They say beauty is only skin deep—a true statement for this 1920s “Mediterranean” in DC. Once you looked past the barrel-tile roof, the windows, doors and interior layout were straight out of the Colonial playbook.

The new owners approached us with a desire to authenticate it as a true Mediterranean Revival, at the same time adding a new wing to make it comfortable for their young family. They also wanted the interior layout to provide a neutral, unfussy backdrop for their significant collection of antiques, artwork, maps and tapestries.

First, we designed an exterior to befit the style. Inspired by Italian- and Spanish-Mediterranean examples (with a little California Spanish Revival thrown in), we designed a façade clad in hand-finished, mottled, natural stucco. We switched out double-hung windows for French doors on the main level and casement windows above. We added small, bracketed entablatures over the French doors, and decorative Purlins under the eaves. A wrought-iron railing over the front door adds a bit of “jewelry.” We also opened up an enclosed side porch to turn it into an inviting outdoor living area by the new pool and gardens, which were orchestrated by landscape designer Jennifer Horn.

Next, we designed an addition that had to work with the home’s placement on its corner lot: The façade faces the corner itself rather than one of the streets that intersect there. Therefore, the addition of a kitchen, family room, mudroom, stair tower and master suite had to fit into a wedge shape behind the house. That created odd angles inside, which we resolved with architectural elements such as beamed and paneled ceilings whose gridding naturally guide one’s eye around the corners. A white-oak column visually divides the expansive new breakfast area and family room. “It was a challenge to connect spaces at these funny angles and not look too weird,” principal architect Ankie Barnes says of his team’s effort. Also new is a groin-vaulted corridor that leads from the new kitchen into the library, and a self-supporting circular stair made of solid limestone, enclosed in a belvedere tower, which leads to the new master suite.

There’s a tradition of vaulted ceilings in Mediterranean-Revival architecture, so we paid homage to that notion with pecky-cypress paneling that crowns the master bedroom, and makes a repeat performance as a cathedral ceiling within the library. We worked hand in hand with designer Andrew Law on colors and finishes to create calming interiors of neutral Venetian-plaster walls that act as gallery space for the family’s art and antiques—all within a revived and expanded structure that nestles into Horn’s beautiful landscape. No ticket to Italy or Spain required.

select below to viewRecognition
select below to viewTeam Leaders

In the Press:

50 Inspiring Chef's Kitchens
Dering Hall, Feb. 1, 2017

Featured Project: Mediterranean Revival Renovation
American Institute of Architects Website, November 23, 2016

select below to viewRecognition

In the Press:

50 Inspiring Chef's Kitchens
Dering Hall, Feb. 1, 2017

Featured Project: Mediterranean Revival Renovation
American Institute of Architects Website, November 23, 2016

select below to viewTeam Leaders