Crete comes to Logan Circle in Ron and Dennis' colorful townhome

By Sean Bugg
by Todd Franson
Published on August 19, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

History's always being made on Logan Circle in this 3 BR, 2 1/2 BA townhouse, where every floor tells the story of a different era. If you don't know about Crete now, you will after spending some time studying these walls!

One of the first things you notice about Dennis Gomes and Ron Mezo's Logan Circle townhouse is the abundance of color on the walls. "Every room has at least five different colors of paint, all hand done," says Gomes. That attention to detail makes their home stand out in a neighborhood that in the past decade has gone from urban decay to architectural showcase.

Ron: [In the living room] The design motif of the house depends on what floor you're on -- I picked a different era for each of the floors. This was based a little bit more on a Renaissance period. All the marbling [paint on the walls] is mainly on this floor.

Dennis: He did everything, all this painting. It took him months -- on weekends and evenings and stuff like that. I'd come home to him with the ladders and all these brushes and sponges. I'll do the base paint and strip the wood, but I don't have the patience for that stuff.

Ron: The disco mirrors on the wall were put in during the seventies to try and create depth. Well, that's what I call it, but obviously mirrors were a very big thing to have in the seventies. I wanted to take them down when we moved in because I felt they were very outdated, but a couple of people talked me out of doing it. I like the depth but I don't like the mirrors bare, so I created the illusion of them being a separate space by putting the curtains up.

[In the dining room] If Dennis tries to be really formal about entertaining, he'll close the pocket doors then have people come in from the living room for dinner. But most times we're so casual with the dining that we do. We gather downstairs in the kitchen and have dinner there.

We have several ghosts in the house. [Laughs.] We got that [hutch] from a store on Connecticut Avenue, and they got it from a house in upstate New York. We asked where it came from because after we bought it these two little girl ghosts showed up.

Dennis: We've had it for four years now. But there was a lot of negative energy in this house when that piece came in, and we'd never felt that before.

Ron: They're two little shadows, just mischievous little girls. I finally had enough and told them they needed to go away, and I haven't seen them since. You can believe it or you don't have to believe it. They're just ghost stories. [Laughs.]

Dennis: [In the kitchen] We had problems with a neighbor's tree hitting our plumbing. The plumber cut a hole in the wall to fix it, and he said, "Why did you guys plug up that old fireplace?" We were like, "What fireplace?" We didn't even know there was a fireplace in here when we bought the house.

Ron: This is really Dennis's cooking showroom. He's a great cook, and he loves to cook for people and let them watch him while he's cooking.

Dennis: I'm Portuguese, and I love cooking Portuguese because people don't know what it's all about. It has a lot of Moorish influence, a lot of cumin, white pepper and saffron.

Ron: It looks like a Mediterranean dish but doesn't taste like it at all, much like the language has the same Romance language look but sounds totally different.

[In the guest bath] I'm a bit of an archeology buff. This space is based on the palace of Knossos in Crete. The queen's chamber was designed with dolphins, which were among their most prized animals that they would display, so I created that and painted them here. This is my own little creation, my own little room, and I don't care what anybody thinks about it or feels about it. It just was my own interest in the people -- they're very fascinating people.

[In the master bedroom] In the seventies this floor was turned into a master suite  -- it was a great idea. We fell in love with the house before we got up here, but we knew that this was the place when we got up here. The bed is actually two twin beds, we got it from an estate sale, and the owner had converted it to a king sized bed, and we thought what a great idea that was -- that was our own housewarming gift to ourselves.

We got this cabinet in Portugal when we visited for the first time. We were able to locate the shop his grandparents owned before they immigrated here.

Dennis: I told the woman in the store that my grandfather had owned this place. And she said "Oh, my god. Come back here." And there sitting on the floor was this cabinet that they had left behind. It was from the counter, where they would use it to display all the spools of thread.

Ron: So he says, "Can I buy it from you?" She was a little taken aback. But she offered a price and we took it. She shipped it over for us. And, by the way, the Portuguese Postal Service and United States Postal Service got it here and the only thing broken was a piece of glass.

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

Call 202-638-6830 to advertise here in Marketplace