Family Affair

This traditional 1970s ranch-style house in McLean, Virginia, was in much need of a renovation to suit this couple’s modern tastes. The floor plan was choppy with small rooms and lots of dark corners that failed to flaunt the surrounding landscape. With two small children, and mom working from home part-time, this young family craved practical, open spaces to live their daily lives. We began by exploring which facets of the home were most important to the clients and built the budget from there. The main floor took immediate priority, with a big picture plan for the bottom level and beyond to follow in the years to come.

Bumping out the dining space toward the back of the house paved the way to add a modest deck addition for the family to enjoy. Windows now allow daylight into this dining room, which also serves as a workspace. New floating cabinetry creates a convenient sideboard and adds storage to accommodate the versatility of this space. A contemporary chandelier of hand blown glass orbs hangs delicately over the table, creating a dazzling design element without hindering the line-of-sight out the back windows.

Hidden beams were added in the attic to reinforce the new program, which involved removing several load-bearing walls, and allowed for level ceilings throughout. In this room, an existing fireplace was made modern, simply. We kept the original firebox but added fresh quartz surfaces to the hearth for a clean look consistent with the new surroundings.

The homeowners wanted better flow, especially in the kitchen, and more windows to take advantage of backyard views. With their love of clean lines and a “less is more” mentality, the clients wanted a minimal, yet smart kitchen. Ecru pine kitchen cabinets now pair with matching demi-tall storage cabinets in the same finish for a palette that’s warm, yet classically contemporary.

The kitchen island in rich truffle brown veneer—complete with coordinating stools—provides contrast to the perimeter cabinetry while adding another work area for the boys’ meals and homework. Crystal clear hand-blown glass pendants illuminate the island workspace while under-cabinet LED lights brighten the counter space.

Built-in shelving, coffeemaker, microwave drawer, and combination steam oven ensure a seamless cooking experience, with every need effortlessly at your fingertips.

To attain the lighter, more open feeling that the homeowner’s wanted, we decided to raise the ceiling in the entry only, for budget reasons, and a handful of other simple changes added light wherever possible. A textured mosaic accent wall and shelf adds sophisticated detail while a simple punch-out of the left foyer wall provides a peek into the rest of the home. Custom coordinating cabinetry nearby creates convenient storage for winter coats, toys, sports equipment, and other items often dumped at the front door.

The entry powder room was transformed with all new modern fixtures and a fresh coat of cool gray paint to contrast the whites of the adjacent foyer. A simple pedestal sink with chrome details and a sleek vertical mirror stretches tall, giving the room a larger feel.

A sleek master bath with little luxuries topped the clients’ wish list. The roomy walk-in glass shower and oversized white wall tiles create consistency and make the space feel larger. Custom shower niches, a ceiling-mount rain shower head, and bidet-combo toilet add gratifying indulgences for daily enjoyment.

Large-format ceramic floor tiles are heated from beneath, adding warmth to the small space on chilly mornings. A white quartz counter—with his and hers sinks—pairs seamlessly with clean, white cabinetry and chrome fixtures for a modern, monochromatic look.

Also on the wish list were budget-friendly bathrooms for each of their sons to grow into, bathrooms that would complement the rest of the home and increase its resale value. A modern floating gray vanity with white quartz counter and frameless mirror is the perfect low-maintenance solution for their sons in youth—and as future teenagers.

A frosted-glass corner shower stall saves space in this small bathroom and is easy to clean and maintain. Shiny chrome towel bars, hooks, and hand shower lend this bath a polished look.

Family Affair

Photography by Anice Hoachlander