Townhouse really is fit for a queen


For visitors to the Old Town Historic District, its picturesque turn-of-the-century  townhouses are tourist attractions in their own right.

Passers-by are left to wonder what further riches are hidden inside. Few of them could even imagine the excitement and elegance they would find within one particular 90-year-old red-brick home on Royal Street.

It is now listed at $1,025,000 with Betty Quirk at Long & Foster (703-518-8732).
The wrought-iron railings lead to the brick sidewalk, sounding the historical theme.

 Inside, it is literally fit for a queen…namely, Queen Victoria. Granted, she died in 1901 and the house dates from 16 years later. But many historians use the term Victorian for anything before the end of World War I, and this house reflects that tradition. Adorned with elaborate Victorian-style wallpaper by Bradbury & Bradbury, it is filled with other features that enhance the period atmosphere.

Patterned blue wallpaper stands above hammered gilt wainscoting, impressing visitors to the front hall. The original narrow plank floors continue through the house.

To the right, the living room is even more opulent. Its dusty rose and blue dcor is also seen throughout the home, combining artistic unity with historical atmosphere. The dusty pink wallpaper and the blue draperies both feature overall gilded designs, beneath elaborate Victorian molding in the same color scheme.

The ceiling is adorned by female figures representing the four traditional elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. As the final touch of authenticity, the Victorian chandelier remains with the home.

The adjoining dining room shows the same spirit, with matching draperies and chandeliers. The molding reflects the same color scheme.

In the kitchen beyond, the green Heartland appliance exteriors faithfully re-create a 19th century kitchen. Inside, however, they are thoroughly modern, like the wooden bread box that conceals a microwave.

Between the dining room and kitchen, a modern powder room features traditional brocade wallpaper.

Behind the kitchen, the family room is a new addition, but the antique carved wooden mantel and matching wooden window frames preserve the historical heritage. This room overlooks the enclosed garden.

In the front of the house, gilded insets continue beside the stairway, echoing the wainscoting in the vestibule. The bath includes a claw foot tub with old-fashioned white panels. One of the two rear bedrooms features a built-in bookcase, a second antique carved wooden mantel and a garden view.

At the other end of the hall, the master bedroom shows a dusty rose wall covering between molding and wainscoting in the Victorian style.

The schools are Lyles-Crouch Elementary, George Washington Middle and TC Williams High.