Environs

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

Every picture tells a story -- and every houseguest tells a story about the picture -- in this 2 BR, 2 1/2 BA Logan Circle town house that turns a pied-a-terre into a home sweet home.

After a year of living in D.C., Brian Glade still wasn't ready to leave his New York state of mind. All that changed when he found a historic Logan Circle townhouse, where the warm floors and open space are home to many stories -- including the Contessa.

Brian: I moved here from New York City in 1997 and rented a basement apartment over on Corcoran Street. After two years I realized I wanted to make a commitment to the city and I started looking around to buy. I couldn't find anything in Dupont. Someone told me about Logan Circle -- that it was turning around and he had this house in mind for me. When I first looked at the house it was totally empty and all the walls were the same color -- butter white. All I noticed were the floors. The wood was so rich and warm -- they're original heart-pine floors. I looked down and saw the sun shinning on the entranceway and it just felt like home. That was all I needed.



[In the living room] My style is very collected. A lot of the stuff is used. The sofa is one of the few things that is new in the house. I love foraging for stuff. A lot of things in here have a story, which I like. A house should have stories. A lot of these things reflect on me because I have collected them over the years. I started collecting these etchings years ago. I would pick up an etching of every city I traveled to. It's a stupid thing to start collecting -- once you start, though, you can't stop.


 


[In the dining room]I don't know the real story behind the lady in the painting. I call her the Contessa. I found her in a consignment shop buried under thirty frames. She just jumped out at me. When I have people over for dinner I like to ask them what they think her story is: Who is she? Where did she come from? Everyone says she's Spanish aristocracy. I think she looks like she came on hard times. She has a melancholic look, like she just started to lose her money or her land. The consignment shop had no idea. They said, "It's just a painting. Do you want it or not?"



 

[In the kitchen] This island is from the late 1800s. I think it is Scandinavian. Unfortunately, it didn't fit through any door in the house so I had to take the top off to get it in. Then the nails popped out, and I had these chunks of wood that came out [and left holes]. I saved each little piece and had them sitting over here on the ledge. Anna, who cleans my house, thought they were junk and threw them away. Now I have to find a way to repair these holes, but people say they just add to the distressed look.

[In the master bedroom] I have to say living in D.C. was tough in the beginning. I lived my whole life in New York. When I moved here for my job I didn't know anyone. The first year I was either traveling for work or going back to New York. I woke up one morning thinking, "Why am I here in Washington except for my job?" That's when I said I was going to buy a house and really dedicate some time to the city. I think moving into this house made a big difference. I have more pride of ownership, more interest in the neighborhood. One by one you meet people and people introduce you to other people and you build up a community.

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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