Unique Spaces: Tilden Street Restaurant Becomes Spacious Home

by Mark Wellborn

Unique Spaces: Tilden Street Restaurant Becomes Spacious Home: Figure 1
Ed Carp's Living Room

UrbanTurf's Unique Spaces series takes a look at properties that could be considered “one-of-a-kind” in the DC area. We wrote about this restaurant-turned-home back in 2010. Since then, the home has sold, but we are bringing the article back to the front page of UrbanTurf to show new readers the wonderful residence. See all of our past Unique Spaces articles here.

There are likely very few people in the DC area who can say they live in a former restaurant. Ed Carp is part of this select group.

Before diving into how this came about, we should give you a little real estate background on Mr. Carp, a story that will likely make real estate investors out there quite jealous.

In the late 1990s, after living in Dupont Circle for five years, Carp managed (with no savings and bad credit) to buy a 3,000 square-foot basement office space in Adams Morgan for $95,000. In the coming years, Carp renovated the space (while living in it) into a basement loft-type home. In 2001, he sold it for five times what he paid for it.

“I truly loved that space,” Carp told UrbanTurf. “When the renovation was complete, I was extremely proud.”

From 2001 to 2007, Carp returned to the world of renting, largely because there was nothing on the market that was catching his eye.

Then, in 2005, he learned that the space that formerly housed the Tilden Gardens restaurant on the ground floor of 3000 Tilden Street NW (map) was on the market.

Unique Spaces: Tilden Street Restaurant Becomes Spacious Home: Figure 2
Private Entrance

3000 Tilden Street was originally built as part of a six-building co-op complex, and the restaurant at Tilden Gardens where residents would eat. The restaurant had a country club feel to it, offered room service and served a delicious brook trout, according to reviews. It closed in 1971. Soon after, the Daughters of the American Revolution moved in and used the space as their offices and ballroom. When the Daughters moved out in 2005, the space sat empty for two years.

On January 5, 2007, Carp closed on the 3,600 square-foot space for $650,000. For the next three and a half months, renovations moved forward at an accelerated pace. Carp turned the back three rooms of the space, which had been used as offices and a women’s bathroom, into the master bedroom and two guest rooms. He completely renovated the kitchen and built all new bathrooms. He also redid the floors using a wood stain and created a large home office for himself just off the living area. Total cost for these renovations: $50,000.

Unique Spaces: Tilden Street Restaurant Becomes Spacious Home: Figure 3
Home Office

“I think a lot of people overestimate what renovations are going to cost,” Carp said. “After my first turn at renovations, I realized I could do things for pretty cheap.”

It was not just the renovations that were inexpensive. Those leather chairs in the middle of the living room were $200 for the pair, the couches (that used to sit in the presidential suite at the Washington Hilton) cost $400 and the dining room chairs cost just $20 apiece from a hotel furniture warehouse.

Carp just recently finished a second round of renovations including the addition of a private entrance with a large cast iron door that provides him with a small area where he can smoke cigars, and the unit’s piece de resistance: a movie screening room.

Unique Spaces: Tilden Street Restaurant Becomes Spacious Home: Figure 4
Movie Screening Room

The room has a massive HD-quality projection screen surrounded by couches and a movie selection that has clearly been a work in progress for years. The room was actually the former entrance to the unit, so in order to block out sound from the lobby, layers of drywall and insulation were installed to cover up the door and block out sound.

Up next for Carp is to build a private patio area off the living room and install a fireplace and skylight. Needless to say, when this property hits the market again, the list price will likely be slightly higher than the $650,000 Carp paid. We just don't expect that he will be moving anytime soon.

See other articles related to: unique spaces, luxury real estate dc, editors choice

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/unique_spaces_tilden_street_restaurant_becomes_spacious_home/1832


  1. Eric said at 2:28 am on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    Eddie is amazing. My fiancee and I are currently buying our first place (in Logan Circle) and Eddie has been awesome throughout the whole process. If you are a first-time homebuyer and looking for a real estate agent, I can't say enough about him. And yes, his home is absolutely ridiculous.
  1. Sally said at 3:00 am on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    What a fabulous spot! Pretty amazing renovation.
  1. Matt Forsom said at 3:51 pm on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    Beautiful space and very cool behind the scenes story.
  1. Mimi said at 4:38 pm on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    Truly amazing home! Is it possible to find out whether he did the renovations himself or did he have a contractor? Would be interested in getting information about his contractor supposing he used one.
  1. Tara said at 5:17 pm on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    I would also be interested in learning about how he did all those renovations for $50,000.
  1. Ed Carp said at 5:40 pm on Wednesday March 3, 2010:
    Yes, I used a great contractor named: Sal Funes (301)219-6501. Ed Carp
  1. Rob S said at 2:19 am on Thursday March 4, 2010:
    Eddie Rocks. Go Eddie!
  1. aj said at 5:45 pm on Thursday March 4, 2010:
    What is the name/location of the hotel furniture warehouse? those are great finds!
  1. Ed Carp said at 6:04 pm on Thursday March 4, 2010:
    It used to be called: Hotel Furniture Sellout, but he recently sold his inventory to: Williams Warehouse 301-322-8670 1710 Olive St., Capitol Heights, MD 20743
  1. Megan I. said at 7:31 pm on Thursday March 4, 2010:
    Ed - The place looks great - love the new door & entryway!
  1. Medha and Palak Shah said at 4:04 am on Friday March 5, 2010:
    Only Ed could create such beauty and on a budget!! We love you Ed!! Can't wait to see you again soon. Congrats on completing your renovation and thanks for being the best friend (and real estate agent) in the world!!
  1. Alena Lowenthal said at 3:32 pm on Friday March 5, 2010:
  1. DC by Design said at 2:34 pm on Monday March 8, 2010:
    Ed, your work with interiors is like my fashionable friend who always looks like a million bucks -- but revels in telling us that it all came from TJ Maxx or some other discount store. It's truly a talent. Bravo!
  1. Nick said at 9:47 pm on Monday March 8, 2010:
    Ed, Do tell us more about the floor work you did! They are beautiful... -Nick
  1. Ed Carp said at 3:32 pm on Tuesday March 9, 2010:
    The floors were pretty simple. The hard part was getting all the old carpet glue and other residue off the floors prior to staining. We scrubbed and scraped with muratic acid twice. Then we just used plain old Minwax wood stain the same way you would with wood, although you have to let is sit longer, so it soaks into the concrete. I think we did two coats of the wood stain to get it dark enough. The final step is applying the polyurethane - again just plain old Minwax, semi-gloss, fast-drying polyurethane. We used two coats, and lightly sanded between coats for better adherence. For maintenance I wax them every few weeks. They wear great....there's virtually nothing you can do to hurt them... Ed
  1. albert said at 3:26 am on Saturday March 13, 2010:
    I know that space. my friends used to live in the building and were married (1994) in what is now your living space. WOW it looks fanastic
  1. Ed Carp said at 5:29 am on Sunday July 15, 2012:
    Wow, another Ed Carp? How cool is that! Although I haven't been called Eddie since high school...

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