A Stately Brick House Outside the house of D.C. Will get Much less Formal and A lot more Present day

Margarito Gregerson

When Matt and Sara Tucker first toured their property, they had been mentally earning programs for how to rip out the authentic tufted silk partitions, patterned matching home furniture and toile wallpaper.

“It felt like décor you would see at the White Property,” states Ms. Tucker, 42, a spouse at a foyer organization, about the Bethesda, Md., property, less than a 50 percent-hour’s generate from Washington, D.C.

The home’s format essential some get the job done, way too.

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The preceding house owners, who possess an estate following doorway, experienced renovated the 6,300-square-foot home in the ’90s to serve as a guesthouse for social gatherings. They eliminated component of the 2nd floor to accommodate a first-flooring ballroom with 17-foot ceilings, as well as additional an elevator that went from the basement to the 3rd floor.

The dwelling, constructed in 1964, ended up with just 1 key bedroom on the second floor. On the 3rd floor, two hotel-design suites with designed-in desks (just one also had a minifridge) have been designed through the ’90s renovation in what had been an attic. Still lacking were closets, a family members-welcoming kitchen and dwelling locations.

Even with its flaws, the Tuckers ended up drawn to the home’s substantial ceilings, light-weight-stuffed rooms and open up ground program. “We have been equipped to see by what was in this article to the likely,” states Mr. Tucker, 45, a real-estate investment government. He oversaw the renovation.

The Tuckers acquired the household for $1.68 million in 2018. They set in the present straight away right after hurrying by the home in cocktail apparel on their way to a marriage.

The new property owners turned the ballroom into a spouse and children house, but insisted on keeping the french doors and the herringbone flooring.


Stephen Voss for The Wall Road Journal

They shortly started a 9-thirty day period, $400,000 renovation, rethinking how the key floor’s expansive ballroom room could perform as the family’s main dwelling place.

They worked with Washington-based Fowlkes Studio to transform the ballroom into a present day area without sacrificing a pair of french doorways that opened to the garden. They painted the partitions grey, left off the curtains and took down the ornate lighting.

“We imagined, How do you make a ballroom sense informal?” claims VW Fowlkes, who operates the architecture apply with his spouse, Catherine Fowlkes.

At 1 point, he says, the relatives even entertained the idea of a basketball court on a single aspect.

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The household also saved the molding intended to mimic convert-of-the-century ballrooms, and the herringbone flooring. They then positioned Ms. Tucker’s late grandmother’s Steinway piano in the vicinity of the ballroom’s fire, making it a centerpiece. It divides the space into a peaceful sitting spot and a more official dining area. It also offers the small children easy access to the piano to inspire them to observe.

Putting the heirloom in the middle of the space seemed awkward at initially. “We had been scratching our heads, but it’s truly brilliant,” Ms. Tucker says.

All through the house, the Tuckers have been open to numerous of the designer’s recommendations, including changing out metal components for brass knobs that patina more than time, swapping light-weight fixtures for extra sculptural ones and bleaching all of the wooden flooring.

“That on your own experienced a huge impact,” says Ms. Fowlkes claims of the ground function.

The Tuckers, who are serial renovators of their personal households, have been by now working with Fowlkes Studio on their earlier house, a compact Colonial in Washington’s Palisades community.

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This time, Ms. Fowlkes claims she understood what her young spouse and children required. “They did not want it to be stuffy and did not want it to be previous-fashioned,” she claims. “It needed to be lightly transformed.”

The home’s exterior areas involve a courtyard, a pool, a scorching tub and a noise-canceling fountain.


Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

The family members has manufactured great use of the huge out of doors space through the pandemic.


Stephen Voss for The Wall Avenue Journal

In the kitchen area, the household eliminated a wall separating the breakfast spot to make additional place for an oversize try to eat-in kitchen area. The designers made a cohesive but not fully matching area of navy blue and white cabinetry, with a farmhouse sink and mismatched brass components.

“It is important that these areas not turn into dated, and we don’t get caught up with everything becoming super uniform,” states VW Fowlkes, who is a cousin of Ms. Tucker.

The loved ones didn’t want a huge kitchen area island. Alternatively, they selected a small stone one particular with an attached wooden dining desk, leaving area for evening meal company to pull up a chair. “We wished that table…to be a accumulating area, so it has much more of a home furniture come to feel,” states Ms. Fowlkes.

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Upstairs, they reconfigured the lodge-fashion suites into bedrooms for their two college-age kids. “We had to modify it from a lot more of a corporate feeling,” claims Mr. Tucker, adding that they kept intect the shared lavatory with Waterworks fixtures and Ann Sachs tiles.

The couple did salvage one particular décor touch from the prior proprietor: the painted-sky partitions that now add a serene contact to their 10-yr-old’s bedroom. “Our daughter loved it as soon as she noticed it,” Ms. Tucker says.

Sara and Matt Tucker with their pet dog Rio.


Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

For themselves, the pair eked out a 2nd-floor bedroom suite to the side of the ballroom place. A windowed wander-in closet and dressing space decorated with floral Japanese-inspired wallpaper is Ms. Tucker’s favored. “We have been intended to share the closet, but I quickly recognized I desired all the house,” she suggests.

In the basement, a nanny suite and sauna continue being from the ’90s.

With the pandemic, the home’s expansive out of doors areas—including an in-floor pool, incredibly hot tub and ornate stone fountain—became a significantly-loved retreat for the household, states Ms. Tucker. They later on understood the fountain also experienced a useful part: It properly masks the noise from planes flying to and from Washington’s Reagan Airport.

 

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