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House Calls: Former Frat House in Foggy Bottom Gets Full, Funky Renovation

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Surround sound, LED lighting—what more do you need?

Welcome to House Calls, a recurring feature in which Curbed tours D.C. residents' lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line.

House Calls 1 Foggy Bottom Frat House Renovation

What do you do when you know you have your work cut out for you? You conquer your task, of course. At least, that's what Nick Papadopoulos, Sarah Potts, and Ghostface the bulldog did when they moved into this Foggy Bottom townhome.

Before their move, the abode was a George Washington University frat house that was not only beat up, but pretty well-known.

"Students still come knocking at our door by mistake, looking for the party at 'C-Unit,'" he said.

Photo by Rey Lopez

Despite this, Papadopoulos says he loves living by the students, not only because of their energy, but because they never complain about any parties he and Potts ever throw.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

Who knows, though? Maybe the students actually cross their fingers before they knock on the door, hoping to be invited in. Who wouldn't? The entire house is wired for remote controlled sound and bass with about 20 speakers in the ceilings and walls, both inside and outside. The wireless control continues even to the front door. The backlit, color-changing stairs also offer a pop to any party they throw. Meanwhile, in the warmer seasons, the two are able watch movies on the fourth floor deck with help from their projector and 500'' screen.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

Despite the eccentric details and rather fabulous makeover, Potts and Papadopoulos don't have a design or architect background. They did receive help on drawing the plans and lighting system from Project Manager at CRB Michael Konstantopoulos, P.E. Even so, they had a vision, designed everything they desired, and tore down any walls that were in their way.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

Papadopoulos does work as a commercial real estate professional at Papadopoulos Properties, but his love lies in street art and collecting shoes and watches. Potts, who works in Digital Ad Sales at AOL, is a lover of arts and crafts. Ghostface on the other hand loves everything, or at least all food, not counting pretzels.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

In order to accentuate and really display their hobbies, the two created a massive walk-through closet in the master bedroom, filled from top to bottom with shoes, and shoes, and more shoes. Throughout, there is also artwork with further hopes to cover every wall eventually.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

Everything was gutted, the floors, stairs, walls, kitchen, everything. By the time the two got what they wanted, Potts and Papadopoulos reduced the number of bedrooms from four to two and increased the number of bathrooms from two to two-and-a-half. Wondering how long it took to complete the 1,700-square-foot project? It only took three months.

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez

There are still plans to finish the guest room, though. "[It's] still a little bland. We got lazy," said Papadopoulos.

For those who may be considering doing their own home renovation but are a little nervous, Papadopoulos advises others to just do it.

"If you can’t find a house that you love, you really can make it," he said. "Renovations, while sometimes stressful, are totally worth the outcome. Every single detail in our house was picked by us, which is why we love it."

Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez
Photo by Rey Lopez