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GDoN “porcelain tile work” edition (multiple readers request)

by Prince Of Petworth January 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm 59 Comments


Ed. Note: In 2009 this went on the market for $875,000. At that time it was one of the most controversial GDoN posts ever listed. I suspect there will continue to be strong opinions at the new price…

This house is located at 816 Taylor Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Simply Stunning!! Exquisitely restored 4-level/4,275 sq.ft home with beautifully customized marble, granite and porcelain tile work throughout. Spector electric F/P, Nest thermostat, wide plank red oak hardwood, dual staircases, wrap-around porch, MBR terrace & huge Master Bath, in-law suite, professionally landscaped outdoor space with 3 car parking. Walk to restaurants/shops/metro. A Must See!”


You can see more photos here.

This 5 bed/5.5 bath is going for $1,395,000.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    Oh wow, always thought this house was interesting from the outside. HOLY CRAP, the kitchen tile is out of control & ugly and the lack of upper cabinets sucks. And then the tile in the bathrooms…was there a tile sale?! Why use SO MUCH? It’s a huge house so I guess if you need all that space it’s a decent deal, but I cannot imagine spending that much money on this house.

    • Anon

      I have a strong suspicion that the developer is functionally blind.

      • BRKLND

        +1000 sooooo much fake exposed brick it looks terrible. I don’t care what anyone says you can always tell the difference. It almost looks like brick wallpaper? The nicest part of this house for me is what I believe to be the master bath…everything else is not good.

        • Anon

          Agreed about the brick and the master bath. The vanity area is not well done, but I love the bath, shower and cabinets

    • LOL, I actually think that kitchen tile is kind of neat. I sure as hell wouldn’t choose it, but I’m not offended by it as everyone else seems to be.

    • CP

      The design choices at this house are so horrendous I actually started laughing and checked to make sure it wasn’t an Onion article.

  • I don’t understand this price at all. If you had $1.3 million to spend on a house, why would you do so on this tile-happy house in Petworth? Why not do Chevy Chase or something? And, I really like Petworth! This just seems like such a ho-hum house for an obscene amount of money.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Agree to an extent. I personally find this house a lot more appealing: https://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/5470-31st-St-NW-20015/home/9992843

      • SilverSpringGal

        The interior finishes on that house is much more in line for what you’d expect of a million-dollar house – very refined. However the house itself is squat, ugly, and gnomish in character. The rooms are so much smaller and horribly designed. Like they tried to fit way too many bedrooms. 2 of the 5 bedrooms can barely hold a daybed and the attic serves as a third bedroom that is almost impossible to stand up in.

      • Everyone is an expert

        2,850 sq.ft < 4,275 sq ft.
        5BR/4BT 0.3m to metro
        27m walk to metro > 6m walk to metro

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          Okay jerk. I didn’t say they were comparable. I was merely pointing out what you could get in Chevy Chase for nearly the same amount of money!

        • anonymous

          Given recent events (youths) and mishaps (normal metro issues), I’m not sure living near a metro is a good selling point anymore…

          • Anon

            The youths!! *shakes fist

          • textdoc

            Proximity to Metro is important to a lot of people.* I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
            * Before Caroline, Justin, et al. pipe up: Yes, I realize there are many people to whom it’s NOT important.

          • HaileUnlikely

            To spin it a little differently: this is not a location where I’d want to have a house that, from the outside, screams “Look at Meeee! I’m probably the richest guy in the neighborhood!”

          • textdoc

            Good point, HaileUnlikely.
            On the plus side: If anyone ever breaks into this house, the trippy tile patterns might serve to stop them in their tracks.

        • jd

          Are the people spending $1.5 mil on a house that concerned about metro or bus routes? I live 2 minutes from a metro and I don’t take it unless as a last resort (such as this week with ice / snow).

          • Everybody is an expert

            Yes. 1.5MM is not a lot of money for a house in the city. Metro is a matter of convenience not the poor’s transportation

  • SilverSpringGal

    I think this house is gorgeous. Inside and out. The title and brick don’t bother me, they’re distinctive touches and the bedrooms are huge. I much prefer this new modernized look with a wealth of space and open layout to a lot of the older squat Petworth rowhomes. But I don’t think I’d pay 1.3M for it.

    I do agree with Formerly ParkViewRes though, no upper cabinet space at all…there has to be a walk-in pantry somewhere right?

    • anon

      Agree! I like it too! However, if I’m spending that kind of dough on a house, it will not be in that neighborhood. I’ll take a smaller house in Friendship Heights/Tenley/Chevy Chase or a larger house our in the VA burbs.

  • Anon

    Hideous staging, hideous tile, hideous faux-exposed brick, hideous kitchen, really weird spaces in the attic level, low ceilings in the basement. Also, any bets what’s under the PVC siding?

    • HaileUnlikely

      Wild guess: ordinary wood-frame construction, i.e., the same thing that’s under most houses.

  • DC1

    Good God! more tile than a Home Depot display!

  • AG

    Holy smokes so much ugly in one room!

