For just the second time since its creation, Bethesda’s famous Mushroom House is being offered for sale. The current owner has spent three years restoring and improving the 1973 structure envisioned by futurist architect Roy Mason, whose other home designs had names such as Xanadu and Star Castle. “Because it’s unusual, it will have a profound draw on somebody,” owner Brian Vaughn says of this home, which includes a one-bedroom apartment. “I wanted the project to be so when you walk in and see it, it moves you.” Vaughn preserved and reinforced the home’s notable polyurethane shell, which soars 30 feet at its highest point on top of exposed beams, but he dramatically modernized its infrastructure and expanded the space to make it more comfortable for a modern family. The chef’s kitchen is brand new, and features a suite of GE Café appliances and custom decorative metalwork. Vaughn dug out the basement to add a new bedroom and bath. He also opened an enclosed storage area on the main floor to build a wet bar with a ladder that climbs to a new loft overlooking the great room—whimsical gestures befitting this fanciful home. Vaughn further enriched the home’s character with hand-scraped teak acacia flooring, striped-grain hickory stair risers, and custom blown-glass lighting in the foyer, great room and kitchen. He crafted the birds-eye maple platform bed in the master bedroom himself, along with other built-ins in birds-eye and tiger maple. “The creative elements of this renovation really appealed to me,” he says. Undoubtedly, it will also attract a discerning homebuyer devoted to the artisanal and one-of-a-kind. FEATURES “The Shroom” boldly announces the home’s beloved nickname on a new sign that filled in the space. The wood on the sign and cross sections of tree trunks on either side are from trees taken down on the property. Custom installations include lighting by California glass artist Seth Parks; decorative metalwork by Stephen Houck; and murals by Ginger Graham Hill. New doors throughout are made from knotty pine with birds-eye maple trim. Original tiles, stained glass, and display niches are built into the walls. A grotto off the foyer has a built-in reading nook with its own skylight. A massive projection screen is mounted over the great room, perfect for sports events and movies. IMPROVEMENTS The remodeled and expanded basement has 8 ½-foot ceilings and radiant-heat floors. The 8,250 square-foot lot is newly cleared and landscaped with new sod, flower beds and fencing; the existing concrete patio was refinished and acid-stained; and the front entry got a facelift with a refinished boardwalk lined with river rock. New tempered-glass Jeld-Wen windows and doors throughout surpass local code requirements. Every skylight was also replaced. The original reclaimed-wood and mortar flooring in the foyer was re-grouted and refinished. The kitchen, laundry room and all the bathrooms received a top-to-bottom overhaul. New and refined horizontal beams on both levels replaced old, rustic wood. An extensive underground water piping and drainage system surrounding the home’s perimeter absolved previous water-seepage issues. The home’s exterior is newly primed and painted, and the roof was coated in silicone-based Gaeco, which carries a 20-year warranty. The soaring interior polyurethane skin was restored and replaced. Multiple new heating and air-conditioning systems provide even heating and cooling throughout every zone of the house and attached apartment. The house’ bedrooms, baths, and kitchen meet modern residential code with fire-sprinkler systems and hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A new propane-powered generator with auto-switch will support the entire home during power outages. The home is equipped with wireless access and Gigabit Ethernet. The attached apartment is completely renovated, with soundproofing and high R-value insulation in the ceilings and between its floors and the main home’s basement below.
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