Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Kitchen that has Gone to the Dogs

Not sure how I missed this kitchen designed with our canine friends in mind.  Don't you adore the placement of the dog bowls and the drawers above are for leases and other pet accessories.  How thoughtful!

You've Got To See This Kitchen

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If You Can't Take the Heat, Get a New Kitchen

Just found this link to a website chock full of terrific ideas and loads of great photos.  Shown above is an example from the site that demonstrates one thing I love: the contrast between the ultra mod chairs and industrial lighting.  Way Great!

Check out the link below to view their top 20 kitchens of the year.  My favs:: 2, 3, 6, 11 and 20.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TRIM THIS! 8008 MacArthur Moving Right Along

As the holidays approach we don't have time to trim trees, we're busy trimming 8008 MacArthur Blvd.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Homes in The Village of North Chevy Chase by OPaL

                                                                     The Hamptons

                                                                  Martha's Vineyard

The design phase for our new Coastal Collection of homes is nearing completion.  The Village Twins, our latest community just off Connecticut Avenue in the Village of North Chevy Chase, will offer the Hamptons and the Martha's Vineyard floor plans (shown above). Both reminiscent of the upscale coastal communities they represent while still lending themselves to the Chevy Chase lifestyle and esthetic with signatures of OPaL throughout the homes.

Land development and sales begin in early 2012. Priced from $1.5 million.

Learn More About the Village Twins and Register for Information

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Stables' Kitchen Packages Now Complete

OPaL Kitchen Packages from the top:: The Frugal Gourmet, The Party of Two, The Barefoot Contessa and The Urban Spoon
The WOW is standard in every OPaL kitchen.  Our designers have taken the guess work out of the kitchen selection process; so now all you have to worry about is:  What's for dinner?
Learn More About The Stables

Thursday, December 1, 2011


A home inspection with ZERO items on it??  You read that correctly. ZIP, NADA, ZERO. Most houses have something on an inspection list, but not the Manse at 8008 MacArthur. No Sir.
Peter might know what he's doing after all.  Now I feel bad about razzing him all the time. Well, not really.
A perfect structural and mechanical inspection plus the drywall is almost done and the metal roof (Champagne is the color name, of course) is going on today. Who gets excited about metal roof? We do.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ruppert Island in the Potomac. Really?

Check out what my mom, Eileen O'Brien-Ruppert, found while trying to locate Cabin John Crossing in her atlas (she doesn't Google) while sitting in her sun room a few weeks ago.  Just off MacArthur Blvd and a tad south of Cabin John Crossing, right there in the Potomac River:: an island named Ruppert Island.  Curious coincidence or possibly something more?  

Friday, November 18, 2011

That's My Giant....

Just 47 paces from our first project in the District, Naylor Court Stables, the Giant grocery store built in 1980 began its two year journey to become the most state-of-the-art and largest grocer in DC.  Mayor Gray took the first chunk from the facade to cheers from neighbors who have been waiting a long time for CityMarket at O to become a reality. 

 Learn more about The Stables

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Like Gregory from DC

The Stables were mentioned in today's issue of UrbanTurf, one of our favorite DC real estate blogs.  Here is a comment left by Gregory, a fellow reader::

"Gregory said at 10:40 am on Thursday November 17, 2011:
At 3 beds, 2500+ square feet and 2 car parking......... Love seeing smaller development, larger unit homes in hip neighborhoods…Bravo!"

We agree.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


THE STABLES:: Three oversized rowhomes designed with the neighborhood's equestrian history in mind, each with a private Carriage House for parking. Just off Logan Circle, Walk to Metro, 14th Street & CityMarket at O.

Learn more about Naylor Court Stables in DC

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Stables Aren't the Only Cool Thing Happening on O Street

This Friday at 10:00am a bulldozer will begin taking bites out of the old Giant grocery store at 9th and O Streets, NW, making way for CityMarket at O with a new grocer expected to open in October 2013. 
All of this, just steps from our new town homes on Naylor Court.  

Giant Be Gone.

Visit The Stables Online

Friday, November 11, 2011


We were just notified by the National Association of Home Builders:: The Clara Barton model at Cabin John Crossing won a Silver Award for Best Single Family Detached Architecture.  This is our first NATIONAL award for architecture and our first Best in American Living Award (BALA).  We are simply over-the-moon excited for being recognized on a national level.

