Urban Feel With Suburban Appeal.

When it comes to DC suburbs more traditional homes are a dime a dozen. Everyone can appreciate a beautiful two story, center hall colonial, but for some it leaves them craving something more unique and modern. Unfortunately, more often than not, unique, modern homes are primarily available to those with the time and money to build from the ground up. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, I’ve found the answer to your problem… and the property is for sale! Bauer Dermel, a DC based architect set out to build something special. Instead of sticking to a traditional floor plan, he designed something unique. He’s completed the daunting work of turning a vision into a reality, leaving just enough room for the effortless task of putting your personal stamp on the property. 

Enter 2809 Linden Lane in Silver Spring and your first words (after being speechless) are “WOW, very cool!” From the moment you walk in you are greeted by big, bright, and open spaces. Sight lines stretch to each corner of the living space, a feeling of calm washes over, and a child-like sense of excitement and adventure set in. Simply, you MUST explore this house!  In my opinion, this home gives off a modern tree-house vibe that takes me back to my child hood dreams! Well, maybe not all children prefer HGTV to cartoons and use their Lego’s to build models of their future home. Regardless, this house is cooler than cool and anyone can appreciate the vision that went into this artful masterpiece. Paired with my childhood desires are adult “must-haves” such as a spacious kitchen with large island, oversized living spaces with hardwood floors, and plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms. With an architectural surprise around every corner, simply owning this home can give you the air of someone hip and stylish. 

If you read my previous post, you know I can’t resist a good Spanish Tile (or anything reminiscent of Spanish Tile), and this home certainly does not disappoint. Touches throughout the foyer, kitchen, and downstairs entry give just the right amount of warmth, personality, and cohesiveness to this otherwise modern, blank canvas. The builder’s seamless use of this tile from the foyer to the kitchen invites you right into the heart of the home. The stainless-steel appliances and lacquered cabinets sparkle and shine like no other. Personally, for me, it looks so perfect that it gives me just one more, much needed excuse to get take out, guilt free of course! You know what’s better than chowing down on some spicy Thai food while gazing at your beautiful, spotless kitchen knowing that you didn’t have to clean it? Nothing… nothing is better. Don’t worry, I’d still stack my cookbooks, worship Ina Garten, and pretend I’m culinary. Don’t get me wrong, if cooking is your thing you will certainly appreciate spending time in this space!

Just a few steps down from the kitchen is the open living/dining room combo… or whatever you’d like it to be. The wall of French Doors and views to the open lower level create a feeling of complexity and dimension that oozes with modern character. There is no perception of being cramped or cut off, with no walls and only beautiful railings for division, wherever you are you can be a part of the crowd... any entertainer’s dream! Take the set of stairs adjacent to this space down a floor and you are greeted with a jaw-dropping two story family room…or again, whatever you would like it to be! The focal point of this room is the oversized black fireplace with plenty of wall space for those massive canvas paintings you’ve always coveted, but never had the ability to pull off. Just one floor away, but completely open to the rest of the living space, gone are the days where your family and friends part at gatherings and subsequently congregate in separate rooms. Conveniently located off of this space are the remaining bedrooms (with the exception of the tremendous bedroom and relaxing bathroom on the main floor), bathroom, laundry room, and garage. The two entrances to the hallway are hidden by custom, white barn doors with exposed tracks, a piece of art in of themselves! Spiral up the second set of stairs and you are back in the foyer, just one more loop and arrive at the tree top master-suite. With a spa-like bathroom, complete with double sinks and separate tub and shower, a cozy space perfect for closet extension or dressing room, and large bedroom with high ceilings and green views, this full-floor, private oasis is the ultimate retreat! 

 If this home isn’t interesting enough, it is located in the National Park Seminary Historic District. Just Google “National Park Seminary” and let the juxtaposition of rich history and sleek design pull you further into this enchanting slice of Silver Spring! With a location reminiscent of a fairytale, and a unique space filled with surprises, the Listing Agent, Cheryl Leahy of Long & Foster/Christie’s International Realty, captures the essence of this property in her description, stating, “This is a truly special home in a truly special community”. 

As always, if you have any interest in seeing this property or any others, please do not hesitate to reach out. If you would like to know more about this property, I would be happy to provide the details!

In case you missed the links, the full photos and descriptions can be found here! 2809 Linden Lane Silver Spring, MD 20910 is currently on the market for $945,000 and is listed with Cheryl Leahy of Long and Foster Real Estate and Christie’s International Realty.

Don't Just Renovate. Re-imagine and Create.


I’ve fallen in love… with a house. I mean that tends to happen from time to time, I’m sort of the “hopeless romantic” of homes. Usually that feeling is fleeting and I’m not quite ready for the commitment, so let me tell you why it’s different this time. This house is in the suburbs *gasps, drops wine glass, screams “what? NO!”*. I know, I always talk about the character in Georgetown, Kalorama, Alexandria, etc… but can I let you in on a secret? I’m actually a BIG fan of a “picture perfect” suburb. You know, the white picket fences, goldens and labs, oversized hydrangeas, and Range Rovers? The kind of place that is so perfect that it simultaneously makes you want to throw up and move there at the same time… welcome to Chevy Chase, MD.

