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Hot Talent: Kate Ballou

Ever since she fashioned “rooms” in the bamboo forest near her childhood home in Silver Spring, Kate Ballou knew she wanted to be a designer. Her mother, a ceramics artist, encouraged her to take art courses at the Corcoran during high school and build a portfolio. “I was lucky to have that push from home,” she recalls.
Ballou studied textile design at the Rhode Island School of Design before earning an interior design degree at Parsons. After college, she landed prestigious positions at Matthew Baird Architects in New York and, following a move back to DC, Jacobsen Architecture and Robert Shields Interiors. “I couldn’t have asked for better experience,” she reflects. “I learned very quickly what to do and what not to do.”
Since launching her own studio in 2013, Ballou has completed residential projects and is also designing The Avery Georgeton, a boutique luxury inn opening this fall.
Working with Baird and Jacobsen, both minimalists, shaped Ballou’s design process. “I’ve been trained to look at furniture in a very specific way,” she explains. “I like basic forms and that definitely stems from those influences.”
Interior Design: Kate Ballou, Hendrick Interiors, Washington, DC. Photography: Aboudi Kabbani.
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Hot Talent: Nicole Lanteri

When Nicole Lanteri first began dating her future husband, she waited a month or two before helping him fix up his New York apartment. “I got him new furniture too and, unbeknownst to him, matched it to mine in case things worked out,” recalls Lanteri, who was a corporate lawyer at the time.
Things did work out. But after practicing law for five years, Lanteri decided to make a career change and dove into interior design. “I’ve always been into design and spatial arrangements and had an appreciation for how good a space can make you feel,” she says. The couple moved to an Arlington loft which Lanteri decorated, and in 2009 she founded her eponymous design firm.
She did her first job for free. “It was an amazing feeling to help someone with their space,” she recalls. “My client cried, just like on TV.”
Lanteri brings a playful, modern aesthetic to her work. “I make each space feel like the client,” she reflects. “One of the best compliments I can get is when someone says, ‘This doesn’t look a designer came in and did my house. This looks like the best version of me.’”
Interior Design: Nicole Lanteri, Nicole Lanteri Design, Arlington, Virginia.
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Hot Talent: Suzanne Manlove

Designer Suzanne Manlove traveled a storied path before founding a boutique firm with a mission to create “fresh, livable interiors, respecting tradition while embracing the new.”
After earning a graphic design degree at University of Maryland, she landed at a Baltimore agency, creating award-winning ad campaigns, and later became an art director at Time Life. But it was a stint selling real estate—which she pursued while raising two young children—that led Manlove to her ideal profession.
“When in real estate, I was drawn more to the houses, the architecture and the people—helping them prepare their homes for sale—than I was to the actual selling,” she explains.
During her real estate days, Manlove also remodeled her own home, gaining further in-depth, hands-on experience. In 2008, she finally founded her firm to help others navigate the home-design process.
“Graphic design gave me a great sense of color and balance, as well as spatial awareness,” says Manlove of her journey. “The real estate experience lit the switch and then it was all about learning the vendors, where to get things and making it happen.”
Interior Design: Suzanne Manlove, Arlington Home Interiors, Arlington, Virginia. Styling: Charlotte Safavi.
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Hot Talent: Liza Holder

Liza Holder entered the design field almost by accident. It all started when the former lawyer and healthcare-policy consultant began decorating her family’s new Bethesda home. “Oddly enough,” she recalls, “I became obsessed with Etsy when we moved and I was buying artwork for our home.”
Holder saw an opportunity and started to sell her curated Etsy finds at trunk shows. Customers loved her taste and asked her to help them fix up a room or two in their homes. Before she knew it, she had quit her day job and launched Homegrown Decor.
Two and a half years later, Holder helps clients design interiors that reflect every member of the family. “I go in wanting to understand who the family is—not just the person who called me,” she explains. “And I design for reality, understanding what people’s busy lives are like but also that they want to love where they live.
“When you walk into your home, that’s your refuge and your escape,” Holder continues. “That’s where you should be the happiest and the most comfortable. It has to be able to be dressed up when you have people over, but live for real life every day.”
Interior Design: Liza Holder, Homegrown Decor, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland.
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Full Circle

Andrew Marks and his wife, Susan Esserman, had their eye on the future when they started looking for a new house. They loved their Bethesda neighborhood, but unlike most empty nesters, wanted to upgrade rather than downsize.
