Home & Design

A flagstone patio leaves ample room for outdoor living.

The renovation made room for an eating area in the kitchen; a lower-level family room is visible at the other end of the space.

Before: The kitchen prior to the renovation.

A crisp-white atrium/hallway leads out to the backyard.

Graphic wallpaper enlivens a bedroom.

The renovated kitchen flows out to a revamped patio through floor-to-ceiling folding doors.

Clever Redo

Blue Star transforms a rundown DC row house with a dynamic, modern update

Located in picturesque Capitol Hill, a vintage row house was in sore need of an overhaul when its owners called on Blue Star. They wanted to update the property, “to marry original elements with elegant, modern finishes and functionality,” says principal Eric Goetz. “The home was large but the spaces didn’t work for a family of five.”

Goetz and his team reconfigured the main level, relocating the kitchen—which had occupied the split-level basement—to the first floor. Square footage added to the rear of the home made room for the new space. By rerouting the staircase, they were able to carve out a dining area in the sleek, new kitchen. Blue Star also replaced the home’s rear wall with a three-panel accordion door from Pella Mid-Atlantic that opens to the backyard, creating indoor-outdoor flow. The former kitchen became a cozy family room.

A second-floor balcony was added while the third floor got a makeover and addition; it now accommodates bedrooms for all three kids and a new bathroom equipped with three sinks in a custom vanity. “We were able to double the space to accomplish the ultimate kids’ zone,” recounts Goetz. In the backyard, Blue Star widened a narrow stair from the back entrance to the patio, replacing pavers and brick with flagstone for a streamlined look.

To one side of the new kitchen, an existing two-level, brick-clad atrium offers access to the backyard. The eye-catching space has been dressed up with crisp, white paint and floor tiles conveying a vintage-modern vibe.

Award: Grand for Entire House $550,001-$750,000. Renovation Design & Contracting: Eric Goetz, Blue Star, Washington, DC. Photography: Cassandra Spicer McKevitt.

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