Unfortunately, there’s an epidemic taking over some of these idyllic neighborhoods, such as Chevy Chase, that I refer to as “the big white box”. That is where you take a home with loads of potential and either knock it down and build your average home or take a home rich in character and remove every last trace of its uniqueness and charm in favor of white siding, white walls, white cabinets, and white countertops. Sorry... I fell asleep while writing the last part of that sentence. Don’t get me wrong, that combination can be beautiful when perfectly planned and executed and honestly, I plan on having a white house with white cabinets and a few white walls. But let’s be real, a spec home or investor remodel rarely comes out that way. These developers can't be faulted as the whole purpose of "spec" building and renovation is to appeal to the masses, make their product highly salable, and leave further customization to the new owner.  Also, a side note, there are many Bethesda/Chevy Chase area homes that should be torn down (The 1960s and 70s were not a great time in Bethesda/Chevy Chase development), and this development has sky-rocketed home values in some neighborhoods with all of the risk falling on the developer! With that being said, there are many Montgomery County and D.C. area builders that do a really fantastic job with new builds and renovations and strive to maintain neighborhood character, one being Special Space Design & Restoration, Inc.

Special Space Design & Restoration, Inc. takes the time to assess a home’s true spirit, realizes its potential, and then maximizes its character. In essence, they don’t just renovate; they re-imagine and create. One of their latest triumphs is an outstanding Tudor Revival in Chevy Chase, or as I refer to it, my latest flame. It’s obvious that so much love has been put into this house that it’s impossible to not form some emotional connection. From the custom designed windows to the Spanish tile in the butler’s pantry, this house oozes personality. The benefit of this property is that you end up with a virtually brand new house, which already has the warm feeling of home, where the modern conveniences of today seamlessly merge with original features of 1925. There is always room to leave your personal stamp on a property, but with this house that is the ONLY thing left to do.

Some of my favorite, recurring features are the custom designed windows and doors you find in the family room and master retreat. The listing agent, Alice McKenna of Long and Foster Real Estate and Christie’s International in Bethesda (shout-out to my office!), describes the process and meaning behind the design in her write-up of the property “Quatrefoil designs require a high degree of mathematical skill and craftsmanship to execute. The window high in the family room echoes this symbol of peace and good luck. Look for it in the light fixtures and trim too!” You have to see these details in person to truly appreciate the craftsmanship of this home.

The kitchen is not only beautiful, but also highly functional. With Viking appliances and an AGA Legacy Stove, McKenna states “Even Ina Garten could cook for Jeffrey here” (love a good Ina plug). Anyone could be a chef in this kitchen, just make sure you listen to Ina and only use “good vanilla extract”. The large island is definitely the cornerstone of this space. From the moment you walk in and see the rustic beauty, you can just picture your closest friends and family gathering in the heartbeat of this home. Just off the kitchen is where “the moment” happened. That moment being the one where I fell in love and all it took was an exquisite butler’s pantry. Adorned with Spanish tile, Nautical Blue cabinetry, and a rolling ladder, I live for this space!

I could go on and on about this gorgeous home and its features, but neither the pictures nor myself do it the justice it warrants. You simply have to see this house to understand. Warning, you will also fall in love and will not want to leave! Luckily, for right now, it can all be yours. This home deserves an owner who will embrace its unapologetic uniqueness and maintain it’s personality for years to come. If you think you could be that person, I’d be happy to introduce to you to this charmer!

While this home may not necessarily be your taste, you can at least appreciate the time and effort put into it, as well as the preservation of a beautiful property in a gorgeous neighborhood. This is where I plead with those looking to build and renovate and ask them to do the same as Special Space Design & Restoration. Don’t just copy what someone else has done; create a house that really represents YOU. Make it unique, make it stand out, and most of all make it a home. From an investment standpoint, it is important to think about resale. But honestly, a well curated and finished home, no matter the owner’s taste, will evoke a connection with the right buyer. So be a little bold, have your home be a reflection of you. If you are someone who has trouble achieving the vision you are going for, consult a reputable designer, architect, and or builder. If you purchase a spec home, ask the builder what their artistic vision was and get some ideas as to how you can enhance the charm and character to fit your specific aesthetic. At the very least, if you need to, have someone assist you in choosing paint colors, furnishings, and decor to make it your own.  I’m always open to lending a hand in design decisions in helping you reach your home’s fullest potential!

If you’re looking for someone to assist you in the search for new home or to truly represent the character while selling your current home, please do not hesitate to reach out.  If you would like to know more about this property, I would be happy to provide the details!

In case you missed the links, the full photos and 3d tour with detailed descriptions can be found here! 4119 Leland St Chevy Chase, MD 20815 is currently on the market for $1.850 million and is listed with Alice McKenna of Long and Foster Real Estate and Christie's International.