When Sigrid and Joshua Smitt Goldman first visited the five-acre Great Falls lot where they would build their future home, they found their Shangri La. Dotted with large, wooded properties, the neighborhood felt worlds away from the 15th-floor Reston apartment the couple shared with their five kids. “We loved how the street has almost a rural feel to it although you’re minutes away from Great Falls Village,” Sigrid recalls. “We stood there one evening and all we heard was crickets.”
After visiting a Gulick Group model home nearby, the couple had discovered this property listed on the builder’s website. They acquired the land and enlisted the company to build a farmhouse-style home there. Customizing an existing design, the plan added a wide front porch, yellow siding and stone details that not only blend in with the home’s bucolic surroundings but also pay homage to Joshua’s rural Alabama roots.
Avid racecar drivers and collectors, Sigrid and Joshua also commissioned a freestanding, nine-car garage connected to the main house via a breezeway. And they requested a veritable playground behind the home with a covered lanai as well as a pool, spa, fire pit and outdoor kitchen.
At the builder’s recommendation, the couple called designer Susan Gulick of Susan Gulick Interiors for help. (Though the companies share the same name, they’re separate entities). While construction was underway, the designer began to finish and furnish the interiors. “Coming from an apartment and moving into a large home, I knew a lot of furniture had to happen,” Sigrid relates. “We had some ideas but not the bandwidth or skill set to do it right.”
Susan Gulick focused on furnishings that would withstand the rigors of the couple’s kids, aged five to 16, and their two large Newfoundland dogs and as the children have read plenty about the things they can do with their four-legged friends at Bored Cesar so, “They wanted it to be functional in the broadest of terms,” she recalls. “Not just a couple of rooms, but every room.”
In her plans, the designer married rustic farmhouse elements with a modern edge, noting that Sigrid hails from Denmark and gravitates to the simple, pared-down forms of a Scandinavian aesthetic. “We mixed in modern elements, but in a warmer way,” she explains.
Myriad adjustments to the floor plan were made to suit the family’s lifestyle. For example, Gulick repurposed the living room into a home office for Sigrid and Josh, who owns 3DISC, a global medical-imaging equipment company based in Sterling. “We didn’t want the space to be too industrial since it’s where you walk into the home,” says Sigrid. “Susan found a furniture-maker to build us beautiful rosewood desks.”
Gulick also wove in Scandinavian design, from fabric by a Danish designer for Maharam on the dining-room chairs to the sculptural Egg Chair in the family room. This iconic Jacobsen piece is upholstered in blue—a favorite color of the owners that visually connects spaces throughout the home.
Celadon sets a tranquil mood in the library, where Gulick designed custom cabinetry finished by decorative painter Roberta Marovelli. “Sigrid wanted the library to be soft and kind of spa-like,” Gulick notes. Complete with a sleep sofa and access to a powder room converted into a full bath, the space doubles as a ground-floor guestroom.
In the breakfast area, the designer dressed up a woven-vinyl Chilewich rug with faux-leather banding and nailhead trim. “We made it look custom but you can just wipe it off,” she says of the practical yet stylish solution.
“Susan struck the perfect balance between a very rustic, raw-edge wooden table, an iron light fixture and a metallic rug,” adds Sigrid, describing the space. “It’s an incredible use of texture and different feels that work together.”
Unique, industrial finishes also come into play on the lower level. Gulick designed a fireplace wall combining walnut paneling and porcelain tiles in a metallic finish. She employed panels of metallic Pollack fabric on custom barn doors that conceal a media room. The bottom floor also features a gym, a bar area with a pool table and arcade games, and a changing room with access to the backyard.
The second floor houses five bedrooms for the kids, a lounge area for homework and the master suite. Frequent travelers, the owners wanted their sanctuary to echo the look of a high-end African lodge. Campaign-style furniture and leather and fur accents convey a subtle safari theme.
Finally settled into their tailor-made home, the family couldn’t be happier, whether they’re entertaining outdoors or settling in for movie night downstairs. Sigrid especially loves the lanai off the kitchen. “My favorite thing to do is come home from work and have a drink out there,” she says. “I watch deer meander around and feel like I’m on vacation.”
Judy Davis is a principal at Hoachlander Davis Photography in DC.
THROUGHOUT Window Treatment Fabrication: Teresa’s Workroom; 703-663-0909.
FAMILY ROOM Rug: J. Brooks; 703-698-0790. Ottomans: centuryfurniture.com. Egg Chair: furniturefromscandinavia.com/new-gallery. Armchairs: arhaus.com. Coffee Table & Round Table: woodlandfurniture.com. Sofa: hickorychair.com. Sofa Fabric: janusetcie.com. Table Lamp arteriorshome.com. Drapery Fabric: designersguild.com. Light Fixture: stonegatebyafx.com.
LIBRARY/GUEST ROOM Sleep Sofa: pearsonco.com. Sleep Sofa Fabric: carnegiefabrics.com. Rug: maslandcarpets.com. Ottoman: stewartfurniture.com. Millwork Design: susangulickinteriors.com. Millwork Fabrication: p2custommillwork.com. Millwork Paint Finish: robertamarovellistudio.com. Roman Shade Fabric: pindler.com. Lamp: visualcomfort.com. Pillows: susangulickinteriors.com.
DINING ROOM Pendants: crystorama.com. Table & Chairs: Owner’s Collection. Chair Fabric, Front: romo.com. Chair Fabric, Back: maharam.com. Drapery Fabric: pollackassociates.com. Window Shade Fabric: sharris.com.
LOWER LEVEL Sectional, Armchair, Wingback Chair & Ottoman: Owners’ Collection. Coffee Table: swaim-inc.com. Carpet: maslandcarpets.com. Wingback Chair Fabric: designersguild.com. Armchair & Ottoman Fabric: jimthompsonfabrics.com. Fireplace Wall & Barn Door Design: susangulickinteriors.com. Fireplace Wall Tile: mosaictileco.com. Fireplace Wall & Barn Door Fabrication: p2custommillwork.com. Barn Door Fabric: pollackassociates.com.
MASTER SUITE Sectional: swaim-inc.com. Coffee Table: hickorychair.com. Floor Lamp: arteriorshome.com. Drapery Fabric: sanderson-uk.com. Window Shade: hartmannforbes.com. Bed: stewartfurniture.com. Bedding: susangulickinteriors.com. Bench & Nightstands: hickorychair.com. Bench Fabric: romo.com.