Home & Design

French doors connect the atrium to the patio, where two Niermann Weeks chaises await.

Organic shapes in luxurious velvet anchor the living room, which is set up for multiple conversational groupings. The loveseat and sofa by Vladimir Kagan are covered in Holly Hunt velvet; the rug is from Stark.

The grand entry is enhanced by marble-and-limestone flooring and walls in a Venetian faux finish by Kelly Walker of Artstar Custom Paintworks.

Light fills the atrium, where a wooden frieze with a bronze-like finish takes center stage. Patrick Sutton collaborated on the table with Gutierrez Studios and Rock Tops Fabrication.

The grand entry.

The formal dining room serves up classic and modern elements, balancing the ornate with the austere. A limestone finish embellishes the ceiling coffers.

Dessin Fournir chairs surround the owners’ existing table in the dining room; the wall covering is by S. Harris.

The rustic family room features a Holly Hunt light fixture, a sectional by Dmitriy + Co. and a Stark rug.

In the kitchen, Duncan cabinetry, custom-steel drum pendants and a New Ravenna mosaic-tile backsplash lend a modern feel. The trestle table is from Hudson Furniture.

The primary suite promises sweet dreams. Patrick Sutton outfitted the retreat with an Iatesta Studio bed, Hickory Chair nightstands and drapery in Romo fabric with Osborne & Little trim. The chair is by Reagan Hayes.

Velvet-covered seating by Jean de Merry occupies a corner of the living room.

Fresh Air

Patrick Sutton infuses a beloved family home
 in Northwest DC with light, luxe and 

When empty-nesters residing in DC were ready to embark on the next phase of their lives, they went in search of the right visionary to direct a makeover of their home. After vetting designers from Paris to New York, they selected Patrick Sutton—a kindred spirit whose authentic and individualistic approach to design was in sync with their own.

As the Baltimore-based designer explains, every project begins “with a clear understanding of who we’re designing for. We get to know how they live and what they want their spaces to look and feel like. Everything flows from that—down to the smallest detail.” In this case, the discovery process revealed that after almost 20 years in their traditional French Country manor, the couple was eager to embrace a new, more streamlined aesthetic that would lend a sense of calm to their surroundings and better showcase their extensive collection of contemporary art.

Working on the transformation with frequent collaborator Mark Sanders of Pyramid Builders, Sutton started out with an expansive canvas. Sitting on a beautifully landscaped three-quarters of an acre, the 12,000-square-foot home was originally designed by Washington architect Jerry Harpole. It encompasses six bedrooms, six full and four half baths. Not every room has been touched; updates are still being planned for select guest suites and powder rooms. But after a year and a half of meticulous renovation, the team has essentially created a new home in the same spot.

“This was basically an interior reno,” Sanders notes. “Other than the kitchen, which was gutted to the studs, the footprint remained the same.”

Adds Sutton, “We kept the beautiful bones, removed the excesses and simplified the furnishings and finishes. Like opening all the windows, a wash of fresh, clean air now flows through.”

The lighter, brighter vibe is apparent as soon as you enter the grand foyer, where a 20-foot-high ceiling draws the eye up the sinuously curved staircase rising from the black-and-white, marble-and-limestone floor to an arched window trimmed in black on the first landing. The walls, once clad in cypress, are now covered in a soft gray-white Venetian plaster faux finish. Specialty finishes, executed by Kelly Walker of Artstar Custom Paintworks, crop up throughout the home, honoring its Old World Mediterranean provenance while lightening up its look and feel.

The atrium received a similarly modern facelift. Elaborate trim made way for a classic wood frieze with a bronze-like finish that stands out against faux-plaster walls. A hipped skylight illuminates a custom-designed conservatory table whose organic curved base is just right for this greenhouse-like room. Sleek benches sit beside French doors that open to a pergola-shaded rear terrace.

Textiles, texture and color played an important role in the entire revival. In the formal dining room, silk wall covering with a subtle hand and warm tone anchors the grand chandelier and frames existing ceiling coffers and medallions that were recast in a faux-limestone finish. The living room takes on a more contemporary feel with luxurious lilac-gray velvet furnishings and ombréed lavender walls that change their mood in response to the light streaming in through the arched windows or when dramatically spotlighted by painted-in-place sconces.

The family room is all about clean lines and functionality—a flexible space welcoming all ages and activities. A long-wearing, richly textured sectional and modern wing chairs in marble-patterned velvet surround the inglenook fireplace, while the Calder-like light fixture “holds the room,” says Sutton, in modern contrast to original rough-hewn ceiling beams.

The kitchen is its own work of art, expansive yet ergonomically designed around walls of custom cerused, rift-white oak cabinetry; statuary marble counters and window trim; and chef’s-grade Wolf, Sub-Zero and Miele appliances—all set off by a white coffered ceiling, a brushed-limestone floor and a mosaic backsplash in shades of gray, silver and charcoal.