  • nevermindtheend

    Damn, that is ugly. Why do people ruin perfectly nice houses?

  • K

    I love the layout. And as a mom to a big family I totally appreciate all the space and bedrooms. The plentiful tiling doesn’t really bother me that much. But what really rubs me the wrong way is that several of the bathrooms and both kitchens have the 4″ slab back splash and then have the tile back splash above that. Which just screams homeowner DIY special. Which is fine if your buying a typical house but not in an over million dollar renovated house. The developer should have just had the tile come flush to the countertop. I know it’s minor but it would grate on me if I was ever in a position to own a $1.3 million dollar house.

    • Anon

      Right. Like that terrible stock sink in the kitchen. What the what?

    • textdoc

      A slab backsplash is much more effective at keeping water out.

  • I Dont Get It

    I knew the moment I saw that kitchen there would be a vessel sink somewhere!

  • Anon

    I LOVE the space, but the decorator/designer/stager/renovator made a lot of really poor decisions that impacted not only design but also function. If they knocked some money off for improvements I’d be all about it. I’m sure they spent a lot of money fixing it up, they just have bad taste. That wrap around porch though is clutch

  • AG

    Is the owner a tile salesman? There are soooo many different kinds of tile in soooo many random places. I count at least four rooms with at least one wall with floor to ceiling tiles. Why would anyone think it’s a remotely good idea?

  • textdoc

    Crazy amounts of tile. And I fear for anyone walking into that kitchen less than 100% sober — the kitchen tile is seriously trippy.

    • I would have serious issues with vertigo cooking in that kitchen…

  • stacksp

    Honestly not so bad if you just redo some of the tile work. I wouldnt pay 1.3 to live in Petworth thought. Much rather be upper NW for a million bucks.

  • navyard

    Definitely requires some permit research before considering buying. Everything about these finishes screams DIY.
    This is definitely a case where it would have been safer to go neutral.

    • stacksp

      What is so bad about DIY tilework?

      • Cassie


        • Ron

          #groutsealant. Not hard.

          • stacksp

            Really isnt. Professionals and DIY use the same materials and methods, one just charges a bunch more.

      • AG

        DIY has a tendency to result in shoddier work. If it’s just tile, then no biggie, but if the entire remodel or the a lot of it was DIY, then you might have some bigger issues.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I do not think much if any of this is DIY. Most of these same finishes were present when this house was sold, as a flip, in 2009.

  • d

    It is a ton of space and the outdoor space is nice, but if anyone pays near list price for this better be in it for the long haul to justify buying the most expensive house in Petworth by like 30+%. As in, 20-30 years before that could be rationalized in any way. And that’s assuming that person likes the…interesting…decor and so has no plans to renovate.

  • J Street

    My eyes!!

  • teddy

    Could they be trying to bank on the basement being a rental unit to justify some of this crazy price? It doesn’t look like it would meet the legal requirements for rental and I don’t see any real windows. Also, electric cooktop in both kitchens, come on.

    • stacksp

      Pay a million bucks only to have to live with someone else. I dont understand that rationale at all. They shouldve just made that basement kitchen a nice wet bar with a pool table etc.

  • Ron

    0:04: Is this two houses? It this a house INSIDE of another house?
    0:56: someone didn’t use painter’s tape around those stairs…
    1:18: This bedroom has no closets
    1:23: This bedroom IS a closet
    1:26: This bedroom is an outside bedroom
    1:30: We de-clawed this tub, for your convenience. Also, hey, tile.
    1:45: This bedroom is a gym
    1:51: We had more tile
    1:58: So actually everything is a bedroom
    2:05: This is another bedroom
    2:08: We tiled all the things
    2:10: This bedroom is for short people
    2:14: This bedroom is basement
    2:24: This bedroom was an accident
    2:27: #TrophyCabinet
    2:36: So dining is outside because everything else is bedrooms
    2:55: This bedroom is a Mercedes

    • I Dont Get It

      LOL! Perfect!

  • Everyone is an expert

    I’ll say- it’s not the most attractive. Surely not for everyone.
    What puzzles me is how many think that $1.3MM is too much money for such a big house. There’s zero available or comparable for that prize. Yes, you may chose to live in upper NW. Yes, please go ahead and buy in Gaithersburg. A rowhouse in Logan or Dupont is shy of $2MM and in disrepair, Bloomingdale and Ledroit fetch 1.5MM for half the space and no parking. This is super close to metro, two grocery stores, Upshur St (few of you know what this means, but you will comment) a hardware store if you need tile, the farmer’s market in the spring and summer, jazz fest, dance fest, pet store, bike share, exit to Rock Creek if you want to jog/bike/drive, apparently the only streets that were completely shoveled after Snowzilla are in this part of Petworth. Also, best neighborhood by Curbed DC. Hate all you want and please stay put.

    • textdoc

      I live in northern Park View and am very fond of northern Park View and southern Petworth. I still don’t think this house is worth $1.3M.
      And I’d imagine most PoPville readers are familiar with Upshur Street NW.

