It can be a mistake to make a guest bedroom too inviting. You might find your guests overstaying their welcome. In that respect, Fred Bahrami failed in the design of his contemporary home in the Burleith neighborhood north of Georgetown.

No guests would ever want to leave a bedroom that was not only better than their own but also many five-star hotels. Bahrami admits even he sometimes sleeps in that room rather than his own elegant master suite.

Two levels above the main floor, the spacious bedroom at the front of the house exudes comfort and calm. The en-suite bathroom is tucked into a corner and wrapped in ipe (a rich Brazilian wood). The wall of windows includes a door to a terrace with room to seat four. Perched among the treetops, it is a perfect spot to enjoy coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening.


On inclement days, a lounge between the two bedrooms is an ideal place to read a book. Bahrami, ever the thoughtful host, installed individual cooling and heating units in the bedrooms so that guests have control of their own comfort.

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That attention to detail is evident throughout the home, which was designed by architect Rouzita Vahhabaghai of Ita-Design in the District. In creating a house filled with space and light — the “No. 1 philosophy” in the design, says Bahrami — he wanted no visual impediments. Walls of glass permit unobstructed sightlines from the front to the back of the house. TV screens are tucked into niches. Mirrors are flush with the wall.

When something protrudes — such as the fireplace surround on the main level — it makes a statement.


Bahrami divided his home in half. The right side is service-oriented — bathrooms, closets, utilities. The left side, the living spaces, is uncluttered. The kitchen, tucked behind the stairwell on the main floor, is on the right side.

Almost everything in the house floats, including the house itself. Black marble wrapped around its base makes it appear as if the stucco, glass and ipe exterior is levitating. Walls float with no baseboards to anchor them and drywall that stops slightly above the floor. Stairs float, casting shadows against the walls. Even the ductwork — the most utilitarian part of a house — floats and becomes artistic.


The soaring white walls are a tempting blank canvas for an art collector.


“You come in and let out a sigh,” Bahrami said. “It’s comfortable here. It’s soothing to your soul.”

Such a modern home might seem out of place to some in this tradition-bound neighborhood, but this one does not. Because Bahrami adhered to many of the edicts required of historic homes, it feels in harmony with its surroundings rather than in stark contrast.

The outdoors is integral to this home. Not only do you see it through large panes of glass but you experience it on every floor. Each level has at least one terrace. The extensive roof deck provides an ideal spot for entertaining.

The seven-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,700-square-foot house is listed at $4.25 million.

Listing agents: Robert Hryniewicki, Adam T. Rackliffe and Christopher R. Leary, Washington Fine Properties

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