To quote the NAHB "The Best in American Living Award winners redefine the residential building industry through creativity, innovation and imagination."  The awards will be presented at the International Builders' show in Orlando, FL this February.  Um, team OPaL might be going to see Mickey in a few months.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Stables by OPaL, Floor Plans::

Reminiscent of the homes we built in Fells Point, the Yearling (our horsey friends will appreciate the house name) floor plans for The Stables are just about finalized.  Seriously, how often will someone find a NEW HOME near Logan Circle and all the fun on 14th Street with so much space? Three complete bedroom suites, a full size media room and rooftop terrace. There's even a detached carriage house for the Fiat 500 or Range Rover; it even has additional space for the Vespa or Harley!  We like to cover all the bases.

Visit The Stables web site directly.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Homes in Chevy Chase ?!? OPaL's Coastal Homes Coming in 2012

Shown above is the site plan for Village Twins, OPaL's new project just off Connecticut Ave, just inside the Capitol Beltway and only a mile from DC. You know what that means in Chevy Chase:: only the best shopping and dining are just around the corner. Chevy Chase living can't get any better.

Wait until you see the homes.....our new Coastal Collection is just perfect for The Village of North Chevy Chase. Inspired by the homes of Martha's Vineyard and East Hampton, the positive energy of each home will be undeniable. With quintessentially OPaL characteristics such as color elevations, clean lines and a casual floor plan, you are sure to adore them as much as we do.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OPaL Wins Big at Regional GALA Awards for Architecture & Marketing

Just a few days ago our team was honored at the Great American Living Awards in Tyson's Corner. The awards are sponsored by the Northern VA Building Industry Association and they honor the very best in architecture, interior design and marketing of new homes throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Our competition were some of the largest and wealthiest home building companies in America.

We could have not been recognized without the creativity of the following companies:: GPS Designs of Seattle, WA; One Eighteen Advertising of Los Angeles, CA and P Four Interiors of Lanham, MD. Thanks to everyone.

Check out our press latest press release about the GALA awards.

Small Builder Wins Big at Regional GALA Awards

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Joseph & Moose Show Us How It's Done; Cabin John Style

As our first homeowners move into Cabin John Crossing we are just tickled to see how everyone has settled in, as if they've lived in the home for a very long time. Shown above in the Clara Barton are Joseph on the bedroom landing and his BFF, Moose, resting near the fireplace.

Joseph & Moose, thanks for reminding us, what is really important. Team OPaL, including our BFF, Parker, wish you years of joy, comfort and growth in your new home.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OPaL's Naylor Court Stables Site Plan, All New Homes in Logan Circle

We can finally show the site plan for our new project just three blocks from Logan Circle.  Naylor Court Stables is currently making its' way through the DC Board of Zoning Appeals with overwhelming community support.  We hope to have approval sometime in early 2012 with development beginning in the spring and delivery of the homes over the summer.  As you might already know the residences are designed to blend into the existing equestrian history of  Naylor Court and Blagden Alley.  The main structure will consist of three homes reminiscent of stables built in Washington, DC during the early 1900's; the detached carriage homes will house an automobile, rubbish and recycling nooks as well as an overhead mezzanine for plenty of storage.  Additional parking for each home is provided on the gated motor court.  
It's just so perfect!

PS:: floor plans will be made available soon.

Visit The Stables on our Web Site

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our final weekend with the Model Home available to be shown was a doozy.  Jane was super busy all weekend.  The new owners of the model settle this Friday, just in time for trick-or-treaters or just in time for the home to get TP'd for the first time :-).  Whichever occurs we are certain the family Tunador will love their new home, almost as much as we love them.  Congrats Timur and Christiana.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Step by Step, Inch by Inch, Regardless of the Rain

Despite Mother Nature's best efforts to slow the construction of our most exciting new home since the 'Tunador' Clara Barton this spring, we are now well into the mechanical stage with roofing, drywall and siding just around the corner.  This will be one fine MacArthur for the Ladies of 8008.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


OPaL's latest accomplishment:: a custom panelized home under roof in just 2 days. All thanks to our very own Peter Nelson's work behind the scenes.  For several months prior to putting the first shovel in the ground Peter is hard at work with the civil and structural engineers, panel engineers and the architect to ensure each and ever facet of the home is delivered on time, in good condition and built to work the first time.  All this plus an organized and clutter free job site.  We heart Peter.  :-)

Friday, September 30, 2011

THIS WEEKEND:: Taste of Bethesda, Crafty Bastards & President Obama, Oh My!