      • textdoc

        Correction: The asking price is almost $1.4M, not $1.3M.

    • Saturday

      There is a reason there is “zero available or comparable” in this neighborhood. A house that big needs a big family and probably a decent school district to go along with it. Petworth public schools are getting better, but still have a long way to go. There is not going to be much money left for private schools after dropping 1.4MM on this place.

      • Sunday

        That is true, assuming $1.4MM is all you have. With traditional financing and conservative ratios, there would be approximately 15k of monthly income left over for living expenses after paying the mortgage- private school is an option.

    • jd

      are you the listing agent? you are defending this property and location all over the comment section. oh, and who gives 2 craps what Curbed DC says? I can think for myself.

    • As the listing agent for 816 Taylor, I truly appreciate your comment in defense of the Pricing and Neighborhood! As you stated, with no “Comps” for a house of this size in Petworth, pricing it was difficult. And, while we (the Sellers and I) agree that this home is “not for everyone”, it was perfectly designed and suitable for the current family that has lived in it for several years! Very rarely do you find a refurbished home that is not a “quick flip”… cookie-cutter by the developers looking to draw the attention of the masses! The stone/tile work was done by a master craftsman and, while it may not suite everyone’s tastes, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for those with a discriminating eye. With the lack of comps, we priced according to price per square foot which, at 4,275 sq. ft., comes to just $326/sq. ft!. Compare that to this 5 BR, 1,376 sq. ft. home in Petworth, just 2 blocks away, that sold for $780,000 or $566/sq. ft.! http://tour.homevisit.com/tour/index.asp?id=91746. With a small kitchen and limited cupboard space, it does appeal to those who can appreciate the era of when this home was built- try finding a renovated DC home that still has the kitchen/service stairs in tact! Not everyone entertains in the kitchen as there are those that may prefer a more formal entertaining style without exposing their guests to the cooking/clean-up mess! This is an elegant home which deserves a family who can appreciate it- I appreciate all comments and welcome further feedback! You can contact me directly: [email protected]

  • anon

    I need to see more pics of the kitchen. I know people who have really tall DC ceilings, but make the use of the storage and their cabinets go all the way up. Like, the only upper cabinet I see is the one stuck on the wall above the toaster and it looks super bizarre.

    • textdoc

      “I need to see more pics of the kitchen.” Haven’t your eyes/sense of balance endured enough already? ;)

  • Techite70

    It’s not my cup of anything. Too much brick and tile. Similar patterns are everywhere. On the walls. On the floors. On the walkways. On the steps. I’m dizzy and nauseous. I’m standing up against the wall. I’m falling down on the floor. Too many surfaces are eerily similar. Which room am I in? Where is at least one garage so that I can park and protect my luxury car (that I use on the weekends), so that I don’t have to clean off the snow? Is it semi-detached, meaning I have to share a wall? Wonder if they upped the insulation on the common wall so that I don’t have to hear my neighbor. To each his own. The buyer should be sure not have any vestibular disturbances.

  • Teddy

    I moved to Petworth a year ago because of all the reasons people say it is so nice. But what has surprised me most is that the violence and danger here is still way out of control. I know this is an urban environment and all of DC has violence, but in Petworth community outrage is usually short-lived and no elected officials seem to be doing anything to help improve things. Look at stories that appear in the Petworth section of Popville for the last month. Over half the stories are about gunshots, assault, and homicide. During the summer, there was a shooting related incident more then once a week. We cannot gentrify the neighborhood into being better simply with sky-high home prices.

    Man Shot at 12pm Today in Petworth – 1/21/16 https://www.popville.com/?s=petworth&submit=Search

    “Man pulls a knife out at Wendy’s 7:32pm Georgia Ave in Petworth, Video NSFW language” – 1/5/16 https://www.popville.com/?s=petworth&submit=Search

    “What a freaking way to ruin a snow day, quite the shock while out shoveling to hear and see a shooting.” – 1/24/16 https://www.popville.com/2016/01/petworth-shooting/

    “I saw the passenger point a black gun out the window straight at me, then up into the air and fire” – 1/23/16 https://www.popville.com/2016/01/i-saw-the-passenger-point-a-black-gun-out-the-window-straight-at-me-then-up-into-the-air-and-fire/

    Stabbing Homicide at 8th and Upshur St, NW around 5:30pm Sunday – 12/20/15 https://www.popville.com/category/locations/petworth-neighborhoods/page/4/

    • Just Checking

      Actually, these are the results of unscientific research looking at the first two pages of postings in Popville (ranked by crime):
      Shaw: 33% postings are crime related, 44% food related, 5% housing
      Foggy Bottom: 20% crime, 20% food, 40% housing
      Downtown: 20% crime, 45% food, 15% housing
      Petworth: 20% crime, 20% food, 40% housing
      Navy Yard: 10% crime, 30% food, 15% housing
      U St: 5% crime, 55% food, 20% housing
      Logan: 5% crime, 45% food, 21% housing

      nothing is safe, but you can always find a place to eat.


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