Odoodem House brings Pacific Coast architecture to Bethesda

Real Estate,Mike Unger

The crisp aroma of cedar wood hints that you are in a Washington home. Washington state, that is; not anywhere near the D.C. area.


That was the feeling owner Tom Buzas wanted when he had his Odoodem House built in the Brookmont neighborhood of Bethesda, on land that comes very close to having that Washington state feel.

At a glance
Address: Odoodem House at 4001 61st St., Bethesda, in the Brookmont neighborhood
Price: $1.9 million
Size: 4,300 square feet, five bedrooms, 4.5 baths
Schools: Bannockburn Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Walt Whitman High
Broker: Joseph Himali, Best Address Real Estate, 800-309-1980
Photos/Virtual Tour:

Odoodem is from the Native American Ojibwe language and means "kinship group."

"The inspiration for the house is the Pacific Northwest," Buzas said. "I've always liked the architecture from that area and the way it uses natural materials that aren't man-made."

The five-bedroom, 4.5-bath, 4,300-square-foot home has never been lived in. It is for sale for $1.9 million.

The exterior of the Odoodem house is covered with high-grade western red cedar siding. The interior offers lots of wood and granite, attention to architectural detail and a seamless combination of indoor and outdoor living space.

Granite is found in the foyer, and each bath has a different type of granite on the floor. There is even granite in the utility room.

The floor plan is very open, with skylights and large windows providing natural light on every level.

"The exposed wood trim is not painted, so the wood can't have any knots or imperfections," said listing agent Joseph Himali of Best Address Real Estate.

The dining room and kitchen are in one large area. The kitchen has an island, two distinct cooking stations and unusual hickory cabinets.

The second level of the home features three bedrooms including a master suite with balcony, and a large bathroom with soaking tub and multi-jet shower.

There also is great living space in the attic, which has hand-framed vaulted ceilings and would be perfect for a pool table or as a screening room or children's recreation area. The balcony has hookups for a hot tub.

Evergreen trees provide year-round privacy, which makes the bathroom -- featuring a large skylight that opens to allow for fresh-air showers -- all the more enticing.

An in-law suite in the basement has its own entrance, and the large two-car garage provides extra storage space.

A side porch has ceiling fans and is wired for sound. The main living space features a pizza oven above a fieldstone fireplace. Just outside is a patio with a built-in grill.

Although its style is unique for the area, Odoodem House fits nicely in the neighborhood.

Buzas said he bought the property because it was within walking distance of so many outdoor activities. "Brookmont is like a small, rural community, but right next to D.C. You can come home from work and walk to drop a canoe or kayak into the Potomac and take the river down to Fletcher's Boat House, then pull out and take the C&O Canal back home."

"You can also get to the C&O Canal or Capital Crescent Trail in less than 10 minutes," he added. "It's a fantastic location if you want to bicycle into D.C. and never have to get on a road until you are in Georgetown."

Aesthetically striking both inside and out, Odoodem House speaks to all the senses.

"It's got a real subtle attention to detail," Himali said. "All the seams are tight, the finishes are exact, and everything's all natural."

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