“It was a great kids’ house,” Esserman says of the home where they spent 22 years raising three sons, now 23, 27 and 30. “But it wasn’t a house they could come back to as adults with spouses and children.”
Both prominent Washington attorneys, Marks and Esserman had spent some time looking at properties without much luck—until one evening Marks saw a for-sale sign in their neighborhood; the house was set so far back, he’d never noticed it even though they’d lived less than a half mile away. Upon further investigation, he says, “I was struck immediately by the setting—it was extraordinary.” They made an offer and the house was theirs.
Built in the 1940s, their new Bethesda home is set on 1.75 acres—a wooded landscape exploding with azalea, rhododendron, hydrangea, roses and all manner of meticulously landscaped plantings and flowering trees. “The natural forest setting and beautiful landscape are what drew us,” Esserman says. But they needed more convincing about the house itself.
“The whole place looked like a funeral home,” recalls Washington designer Susan Vallon, who consulted with the couple before they bought the house. She had decorated their three previous homes and understood their needs. Despite its drawbacks, Vallon saw potential and advised them to purchase it.
“Susan’s imagination and vision helped us see how we could change the inside, which was really not us at all,” Esserman explains, noting that she and Marks had trouble seeing beyond the black marble fireplaces in three public rooms, the dark and dated cabinetry in the kitchen and the mustard-yellow walls in the family room—all the result of a previous renovation.
As she set out to revamp the house to suit her clients’ style, Vallon’s overall plan incorporated neutral grays and clean-lined furnishings that would not compete with the outdoor views. She also lightened the mood by replacing dark fireplace surrounds with white marble and installing recessed lighting throughout. It’s a vibe that is more modern than the couple’s previous homes. “There’s a serenity to a more streamlined look,” the designer comments.
“We were ready for something more contemporary,” Esserman agrees, “but it also seemed to fit the house.”
Though neutrals prevail, Vallon packed a colorful punch in the living room, where she chose a carpet by Rug Art International with profusions of purple. “I saw it in a magazine, cut it out and said, ‘Somebody needs this rug!’” she recalls.
Marks and Esserman were happy to be the recipients. “It defines the room, and also what we put in it,” Esserman says, pointing out the glass-top coffee table, textured silver vessels and abstract art. The grand piano, too, is a fittingly dramatic complement.
Early on, Vallon proposed switching the home’s original dining and family rooms. The domed ceiling in the family room, for instance, works much better over a dining table. And the space that had served as the dining room could accommodate a large sectional, bookcases and a television better than the existing family room. “I was able to get an ocean of seating in there,” Vallon says.
The designer also gutted the kitchen, installing pale Tiger’s Eye maple cabinetry and milky granite counters. She cleared away several above-counter cabinets, consolidating them into a custom armoire for more efficient storage. The brighter, more open plan takes better advantage of the light coming in from the breakfast area, which is surrounded by three walls of windows overlooking the patio and gardens beyond. “I’ve always called this an inside-outside house,” reflects Esserman on how her new home engages with the landscape.
The house now functions as the owners envisioned. The property is ready to welcome their sons, eventually with future spouses and children. And it’s also the perfect venue for the political, business and charitable events that the couple frequently hosts.
To make the home function better for guests, Vallon transformed a study and coat closet on the main level into a guest suite; the lower level accommodates additional guests. She also converted a second bedroom upstairs into a study where both Marks and Esserman can work at home.
As for entertaining, Vallon found a dining table that’s casual enough for the family, and expands to seat 18. She also ripped out the room’s existing dark shelving to make way for pale gray built-in sideboards The new dining room arrangement is perfect for much larger receptions, which easily spill out to the rear patio and deck—a space that needed no improvement beyond Vallon’s well-chosen outdoor furniture.
“We’ve done up to 100 people here very comfortably,” Andrew Marks says.
Vallon, who’s known her clients since their sons were babies, figures that her work with them has come full circle. “I knew their last house was going to be the big family house,” she concludes. “They really want everyone to come back.”
Writer Jennifer Sergent is based in Arlington, Virginia. Gordon Beall is a Bethesda, Maryland, photographer.
INTERIOR DESIGN: SUSAN A. VALLON, Susan A. Vallon, Ltd., Washington, DC. RENOVATION CONTRACTOR: Stroba Inc., Hyattsville, Maryland. LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR: CLARE SIEGEL, Land Art Design, Inc., McLean, Virginia.
