Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Obsessed with this Swarovski Chandelier

As a side note. I am doing a light remodel of the bathrooms in my home. Slowly. Overtime. Last year I did the powder room. This year the master bath. Not a complete overhaul, just a refresh. There is a cool, pitched ceiling over the vanity and tub areas, so I have been thinking of removing the exposed beams (though I normally love an exposed beam, That's So OPaL, but they just don't work in this room).  I thought I could find an affordable, little chandelier to hang from the top of the pitch. Well, I found little, but not cheap. How incredibly beautiful are these chandeliers?

Image from the artist's web page.

The image I saw in Architectural Digest.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

OPaL Headed Back to Logan Circle! That's So OPaL!

It has been five years since OPaL has built a project in Logan Circle. Though we have done several renovations for private clients in the neighborhood, none were For Sale OPaL projects. Until now!

With two uber exciting projects now under contract and headed for ANC and DC Historic approval processes, we can introduce both::

The Obie, located at 1009 O Street NW will consist of 5, oversized 2 bedroom homes; all with outdoor space and most with off-street parking. 

Front elevation - The Obie on O Street - Logan Circle, DC

Rear elevation - The Obie

At the same time, we will be developing / renovating 934 O Street NW, just one block east of The Obie. Located on Naylor Court NW, directly adjacent our incredibly successful Naylor Court Stables (DC's 2013 House of the Year).  Here, we will convert the main house from 3 rental units into a single residence; while converting the carriage house into another home. Both homes will provide parking.

Front and side elevation - 934 O Street @ Naylor Court NW

Rear and side elevation - 934 O Street @ Naylor Court NW

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Jocko's in the House!

I have a great friend, Jocko Fajardo. He is one of the most creative people I know. And  because of what I do for a living, I am literally surrounded by creative people. From Greg, our architect and Shawn and Jill, our interior designers and the entire team at Lyons & Sucher Advertising; I have creative people everywhere around me. But Jocko, is on another level. He is a guy of many talents, from cooking to party planning to flower arrangement, he can do it all. 

In looking for away to thank our clients of kitchen renovations we have asked Jocko to prepare either a brunch for those clients in their new kitchens. I know they will love him and whatever amazing meal he prepares for them!

Meet Jocko
Flowers Jocko created for a party in our home this past summer!

The note Jocko created as an invitation to our client's in-home brunch.
Spices Jocko brought home from Israel.

The completed gift, wrapped by my super talented friend, Jocko.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Jason Woodward Joins OPaL as Chief Operating Officer

Jason Woodward / Press Release::

Jason Woodward at OPaL's Watkins Alley project.
44 Units | Capitol Hill.

Another First For An Award-Winning Area Homebuilder

Army and government veteran tapped as COO of boutique homebuilder, OPaL.

Cabin John, MD, September 2019—Sean Ruppert, Principal and Owner of regional boutique developer, OPaL, announces the appointment of the company’s first Chief Operating Officer, Jason Woodward. Together, Ruppert and Woodward will drive the future of this award-winning organization.

Woodward brings military pride and precision to the many processes that go into the building or historic renovation of OPaL homes. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Inspector General in the Office of Management and Administration for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In addition to supervising 150 people, he was responsible for operational planning, internal oversight, budgetary matters, space planning and facilities management, human resources management and the operations of the Office of the Inspector General’s national hotline.

“Jason’s professional background translates perfectly to managing the many details that go into ensuring OPaL’s urban developments, custom homes, and historic renovations are delivered on-time, on-budget and within parameters,” says Ruppert. “His skills are invaluable to the continued success of our organization. ”

A native of Kansas, Jason is also a military veteran, having served eight years in the US Army in various logistical and operations positions. He holds a trio of master’s degrees—in Business Administration, Public Health, and Nutrition—as well as a master’s certificate in Key Leadership.

“Working as COO at OPaL requires a lot attention to detail, scheduling, coordinating with suppliers, and most importantly, financial oversight. These are the same skills I’ve honed over the years in my public sector jobs. Because OPaL only builds and renovates a small number of homes each year, I will have the chance to invest more of myself into each project and see the results on the faces of the families who live there. I look forward to the gratification that will bring,” says Woodward.


