One of the priorities of this addition/renovation project was to create a cohesive exterior while adding onto the existing structure at several points. By modifying roof lines, adding stacked-stone details, and creating a new front porch, the unity and curb-appeal of this 1950's split-level was significantly improved. Other project goals included re-configuring the interior circulation, improved daylight, en-suite bedrooms, and two home offices with direct access to new outdoor patio spaces.
Located in the Forest Hills neighborhood overlooking Rock Creek Park, this DC Landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Owned by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formally Zaire) since the 1960’s, this multi-phase, multi-year renovation is in a Commission of Fine Arts jurisdiction, overseen and directed by the Historic Preservation Review Board. MORELESS
The goals of this project were to restore the architectural characteristics of the structure and property, renovate the interior to become a residence for the Ambassador and her family, and preserve the large entertainment spaces which serve to host 100+ guests for State functions. Modernization of the kitchen, bathrooms, utility services, and security systems were balanced against restoring historically significant features such as chandeliers, fireplace mantels, balustrades, and gilded ceiling tiles. American chestnut millwork, doors, and trim were meticulously removed, catalogued, stripped, and brought back to life for re-installation; terracotta grotesques, marble medallions, and cast plaster details were restored on site.
Originally the Morris House, a 1939 Jacobean-style mansion designed by Porter & Lockie, it had been vacant for nearly 20 years, and stripped of many valuables, particularly copper. Additional deterioration by weather and vandals triggered a full engineering inspection and analysis that lead to structural remediation of some areas. Exterior preservation included replacement of 103 custom-made windows, restoration and/or replication of 15 original stained glass windows, masonry re-pointing, and careful cleaning of limestone sills, surrounds, and ornamentation.
Estimated completion: 2022
The force behind this re-design was twofold: enlarge the existing masonry garage and create a dynamic outdoor living space above. MORELESS
Set in the historic Kalorama Triangle section of Adams Morgan, this row house had a rotted wood deck built on top of the original garage roof. In conjunction with the owner’s desire to expand off-alley parking, workshop space, and interior height, a private outdoor oasis was created above the garage that included a pergola, gas firepit, built-in seating / storage, and a 10-foot diameter fan for temperature and insect control. The new outdoor living space was connected to the main house by a bridge that also allowed access to the courtyard below and provided a BBQ area just outside the kitchen door.
This addition/renovation was designed to transform a 1950’s Cape Cod, typical of the entire neighborhood, into a modern, sculptural house. The 3 volumes which comprise the distinctive, clean lines of the composition are each wrapped in materials honest to their nature: metal, wood and stucco. MORELESS
The project focused on passive solar, energy efficient systems while taking design cues from the European and Asian styles which influenced the owners on overseas postings in Germany and Korea. The challenge was to keep and reuse as much of the exiting structure as possible while creating an entirely different style, and remain respectful of patterns of proportion, setbacks, and overall rhythm on the street.
Located in the Washington’s Historic District of Cleveland Park, the owners of this previously expanded and renovated 1897 Farmhouse wanted to convert the original cellar into a finished basement and connect it internally to the main level of the house. This lower level of the home would provide a new entry point for the family, a guest suite, and much needed additional living space. MORELESS
Challenges included locating a new stairway between the existing main level and new basement, digging out the cellar floor within the original 1897 stone foundation, and selecting finishes that worked with the historic structure downstairs as well as the contemporary renovations upstairs.
As a bonus, the original house floor joists that were removed to accommodate the new stair were repurposed to create a pocket door between the new mudroom and the finished basement.
This addition/renovation was initiated and fully designed for a Foreign Service family living overseas. Planning to return home after a decade abroad, the owners knew that their house, which served as a rental property in their absence, would require significant updates and expansion. MORELESS
The challenge was not just to increase the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall living space, but to remain compatible with the new Arts & Crafts homes of their Arlington neighborhood while incorporating some of the Asian architectural elements the owners had come to love. The resulting open, expanded floor plan was flooded with light, and provided a backdrop for the Far East art, furniture, and antiques the owners had collected.
A large deck, surrounded by mature trees and accessible from both the master bedroom and kitchen-family room, helped blur interior and exterior living spaces while evoking the feeling of treehouse living much farther away from a major city than just a couple miles. Introduction of bilateral symmetry, flat and hip roofs to create horizontal emphasis, and wood post-and-beam structural elements presented a finished project with a subtle Asian character.
This addition/renovation transformed a 1950’s split-level house into a more traditional-style home geared toward both indoor and outdoor entertainment. MORELESS
The expansion of the main floor included a new kitchen and sunken family room that spills out to a new patio with hot tub, fireplace and deck connected to an existing balcony/deck off the formal living room. A new, additional story was added to create a 5th-level comprising a Master Bedroom Suite with its own “tree house” balcony affording privacy and a connection to the rear, outdoor spaces. By implementing a new set of details, materials, color, and scale, this greatly transformed project is still compatible with the proportions of its neighbors – houses identical to the original – while creating a style all its own.