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Child’s Play

If the mark of a successful landscape is that it looks as though it’s been in place forever, then Scott Brinitzer’s recent project in McLean, Virginia, fits the bill. The landscape architect organized a quarter-acre of empty front and back lawns into a lush retreat with inviting living areas, colorful beds and secret gardens connected by stone pathways.
Brinitzer had several challenges to overcome. One was blending the house—newly built on a teardown lot—into its neighborhood of 1940s-era homes. An “intermediate bed” in the front yard planted with liriope, Miami crape myrtle and Endless Summer hydrangea softens the façade and affords privacy; it shields a lawn where the owners’ two children play volleyball and badminton.
Another goal was to mediate a steep slope from the front entryway walk to the driveway, which leads to a lower-level garage. Indiana limestone steppers now connect the driveway to a new front walk. “The children love to run up and down the steps,” says Brinitzer.
In the backyard, a spacious terrace encompasses an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a fireplace and a seating area. A custom iron trellis enveloped in wisteria defines the space and, as Brinitzer explains, “gives overhead ‘protection’ to the big, open area.”
Adjacent to the terrace, a laurel hedge conceals a vegetable patch where the kids experiment with new crops every spring. In addition to this “special hidden nook,” says Brinitzer, a pea gravel walk leads through beds of ornamental grasses to a 30-foot-square play lawn “large enough for a good soccer game.”
Brinitzer, who carefully planned the project to evolve for generations to come, takes pride in how much joy the kids derive from it. “This garden is meant for roasting s’mores in the fireplace and digging in the dirt,” he says. “It’s meant to be enjoyed and not just looked at.”
Photographer Roger Foley is based in Arlington.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: SCOTT BRINITZER, Scott Brinitzer Design Associates, Arlington, Virginia.
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Capitol Gains

At a time when the rest of DC seems awash in the chaos of new construction, Capitol Hill is an oasis of calm. In the sprawling neighborhood of late-Victorian row houses, historic designation makes new construction virtually non-existent. As a result, homeowners who want to update have to be creative: Front façades must remain unchanged, but interiors and back façades are definitely fair game.
Located a stone’s throw from the U.S. Capitol on stately East Capitol Street, one row house combines charm and character with ingenious design elements that bridge eras and impart a modern touch. Owned by a DC journalist and her attorney husband, the four-story, 5,000-square-foot house was built in 1870 and measures 25 feet wide (a typical Capitol Hill row house is 18). It was converted to apartments after World War II, then reconverted to a single-family abode in the 1980s during a renovation tailored to suit homeowners without children.
The house felt both dated and inconvenient. As soon as they bought it, the couple contacted Brooklyn architect Cynthia Wright to begin the remodeling process. A close longtime friend, Wright had renovated several other properties for them and understood what they wanted. “We’ve been working together for many years,” she observes. “My client has great taste and she’s decisive.”
The goal was “to restore the traditional detailing and create a light-filled, modern home for a family with two children,” explains the journalist. The wish list included overhauling the kitchen and three bathrooms; rejuvenating the outdoor spaces; and creating a strong connection between the backyard and kitchen. On the second floor, the master suite needed a more functional layout; both the husband and wife have a home office on this level. The third floor houses kids’ bedrooms, a bath, common rooms and a guest suite.
The existing kitchen encompassed an area for food prep and a breakfast nook with an awkward spiral staircase. An over-large opening to the backyard included sliding French doors and an arch-top transom. The effect “was not aesthetically pleasing,” Wright recalls. “We wanted it to look modern, but fitting.” Since the owners envisioned a spacious farmhouse kitchen with plenty of natural light, Wright employed an unusual idea: She replaced the dated sliding doors with an aluminum storefront window. “I had never used one before,” she comments. “It was an experiment and turned out great—and very cost-effective.“ The curved frame of the opening mimics an already-existing arch in the brick exterior wall.
The result is a modern, industrial look that complements its Victorian context. In the kitchen, wenge and white-painted custom cabinetry and shelving, Absolute Black granite counters and cork floors convey warmth. A modern take on a farmhouse table, designed by Wright in walnut, centers the room.
Replacing a ramshackle deck out back, a new one made of Japanese-style horizontal cedar slats with cedar walls contains niches for plants along its sides. Stairs down to a concrete-slab play area and driveway are part of the deck construction; wisteria envelops a pergola overhead in summer.
A major goal was to bring in light without altering the home’s original footprint. Wright did this by raising the heights of the doorways in the front hall to emphasize the open line of sight from the foyer all the way through to the backyard beyond. Upstairs, the master suite—complete with bedroom, bath and two closets—is now “an apartment inside the house,” says the journalist. Wright also designed walls of bookshelves in the husband’s front-facing, second-floor office.
