If the house always wins—this collection of jaw dropping abodes shows what happens when you go all in.
A touch of the West in Potomac.
Go bicoastal at this Aspen-inspired custom home near Congressional Country Club and TPC at Avenel. You’ll be California dreaming by the West Coast-inspired pool house, which boasts sliding glass panels that open to a kitchen, covered dining pavilion and loggia with a waterfall wall. The six-bedroom stunner has a Napa-style master retreat with luxurious bath and dressing closets. Car enthusiasts can escape to the “bat cave”—a detached subterranean garage that holds 12 cars and features mechanical systems and a tool room. All areas are connected underground to the main house. Asking price $7.95 million, Long & Foster Real Estate, longandfoster.com
Pool upgrades fit for a Pharaoh’s playground.
When homeowners Khoa and Huong Ho of McLean, Va., wanted to bring a touch of resort royalty to their backyard, they tapped award-winning exterior designer Ryan Hughes Design (ryanhughesdesign.com). Working with Virginia-based outdoor contracting firm Colao & Peter Outdoor Environments (colaopeter.com), Hughes delivered an over-the-top exterior upgrade, replete with hot tubs and a swimming pool alongside a towering sphinx, pyramids and an array of exotic elements. “It was going to be built in a resort style so we could feel like we were on vacation, right in our own backyard,” says Huong Ho. “And now, we actually have this feeling.”
Living in prestigious Embassy Row is no gamble.
There are good neighborhoods and then “the” neighborhoods. It doesn’t get any more esteemed than Kalorama. In this grand, 6,700-square-foot residence, you will fit in nicely. Built in 1908, the home is rich in history and was meticulously restored in a collaboration between Barnes Vanze Architects, Glass Construction and Martha Blair FitzGerald Interiors, resulting in a John Russell Pope Award for work in classical and traditional architecture. Highlights of the five-level, five-bedroom residence include an elevator to all floors, a heated driveway, separate in-law/au pair suite, top-floor entertaining suite with full bar, and wraparound rooftop deck and private rear patio with fountain. $5.5 million, Kimberly Casey and Daryl Judy, Washington Fine Properties, wfp.com
Ideal waterfront residence to flop for the weekend.
Surrounded by the Potomac River and pristine parklands, this opulent waterfront home recently sold for $4.6 million. “The sale marked the highest price ever for a single-family home in Alexandria and Arlington,” says Jeanne Choi of McEnearney Associates. The neighborhood is close to post-Civil War-era Fort Hunt. The grand home, which has six bedrooms and eight full baths, along with a 300-foot dock, is perfect for a complementary matching yacht. When not motoring down the Potomac, one can splash around in the heated pool and follow follies around the 25,000-square-foot lot, or leverage the home for grand-scale entertaining and wistful weekend retreats.
This contemporary home in Cleveland Park rocks.
When Washington power couple Terry and Margaret Lenzner wanted to eschew classic for contemporary in historic Cleveland Park, they turned to innovative architect Travis Price. “I intended to follow in the tradition on Cleveland Park’s history of innovation and respectful change, applauding yet not imitating the pre-1930 classics as well as the evolving modernist pieces by Winthrop Faulkner, I.M. Pei and Sam Dunn,” Price wrote of the home in his book The Archaeology of Tomorrow. After navigating a rigorous gauntlet of approval from various neighborhood and city groups, the home’s distinctive copper walls are now entrenched as part of the neighborhood’s architectural narrative.
Embassy Row makes a play for a piece of Washington history.
The iconic 23,000-square-foot 1919 Georgian-style home, Merrywood, rests on seven forested and fenced acres in McLean, Virginia. It has legendary social pedigree—it played a starring role in Gore Vidal’s novel Washington, D.C.; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis grew up there; Wyatt and Nan Dickerson lived there; in the ’80s Alan and Dianne Kay made it an elite social hub; and recently, power couple Jean and Steve Case called it home. Perhaps its royal lineage enticed the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to purchase the estate in 2018 for $49.5 million.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KIMBERLY CASEY AND DARYL JUDY, WASHINGTON FINE PROPERTIES; PHOTO BY KEN WYNER COURTESY OF TRAVIS PRICE ARCHITECTS