Home & Design
Powder room offsets Nero Marquina marble surfaces with gold accents and RH pendants.
Powder room offsets Nero Marquina marble surfaces with gold accents and RH pendants.

The moody powder room offsets Nero Marquina marble surfaces with gold accents and RH pendants.

Bright-pink home office features chic writing desk and acrylic chair atop a colorful rug.
Bright-pink home office features chic writing desk and acrylic chair atop a colorful rug.

Geyer’s bright-pink home office features a chic writing desk and acrylic chair atop a colorful rug.

Dining room chandeliers from Sunpan and Jeffrey Alan Marks draperies.
Dining room chandeliers from Sunpan and Jeffrey Alan Marks draperies.

In the dining room, walls and trim in Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black enhance glamorous chandeliers from Sunpan and Jeffrey Alan Marks draperies.

Sideboard from Noir LA in the dining room. The table and chairs are from RH.
Sideboard from Noir LA in the dining room. The table and chairs are from RH.

A canvas by Agnes Rathonyi hangs above a sideboard from Noir LA in the dining room. The table and chairs are from RH.

Calacatta Vagli marble surfaces with globe pendants above the island.
Calacatta Vagli marble surfaces with globe pendants above the island.

Calacatta Vagli marble surfaces lend drama to the kitchen, where globe pendants hang above the island. Greer let in light by installing open oak shelving in front of windows in lieu of upper cabinets.

Wine cellar features a tasting room
Wine cellar features a tasting room

 The temperature-controlled wine cellar features a tasting room displaying the couple’s most prized vintages; wings on either side store up 3,000 bottles. © Jenn Verrier

Sculptural staircase with chandelier by France & Son
Sculptural staircase with chandelier by France & Son

Greer’s sculptural staircase is a highlight of the home’s design; a chandelier by France & Son is suspended beside the second-floor landing.

Off-white walls, warm oak accents and custom bedding in owners bedroom
Off-white walls, warm oak accents and custom bedding in owners bedroom

With its restful off-white walls, warm oak accents and custom bedding, the owners’ bedroom “feels like a retreat,” says Geyer.

Owners bath, floating his and her vanities are painted glamorous black.
Owners bath, floating his and her vanities are painted glamorous black.

In the owners’ bath, floating his and her vanities are painted glamorous black.

Family room vaulted ceiling
Family room vaulted ceiling

The family room’s vaulted ceiling was a must on owner Julie Geyer’s wish list. Seating from Lee Industries faces a fireplace wall where an abstract work by Kim Knoll hangs; Carmel Greer found the oversized chandelier on Etsy.

Simply Chic

Masterminded by Carmel Greer, designer Julie Geyer’s Bethesda home merges warmth and a touch of glam

When you can’t buy your favorite architect’s home, why not hire her to design one specially for you? Julie and Grant Geyer were on the lookout for a new house when they toured the chic, innovative interiors of architect Carmel Greer’s DC abode, then on the market. “The style was incredible,” enthuses Julie. “We were looking for modern but not uber-minimalist modern, and Carmel’s house had the perfect sensibility.”

Sadly, the home’s location made it impossible; with three tween-age kids, the couple wanted to stay in the Maryland school system. Still, they met with Greer—and serendipitously discovered a teardown for sale in their Bethesda neighborhood at the same time. “The property was stunning,” recounts Julie Geyer, who has since hung out her shingle as an interior designer; Grant is a cybersecurity expert. “We asked Carmel to take a look and that was it.”

Greer conceived an L-shaped layout in which front-facing public rooms occupy one leg of the L while the other leg is dedicated “to family and practicality,” she explains. “It’s a nice way of organizing a home, to group the practical elements together. And it worked well aesthetically with the lot’s square configuration.” As a bonus, the L creates a courtyard in back that neatly accommodates an outdoor kitchen and a porch equipped with heaters and retractable screens. A recently installed swimming pool nestles into the lawn. The three-quarter-acre corner lot enabled the owners to tuck the three-car garage they desired around the side, away from the front façade.

With its subtly abstracted traditional forms, the stucco-clad, 7,839-square-foot dwelling fits happily into its neighborhood of sprawling, traditional homes. “It’s simple, clean and modern, but not loud or attention-grabbing,” says Greer. The interiors echo the same restrained-modern aesthetic—starting with the front entry hall, which showcases a sculptural staircase without railings that curves up to the third floor. “I told Carmel we wanted a grand foyer, and she hit it out of the park. The stair is our mini-Guggenheim,” marvels Julie Geyer, laughing.

