They live in Washington, but their hearts are in France. This family’s main goal when they purchased a lot in DC’s new Phillips Park development (which Barnes Vanze planned) was to create a home that reminded them of the French countryside. They showed us pictures of cottages from Normandy to the Dordogne as their inspiration.

The new house is dressed in the old country, with clipped gables and a swooping roofline, pale-blue window shutters and trim, reclaimed ceiling beams, and a tumbled cobble-stone courtyard that continues into the foyer. One of our favorite gestures is a four-story belvedere stair tower with wrought-iron banisters.

With national parkland in back, the clients were also intent on blending the indoors with the outside. We leveled the yard—a full story below grade from the front of the house, since it once dropped steeply to a dry stream bed. That gave us an opportunity to create a sweeping exterior staircase from the main level down to the new yard and pool, while the lower level opens directly to the patio.

French relics highlight the interior details, such as a parlor fireplace crowned with an old coat of arms, rustic iron light fixtures throughout, and an antique butcher-block sideboard in the kitchen, which inspired our design of a similar wood top on the island. And while the massive stone fireplace and reclaimed flooring in the family room also channel the old country, its expansive scale and informal interiors are just right for these present-day parents and their three children.

select below to viewRecognition
select below to viewTeam Leaders

Awards:

Houzz: The Most Popular Rustic Spaces - 2013

In the Press:

30 Rooms with Elegant Beamed Ceilings
Dering Hall, February 20, 2017

Translating Beauty: Intricate and authentic details from the ground up bring the character of pastoral France to an unlikely destination
French Style Magazine, Fall 2016

Gas or Wood-Burning? Your Fireplace May Reflect Your View of Living
The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2016

Embrace a Few Beautifully Weathered Surfaces for a Happy, Durable Home
Houzz, January 2016

French Connection
Washingtonian, February 2015

A New House Inspired by Old French Country Cottages
Hooked on Houses Blog, Feb. 21, 2013

Ankie Barnes, Matthew Fiehn
read bios on team page »

select below to viewRecognition

Awards:

Houzz: The Most Popular Rustic Spaces - 2013

In the Press:

30 Rooms with Elegant Beamed Ceilings
Dering Hall, February 20, 2017

Translating Beauty: Intricate and authentic details from the ground up bring the character of pastoral France to an unlikely destination
French Style Magazine, Fall 2016

Gas or Wood-Burning? Your Fireplace May Reflect Your View of Living
The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2016

Embrace a Few Beautifully Weathered Surfaces for a Happy, Durable Home
Houzz, January 2016

French Connection
Washingtonian, February 2015

A New House Inspired by Old French Country Cottages
Hooked on Houses Blog, Feb. 21, 2013

select below to viewTeam Leaders

Ankie Barnes, Matthew Fiehn
read bios on team page »

related projects