Talley and his husband had just completed a three-year renovation of their Key West, Fla., house when they decided in 2021 to move to Washington, a city they thought had more resources for their son, who is 10 years old and has special needs.
The Key West experience, Talley said, affected the outcome of their D.C. search. “Once you do a renovation down to the studs, you never want to do it again,” he said.
The house at 1512 34th St. NW, now on the market for about $2.96 million, was renovated by Akseizer Residential, a D.C. development company, in 2021. According to D.C. building permits, the house was built in 1880; little else is known about its history.
The Colonial-style exterior fits in with the neighboring rowhouses. But the house is detached, which is unusual in the neighborhood, and the garden can be accessed from outside the front of the house.
Talley and husband Ricky Hamilton returned to D.C. (they met on Capitol Hill about two decades earlier) with a fondness for the pastels and warm tones of south Floridian design. That attachment was most noticeable in the tropical interior decor — furnishings and decorations that don’t convey — and can still be spotted in some parts of the house, like the yellow bar area on the lower level.
The entry level includes a living room with a front-facing alcove looking out on 34th Street. The floors, updated in the 2021 renovation, are rift- or quarter-sawn white oak (for slightly different looks) with custom stain. A lounge area has a retractable television embedded in built-in cabinetry. At the back of the house, the renovated kitchen has Calacatta marble Miele countertops. Talley said it’s his favorite part of the house.
“You can see the garden on one side,” he said. “The way [the kitchen is] situated, you can spend a lot of family time while you’re preparing dinner. And I would say that’s my favorite time of day.”
The primary bedroom suite, on the second level above the lower level, has a built-in nightstand and a walk-in closet. The primary bathroom has a two-sink vanity with a Nero Marquina marble countertop. This floor also has a second bedroom with an en suite bathroom.
The lower level has a family room with a bar, a bedroom, a full bathroom and a washer and dryer. The house has smart home features throughout, including built-in speakers on every level.
Another defining feature of the property is its expansive outdoor space, which was featured on the 2023 Georgetown Garden Tour. The kitchen door opens to a patio, and beyond that there is a manicured garden that Talley said was modeled on gardens in historic Williamsburg, Va., with boxwoods, hydrangeas and roses. The reproduction lanterns that line the pathway came from the shop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Although designed to resemble old English gardens, this garden has decidedly 21st-century features, like WiFi coverage and a built-in irrigation system.
For Talley, whose family plans to stay in the area, living in a modern house in an old Georgetown neighborhood has a satisfying asymmetry. “It’s very cool to live in a modern house that needed absolutely nothing and then step outside onto the same bricks that our past presidents have walked on.”
- Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3/4
- Approximate square-footage: 2,270
- Lot size: 3,055 square feet
- Features: This late-19th-century house was renovated in 2021 to include smart home features and other modern amenities, including built-in speakers on every level and an automatic irrigation system in the garden. Street parking only.
- Listing agent: Linda Lizzio, Long and Foster Real Estate