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Shake what your momma gave ya! 1 BR, 2 BA condo loft in Adams Morgan with open spaces perfect for unwinding, relaxing, and filling with decorating presents from a delighted mother. Check the fruit twice before you bite!
Now in his fourth year of residency for psychiatry, Sean Younoszai’s work week slowed from 120 to 40 hours a week. With a little free time Younoszai was ready to invest inÂ home for himself in Adams Morgan, where his one-bedroom condo loft has become a new place for his mother to live vicariously.
SEAN: I’ve always been attracted to city living. That’s how they sold this place: “fine city living.” I wanted to be able to walk places, I don’t want to drive. I’m in the center of everything — there are coffee shops and restaurants. And it’s also close to work and the gym.
[In the bedroom] I like green so I matched this room to the some of the Mark Rothko art that I have. The window was nice and big and I like the view, but that’s going to change because they are building another condo complex right there. I wanted [shades] that were industrial, but I didn’t want to detract too much from the window. This [shade] does that — it’s both there and not there at the same time. I have a black curtain behind it so when I sleep I can make it completely dark, but the shade makes it look really cool at night too. It wasn’t cheap, but I really liked it. I plan on putting these in my living room as well because once they build that [other condo], I want something there for privacy.
[In the bathroom] I upgraded in here with marble. Eventually what I want to do with the shower is put one half glass doors. I like it everything to be open. I want to let the light in.
[In the living room] I wanted this painting to be the center of focus in here. A friend of mine did the painting for me — I wanted it to be gay themed, a little bit edgy but not too edgy, and I think he did that. He gave me different kinds of preliminary sketches and then we worked together to finalize it. I arranged the furniture around the painting, and even the little accents in the room. My brother came to visit he’s like, “All you have is fake fruit. I need to have some real fruit.”
I wanted all of my furniture to be on the minimalist side, and I wanted all the glass — the dining room table, the coffee tables, the end table — because I wanted to maximize the space. I thought that big clunky wood furniture would not let me do that as well. I like glass [laughs]. My mom picked up on that and she’s given me all this glassware, and all kinds of Kosta Boda stuff. My first piece of Kosta Boda [a Swedish glassware] is over in the kitchen area — it was given to me by my friends when I graduated from medical school. I liked it so much I put it in a prominent place with a light on it to show it off. Once my mom got it into her mind that I like it she started buying me more and more pieces.
[In the kitchen] I had to have an open kitchen. This isn’t big but it’s nice because I can have guests here and I can talk to them while I’m cooking dinner. I’ve started to have some dinner parties and it works out well. Guests are much more comfortable in the [kitchen] and that’s why I have the three barstools [at the counter]. That’s the first place they go. It sounds clichÃ©d in way, but I think your home centers around the kitchen. So the kitchen is the place that makes a lot of homes unique.
I was looking for motivation to cook, so I wanted a nice gas stove, a big refrigerator, a big freezer, and a microwave. Once I get more money I am going to add more of the All-Clad cookware. I might even put up a rack and hang all the pots there, because they’re not only functional, they’re also quite pretty. My mother was actively involved in buying things like the All-Clad and the silverware. She’s just excited that I finally have a new house of my own. It’s like she’s living vicariously through it.
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MORE STUFF THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE in a 3BR, 2 1/2BA townhouse plus atrium, all in two floors and a basement. Renovated and refined over twenty years by two men with an eye for classic dÃ©cor, campy tin toys.
In 1983 David Herchick and Richard Looman thought they were just purchasing a house on Capitol Hill. But in the course of renovations, the house became a home, and the home begat two businesses, as the couple launched JDS Design and an antique store, Hunters and Gatherers.
Richard: We actually bought this house when it wasn’t fashionable to live on Capitol Hill. The house was on the market for six years and they couldn’t sell it. It was a little close to H Street and we bought it from a gentleman who gave us a really good deal on it. It was under $100,000, and we’ve renovated and restored it since then.
[In dining room] There was one of those closets here that when you opened the door you could only hang three shirts in it. One night I came down here with a sledgehammer and started knocking it down and I found the fireplace behind it. It doesn’t work, but we put the fake mantel on the front of it and added that china closet on the other side.
[In kitchen] We enlarged the original kitchen. This is an old French store counter that we extended so it could be an island. We have a lot of antique toys in here. It’s like, you see stuff that’s cheap and start buying it, and pretty soon you have a lot of it. They’re antique tin toys, movables and all that stuff. They’ll never make anything like this again because a kid might injure himself or kill himself, but when we were little all the toys were tin.
[In atrium]: The house ended right here and this was the way you went down into the basement. The door is actually underneath here. We floored it over and made it into an atrium in 1994, I think it was. That’s the wall of the house next door. The fountain is a French majolica fountain from the 1870s or 1880s. This is just a cistern that I put fish in. Sometimes I sit here and have a drink or read — it’s calm and relaxing.
[In family room]: These walls were done by Valley Craftsman. They’re based on the great map hall in the Vatican. It’s all on canvas — they did the work off-site and then just glued it up there. That statue was actually featured in a design magazine this month. [It’s one of a series by] the interior designer Billy Baldwin, who was really big in the thirties and forties. We had no idea what it was worth, and then the magazine said they were so incredibly expensive and they’re worth the price of a good car. I keep looking at it and thinking, “I could use a good car.”
[In master bedroom]: I love this piece: It’s a fifties dresser that we had silver-leafed. I found all this old Haywood Wakefield furniture that I bought on 14th Street. [I’m] taking the wooden legs off and putting chrome legs on the bottom of them. And then we have this guy who is making a cocoa finish on the side and he’s painting the drawers either blue or green. It looks so hot. We did one at the Ritz in Georgetown; people go crazy over this piece of furniture.
This is all gothic paneling I bought in Mount Pleasant for nothing, so we built the room around that. For all that paneling I think I paid $200. It looks like it’s original to the house — could you imagine how expensive it would be to do gothic paneling now?
There’s a lot of stuff in this house; I’m going to sell a lot of this crap. All at once you get like, I just can’t deal with this anymore. Your inventory is just too big. In All About Eve [Bette Davis asks] “If you should die tomorrow, Max, how was your inventory?” In here, people would come through and see all this stuff and ask, “What were they thinking?”
Does your house, condo or apartment have a story to tell? Let Environs know about it. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.