WE JUST LOVE AUTUMN::  At Taste of Bethesda, take to the downtown streets and enjoy samples of the signature dishes from more than 60 of your favorite restaurants: A little Wellington burger from BGR the Burger Joint here, some chili from Hard Times Cafe there. You can make your own delicious combo of four tastings for $5.
PLUS, IF YOUR NOT ATTENDING THE MISS ADAMS MORGAN PAGEANT:: then this ones for you::  Vendors from as far away as Santa Monica, Calif., will have their DIY wares for sale at the Crafty Bastards craft fair in Adams Morgan. It, too, will be a bevy of choices: everything from baby onesies to tote bags to graphic T-shirts.
FOR TEAM OPaL:: as an Human Rights Campaign corporate sponsor we will be dining with President Obama & Mayor Bloomberg at the 2011 HRC National Dinner.  Check back next week for pics.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sean Ruppert & OPaL Release Their Coastal Collection for Village Twins in Chevy Chase

OPaL's new Coastal Collection of homes::
With stone accents, chunky trim, standing seam metal roofs, our signature stair tower on the front plus a wonderful recessed entry......Does Chevy Chase living get any better? We can't imagine how.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Get Your 'Glass' Over to Art Glass Center @ Glen Echo

As we transition into fall this Friday with the autumnal equinox, when day and night are approximately equal in length, we wanted to share the Glen Echo glass art fall/winter class schedule at www.artglasscenteratglenecho.org. Classes start at just $125 and within a few weeks you may just find a new calling or at least bring home new holiday ornaments just in time for the office gift exchange.
Less than a mile from Cabin John Crossing and a short stroll along the bike path is Glen Echo Park and the Clara Barton Historic Mansion, both are sited along the Potomac River & C&O Canal Tow Path.

Monday, September 19, 2011


We know this is the boring part, however, the foundation is the most important step in home building (and not just in the literal way). Today we will have just about 40 concrete trucks making deliveries to Cabin John Crossing, lot 70. In a normal world the foundation for this home would need no more that 4-5 loads of concrete. However, there is an ancient water viaduct under the entrance to our community that precludes the use of trucks over 30,000 lbs. Therefore, we need to use the super small and super cute concrete trucks for delivery.
Within just 12 days the lumber and steel will arrive on site and the real fun begins. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Naylor Court Stables Receives Preliminary Support from DC's HPRB

Just released on the District's Historic Preservation Review Board's web site was our staff recommendation and preliminary support for the architecture we had designed for Naylor Court Stables. Next up the official Review Board Meeting next Thursday the 22nd. Wish us luck.

The project will consist of a mere three row homes designed to resemble a single structure reminiscent of the nearby, centuries-old stables with a landscaped motor court in the rear. Just across the motor court each residence will own a detached carriage house for off-street parking plus a home office or art studio above. Complete with three bedroom suites, media room and rooftop terrace each home will approach 2800 square feet. Just off Logan Circle, steps from Dupont Circle in the heart of Shaw.....Does city living get any better? We think not.

Visit The Stables on our Web Site

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Hope You Didn't Miss the Cabin John Crab Feast

It was a picture perfect day yesterday for the annual Cabin John Crab & Chicken Feast held along MacArthur Blvd on the grounds of the Clara Barton Center. Everyone looked to be having a great time. Though we missed all the excitement ourselves, Team Cabin John Crossing will surely be in attendance next year!! No one picks a better blue crab than us former Baltimoreans, hon!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ms. Susan & Ms. Katina's New Home:: THIS to THAT

THIS muddy, sloppy hole in the ground (shown above), will become THAT handsome MacArthur (shown above). Freshly excavated this week, prior to 5 days of fierce rain from tropical storm Lee, 8008 MacArthur Blvd. is now on its journey to become an inviting shelter from all future storms and a haven for happiness, personal growth and new beginnings.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Today we had the high honor of meeting our acclaimed architect's mom. She was thrilled and "proud as pumpkin" to see another project designed by her son. Of course, though her favorite Greg Sparhawk home would be the one he designed for her on the Chesapeake Bay. The Clara Barton was a close second for sure.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BIG, BIG Day for OPaL:: More GALA Judging at Cabin John Crossing Plus ANC Meeting for The Stables