Original moldings, ceiling medallions and a curved marble fireplace had survived the previous renovation and the wife consulted New York-based color guru Donald Kaufman before selecting a palette of warm, earthy tones that would further reflect the home’s Victorian era. She also called on Brooklyn-based interior designer Karen Mauersberg for help sourcing furnishings and accessories throughout the house that would blend with what they already had. “She likes Mid-Century Modern classics and her husband inherited some antiques,” Mauersberg says. “My job was to combine the family heirlooms while mixing in interesting fabrics, textures, colors and floor coverings. The house encompasses what they love, without being a hodgepodge.”
It’s been some years since the renovation was completed and the family is still thrilled with it. “Cindy made my Victorian house full of little rooms and doors light and airy without blasting it apart,” the journalist observes. “I really feel her work will stand the test of time.”
Photographer Paul Burk is based in Baltimore.
RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE: CYNTHIA J. WRIGHT, AIA, Cynthia J. Wright Architecture, LLC, Brooklyn, New York. INTERIOR DESIGN: KAREN MAUERSBERG, Karen Mauersberg Design, Brooklyn, New York.
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Modern Re-Do

As the co-founder of Naviance, a software provider of college and career-planning tools, Stephen Smith is in the business of readiness. So when he decided to move from the District to be closer to his Virginia office, he prepared a list of must-haves for his new house. “I wanted a master suite, a garage and a room where I could put my piano,” Smith says. “The house had to be big enough for family and friends.”
His search led to a sprawling, 1965 home in Arlington that had been expanded in the 1980s. “The house looked different from anything I’d seen,” recalls Smith. “It was quirky.” Multiple, one-story wings were arranged around an entrance courtyard at the front and an indoor pool at the rear. Two of the bedrooms in the addition had no windows and the master bedroom opened to an interior courtyard.
Still, Smith saw potential in the tall, timber-ceilinged rooms and bought the property in 2012. A major renovation followed under the direction of McLean architect Randall Mars, who opened the interiors to the outdoors and added a second level with a large master suite. “I liked that Randy’s designs are modern, but also warm and inviting,” says Smith. “I didn’t want a house that felt like a museum.”
Confined to the home’s existing footprint by local zoning regulations, Mars simplified the layout of the rooms and brightened the interiors by adding numerous windows and opening up the floor plan. “We wanted to eliminate the dark, windowless areas and create bedrooms that take advantage of the landscape,” the architect says.
As it happened, Mother Nature helped with Mars’s reorganization of the house when a severe thunderstorm caused a tree to fall into the indoor pool. Rather than rebuild its enclosure, Mars left the pool exposed as the centerpiece of the backyard.
The biggest alteration was the addition of a prominent stair tower to reach the new second level. Clad in mahogany, the tall structure acts as a punctuation mark within the low-slung brick home. Mars further accentuated the horizontality of the original house by extending broad eaves from its hipped roofs.
At the front of the house, the entrance courtyard was remodeled to emulate the serenity of a Japanese teahouse. Staggered concrete pavers lead past low plantings and river stones to the new mahogany front door and a view of the mahogany slats enclosing the second-floor balcony.
Just inside the front door, a formal living room centers the house. The 1980s addition, which flanks one side of the entry, has been reconfigured and its roof and window replaced. The wing now encompasses a music room—home to Smith’s 1920s baby grand piano—and two guest suites. The wing opposite the music room opens to the courtyard through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. It has been remodeled to create a new kitchen, dining area and family room—one of Smith’s favorite spaces, where he can relax on a sectional sofa next to the granite-framed gas fireplace or lounge on the cushioned window seat.
These living spaces are divided by freestanding storage walls fitted with anigre-finished cabinets, drawers and shelving. Crafted by Silver Spring-based Allegheny Woodworks, the built-ins stop short of the ceiling where the original wood paneling and beams are preserved. “The new millwork warmed up the house and added even more detail to transform the architecture,” says Mars.
Modern pendant lights in the kitchen, dining area and stair hall reinforce the 1960s character of the home. Dark slate floors unify the main living spaces, while pale oak flooring extends through the bedrooms.
Upstairs, the new master bedroom opens to a private terrace and a sleek bathroom with a freestanding soaking tub. Two more bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room occupy this level with access to the deck overlooking the front courtyard.