“The house is really a series of simple masses, so I mimicked that idea with the stair,” Greer notes. “The simplicity of the stair lets other elements have their day.”

The foyer flows into a formal living room on one side; on the other, a long gallery leads past the dining room to the kitchen, which joins the legs of the L. The family room shares space with the kitchen; beyond it are the garage, mudroom and Julie’s home office. The back courtyard is accessible from both legs via glass doors that foster indoor-outdoor connectivity.

The second floor houses the owners’ suite and laundry as well as the kids’ bedrooms and hang-out space. A third story contains Grant Geyer’s home office, while the basement features a rec room, guest suite, gym and—the pièce de résistance—an elegant, climatized wine cellar embellished with oak that stores 3,000 bottles.

Greer and her clients easily found common ground when it came to the interiors. Against the backdrop of 11-foot ceilings, eight-foot-tall charcoal-gray doors, character-grade wide-plank oak flooring and steel-look window frames, chic lighting abounds and fixtures and finishes blend harmoniously. The Geyers collect art and antiquities, so Greer created spaces for display, including a climate-controlled case in the foyer that showcases an ancient Greek vessel. “I always dreamed of clean, all-white spaces that wouldn’t interfere but would be a canvas for everything,” Geyer comments.

However, she also wanted “moments of drama,” and specified a pure-black dining room with giant cove moldings and a bold, abstract painting. Another example is her home office, entirely enveloped in Benjamin Moore’s vibrant Mulberry—including the millwork. The main powder room, clad in Nero Marquina marble, offers its own touch of glam.

Geyer and Greer collaborated on the kitchen. Inspired by the one in Greer’s former home, it combines dark-gray cabinetry with expanses of swirling Calacatta Vagli marble on both countertops and backsplash. White-painted beams adorn the ceiling; they carry over into the family room where a vaulted ceiling conveys an airy feel. “The rooms needed to interact and the painted beams tie them together,” observes Greer.

Throughout the house, modern artwork, much of it by local artists, and beautiful, carefully chosen lighting add interest. Twin crystal chandeliers dominate the dining room, while an oversized chandelier in mid-century style perfectly fits the family room’s vaulted space. Cascading globes are a centerpiece above the stairs, suspended at eye level on the second floor.

During construction, Geyer enrolled in an interior design program at the New York Institute of Art & Design; since the home’s completion in 2018, her business has taken off. “I pinch myself constantly,” she says. “I think, ‘How did I get so lucky?’”

Architecture: Carmel Greer, LEED AP, District Design, Washington, DC. Interior Design: Julie Geyer, Julie Geyer Studio, Bethesda, Maryland. Builder: GBI Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia. Landscape Design: Everett Conroy & Landis Garden Design, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

 

RESOURCES

GENERAL
Flooring: hursthardwoods.com.

FAMILY ROOM
Stools: Owners’ collection. Sectional: leeindustries.com. Sling Chairs: Lee Industries through brooktaylorinteriors.com. Painting over Mantel: kimknoll.com. Console behind Sectional: crateandbarrel.com. Chandelier: etsy.com

DINING ROOM
Table & Chairs: rh.com. Sideboard: noirfurniturela.com. Art above Sideboard: Agnes Rathonyi. Chandeliers: sunpan.com. Draperies: jamdesign.com. Wall Paint: sherwin-williams.com.

HOME OFFICE
Writing Desk: wisteria.com. Chandelier: arhaus.com. Acrylic Chair & Rug: Owners’ collection.

POWDER ROOM
Mirror: Owners’ collection. Sconces: circalighting.com. Sink & Plumbing Fixtures: kohler.com. Marble Vanity: marblesystems.com.

KITCHEN
Cabinetry: Custom through dkandt.com. Marble Backsplash & Countertops: marblesystems.com. Faucets: brizo.com. Range: dacor.com.

WINE CELLAR
Wine Pegs: vintageview.com. Table & Chairs: rh.com. Chandelier: Owners’ collection.

OWNERS’ BEDROOM
Bed & Bedding: Owners’ Collection. Throw: Owners’ Collection. Decorative Pillows: etsy.com. Chandelier: rh.com. Large Rug: greenfront.com. Small Rug: districtloom.com. Ottomans: cb2.com. Drapery Fabric: jam-design.com.

OWNERS’ BATH
Mirrors: Owners’ collection. Vanity Fabrication: dkandt.com. Scones: rh.com.

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