The charm of Chevy Chase: Home with quaint façade stuns with open spaces and fresh updates

Dr. Romulo Albuquerque’s home sits on beautiful, bustling Chinoe Road. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house is picturesque on the outside, with a large tree in the front yard, porch swing and cottage-like stone details supporting white columns on the cozy front porch.

And through the front door is a sprawling 3,589 square feet of open floor plan, shiny reclaimed wood floors and a modern, non-cluttered arrangement of furniture and décor. The stairs are to the immediate right, followed by large colorful artwork painted by Romulo’s wife.

They moved to Kentucky 18 years ago, and when they were looking to buy a home in 2015, Romulo said they knew exactly where they wanted to live.

“If I buy a house, it had to be in Chevy Chase,” he said. “The purchase of this house happened over bagels, down at the Great Bagel shop. We told (our friend) we were looking for houses in the neighborhood. He lives down the street, and he said, ‘Come look at this house I’m re-doing.’ It was love at first sight.”

Their friend completely renovated the house, originally built in 1945.

“This is exactly what we would do with an old house (if we were re-doing it),” he said.

People like to have a house that looks big from the outside, he said, but he was attracted to the fact that it looks smaller at first.

“They really are wowed when they walk in. It’s like a hidden jewel,” he said. “I think the coolest thing about this house is it’s open and everybody is always together.”

His family spends 95 percent of their time in the kitchen, gathered near the island or utilizing the large space around it.

“Nobody is compartmentalized. The kids drag their toys here, while we’re in the kitchen. It’s a really nice house to bring the family together,” Romulo sad. “(And) it’s a great place to entertain.”

The kitchen’s white cabinets, light granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances lend to a clean feel, and while the backsplash stays in the neutral palette, it’s alternating colors pop and add interest to the room.

Those colors continue into first-floor master bathroom, which has gray granite countertops and white tile around a walk-in shower, large tub and water closet. Near the back of the house is a mudroom and laundry area, and Romulo said it’s great to have the washer and dryer so close to the two bedrooms on the first floor.

The bedrooms upstairs are similar, both with two large closets that interconnect. The house has lots of storage, plus plenty of room in the basement for storing holiday decorations and the family’s Costco purchases—along with a fifth bedroom.

He said they also spend a lot of time out back on the wrap-around deck and in the yard. He built the treehouse and surprised his sons when they returned home from being out of the country. It’s not just a treehouse, though—it’s their spaceship, pirate ship and anything else they can imagine.

“The backyard is great. We have really good neighbors,” he said, and they visit one in particular for fresh eggs.

The family loves to bike, and Romulo said they ride just about anywhere.

“We went to a Justin Timberlake concert that we biked to. There are restaurants on Romany Road, and we bike to Ecton Park. Woodland’s not far away. We go everywhere,” he said. “It’s the best thing in the world.”

The home’s convenient location also puts him close to his work at the University of Kentucky and, when it snows, he said Chinoe is plowed first. It’s also the meet-up spot for his morning jogging group.

“You walk out and you’re on your route already,” he said. “I like living … where the place is lively. ”

This weeks’s feature home is listed with Rick Queen of Turf Town Properties. To view more photos of the home, visit the Homeseller gallery at