Turning the Page on 34th St.

“Our house was the community house, the one where everyone came at the end of the school day, on Halloween, on July 4,” recalls Cheryl Reibel, owner of the traditional-on-the-outside, unexpected-on-the-inside clapboard row home at 1641 34th St. NW. Private yet playful, it was designed to appeal to kids as well as grownups, the site for monthly book club meetings, movie nights and parties.

Reibel, author of “Resilience,” a collection of “amazing stories of young Holocaust survivors” told in 30-word poem form, is herself the child of Holocaust survivors. She wanted her family’s home to be a place of friendship, mutual understanding and respect. Despite the city’s international population, “We are all one,” she says, “and we must never forget.”

Located in the heart of Georgetown, within walking distance of numerous schools and houses of worship, the property offers 3,235 square feet of living space on three levels and includes four bedrooms, four and a half baths, a wood-burning fireplace, custom built-ins and a large flagstone patio. It is on the market for $2,399,900.

Most striking, however, is the three-story, 16-panel skylit atrium, which greets you as you enter the front door. It boasts diagonally laid hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall from the original 1925 structure and upper-level interior windows that create the feel of an old European streetscape. An archway reveals the living room and rear garden beyond.

The female gaze is everywhere you look. Indeed, a talented team of woman agents, designers and visual artists have brought a distinctive aesthetic to the home. Using the faux-tile, hand-painted ceiling in the dining room as inspiration, they created a cohesive design story throughout every room with color (cream, driftwood grey, sea green, black and white), of-the-moment metallics (silver, brass and chrome), rich textures (velvet, fur and wool) and materials (quartz, glass, wood and mirrors).

The furnishings, available for purchase, a mix of Midcentury Modern and Art Deco, were supplied by Charlotte Akinfe, who founded her store, Modern Contempo, in 2004 as a way to satisfy “her passion for unique things.” Born in Minneapolis, Akinfe spent her elementary and high school years in Lagos, Nigeria, returning to the U.S. for college. Originally an e-commerce site, there are now two brick-and-mortar locations in Bethesda, Maryland, and Manassas, Virginia. For this house, she looked to combine her favorite elements in new and interesting ways.

Unless you’re a collector, art is often an afterthought. Not here. Paintings created by multimedia artist Heather Minter (IG: heather.minter.art) and “blind contour” artist Kayti Didriksen (IG: drawscrowds) not only enhance the rooms in which they take pride of place but serve as the focal point. They are available for purchase as well.

Of all the rooms, our favorite — after the main level atrium — is the third-level office space. Between two bedrooms and a small sitting room, it looks over the rooftops of Georgetown through windows and skylights. It’s a scene straight out of the Left Bank.

There will be an open house on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 2 to 6 p.m., complete with music led by Nichelle Johnson, aka DJ Honey. COVID precautions will be in place; masks are required and entry will be timed. 

Listed with Long & Foster Extraordinary Properties Division | Christies International, the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home at 1641 34 St. NW is offered at $2,399,900. For details, contact Adrienne Szabo at adrienne@adrienneszabo.com or 202-445-0206. For a visual tour, visit spws.homevisit.com/hvid/312599.

The rear garden as seen through the art-filled living room. Furnishings by Modern Contempo. Photo by Chris Ellenbogen.

Owner Cheryl Reibel’s book “Resilience,” which tells the stories of young Holocaust survivors in poem form. Photo by Susan Bodiker.


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