About OPaL
Based in Cabin John, MD, OPaL is a local builder specializing in developing small, well-located, close-in communities. With 20 years of experience in the homebuilding industry and numerous awards, OPaL's extraordinary vision brings a whole new dimension to the Washington, DC housing market. The company builds only a handful of new townhomes and single-family homes each year, preferring quality, individuality and location over cookie-cutter appeal. All of the more than 250 homes built by OPaL since its inception are characterized by truly unique architecture, impeccable details and deep thought for the lifestyles of their owners. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

OPaL's Corner House. Landscape Plans are In.

One of the most interesting and best located homes we have ever built is 1717 V Street NW. At 1,500 square feet the home will not be for everyone, however, you'll be hard pressed not to love this home. Located at one of the most prominent intersections in the city, where Florida Ave meets V Street. Just north of U Street. Just south of Adams Morgan. The land is a triangle. The home is clever. And now, the landscaping is simply incredible! With 4 varieties of seagrass, wrought iron fencing, Cherry Laurel hedge, blue stone pavers, Echinacea and Russian Sage plus dogwoods and two areas of lawn this will be someone's very special garden in the city.

Friday, July 12, 2019

DON'T DILLY DALLY, SILLY. Family Sized Townhomes || Walk to Metro || Walk to Movies || Walk to Grocers || Almost Sold Out

With just a few homes remaining at Montgomery County's most affordable elevator-ready townhome community, time is running low. Our scrumptious model home is open weekends 12-4. Stop by soon, no one does townhomes better than OPaL, true story. 

6' Tall windows on the bedroom level. 8' tall windows on the main level!!!
LET THE SUNSHINE IN. Compare to every other townhome in the area!

Entryways with a great vibe.

Kitchens that can fit Thanksgiving. Try that at another townhome in Montgomery County!!!

Optional elevators for now or later.

A townhome master suites that fit a king size bed....go figure.

Friday, June 14, 2019

How Cute is this House?

Someone just sent us this house to price for them. Just 650 square feet, it is adorable! Thought I'd share.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


If you know OPaL, then you know we love a great entry to a home. There is something intangible and subconscious that a great foyer or entry hall does to your mood every time you come and go. They make you feel better. They make you have better thoughts. And if they're an OPaL entry hall they make you proud too! Here are a few of my favorites from the just the past 4 years of OPaL. (I'd be here all day if I dug deeper into the OPaL photo vault.)

See that black front door? It leads to an interior courtyard that then leads to the homes actual front door. That's So OPaL.

One of my favorite OPaL entry halls. We love a great site line that ends in an art wall, a window or a fireplace.

This one is literally OPaL. Our office is in this house.

Fessenden Street NW goes full out OPaL with this entry hall.

Kensington never saw this townhome foyer coming! What a bright and wonderful site line ending in an art wall.
That's So OPaL.

Have you seen a cuter foyer? Probably not. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ina Garten & OPaL & Me, Sean Ruppert

My friends will tell you I am huge Barefoot Contessa fan. I've been to see her twice (once at a book signing in DC and another at a speaking engagement in NYC), have all of her cookbooks and regularly watch her show on Food Network. Plus, I think our homes have a lot in common with her aesthetic. Ina even renovated homes in the DC when she lived in DuPont Circle in the 1970's. Small World. One day, I plan on getting a bunch of friends together to chip in on one of her charity dinners.

At my first book signing with Ina. 

My Barefoot Contessa cookbook collection. I actually have two complete sets. The first I keep in Cabin John
and another as part of my large cookbook collection I keep in Rehoboth.

Friday, March 15, 2019


MODEL HOME NOW OPEN:: The Manors by OPaL in Kensington, MD. Montgomery County's most affordable, elevator townhomes; not even by a little but by almost $400,000. That's So OPaL.

No other builder in the National Capitol Region does a townhome like OPaL does! Period!

Can you imagine coming home through this foyer everyday?

Might look like a single family home.....but it's just the best townhome you've ever seen.

A true Great Room opens completely to the kitchen. Natural light travels through the entire home.

A terrific in-law suite could also be the best home office of all your co-workers. Or even a home gym!

This is truly the bedroom you have been dreaming of. Seriously.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Just Back From Aspen

Just home from an incredible trip to Aspen with the kids. I was surprised by the residential architecture. Even though I had been there 20 years ago, I did not remember much about the homes in the town of Aspen. I was expecting super modern, uber contemporary, stone and beam homes. Which we did find, however, the small, historic bungalows and cottages were everywhere and we loved them!

Here are just a few of our favorite surprises plus a bonus photo from our Instagram of the trip!