Smith worked with interior designer Sarita Simpson, formerly of the now-closed store Vastu, to furnish the rooms with contemporary pieces. “Steve is meticulous; we started working on the furniture plan before the house renovation even began,” recalls Simpson, who now runs her own firm in Arlington. “His design aesthetic is modern, but he isn’t interested in Minimalism that is stark and cold. So we played up the earthy, Mid-Century design of the house.”
Smith says he loves the way Mars used windows to connect indoor and outdoor spaces. “In almost any room, you have a view, making the landscape design an integral part of the interior,” he says. One evening while the homeowner was sitting in the family room, “I noticed something moving in the courtyard,” he recalls. “When I got up, I saw that a fox had curled up under the Japanese maple tree. Apparently, he found the courtyard as relaxing as I do.”
Writer Deborah K. Dietsch is based in Washington, DC. Anice Hoachlander is a principal at Hoachlander Davis Photography in DC.
ARCHITECTURE: RANDALL MARS, AIA, principal; ROBERT DEANE, project architect, Randall Mars Architects, McLean, Virginia. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: JOSEPH RICHARDSON, Joseph Richardson, Landscape Architect, Washington, DC. INTERIOR DESIGN: SARITA SIMPSON, Sarita Simpson Design, Arlington, Virginia. BUILDER: Gruver Cooley, Leesburg, Virginia.
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Portfolio: Danish Modern

Few countries have produced a more specific design aesthetic than Denmark. For most people, the term “Danish Modern” conjures ready images of light wood surfaces, expanses of white and sleek, contemporary furniture. To the owners of a mundane raised ranch house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, imbuing their home with this spare sensibility was of paramount importance. Kira Fortune, who is Danish and works in the field of international health, and her British husband, Richard, a management consultant, resided in England before settling in the DC area. Prior to that, they lived in Denmark. “We wanted a house where London and Copenhagen could come together,” Kira explains.
After living in the house with their two children for a couple of years, the Fortunes selected DC architect Carmel Greer to make the changes they wanted. “They asked for an open family room/dining room and kitchen, which isn’t unusual,” Greer says. “What was different was that when they showed me photos they had clipped, they were so boldly modern.”
Greer designed a sleek, contemporary addition that expanded the back of the home; it would contain an enlarged kitchen, sitting area and dining space—all in stark-white Scandinavian style. In contrast, the original 1970s structure housing the living room would be largely untouched; with its traditional fireplace and built-in bookshelves, it reflected the London piece of the equation while still flowing smoothly into the addition. If funds were left after these changes were made, a master suite above the addition would become part of the plan.
A large, functional kitchen replaced the small, cramped version, as well as the former dining room. Beyond the kitchen, the back wall of the home was bumped out 16 feet to accommodate a spacious seating and dining area. Ten-foot ceilings delineate the addition from the kitchen and the rest of the house, where ceilings measure eight feet. Glass doors and windows admit plenty of light.
The design seamlessly supports the owners’ stylistic vision—including a sleek Bulthaup kitchen centered on a 14-foot, Caesarstone-topped island and a wall of built-in cupboards that keeps surfaces clutter-free. The interiors throughout are painted white. “We believe less is more,” Kira says. “We wanted clean lines—warm modern with a soul.”
In keeping with this philosophy, the couple imported furniture by renowned Danish designers, along with iconic pieces by Charles and Ray Eames, Kira’s favorite modern designers. The dining area contains a sideboard from BoConcept, a table by Piet Hein and Eames chairs, while the sitting area holds an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair shipped from Hay Furniture in Copenhagen. A wood-burning stove from Morsø adds a cozy touch, and large-scale photography commissioned by Greer hangs on walls that are otherwise unadorned.
Before the renovation, the upstairs consisted of one small, attic-like room. Greer brought light and height to it with a five-window dormer, and it now houses Richard’s home office. Creating the hoped-for master suite on the second story of the addition was indeed possible; it lies beyond a short transitional passage lined with floor-to-ceiling cabinets. As spare as the rest of the house, the bedroom opens to a small îpe balcony overlooking the backyard. It also flows directly into a spa-like master bath with an enclosed W.C. Clad from top to bottom in Carrara marble with a luxurious soaking tub, “it’s our escape,” says Kira. “It feels like a hotel.”
The kids’ rooms are located in the original structure, along with the living room, where Greer enlarged the windows, replacing a curved bay with a square one, and substituted the original stair rail for a simpler version. One of their prized possessions, a Stingray Rocker by Thomas Pedersen, occupies a corner of the room.
