Environs

by Chord Bezerra
Photography by Todd Franson
Published on February 5, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

One-hundred years of fortitude made this 3 BR, 1 1/2 BA townhouse in Logan Circle survive multiple owners and renovations. Currently home to GWM couple into spaces conducive to clean lines, conversation and comfort.

When Jason Claire bought a one-hundred-year-old house with his partner Mark, he knew that fixing up the place wouldn't be easy. After three long years of renovations, the house may be ninety percent done, but the two of them are one hundred percent happy.

Jason: Before meeting Mark I had been applying to business schools to get my M.B.A. and I was going to go to either Georgetown or New York University. Then I met him -- it was really clear D.C. is where I wanted to be. So we made the big step of not only moving in together but buying a house together. Logan Circle seemed to be a real up-and-coming area and we got a good deal on the house. It needed a lot of work -- the house is about 100 years old. Originally there was a separate entry vestibule, separate living room and separate dining room. A couple of owners ago, they took down all the interior walls and put up a beam in the ceiling to support the house. That opened up the downstairs and we liked that a lot.



[In the living room] Mark and I have similar styles of decorating. When we first started renovating we would wander around stores and jot down what we liked. In one store in particular we came back to each other and we both had picked out the exact same materials. He actually pushed through a couple design elements that I wasn't so into originally and they were very, very successful -- I really like them now. He gives me a hard time about it.

The house is modern and clean-lined but comfortable. We weren't after such a stark modern look that we wouldn't feel comfortable entertaining or sitting on our own furniture. We like natural materials so there is a lot of stone, glass, slate and wood.


 

[In the kitchen] This is actually a Brazilian granite counter. We collect a lot of art and sculpture from our various travels and we thought that the counters had a rustic element to tie in with all the artwork. These dishes were shipped back from Durban, South Africa. We bought a setting for four and we liked it so much that we sent back digital photos of them and they were able to remember the pattern and made four more place settings. We travel a lot: Africa, South America, Galapagos Islands, Brazil and all over Europe. It has certainly influenced both of us. Italy is our favorite place to go. We just love the culture. It's based around community, food and relaxation. They figured out this balance between lifestyle and work.

[In the dining room] This table was a gift from my parents when I moved in. It was important to us to have a round table because we like to have small diner parties. If I couldn't put a round table in the house -- I think that would have been a reason not to buy it, actually. It's just much more conducive to talking with people and seeing everybody at once.


 [In the bathroom] This was the first renovation project. The open shower was Mark's idea. I was much more practical-minded and thought the water was going to get all over the place, but it doesn't. We used limestone and glass tile made from recycled glass. It gets a little iridescent when you have light on it.

[In the master bedroom] We made this room our master bedroom instead of the largest room in the front of the house. We made the larger room into our study. We wanted something warm and cozy with dark woods for the bedroom. We wanted it to feel a little warmer that the rest of the rooms in the house. These fourteen images I put up above the bed in the last couple of months. They're pictures I've taken from various trips. We had the nightstands made for us out of extra glass tile from the bathroom. We like the idea of keeping the materials and the color palette in the whole house similar. It really opens it up and makes it feel larger.

Does your house, condo or apartment have a story to tell? Let Environs know about it. E-mail environs@metroweekly.com. To see more photographs from this week's featured home, visit us online at www.metroweekly.com/home.


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