This recently completed the renovation of a 3 story row house, built circa 1900, is located in the historic Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. The grouping of houses are on the National Register and referred to as the Hobbit Houses. The property incorporates a proportionately squat entry door in a Richardsonian Romanesque style facade dominated by a large scale bay window, hence the nickname. Prior to 2017 when the property was acquired, the interior had been extensively modified, including a sizable addition in the back, likely from the 1970’s. While the layout concept was straightforward, one room in the front, one room in the back with the stair in the middle of a long, narrow footprint, the space was dark, convoluted and choppy mostly due to poor space use and the presence of abandoned ventilation shafts throughout.

The renovation, including all new infrastructure, transformed the interior. All new systems, plumbing fixtures and appliances are energy efficient. The expression is unapologetically contemporary in a city that leans heavily towards the traditional. Renovation costs totaled $120.00 per square foot; well below the cost of comparable projects in this area. The total square footage is 1560 for all three floors.

The owner collects art in addition to owning an art gallery and event space in Washington, DC. He is also a portrait photographer; hence the studio space on the second floor.

The property is historically connected to Douglas Frederick, often called the Father of the Civil Rights Movement. You can say the branch doesn’t fall far from the tree given that the owner is an LGBT Rights activist.

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Modern home with Exterior, Stone Siding Material, Shed RoofLine, House Building Type, and Shingles Roof Material. Exterior of one of the Hobbit Houses Photo  of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Exterior of one of the Hobbit Houses

Modern home with Hallway and Dark Hardwood Floor. Master bedroom suite to photography studio Photo 2 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Master bedroom suite to photography studio

Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Dark Hardwood Floor, Coffee Tables, and Recessed Lighting. Entry space Photo 3 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Entry space

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. Entry space and stair Photo 4 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Entry space and stair

Modern home with Living Room, End Tables, Chair, Coffee Tables, Dark Hardwood Floor, and Recessed Lighting. Entry space Photo 5 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Entry space

Modern home with Kitchen, Microwave, Recessed Lighting, Engineered Quartz Counter, Cooktops, Ice Maker, Undermount Sink, Refrigerator, Wall Oven, Dark Hardwood Floor, and Dishwasher. Living  Space Photo 6 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Living Space

Modern home with Kitchen, Ice Maker, Wall Oven, Dark Hardwood Floor, Dishwasher, Cooktops, Refrigerator, Engineered Quartz Counter, Microwave, Undermount Sink, and Recessed Lighting. Living Space Photo 7 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Living Space

Modern home with Kitchen, Wall Oven, Ice Maker, Dishwasher, Dark Hardwood Floor, Refrigerator, Cooktops, Recessed Lighting, Engineered Quartz Counter, Microwave, and Undermount Sink. Living Space Photo 8 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Living Space

Modern home with Bath Room, Glass Tile Wall, Engineered Quartz Counter, Open Shower, Recessed Lighting, Wall Lighting, One Piece Toilet, Undermount Sink, and Ceramic Tile Floor. Master Bathroom Photo 9 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Master Bathroom

Modern home with Bath Room, Dark Hardwood Floor, Engineered Quartz Counter, Ceramic Tile Floor, Ceramic Tile Wall, Open Shower, Undermount Sink, Ceiling Lighting, and One Piece Toilet. Master bathroom shower (with frosted panel/borrowed light panel) Photo 10 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Master bathroom shower (with frosted panel/borrowed light panel)

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Recessed Lighting, and Dark Hardwood Floor. Master Bedroom (with borrowed light panel to bathroom) Photo 11 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Master Bedroom (with borrowed light panel to bathroom)

Modern home with Shed & Studio and Den Room Type. Artist Photography Studio Photo 12 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Artist Photography Studio

Modern home with Staircase, Metal Railing, and Wood Tread. Stairway Photo 13 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Stairway

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. Stairway (with borrowed light panel to third floor bathroom) Photo 14 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Stairway (with borrowed light panel to third floor bathroom)

Modern home with Bath Room, Two Piece Toilet, Drop In Sink, Alcove Tub, Ceramic Tile Floor, Recessed Lighting, Laminate Counter, and Ceramic Tile Wall. Bathroom (before) Photo 15 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Bathroom (before)

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, and Corner Fireplace. Entry-BEFORE Photo 16 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Entry-BEFORE

Modern home with Living Room, Recessed Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Corner Fireplace. Entry space-BEFORE Photo 18 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Entry space-BEFORE

Modern home with Kitchen, Recessed Lighting, Laminate Counter, Laminate Cabinet, Light Hardwood Floor, Range, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, and Drop In Sink. Living Space-BEFORE Photo 19 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Living Space-BEFORE

Modern home with Kitchen, Range, Laminate Cabinet, Laminate Counter, Recessed Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, Drop In Sink, Refrigerator, and Dishwasher. Living Space-BEFORE Photo 20 of Hobbit HouseView Photos

Living Space-BEFORE

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • Ernesto Santalla PLLC
Interior Design
  • Ernesto Santalla PLLC
Photographer
  • Geoffrey Hodgdon
Bedrooms
  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 0
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Traditional
  • Year
  • 1900
  • Square Feet
  • 1500
  • Smart Home Tech
  • Nest