Environs

by Chord Bezerra
Photography by Todd Franson
Published on January 29, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

City girl meets suburb girl and lives happily ever after in this oh-so-big 1 BR, 1 BA Cleveland Park condo, complete with den and dining room. Photography freaks and literature lovers alike will find themselves at home.

Tired of confines of a city apartment, but not yet ready for a leap to the more sprawling suburbs, Heather Rowe and her partner Britt Cocanour compromised on a spacious Cleveland Park condo conducive to cooking and baking.

Heather: Britt and I were not seriously looking when we found this house. We were on our way to McLean Gardens to look at a place there when Britt said, "There are always places listed in this building on Connecticut, let's go check it out." We walked down the hallway and she opened the door and I literally gasped. We weren't really ready to buy, but then we discussed it and had our realtor come back with us. We decided on a whim to put a bid in. We got really lucky. The person who owned this place had already bought another place and they were ready to go. To make a long story short, we were in by December 30.





I call this a compromise because my partner really wanted to buy a house and move to the suburbs and I am a city girl. We loved living our previous apartment but it was too small. I think she thought all apartments and condos were that size. We were both pleasantly surprised when we saw the high ceilings and lots of space in here. We both love the place, so I think we will stay a while.

[In the kitchen] I like to cook so I have a million cook books. Britt does not like to cook, but she is a very good baker. It works out very well. Britt is very detail-oriented -- she likes to follow a plan. I'm a little bit more laid back, a little bit more spontaneous. I don't like to bake because it's too much of an exact science. You have to have one cup of flower and you can't go over -- she likes that. Cooking to me is a little more creative, you can just throw in this and throw in that and see how it works. It all works out very well for our friends when they come over.



[In the living room] Decorating is another compromise. I like modern design a lot more than Britt. Fortunately, we both like antiques. We have a mix of contemporary Pottery Barn stuff and antiques. Neither of us would like it if it was all Pottery Barn. These [auditorium] seats are from an old school auditorium that they tore down when they built the new convention center. We were at Good Wood looking for something completely different and found these and just loved them.



I once took a photography class and I like to dabble in it every now and then. I did this set above the auditorium seats and the black and whites on the other wall. I like to photograph things that are a little more abstract, like that one of the ropes lying in the bottom of the boat. I tried to take it from a little different perspective, make it not look so obvious. I've had some good opportunities to go to some really unique places and photograph things. It's definitely a hobby but if I had my druthers I would like to make it more permanent.

Britt is a prolific reader. When we were on vacation she read about five books in one week. I like to read but I can't read as quickly as she does. So when we moved in we had all these books and no space to put them. Lined on this wall were boxes of books and we just weren't able to find anything to put them in. It wasn't until some time in December of last year that we found this piece. It's not even a bookshelf -- it's actually a kitchen hutch from an old apartment in Adams Morgan. Feeling like this is a home was pretty quick, but feeling like we had it all figured out wasn't until we got rid of the boxes and put the books up.



Does your house, condo or apartment have a story to tell? Let Environs know about it. E-mail environs@metroweekly.com.


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