Category Archives: Favorite Houses

Rebuilding Together, CBRE and Pleasant View Landscapes Make A Difference In Brookland

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Rebuilding Together Makeover Project on 10th Street, a set on Flickr.

While walking  my dog on Friday morning, I saw a large group of people huddling in front of a house on 10th Street NE. It turned out that it was a group of volunteers and organizers from three organizations; Rebuilding Together DC, CBRE, and Pleasant View Landscapes. They were getting ready to tackle a long list of home improvement tasks on the home of a long time Brookland residents, Toni and Geri. When we stopped back later in the day, we saw that the home really got a nice overhaul. The mostly young volunteers we interacted with painted three bedrooms, replaced light fixtures, painted doors, repaired stair rails, re-caulked all the windows, installed handles in the shower and a raised toilet seat, repaired the door lock, and landscaped the front yard. Even the roof was replaced the day before.

Doris Collins, Associate Director of Rebuilding Together DC explained to us that this project is one of many that the organization takes on that helps DC low-income or veteran homeowners with home improvements. Ms. Collins said that this program often helps elderly people on fixed incomes stay in their homes by providing renovations that would normally be too overwhelming to take on themselves. She noted that improvements like caulking the windows have a  ripple effect into other areas such as saving homeowners on heating and cooling. Rebuilding Together has 200 chapters across the country and anyone can apply on the “Rebuilt Together” website for a home makeover or assistance with repair needs for their home.  We also spoke with Kathleen Thompson , Eastern Division Business Administrator and Director for CBRE. She explained that while CBRE is the largest commercial Real Estate firm in the world, her CBRE Cares team is a philanthropic endeavor by which CBRE employees contribute their time and resources to charitable causes.  All the volunteers that day raised at least half of the funds towards the home make over, which really makes them personally invested in the project. Ms. Thompson noted that they “would be lost without Rebuilding Together” since the two organizations work so closely together.

We also met John, a retired engineer, who offers his time not only to perform more advanced repairs, but also to teach volunteers new skills. John  and Nick were busy replacing the faulty front door lock. Nick, like so many of his fellow volunteers, picks up new skills every time he participates at a “Rebuilt Together” event. He can then apply these skills at future volunteer events, or at his own home improvement projects. Pleasant View Landscapes also played a big part by donating their whole team for the day. They were busy teaching the CBRE  team how to do landscaping in addition to tasks like caulking windows.

After admiring the enthusiastic group of volunteers working in and at every corner of the house, we had the chance to meet Toni, the owner of the home. The now 77 year old Brookland resident has lived in her home for 54 years. Geri, who came across the “Rebuilt Together” website, submitted the application for Toni on August 1, 2013. She was told it could take up to six months for the “Rebuilt Team” to make it to Toni’s home. That’s why the ladies were happily surprised to learn, that the team would come out to do the improvement work on September 27. Toni could not hide her joy and appreciation for the transformation her house was undergoing in front of her eyes. Geri  added “thank goodness for the internet!” In deed. We are very happy for her and congratulate her on her newly improved home.

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Colonial Sunshine Edition

Lucky (for me) the lack of foliage in winter and early spring allows you a better peek at houses that you admire from afar.  There isn’t much I can say about this house beyond gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I really love the porch with the white double columns and the warm, and not-too-out-there yellow color. Beautiful all around.

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Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Classic Charm Edition

What’s not to love about this large, impressive home? I really admire dormer windows, I think they make a home more architecturally interesting and charming, and this home is chock full of them. Speaking of windows, I also really dig the bay windows along the side of the house and on the porch. What really stopped me in my tracks though, is the gorgeous rounded front porch, with the beautiful columns, so stately and gracious.

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Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Painted Rowhouses Edition

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This may be my favorite stretch of rowhouses in Brookland, located on 10th near Evarts Street, NE. There aren’t that many painted rowhouses in Brookland generally, much less consecutively. I love how the colors of the houses compliment and contrast each other. My fave is the bold purple beauty. Well done neighbors!

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Peace And Harmony Edition

Every time I pass this house I want to smile. I love the bold, yet soothing color combination. I am not sure what style of home thıs is (cottage?) but I really like the small sections of roof  used as accents, for example, over the bay window. I think my favorite part of the home is the front door, I love the dark wood in contrast with the frame. The trellises along the side of the house really add a sense of privacy. Lastly, I really dig the sculpture in the front yard, beautiful.

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Turret Love Editon

NE Washington DC turret

Compared with the rest of the city, there aren’t too many homes in Brookland with a turret. The one on this house has a pretty cool rounded bottom attaching it to the house. Other neat features are the windows in the attic and the unique keyhole shaped entryway. I also love mature trees on this property, notably, the dogwood in front. And, of course, the ginormous backyard so typical of our beautiful Brookland.

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Victorian Purple Reign Edition

So, normally when I photograph my favorite homes and gardens,  I silently pray that the owner doesn’t come out and angrily chase me off (yes, this has happened). This time though, I actually got to go inside and check out the amazing interior, as well as admire the (purple and lavender!) exterior of this gorgeous Victorian home. The original woodwork in this home is just dripping with charm and warmth. There was just an amazing amount of detail preserved throughout. Beautiful.