In front of a Craftsman-style house in a leafy McLean neighborhood, a tiny tricycle, a soccer net and intricate chalk drawings on the flagstone walkway are telltale signs that little ones live here. This fact was not lost on designer Kristin Peake, who initially upgraded and furnished this new, five-bedroom home when her clients, then expecting their first son, purchased it from Madison Homes in 2012. Peake revamped some rooms a couple of years later when they welcomed a daughter, and again this year when they had another son.
“This house has been able to evolve every time they’ve had a child,” says the designer. The owners first approached Peake after visiting a friend’s residence that she designed. They loved the scale and open layout of their new home, as well as the flexible office and play spaces located on split levels off a large stairway. But they needed help transforming what was a blank slate into a comfortable retreat that would reflect their lifestyle and aesthetic.
Peake presented them with a plan that would add architectural detail—from larger-scale moldings to built-ins, shiplap and indoor transoms—throughout the main level as well as upstairs. “The millwork is a beautiful thread that is woven through the whole house,” says Peake. “There’s not a ton of architecture, but enough to really make an impact.”
While they selected furnishings and finishes that are durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that come from one dog and three residents under the age of five, Peake infused the home with sophisticated style so that it shines just as well for a grown-up dinner party as it does for a toddler play date.
“We wanted it to look nice but didn’t want to live in fear, following the kids around with rug cleaner,” jokes the wife.
Peake presented the couple with an easy-going scheme that emphasized linens in neutral palettes, textural rugs and accent pillows delivering dashes of color. As the designer recalls, “She wanted a casual, coastal flavor. He wanted it to be a little more Ralph Lauren. We found a happy compromise.”
A reading room with an inviting sofa and cozy armchairs greets guests to the left of the entrance, in lieu of a formal living room that the couple said they would seldom use. “It’s a great reading space, a great spot to put your feet up,” says the wife. “And as the kids get older, I think we’ll use it even more.”
The facing dining room also serves up some refreshing changes. Chairs are covered in washable slipcovers and a Hickory Chair bench can seat a gang of youngsters at large gatherings. Rather than installing a chandelier, the owners opted for recessed lighting so furniture can be arranged with flexibility. A distressed Lorts table, a Tritter Feefer sideboard that Peake had painted milk-white and an antique mirror strike a tone that, she says, “feels collected, not contrived.”
The entryway leads past the stair hall and into the open family room/kitchen, where the designer’s millwork additions add both aesthetic and functional appeal. Shiplap siding flanks a custom built-in and accents the fireplace in the family room. And a custom banquette paired with a small table creates a corner perch for snacktime or a family game. More built-in shelving helps define the adjacent dining area near the open kitchen and a convenient breakfast bar.
The family room opens to a screened porch, where the residents enjoy meals by an outdoor fireplace. And behind the home, manicured grounds, an upper deck and a ground-level terrace complete with outdoor kitchen and fire pit—all created by McHale Landscape Design—offer al fresco fun for all ages.
Indoor play spaces abound on the lower level, which features an art room, a built-in “village” Peake designed for make-believe games, a home theater and a gym. She recently completed a new guest room on this floor, since the original upstairs guest quarters made way for the new baby’s nursery.
Custom touches embellish all four upper-level bedrooms. Each kid’s room boasts a window seat and a personalized decorative-paint treatment—including a magnetic wall depicting a world map in the oldest son’s room, so he can track his father’s frequent business trips.
As an antidote to the parents’ busy schedules, Peake created an oasis of calm in the master suite, which features a sitting room and kitchenette. “He’s always traveling and always connected,” she remarks. “So they wanted their bedroom to be a haven where they can disconnect from the world.”
The couple is thrilled with how their residence has evolved. As the wife reflects, “Kristin took a great frame from the builder and turned it into a place that feels like us. It’s very versatile and can go lots of ways. Now, it really feels like home.”
Interior Design: Kristin Peake, Kristin Peake Interiors, Rockville, Maryland. Landscape Design: McHale Landscape Design, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
THROUGHOUT Renovation Millwork Fabrication: Randy Flemming with Nantucket Homes. Rugs: thefloorgallery.com.
Reading Room Sofa, Sofa Fabric & Main Pillow Fabric: drexel-furniture.com. Side Chairs & Fabric: lillianaugust.com. Pillow Trim: kravet.com. Coffee Table & Round Table: noirfurniturela.com. Floor Lamp: visualcomfort.com.
DINING ROOM Table: lorts.com. Chairs: caracole.com. Custom Cuff on Chairs: Antonio Martinez Upholstery; 301-770-3939. Sideboard: tritterfeefer.com. Mirror: Antique. Lamps: visualcomfort.com. Window Shades: gretcheneverett.com. Custom Bench & Fabric: hickorychair.com. emilune & Mirror: lillianaugust.com. Pouf: vanguard.com. HALL Demilune & Mirror: lillianaugust.com. Pouf: vanguard.com.
FAMILY ROOM Sofa & Fabric: hickorychair.com. Coffee Table & Round Table: classichome.com. Storage Stools: tlsbydesign.com. Stool Fabric: kravet.com. Armchair & Ottoman: lillianaugust.com. Armchair & Ottoman fabric: fabricut.com. Window Treatments: gretcheneverett.com. Straight Lamp & Curved Lamp: curreycodealers.com. Banquette: stanfordfurniture.com. Banquette Fabric: sunbrella.com. Pendant: visualcomfort.com.
KITCHEN/BREAKFAST AREA Table: curationslimited.com. Bench: hickorychair.com. Bench Fabric: janusetcie.com. Chairs: drexel-furniture.com. Window Shades: gretcheneverett.com. Stools: hickorychair.com. Stool Fabric: janusetcie.com. Custom Cabinet Finish: swatchroom.com. Countertops: caesarstoneus.com. Backsplash: walkerzanger.com.
SCREENED PORCH All Furniture & Fabrics: janusetcie.com.
MASTER BEDROOM Bed, Armchair & Armchair Fabric: hickorychair.com. Lamps: barbaracosgrovelamps.com. Sectional & Fabric: drexel-furniture.com. Floor Lamp: visualcomfort.com. Ottoman: bellacor.com. Master Bath Vanity & Mirror: rh.com. Sconces: reginaandrew.com.