Tonight is our first ANC meeting for approval of the architecture at Naylor Court Stables, our new project near Logan Circle. We also hope to have the number of homes and site plan with detached carriage homes approved. The project has received tentative approval from the city and from Historic Review and overwhelming community support. Wish us luck!
Shown above:: large rear bay windows overlook the gated interior motor court with detached carriage homes for garage parking plus a home studio or hobby room above the garage; also shown is the Naylor Court street elevation designed to resemble the many historic stables along Naylor Court and Blagden Alley.
Additionally, more judges will be dropping in on the Clara Barton model home today and tomorrow. This time: Best Architecture of Homes Priced over $1mm and tomorrow we will be judged for HOUSE OF THE YEAR. Oh My!

Visit The Stables on our Web Site

Visit Cabin John Crossing on our Web Site

The Architectural Statement at 10th & Florida

From our favorite DC blog URBANTURF:: "In 2003, Jeff Speck moved to DC to become design director at the National Endowment for the Arts, and almost immediately began looking for an empty lot to build the flatiron-style home that he had been thinking about for some time. After an extensive search, Speck found what he wanted — a north-pointing arrow at the tip of the original L’Enfant plan for the city." Jeff located the perfect lot at the corner of Florida Ave. and 10th Street, NW in the heart of Shaw just off boisterous U Street.

"I believe that it is possible to insert a modernist building into a traditional neighborhood in a way that contributes to the existing architectural stock,” Speck said. “My ultimate goal was to create a piece of art, without in any way compromising the practicality of the home, and I am proudest of the fact that it lives as well as any vertical urban row house.”

We agree! The exterior of the home draws your attention each time you pass by and now we don't have to wonder what the interior looks like any more. Plus the home is for sale and you can own it for just $1,195,000.

Friday, August 19, 2011

GALA Judges Descend on Cabin John

Four judges for the 2011 Great American Living Awards visited our Clara Barton model home yesterday. We had spent the day prepping our little jewel for them: cutting the grass, removing smudges from the front door, untangling the American flag and general clean-up. We've been nominated in five categories for this years awards. Yesterday we were judged in the category Interior Merchandising of homes over $1 million. Next week a new set of judges will visit for Architecture of homes over $1 million. We've heard there are many entries this year in our categories.
The visit went well and the judges had lovely things to say about the home but were closed-lipped when it came to any details as they scribbled on their ballots. Three of the judges remembered judging our model home in Baltimore several years ago, they said how much they all loved the home. Let's hope they had the same feeling this time. We won't find out until the ceremony this October in Tyson's Corner. Wish us luck.
The Clara Barton has also been nominated in two national architecture competitions this year. Those awards are presented at the 2012 Builders Show in Orlando, FL.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Naylor Court Stables Will Be Just Steps from CityMarket at O

OPaL has not only inspired Martha Stewart to renovate her guest cottage (see post from August 9th) we might also have had something to do with CityMarket at O getting under way. Within days of announcing our work on The Stables, OPaL's clever new homes off O Street, Roadside Development announced plans to close the current Giant grocery store on September 8th. The ensuing demolition will make way for the $260 million project including a new grocer, over 600 residential units plus 87,000 square of retail which includes the new Giant. All this just steps from Naylor Court.

Learn more at DCMud:: http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2011/08/shaw-giant-to-close-september-8th-to.html
Learn more at Roadside Development:: http://www.roadsidedevelopment.com/portfolio.php?id=3
You will need to cut and paste the URL into your browser.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What MARTHA and OPaL Have in Common

Just saw this on Martha Stewart's Blog, hmmm, look familiar? Seems Martha saw our new model home in Cabin John and decided to renovate her guest cottage with the same palette. Dark espresso hardwoods with large and chunky, bright white trim. Thanks for the shout-out Martha, see you in the Hampton's this fall.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Original Sketches of Cabin John Crossing Architecture

Just thought you might like to see Greg's (our architect) initial thoughts on architecture for Cabin John Crossing. He provided us with three concepts to choose from: Railroad Prairie, Updated Farm Home and Coastal Hamptons. Needless to say we thought the Updated Farm Home with colorful elevations would be perfect for Cabin John, MD. Hope you agree!