What Is It Like To Live in The Roundhouse?

by Shilpi Paul

What Is It Like To Live in The Roundhouse?: Figure 1
1001 Irving Street NE

This article was originally published on UrbanTurf in 2013.

When UrbanTurf featured a rather unique Brookland home in October, the post led to a flurry of interest. And that wasn’t surprising given that DC doesn’t have many round houses.

With a first floor completely devoid of corners or hallways, the roundhouse is just what it sounds like: a house with round walls. The main living level is just one circular space, while the second story is divided into four rooms with rounded walls.

Built in 1901 by John C. Louthan, 1001 Irving Street NE is one of the few remaining octagonal houses in DC. Ditto Residential and architect Chuong Cao spent 14 months transforming the 110 year-old home into a 2,400-square foot, four-bedroom house while maintaining the property’s unique design.

It went under contract in November 2012 and sold in January, so we were curious how the new owner likes living there.

“It’s absolutely fabulous,” Laurie Sherman, the roundhouse buyer, told UrbanTurf.

What Is It Like To Live in The Roundhouse?: Figure 2
Living area and kitchen. [Photos are from the home’s listing.]

Sherman was living in Arlington while searching for a new home, and fell in love with the house as soon as she saw it. She moved in the day she signed the papers in early January. Since then, she has been busy filling the home with furniture and hanging art, though she ran into some challenges with the latter.

“It’s very hard to hang paintings [in a round house],” noted Sherman. “There are not too many straight walls.”

Sherman looked into round furniture, but decided against it. Beds, sofas and tables have been relatively easy to pull into the living space, but Sherman found that one item is more complicated: the bookshelf. Between the round walls and the many windows, there are few places to push a bookcase against a wall.

What Is It Like To Live in The Roundhouse?: Figure 3

Also, it would seem that the many windows on the first floor would create potential privacy issues, but not for Sherman. “Privacy happens upstairs,” she said. “You can hide in your bedroom.” That said, she did install blinds that cover the bottom half of the windows and leave the top exposed.

Its many quirky features are why Sherman is very happy with the home, though. She has been working on the large garden, and hopes to stay there for a long time.

“The fact that it’s open is its attraction,” said Sherman. “And the neighborhood is lovely.”

See other articles related to: unique spaces, roundhouse, dclofts, brookland

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what_is_it_like_to_live_in_the_roundhouse/6800


  1. JS said at 8:19 pm on Monday March 18, 2013:
    Very happy to hear this from & about the new homeowner!
  1. Maurice Saylor said at 11:06 pm on Monday March 18, 2013:
    Welcome to the neighborhood, Laurie. I hope you will consider putting your home on the House & Garden tour ( http://www.gbgc.org/#/house-garden-tour/4553216746 ) when you feel you are ready!

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