The Fortunes are very happy with their sleek, renovated home—and so is their architect. “This was one of my first jobs,” Greer reflects. “As a fledgling architect, it was a relief to be hired to do something I knew would be beautiful.”
Photographer Jeff Wolfram is based in Washington, DC.
RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE: CARMEL GREER, AIA, LEED AP, District Design, Washington, DC. RENOVATION CONTRACTOR: OSCAR TELLEZ, H.I. Contractors LLC, Bethesda, Maryland.
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A New Leaf

The idea of starting afresh in a new house may be alluring, but there are times when simply redesigning an existing space can be just what the doctor ordered. This was the case for a mother with two teenagers whose Bethesda home had become dated and whose lifestyle was changing as the kids grew up. After considering a move, she instead contacted designer Kathryn Ivey to help transform her Colonial-style home into a comfortable space that would reflect her style and needs.
“It occurred to my client that we could make her home look completely different without the hassle of moving, by introducing fresh colors and new furnishings,” says Ivey, who currently splits her time between Washington and Paris. “The homeowner’s taste is very feminine. I wanted the design to be beautiful and elegant, but also feel lived-in and approachable.”
The décor of the 10-year-old, four-bedroom house was formal, with plush sofas, bullion fringe and an outdated palette of sage, rose and putty. Its traditional kitchen was laden with heavy cabinetry. “The plan was to lighten and brighten up the house and to center it on family life while creating sophisticated areas for entertaining,” Ivey explains.
The designer worked with her client to develop a fresh color palette of rich cream, soft taupe and powdery blue with blush and lavender accents; metallic and mirrored finishes added a touch of glamour. “All the wainscoting was stark white, but I painted it the same calming color as the walls,” says Ivey. “It still has architectural interest, but in a quieter way that allows the textures and patterns of the new furnishings to play a larger role.”
Bland oak floors were stained deep mocha to provide a crisp contrast to the neutral walls on the main level, where an open floor plan lets in light. Layered carpets delineate the sitting area, along with tailored seating options that include a cream-colored cotton-blend chaise, a buttery leather sofa and a pair of tufted chairs in ivory-and-blue cut velvet.
“The dark wood trim on the chaise and the more masculine saddleback brown sofa help ground the soft, airy space,” Ivey explains. “I wanted to add a gentleman’s touch so [the room] didn’t feel like it was going to float away.”
In the dining area, a French Country farm table is paired with whitewashed, cane-backed chairs in a ruffled linen fabric. Upholstered host chairs in a graphic scroll and a mirrored sideboard sound a less feminine note.
Ivey went more casual in the kitchen’s eat-in area, where painted metal chairs with seersucker seat cushions surround a rustic table and a grasscloth wall covering defines the space. “The breakfast nook so easily could have become a pass-through area,” says Ivey. “This part of the house is the hub of family life, so I wanted the space to be its own room.”
The kitchen underwent major cosmetic changes. White Caesarstone countertops, glinting with metallic flecks, replaced dark granite ones. The cabinetry was painted in white lacquer and new polished-nickel hardware was added. To keep the room open, Ivey replaced upper cabinets along one wall with open shelving.
The designer placed special emphasis on her choice of lighting throughout the house. “To me, lighting is like jewelry,” she observes. “I carefully selected each fixture to serve as a focal point and a nod to the glamorous side of the home, especially in an everyday space.” The double crystal-beaded ball pendants over the kitchen island and the mirrored scroll-arm chandelier in the breakfast nook add a luxe vibe. In the master bedroom, Ivey went all out with a crystal chandelier.
“The homeowner had always wanted one there,” she says. “The bedroom is her personal retreat; it’s feminine and glamorous, and the chandelier is one of its special features.”
Built-in bookshelves and a custom daybed flank the wall opposite the bedstead. To balance the feminine elements, Ivey painted the walls a greige hue and added robust swivel armchairs, which ground the pink toile curtains and ceramic lamps. “When you compare the home now to how it looked before, you’d hardly know it was the same house,” observes Ivey. “Essentially, by embracing a different design aesthetic, we made a new house out of her old one.”
Writer and stylist Charlotte Safavi is based in Alexandria. Helen Norman is a photographer in White Hall, Maryland.
INTERIOR DESIGN: KATHRYN IVEY, Kathryn Ivey Interiors, Washington, DC. CONTRACTOR: CarrMichael Construction, Fairfax, Virginia.
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