Welcome back for part 2 of our Chevy Chase house reveal, the main floor! There was no denying the original charm of this house and my goal was to maintain as much as possible while still creating a modern functional home for our family. The living floor is everything we wanted it to be - its cozy and warm with a flow that is extremely functional but also maintains soulful nooks and crannies from its 1930's bones. We like to think the original owner is happy with our choices and is smiling down at our crazy family living our dream in one amazing house! Here is a recap of what renovations took place on the first floor as well as a sneak into what we have planned next. Or head over to projects to see all the photos.
After rowhouse living, a legit entry way was a must for me and I was delighted to find this house was not a center staircase colonial but boasts an unusual floor plan welcoming you with a large foyer. To maximize space for the kitchen we gutted the original pantry and coat closet and created a new kitchen entrance off the entry that is also the home to functional coat hooks. I then finished the space with an oversized gold lantern fixture, vintage rug, vintage console chest, mid century bench, and several green plants. Its the perfect space to great guests while also functioning as a central space for our home. And that charming staircase gets me every time!
The heart of our house is definitely the kitchen and this is where we chose to make the most changes to the existing structure but also where my design goal was to recreate the original vintage character. I think we've crushed it! And this farm sink gets as much love as it does use! We gutted the original space including the removal of the load bearing wall between the kitchen/dining room, the side outside entrance, and a side window. This allowed us to maximize the footprint without an expansion and still give me plenty of cabinet/counter space. As I shared during the renovation process, the load bearing wall contained all the HVAC for the 2nd floor and ultimately was one place we spent more than originally planned but the clean lines created by the new ceiling is well worth it! Hidden in the floor joists ahead is a steal beam and a second HVAC system now livings in the attic to serve our 2nd floor.
I was obsessed with the original 60" farm sink the moment I stepped foot in the house and I refused to discuss any plans to replace it even when she led to challenges down the road with the marble install. And while the sink was stunning, the original cabinets detailed with tin inserts were just as beautiful and provided the perfect inspiration to complete the space. I worked with the delightful and talented team at Ferris Custom Cabinetry to create the custom white shaker cabinets donned with brass wire inserts, a custom walnut edged hood, and white floating shelves. In addition to creating the design to fit our specific space, going custom also allowed us to create the exact cabinet layout we wanted to meet our needs which includes pull out trays, a pantry, a hidden microwave cabinet, and drawer inserts (the spice is my favorite!). I then sourced brass hardware to match the new brass sink faucet and the brass pot filler. Did I mention the pot filler yet?! Its also one of my favorite additions and makes me feel so adult. To frame these beautiful cabinets I knew I wanted something more special than subway tile but not as formal as marble. I turned to Cle' tile and found exactly what I had in mine with their handmade white washed moroccan tile - its uneven edges and natural imperfections paired with the clean cabinets and vintage sink pull the entire space together. And the Carrara marble counters add just a bit of sparkle! On the appliance front we opted not to hide them behind panels because truthfully John hated taking the panels off to complete small fixes. I selected a Bloomberg refrigerator, vent, and dish washer for their great reputation but also because I liked the clean/logo free stainless steel fronts along with a 6 burner Bertazzoni Master french range that is just so lovely!
With the wall removed, this space was now just big enough for a spacious dining table that would also serve as our kitchen table. Our last house included a formal dining room for 10 and I will tell you that we used it all of four times in five years.... It was too big and cold for us so this time around we loved the intimate feel of the original space and decided not to expand. I LOVE the custom walnut table I had made paired with midcentury chairs, a vintage rug, and an oversized light fixture that's just enough for this dual space. The bay window brings so much light to the space and is framed with custom flat roman shades (that were SO easy to install I will have to blog separately with all the details). The shared kitchen wall is also one of my favorite spaces with a gallery of prints that just so understated but stunning.
Originally this room saw little changes but it never really felt quite right. I'll share its three renditions on the blog soon but for now I'll recap the final result. This long open room flows perfectly from the kitchen/dining space, entry, and back porch but it will truly shine once we add a french door entrance to the newly converted porch with a powder room.(did you catch that's our next renovation!). The original beams and custom built bookcases on either side of the working fireplace are those details you just can't replicate and have the same impact. I added a brass overhead light fixture, painted the top fireplace wall a dark dreamy green, and decorated with vintage textiles to make this space really special. But what really makes this room special are the original antique site plans for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum I found in our attic - they are amazing and such a treasure to have in the house. My favorite nooks and crannies are the two corners on either side of the dining room entrance, which are the perfect spot for my grandparents Hitchcock chairs paired with pops of fresh greens!
We loved the thought of a screened in porch and imagined ourselves relaxing while the kids ran around the yard daily but in reality we live in DC where we only get about 20 perfectly warm days a year... Additionally, we really want a powder room and decided while we have plenty of space to expand out the front we don't want to mess with the clean front lines of the original structure. So our next renovation will be expanding out the back - we'll remove the existing porch and create a new larger space that includes a powder room and den with floor to ceiling windows so we still have some of the screened in porch feel. But for the next year or so you'll definitely find me on the porch with a glass of wine on all of those 20 perfect DC days!
Cabinets/Hood/Floating Shelves: Ferris Custom Cabinetry
Carrara Marble Counters: Granite Discounters
Refrigerator, Vent, and Dish Washer: Bloomberg
Farm Sink: Vintage
Sink Faucet: Kingsman Brass (efaucets.com)
Pot Filler: Danza Brass (efaucets.com)
Sconces: Circa Lighting
Rug: Vintage (etsy)
Canisters: Amazon (gold painting tops)
Utensil Holder: Target
Dishware: Pottery Barn
Bar Stools: White on White (NYC)
Chairs: West Elm
Rug: Vintage (etsy
Mirrors: Vintage (Four Your Eyes Only DC)
Gallery Wall: Artfully
Chandelier: Circa Lighting
Shades: Sew Decor (etsy)
Fireplace Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Regent Green
Chairs: Home Goods
Cane Chair: Vintage (Four Your Eyes Only DC)
Rug: Vintage (etsy)
Throw Pillows: Etsy (vintage fabrics)
Throws Blanket: Amazon
Accessories: Vintage, Home Goods, Target
Dresser: Vintage (Craigslist)
Hitchcock Chairs: Vintage
Chandelier: Lighting NYC
Dog Print: Home Goods
Museum Prints: Vintage
Ginger Jars: Home Goods
Chandelier: Feiss Lighting (Lighting NYC)
Rug: Vintage (Etsy)
Throw Pillows: Etsy (vintage fabric)
Sconces: Vintage (Etsy)
Round MIrror: Target
Coat Hooks: Target
Sofa: World Market
Side Table: Target
Glass Table: Vintage
Mirror: World Market
Pillows: World Market
Fiddle Leaf Tree: World Market