.

  • LoganGuy

    Overall I think it’s a great rowhouse! My main complaint, as mentioned above, is the ductwork on the main level. I guess they were going for semi-modern mixed with contemporary?? It stands out like a sore thumb in my opinion.

    • michael k. wilkinson

      To me, exposed ductwork looks like $hit in most applications because some developer has thrown it in there to be cheap, and tries to market it as “loft-like.” Yeah, right. Cheap.

      Here, to me, this exposed ductwork looks like it was designed and planned for a specific visual effect. It’s kind of a spine with branches coming off of it at regular intervals, some to the right, some to the left. I think this application might be getting a bad rap because so much exposed ductwork is so thoughtless and schlocky and it’s getting lumped together with the bad stuff.

      I think the house overall has been done beautifully.

  • I don’t like the exposed ductwork, and “floating” stairs freak me out even when I’m stone cold sober.

  • The open floor plan and silver Geico gecko snaking all over the ceiling is an epic fail, in my opinion. And an industrial sink in the middle of the kitchen? Hideous. But I like the bathrooms and bedrooms.

    It’s still shocking to me that a home in CH can qualify for house porn, but I know that’s the reality.

    • Anonymous

      I was just thinking how far things have gone in the last couple of years that a house at 11th and Lamont could be featured in this section…

    • Anonymous

      there aren’t a lot of houses in this part of CH that qualify for house porn, actually. as for this place, well, they sucked the life out of it.

      for this price i’d move to U Street, Logan, or Dupont and get a place with character in a nicer, more interesting, and safer neighborhood.

      • Anonymous

        you can’t beat this neighborhood but yeah they sucked the life right out of that house.

  • Are they trying to count that loft area in the master bedroom as though it were an actual legitimate bedroom?!?

    • Anonymous

      That’s what it looked like to me too. Dear real estate agents/ home owners, if you have to enter a bedroom to get to another “bedroom,” that 2nd “bedroom” is a closet, or in this case, maybe an en suite office.

  • Anonymous

    I actually LOVE everything about this house… including the duct work! Only thing that’s kind off is that loft in the master. But the vaulted ceiling is killer.

    • I thought many people who have vaulted ceilings like that (i.e., converted from attics) have complained that they can’t get the room to be properly cool in the summer.

      • Anonymous

        i have one. you can’t

        • hma

          A million dollars for a house in CH? NO thanks.

  • sue

    How much do you suppose it would cost to undo all those horrible renovations?
    Covering the ducts, undoing that horrible ceiling/loft in the master, making the bathrooms look normal, etc?

    And does anyone really want to spend $1.25 million on a hundred year old house renovated to look like a condo?

  • Househunter

    LOVE everything – the exposed ductwork is very cool. I used to live in a house that had added in ductwork and covering it in with a block of sheetrock is not pretty at all. No matter how it’s done, it’s a major challenge. This whole design is brilliant. I’m sure it won’t last long. So glad I got to see it here!

    • Anonymous

      Good to see the house’s owner stop by the forum.

  • Anonymous

    I think the exposed duct work is my favorite part! A renovation like this could end up really badly but this one looks contemporary and not over the top. I think its chic!

  • Anonymous

    I really like the house, but personally can’t afford it!

  • Anonymous

    This house is great. The exterior has all the original character and the inside seems to be professionally designed. It’s unique, open, spacious. I need a tour!

  • T

    Maybe as much as 400k overpriced. I think you can easily find places just as good as this for 850k.

  • I love it… crazy to me that a 1,000 sq foot 2BR in the same area would be as much as 500K and for double the price you can get so much more. I love the outdoor decks and the kitchen looks amazing. Could be a good group home? The stairs don’t look good for small kids, that’s for sure.

  • AJK

    What were they thinking?! The duct work, as everyone pointed out, hideous, the faucet in the kitchen, ridiculous, and the master bedroom makes no sense. Tell me how often anyone will climb up that ladder to the “office” above the bed?

    • Anon

      I toured the open house last week and found that the “floating staircase” was actually very solid. When you are walking up it there is not indication that it is “floating” and it is solidly supported by a steel beam. The result is something that takes up very little visual space from below, but is solid (as a staircase should be) while in use. Also, the office is accessible by stairs as well as ladder.

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