What Matters

April 2024 Issue

Real Estate Survey

In this edition of What Matters, we bring you insights from metro-D.C.’s real estate leaders, whose expertise shapes our city’s living spaces. Their responses to our five queries sketch the contours of current design trends, offer pragmatic advice for future sellers, and reveal personal retreats within and beyond our urban fabric. Their words, a blend of foresight and reflection, provide a clear view of what’s now and what’s next. Read on for a distilled take on design, straight from the experts. Special thanks to Theo Adamstein, VP of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Kevin Carlson of District Property Group, April Myers, VP of RLAH @Properties, and Andrew Riguzzi, EVP of District Property Group.


Are you seeing new design trends with buyers or sellers? Or with new builds? Or with recently renovated properties? Or with historic homes with modern upgrades?

D.C.’s real estate connoisseurs are noticing a shift towards homes that marry modern functionality with old-world charm. Buyers are drawn to properties that offer upgraded comforts while preserving unique architectural details. Trends reflect a departure from stark, minimal aesthetics to more vibrant and textured materials, echoing current fashion movements. Practical, warm spaces with a dash of personal flair, like fluted cabinetry and glass-front details, are becoming the signatures of desirability. The consensus? A well-designed turnkey property is critical.


What advice would you give homeowners about renovations if they consider selling in the next 5 years?

Wisdom from the pros suggests a balance of joy and judiciousness. Paint, lighting, and flooring updates are championed for their transformative effect and cost-efficiency. A lean towards neutrality in major design choices is advised to appeal to a broader market, although personal taste shouldn’t be completely sidelined. Ultimately, understanding how you live in your space today will inform the most meaningful enhancements, emphasizing versatile areas like dedicated workspaces reflecting evolving home dynamics.


What is your favorite thing to do in metro DC?

In the heart of metro D.C., real estate pros find their joy in the city’s simple pleasures. Strolls by the C&O Canal capped off with a visit to Black Salt for oysters and martinis, spending quality time exploring one of the many museums with family, or the simple indulgence of the local culinary scene are the cherished moments outside the bustle of the property market.


What is your favorite escape outside of metro DC?

When the call of the countryside beckons, D.C.’s real estate insiders find respite in the pastoral charm of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland’s small cities and towns. They luxuriate in stays at The Goodstone Inn or The Inn at Willow Grove, imbibe at Pippin Hill Winery in Charlottesville, or savor the tranquility of the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s on the Eastern Shore. Whether it’s an excursion to Richmond, a leisurely day at a distillery, or a gastronomic delight in Middleburg, these retreats offer a delightful departure from the city’s pace, embodying the quiet luxury of a well-earned escape.


Will you share links to some of your favorite current properties for sale or recently sold?

Take a look out these eight properties from our real estate experts:4511 Klingle Street, NW, Washington, DC
440 R Street, NW #202, Washington, DC
2719 Poplar Street, NW, Washington, DC
3019 44th Street, NW, Washington, DC
181 River Park Drive, Great Falls, VA
3260 S Utah Street, Arlington, VA
82 Vista Drive, Gardiner, NY


In addition to our real estate experts’ favorite places to escape the bustle of DC, Upon Return suggests Easton on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Settled by Quakers in 1682 and established as a town in 1710, its history, together with today’s modern shops, cafes, restaurants, and inns, makes it a relaxing weekend getaway only 90 minutes from DC.  The Tidewater Inn is the place to stay. Begin your morning at Weather Gage, which serves Philadelphia’s La Colombe coffee and French pastries. Check out the many shops including Benjamin for Austrian crystal, Flying Cloud for books, Flying Cloud Fine Art Posters for vintage posters, and The Modern Bulldog for vintage modern furniture and accessories. Try The WardroomSunflowers & Greens, or Roma’s authentic Roman pizza for lunch.  Leave room for ice cream and dessert at Bonheur and P. Bordier. Make reservations for dinner at Bas Rouge for a European tasting menu or Out of the Fire for creative, local American fare.  Head back to DC recharged.

Upon Return is your gateway to a world where each destination is a narrative waiting to unfold.

Wonder less. Wander more.