Upstairs, a second family room, which the owners describe as “grandkids central,” was given a modern attitude. Toys and other child-oriented belongings live happily among refined yet resilient cotton-velvet furnishings with a subtle sheen. Other bedrooms, once occupied by the owners’ three children, have been refreshed for adult tastes although their baths retain their original tile.

The primary suite is less a bedroom than a retreat in the clouds—an aerie surrounded by shimmering faux-finished walls, flowing draperies and a treetop view. Subtle cream and taupe provide an unobtrusive backdrop to a luxuriously appointed four-poster bed and richly upholstered furniture with classic lines.

The greatest challenge, says Sanders, was completing the extensive transformation within an aggressive timetable. The owners, who decamped during the height of construction, were thrilled with the outcome in the end. As the wife remarks, “Patrick latched on perfectly to what we were looking for. It inspires us to see our art in a whole new light.”

Renovation & Interior Design: Patrick Sutton, Patrick Sutton, Baltimore, Maryland. Renovation Contractor: Mark Sanders, Pyramid Builders, Annapolis, Maryland. Home Automation: Electronic Home Environments, Annapolis, Maryland, and Sterling, Virginia.



Loveseat: vladimirkagan.com through hollyhunt.com. Armchair: jeandemerry.com. Armchair & Ottoman Upholstery: aneesupholstery.com. Pedestal Table: demiurgenewyork.com. Curved Sofa: vladimirkagan.com through hollyhunt.com. Curved Sofa Fabric: hollyhunt.com. Pillow Fabric: room.com. Round Table: knowltonbrothers.net through thebrightgroup.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Ottoman: natashabaradaran.com through jeandemerry.com. Walls: Faux finish by kellywalkerfineart.com. Sconces: astrolighting.com.
Chaises: niermannweeks.com. Chaise Fabric: janusetcie.com. Pillow Fabric: hollyhunt.com; theodecor.com.
Center Table: Custom through patricksutton.com; gutierrezstudios.com; rocktopsfabrication.com. Benches: jeandemerry.com. Bench Fabric: laurenhwangnewyork.com. Sconces: hollyhunt.com. Walls: Faux finish by kellywalkerfineart.com.
Gilded Chair: Owners’ Collection. Gilded Chair Fabric: Fadini Borghi through pierrefrey.com. Walls: Faux finish by kellywalkerfineart.com. Base Paint: White Dove by benjaminmoore.com.
Wall Covering: S. Harris through fabricut.com. Chairs: dessinfournir.com; hollyhunt.com. Chair Fabric: laurenhwangnewyork.com. Buffet: jeandemerry.com. Table Lamps: randomharvesthome.com. Drapery Fabric: romo.com, Trim: osborneandlittle.com. Drapery Fabrication: Pilchard Designs; 202-362-4395. Walls: Limestone by kellywalkerfineart.com. Base Paint: Macadamia by sherwin-williams.com.
Ceiling Fixture: hollyhunt.com. Sconces: apparatusstudio.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Sectional: dmitriyco.com. Sectional Fabric: hollyhunt.com. Pillow Fabric: hollyhunt.com; romo.com. Coffee Table: Custom through mitchellyanosky.com. Slipper Chairs: gregoriuspineo.com. Slipper Chair Fabric: osborneandlittle.com. Ottoman: Custom. Fireplace Surround: marmiro.com. Drapery Fabric: hollyhunt.com. Drapery Fabrication: Pilchard Designs; 202-362-4395. Walls: Faux finish by kellywalkerfineart.com. Ceiling Trim: White Dove by benjaminmoore.com.
Cabinetry Design: patricksutton.com; duncancabinetry.com. Cabinetry Fabrication: duncancabinetry.com. Island Countertop: marmistone.com. Backsplash: newravenna.com through chesapeaketileandmarble.com. Paint Treatment: kellywalkerfineart.com. Hardware: sunvalleybronze.com through pushpullhardware.com. Flooring: parisceramicsusa.com. Sconces: hollyhunt.com. Pendant: inlightii.com. Table: bddw.com. Dining Chairs: mcguirefurniture.com. Dining Chair Fabric: dedar.com. Lounge Chairs: cameroncollection.com through ainsworth-noah.com. Lounge Chair Fabric: hollyhunt.com. Chairs: jeandemerry.com. Appliances: subzero-wolf.com; mieleusa.com; vikingrange.com; scotsman-ice.com.
Bed: davidiatesta.com. Bed Fabric: laurenhwangnewyork.com. Nightstands: hickorychair.com. Lamps: Carlo Moretti through putnamandmason.com. Bench: dmitriyco.com. Bench Fabric: romo.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Bedding: sferra.com. Blanket: Custom through sandrajordan.com. Custom Boudoir Pillow: Mokum through jamesdunloptextiles.com. Walls: Faux finish by kellywalkerfinearts.com. Ceiling Trim: White Dove by benjaminmoore.com. Drapery Fabric: romo.com, Trim: osborneandlittle.com. Drapery Fabrication: Pilchard Designs; 202-362-4395. Floor Lamp: phoenixday.com. Chair: reaganhayes.com. Chair Fabric: hollyhunt.com. Table: gregoriuspineo.com.

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