This extensive interior renovation project remained within the confines of the existing structure yet dramatically modified the previous plan, layout and function of the former house. Essentially, the owners wanted to open up the entire first floor and create a new kitchen as the focal point. MORELESS
The concept was to organize the plan into public and semi-private areas each delineated with a single or series of soft arches. These customized archways introduced detailed millwork as a means to create subtle divisions of space by function while maintaining visual connections and enriching daily experience through new materials & textures. By allowing the centrally located kitchen’s cabinetry to spill into every adjacent space in the form of buffets, desks, radiator covers, etc., a cohesive, open design was created, allowing the “hearth” of the home to be visible and open to every space on the first floor.
The addition/renovation of this 1920’s Cottage-style bungalow comprises a new second story and the creation of a new stair hall in an existing floor plan. MORELESS
In addition to needing more living space for their growing family, the owner wanted to take full advantage of the landscape, views, and privacy of their hilltop property adjacent to a vacant, heavily wooded lot. Each second floor space, whether a bedroom or home office, has access to a balcony with both spectacular views and privacy.
The original house had great “bones” with many details from which to draw. Cues were taken from the existing trim work, cedar shingles and stain, interior and exterior detailing – even the unique wood floor patterns were repeated – to create a cohesive, charming design that was full of modern amenities, light and much needed space.
This new home in the Town of Vienna was created specifically for Dominion Associates, Inc. MORELESS
The Craftsman-style design is warm & welcoming on the exterior, open and bright on the interior. Custom finishes include built-up crown and wainscot moldings, built-in millwork, coffered and tray ceilings, and intricate stone and tile work.
The plan and shape of this new home were driven by a combination of the owners’ requirements for daylight, views, and program with the circumstances of the site: a steeply sloping lot with an irregular pie-shape and strict local constraints on setbacks and lot coverage. MORELESS
Of primary concern to the owner was that this large, Craftsman-style home be unobtrusive in the established neighborhood of 1950’s brick Cape Cods. The resulting concept was nestled into the hillside and included a series of porches, façade undulations, and varied roof lines to break down the overall mass. Tying the entire composition together is a stone base which also acts to firmly anchor the structure to the land.
This addition/renovation nearly doubled the living space of a 1950’s split-level home on a lot with significant restrictions due to backing onto wooded parkland. Of particular importance to the owners was that this major expansion stay within the fabric of the existing neighborhood and remain modest in appearance. MORELESS
Programmatically, the creation of outdoor and transitional indoor/outdoor spaces to take advantage of the beautiful landscape and nearby wildlife were at the forefront of the overall layout; unique features of this otherwise suburban property. Through the use of consistent details, materials, and color selections, we were able to make this home appear to have been designed by ‘one hand’ giving it a cohesive look and feel, inside and out. The result was a revitalized home entirely in keeping with the adjacent, original split-levels on the street while adding all the space, light, and flow desired by the owner.
The goal of this project was to create a separate home for a daughter and her young family on the same property as her parents' house so that 3 generations could live together. The solution was a "by-right" addition of a new residence onto an existing 1960's contemporary ranch. MORELESS
The new footprint was rotated 12-degrees and lightly connected to the existing house with a new entry to the combined home. Sunlight and views of this heavily wooded, sloped lot drove many design decisions. Significant site constraints included adhering to Chesapeake Bay preservation ordinances, tree conservation, lot coverage, and storm water management regulations. Features such as an elevator so grandparents could participate fully in family life, a second 2-car garage with workshop, and a custom kitchen to accommodate multiple family cooks met the unique needs of this special project.
The owners of this traditional 1940 colonial wanted to expand their compact house on a tight lot in a dense neighborhood. The solution was an addition that wrapped around the existing brick structure, utilizing contemporary materials and detailing. MORELESS
Challenges included protecting the original character of house and neighborhood, reconfiguring the existing stair so that all 3 levels remained accessible, and altering the circulation between new and former spaces throughout.
The Brew Shop, established 2015, was a new commercial tenant buildout. The business owners desired an "urban chic" aesthetic that would fit with their start-up budget yet create a pallet/brand from which subsequent stores could draw. MORELESS
Transformation of the street-level, raw space into a bustling retail establishment required careful coordination with the landlord’s representatives and the building’s engineers and subcontractors as TBS was one of the first tenants in this new, mixed-use commercial building.
The thoughtful combination of dimensional lumber elements, galvanized pipe-rail shelving, and reclaimed pallet wood, balanced with sleek stainless steel and glass, created a rustic-modern backdrop to the shop’s wares of craft beer, wine, locally roasted coffee, and home brew supplies.
The owners of this new home had a fondness for the Tudor styles of their former Philadelphia neighborhood, a need for space for their growing family, and a desire for a warm yet modern interior. MORELESS
The solution involved purchasing a stock set of building plans and heavily customizing the exterior design and interior finishes. The result minimized the “box-like” form of the original construction set while creating a unique, fusion-style home.