Home & Design

Melissa Sanabria in Thos. Moser's Georgetown showroom. © Michael Ventura.

The dining room boasts a vintage table from 1stdibs.

In the home’s living room, the original Victorian fireplace was restored.

In a Chevy Chase farmhouse, a custom banquette and rustic table complement existing beams in the dining room.

The living room features a Restoration Hardware sofa and a chair from McGee & Co.

A recent Capitol Hill project encompassed a kitchen addition with a Clé Tile backsplash and pendants from McGee & Co. by Marvin.

Row House Magic

Melissa Sanabria lives and works in Capitol Hill—and that's how she likes it

With a degree in applied economics, Melissa Sanabria was working in the financial industry when she moved to Capitol Hill. After years of on-the-job travel, she was happy to settle down. Remodeling the vintage row house she’d bought with her husband and toddler tapped into a lifelong love of design, and in 2016 she launched “Pretty Little Row House,” a popular blog chronicling her design journey, ideas and inspiration. “Readers began asking me to do small jobs in the neighborhood,” she recounts. “Eventually, I quit my job and hung out my shingle.”

Two years later, Sanabria & Co. employs six part-time staff members with a focus on whole-house renovations. “I’m the conduit between the client and the design team,” Sanabria says. “When everyone else has left, I’m still there installing the custom drapes.”

Sanabria’s transitional “old-meets-new” sensibility lends itself to row-house redos. “I love old homes,” she observes. “The history is important to me. I think of the house as a client too.”

In fact, the majority of her projects are located around historic Capitol Hill by choice. As Sanabria notes, “I want to live and work in my community.”

Interior Design: Melissa Sanabria, Sanabria & Co., Washington, DC. Contractor (Capitol Hill): Wall to Wall Construction, Inc., Washington, DC.

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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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