But what ultimately sold him on the condo was that it was newly built. With a newborn baby, he didn’t have time for a fixer-upper.
“That’s the key thing,” he said. “We moved in because we didn’t have to do anything.”
Ireland and his family were the first owners of this unit and one of the first to own in the Stealth. The four-unit building is on a triangular lot formed by Ninth Street NE, Florida and West Virginia avenues, a few blocks north of the H Street corridor.
Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region
Ireland established J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture and Design with his business partner, Julie Weber Gligor, in 2002. The firm has become sought-after for its transformation of homes, restaurants and shops. Its work has been featured in shelter magazines such as House Beautiful and Home & Design.
Although the apartment came move-in ready, it didn’t take long for Ireland to add his own touches to it. The condo was painted what he described as “Realtor gray and white” with almost no architectural details. The stairs were black. The open layout had little definition.
“Everything was new,” Ireland said. “We didn’t want to rip out a bunch of stuff. We worked with what was there and added to it.”
The first thing he did was create visual interest on the walls by attaching 1-inch-by-1-inch strips of wood — vertically near the entrance and horizontally in the living space — and painting them and the walls white.
“It needed some architecture,” he said.
The gray walls and black stairs also cried out for a makeover.
“I wanted the stairs to be interesting but not the focal point,” he said.
He painted the stairs an eye-catching orange. Then using remnants from his wallpaper installer, he created a large piece of art on the wall behind the stairs, giving the television that is mounted to them a backdrop. Ireland said he was so taken by the idea of mounting a television to the stairs that he has since done it in a couple of projects for clients.
Ireland wanted to define the kitchen space in the open floor plan, so he added wallpaper with blue monkeys to one of the walls. Because the color of the monkeys was a bit intense, he had his faux finisher apply whitewash to it.
Colorful wallpaper also appears in the bathroom and his daughter’s bedroom. The animal theme continued in the bathroom with jungle wallpaper by Hermes.
When Ireland asked his daughter, Lucy, what color she wanted her bedroom to be, she told him “every color.” Ireland chose a floral Christian Lacroix wallpaper.
“We wanted to put something up that she would be able to grow into,” he said. “It’s sophisticated enough that a teenager could be in there.”
Although Ireland didn’t set out with an animal kingdom theme in mind, the wall coverings he chose ended up having nearly as many species as Noah’s ark. Not only does his daughter’s room have bird shapes between the flowers, but the vinyl wall panels on the accent wall in the owner’s bedroom also resemble a wild animal. Lucy says, “It’s like living in a zebra.”
Ireland said it wasn’t intentional, ‘it just kind of happened.”
Every unit in the pet-friendly building has two levels.
“The other thing we like about [the condo] is it reads like a townhouse,” he said. “You have a yard.”
The three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 1,745-square-foot condo is listed at $875,000. The monthly condo fee is $240. An open house is scheduled for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
1101 Ninth St. NE, Unit 1, Washington, D.C.
Approximate square-footage: 1,745
Condo fee: $240 per month
Open house: Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.
Features: The two-level condo was designed by J.D. Ireland. The unit has Hermes and Christian Lacroix wallpaper, remote-controlled electric blinds, heated floors and a 20-foot-high atrium. The kitchen has an island with seating and Tom Dixon pendant lighting. There’s an in-unit washer and dryer.