When this British homeowner contacted us, he had just purchased a large run down historic row house in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Northwest Washington. He wanted to transform it into a sleek European style retreat with a separate basement apartment while maintaining key historic details of the home. The project cost approximately $300,000, but, if we were to do it again, we would charge a good deal more.
The biggest challenge was completing this job within an unrealistic budget.
Select Victorian details of the home were preserved to ensure the new renovations complemented rather than clashed with the home. At the front of the property, the façade was painted, the trim, doors and roof were restored and historically accurate windows were installed to replace the vinyl interlopers. Inside, careful attention was taken to repair and/or replace the crumbling plaster crown moldings with wood moldings to match. The antique floors had been covered and protected for years by a thin laminate popular many years ago. We pulled up the veneer and refinished the floors beneath. The old fireplace mantles were removed and sold to the Brass Knob and three mantles appropriate to the new design concept were built for the fireplaces. Historically accurate doors were chosen to replace the existing ones which were caked with lead-based paint. All the systems were replaced.
The twist was the euro-modern elements the owner wanted to integrate within the historic envelope. Opening up the kitchen to the dining room was challenging because a three story chimney stood in the way. Under the direction of a structural engineer, we created a pass through by building a steel structure to support the two plus levels of chimney and fireplaces above. Removing the brick, bracing the chimney and installing the steel proved to be particularly challenging. At the back of the house, we brought in natural light by creating French doors with a transom through the existing brick wall. An otherwise dark home was completely rewired and further illuminated with plenty of recessed lighting.
A good deal of thought was taken with the design and selection of finishes. The master bathroom features a unique custom Wenge wood double vanity, glass and stone tiles and a huge soaking tub. Frosted glass panels help delineate spaces while maintaining privacy and light. The powder room’s elegant simplicity is created with a vanity console, wall mounted faucet and vessel sink. The Kitchen features sleek European cabinetry, high end appliances and plenty of counter and floor space.
The homeowner is very satisfied with his remodeled architectural showpiece. We added great value to his residence. The renovated, light filled home is a warm and stylish place to live and to entertain. It is a well proportioned contemporary home wrapped in a historical capsule.
May 13, 2017