The spacious stone-and-clapboard spec home, located on a sweeping acre and a half in McLean, had been on the market for a year when Ryan and Stacy Miyamoto bought it in 2018. They were looking for land and a large house, and it fit their needs perfectly. “We were living in Arlington but knew we’d be getting married and starting a family,” recounts Stacy, a sales manager for a medical device company. “We wanted a home we could grow into.”
She and her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, moved in two days after their wedding. Some aspects of the 7,000-plus-square-foot, six-bedroom home already suited the couple—including its stylish yet comfortable open-plan kitchen, which combines creamy-white cabinetry with a glazed ceramic-tile backsplash in soft, muted gray. But, says Stacy, “we struggled with the fact that our taste is a little more modern and the house is traditional. And in a home of this size, we wanted to do it right from the start. We didn’t want to have to redo things down the road.”
They turned to designer Joanna Abizaid, who quickly gleaned their taste and goals. “The kitchen was a driving factor in how we did the rest of the house. We used its creamy, taupey tones throughout,“ she observes. “We talked about color but couldn’t land on a palette that felt sophisticated enough, so instead we went with contrasts—whites and neutrals with black as a strong presence.”
Taking cues from the home’s dark-stained, reclaimed-wood floors, Stacy and Ryan selected additional rustic-farmhouse elements after buying the house. They replaced white-painted beams in the family room with ones of stained, reclaimed wood and added reclaimed-wood panels to a ceiling coffer in the entry hall. Abizaid painted the family room window frames black. “Steel is having such a big moment in windows and doors and this gives a little nod to that,” she explains.
The home’s center-hall layout features a small room—now the study—on one side of the foyer and the dining room on the other. Abizaid commissioned a wall of black-painted, built-in shelving and drawers for the study; in the dining room, she went bold with walls of black Schumacher grass cloth and crisp-white wainscoting. Restoration Hardware furniture—scaled to match the existing Visual Comfort light fixture—rests atop a custom hide-and-wool rug. Romo draperies sport a raised, embroidered motif. “Any time you’re working with neutrals, you have to add texture,” Abizaid notes.
A butler’s pantry connects the dining room and kitchen; its barrel ceiling was love at first sight for the designer. “I knew I wanted wallpaper on it,” she says. “I love small spaces where you can do something graphic and bold.” She covered the walls and ceiling in Phillip Jeffries Rivets grass cloth embellished with nail heads. The owners loved the effect so much they specified the same paper in another colorway for the powder room.
The family room centers on a stacked-stone fireplace flanked by built-ins. A sectional from Room & Board is paired with Restoration Hardware chairs covered in a nubby, graphic Romo fabric. A modern light fixture by Stilnovo hangs overhead; adjacent to the seating area, stools from Restoration Hardware pull up to the massive kitchen island with Visual Comfort pendants hanging above.
Abizaid carried her color scheme to the master bedroom, where black-painted walls are offset by a fluffy white rug from Lulu & Georgia. Mirrored nightstands and black-glass bedside lamps from Arteriors add sparkle to the mix.
The Miyamotos couldn’t be happier with their home’s fresh, transitional look. In fact, they’re already making plans with Abizaid for the next phase. In the meantime, the couple welcomed a daughter to the family about six months ago. Abizaid designed the nursery, of course. It’s painted a perfect pale pink.
Joanna Abizaid’s Trade Secrets
What trends are you seeing now?
Muted shades of buttery yellow keep showing up. I’m also noticing greater interest in using patterns and mixing them.
What trends have you had enough of?
Basic white subway tile. These days, you can find the classic shape reinvented in unique sizes, finishes and materials. I’m all about using something standard in a fresh, new way.
How do you accessorize?
Accessories for me are trial and error. During the course of a project, I pull accessories from a variety of sources and decide on their placement during furniture installation. It’s the last opportunity to add height, introduce color and achieve balance.
How do you ensure furnishings will fit?
Measure, measure, measure—in all directions, not just length. Check end-table heights against the arm heights of chairs. Check the diameter of lamp shades. Don’t go anywhere without measuring tape.
Interior Design: Joanna Abizaid, NCIDQ, Cline Rose Designs, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia.