Recent Environs Articles

Heading for a Home

You can go solo on the biggest purchase of your life but having an agent on your side is a savvy play

Can people make it through the entire process of buying or selling a home without real estate agents assisting them? Maybe. Whether they should try is another question. ''It's not that a home buyer or seller couldn't do it themselves,'' says Matthew Roberts, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C. ''But just because they can doesn't mean they should.'' A real estate transaction can be one of the largest financial transactions – if not the largest – ... [Read]

Sofa, So Good!

Hardly a home is complete without this soft seat

Some would argue that languages say so much about the cultures that create them. For example, the lore that the indigenous people of the northern polar region have a varying number of words for ''snow,'' depending upon the source to which one turns. The implication is that Eskimos see a helluva lot of snow and therefore have several words to describe it. Whether or not that's the case, it may say something about English-speaking North America that we have several ... [Read]

Antiques Extravaganza

Baltimore prepares for the nation's largest antiques show, where bargains abound

Gus Davis and his partner will look for paintings and silver to furnish their home. Kris Charamonde is in the market for an art deco desk for his den. Judy Oppel will seek out a tchotchke, maybe a bracelet or a paperweight. And all of them will find what they're looking for in Baltimore. ''It would take a lifetime of travel to experience all that the Baltimore show has to offer,'' says Judy Oppel, an organizer of the Baltimore Summer ... [Read]

Rooftop Respite

To be above it all, head to one of these aerial escapes

When it comes to summarizing the attraction of a rooftop, no one surpasses the lyrics written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, sung beautifully by The Drifters in 1962. When I come home feelin' tired and beatI go up where the air is fresh and sweetUp on the roofI get away from the hustling crowdAnd all that rat race noise down in the street Martini Sky Bar at the Beacon Hotel That's only a tiny part of ''Up on the ... [Read]

Arbiter of Taste

Designer Brad Weesner draws on experience and expertise

How do you revamp one of gay District's most iconic landmarks without losing its personality? That's the challenge Brad Weesner was given when he was asked to give Annie's Paramount Steak House a facelift last year. ''I was so honored, flattered and proud,'' Weesner, 52, says of that assignment at 1609 17th St. NW. Brad Weesner ''We wanted it to be more sophisticated, more upscale. What really mattered was the owner said, ''I want to give back to the community ... [Read]

Bugging Out

Every insect on earth has its place, but not in your home

Not all creepy-crawler horror stories are make-believe. Take, for instance, the true tale about the botfly that laid eggs in an unsuspecting Washingtonian enjoying a rainforest tour in Belize. She learned the hard way there's a reason hikers are told to wear long sleeves and long pants. Back in D.C., her doctor told her a red lump she's developed was an infected mosquito bite and prescribed antibiotics. Seeing movement under her skin led this sleuthing Jane Doe to the Internet ... [Read]

Flower Power

Anyone can celebrate spring indoors with cut flowers

Ah, the power of flowers. At a wedding, the bride -- or brides -- usually holds a bouquet of them. They make a great gift when you're invited to dinner. When your day is done, it's quite likely your mourners will memorialize you in a room filled with them. In that these gifts of color and scent are so often with us to mark special occasions, it's a wonder we ever feel comfortable without them. As researchers from Rutgers and ... [Read]

Inside Scoop

Getting a professional perspective for your interior design may be a cost-effective investment in environment

Spend just a few minutes watching the news and it's hard not to see a horizon filled with anything but storm clouds. Wall Street is burning, the globe is melting and the flu is getting resistant. The zombie apocalypse should be starting any second. Wait for it.... Still, that's no reason to live in a dump, mister. And don't think it doesn't matter, either. While you should always find a little bit of your salary -- or unemployment check? -- ... [Read]

From the Top

Dupont couple goes green with the roof over their heads

When John Flowers and his partner, David Muller, bought a small row house near Dupont Circle, the roof was one of the first projects they decided to tackle. They say they had no idea at the time, but they were about to start a three-month process that would leave their home more beautiful, energy efficient and eco friendly. Flowers says he wasn't overly interested in green initiatives in the past, but after reading an article about a growing number of ... [Read]

Hillside Haven

D.C. couple builds refined, rural retrea

Just beyond the western reach of I-66, Lou Costanza and his partner, Mike O'Brien, have built themselves a bit of heaven -- emphasis on ''built.'' ''We used to camp out with no electricity or running water,'' Costanza says of the three-year project that found the Dupont-area couple spending weekends on the 20-acre site, housed in the frame of what would become their rural escape. ''We built it over the last three and a half years,'' says Costanza. ''The entire thing ... [Read]

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