Anna and Dan Kahoe, owners of GoodWood, an antique and vintage store on U Street NW, have lived in a restored carriage house on Blagden Alley, near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest Washington, for four years, frequently dreaming of what could be done with the empty lot in front of their property.
Together with S2 Development, the Kahoes have developed a three-unit condo building with a contemporary vibe and warm vintage touches.
“This is a passion project,” says Anna Kahoe. “We’ve owned and renovated five properties so far, and we had been dreaming about creating a new building for a long time. Once we found our architect, Shawn Buehler of Bennett Frank McCarthy, and our friend Mandy Mills connected us with S2 Development, we were on our way to taking advantage of this great opportunity.”
The Kahoes named the project at 1225 10th St. NW Huntress Coal Oil, after Samuel Huntress, a coal oil dealer who was the original owner of the Kahoes’ carriage house. He also owned the circa-1887 residence that had previously occupied the condo site. The original wood gate of the home was preserved and serves as the back fence that separates the condo building from a private courtyard and the Kahoes’ home. At the back of the new building, one of the brick walls has a vintage-looking hand-painted sign that reads “Huntress Coal Oil.”
Bohemian taste: The design for Huntress Coal Oil was examined by the Historic Preservation Review Board because it is located in the Blagden Alley-Naylor Court Historic District. The design choices and elements of the architectural decisions were made by the Kahoes.
“It was extremely important to us to keep the spaces open and flexible,” says Anna Kahoe. “Our home is completely open upstairs and downstairs. We’re very bohemian, and we wanted to keep that style going while recognizing that the end-users of the condos might not be as bohemian as we are.”
Mills, a real estate agent with Compass, says that S2 Development was willing to take a leap of faith with the Kahoes on the project.
“My role in this development was to bridge the gap between the Kahoes’ bohemian taste and what buyers may want,” says Mills. “At the same time, we all wanted to avoid the cookie-cutter aspect you see in many new developments in the city.”
Anna Kahoe says the exterior of the building was inspired by midsize buildings in New York City, with a slight industrial feel but with plenty of details, “so it looks like a little jewel box instead of an ordinary townhouse.”
All three units have floor-to-ceiling windows, interior glass walls and an outdoor space.
Although the Huntress Coal Oil residences have only a few vintage items such as light fixtures, the Kahoes chose materials that offer a timeless sensibility, such as custom walnut cabinets, slab marble counters in the kitchen and encaustic tiles in some of the bathrooms, which have a pattern made from varied shades of gray and beige clay rather than a painted surface.
“The inspiration for the cabinets came from a mid-century credenza,” says Anna. “We wanted to use furniture-quality cabinets in the open rooms that are not antiques but are crafted as if they are.”
Wall of windows: Every unit in Huntress Coal Oil has random-width oak flooring in what Anna Kahoe calls a “velvety” black stain through which the wood grain is visible. The walls are painted in a “light-capturing” white, she says, and the ceilings are painted a pale gray offset by white-painted wood beams.
Residence One, the lower-level flat, which has approximately 900 square feet and is priced at $600,000, has an open floor plan with tall windows facing the street. This unit has an open kitchen, living area and dining area as well as a full bath near the kitchen and glass walls to separate the bedroom from the living area. A glass door links this level to a private patio.
Residence Two, the second-level flat, which has approximately 1,100 square feet and a price of $900,000, has an entrance off the front foyer and a wall of windows facing 10th Street. This unit has an open living and dining area and kitchen at the front of the house, with glass interior walls and a bedroom with a full bath on the main level. A glass door links this level with a large rear terrace. Upstairs is a second bedroom with a wall of windows and a second full bath.
Residence Three, the upper-level unit, with approximately 1,300 square feet and a price of $1 million, has an open living and dining area and kitchen with a wall of windows facing the street. A powder room has been cleverly designed to fit into a landing off the stairwell to the upper level.
Upstairs are two bedrooms and two full baths. The front room has a large closet and tall windows facing the street, while the rear bedroom has a raised box ceiling and a sliding glass door to the roof terrace. The terrace is also accessible from a sliding glass door off the hall. The bathrooms on this level have distinctive black tile flooring, bright yellow and bright green vanities, and skylights.
What’s nearby: Blagden Alley, in Shaw between N and M streets on the north and south and Ninth and 10th on the east and west, is one of the best-preserved alleys in the city and originally held stables.
Locally owned restaurants, bars and art galleries have been established in and around the alley, including the popular Rogue 24 and Corduroy restaurants and La Colombe café. Residents can easily walk to dozens of restaurants, shops, museums and entertainment venues in Shaw, Mount Vernon Triangle and Penn Quarter or take Metro to any part of the city.
Schools: Thomson Elementary School, School Without Walls @Francis-Stevens, Cardozo Education Campus.
Transit: The neighborhood is serviced by Mount Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center stop on Metro’s Yellow and Green lines, as well as D.C. Circulator Bus and Metrobus on multiple lines, including 63,64, 70, 79 and G2 and G8.
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer.
1225 10th St. NW, Washington
The condos are priced from $600,000 to $1 million.
Builder: S2 Development and Anna and Dan Kahoe
Features: The units have open floor plans with random-width black oak flooring, beamed ceilings, energy-efficient windows with black trim, solid walnut cabinets in the kitchen, Viking stainless-steel appliances, and an Energy Star washer and dryer.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 or 2 / 1 to 3
Square footage: approximately 900 to 1,300 square feet
Condominium association fees: To be determined
View models: Open by appointment
Contact: Realty agents Mandy Mills and David Getson with Compass at 202-425-6417 or visit www.1225-10th.com .