Home & Design

A reverse view reveals an A. Rudin sofa and an abstract canvas by Tom Bolles hung above an Arteriors bench. Beyond, the airy foyer showcases a stair rail designed by Erica Burns. The library beckons behind blue doors.

An archway in the stair hall frames a vibrant painting by Ashley Andrews.

The library is saturated in a custom color from Benjamin Moore. Built-ins designed by Burns frame a Hancock and Moore sofa and a portrait of Einstein by Craig Alan, commissioned by the husband.

Moody-blue Fromental wall covering clads the dining room, where a frosted-glass Apparatus chandelier hangs above a Parish Co table and Baker chairs.

In the powder room, faux gold-leaf ceiling paint appears to cascade down walls enveloped in Phillip Jeffries grass cloth.

In the family room, Kravet chairs gather near a two-sided marble fireplace designed by Burns; a steel sculpture by Matt Devine adorns the mantel.

The refreshed breakfast nook sports a custom Stewart Furniture banquette, RH table, Kravet chairs and Visual Comfort lighting.

The new kitchen pairs flat-front Brookhaven cabinets and a custom, espresso-stained island. A brass hood by AK Metal Fabricators makes a statement above the Wolf range. Riloh globe pendants are filled with tangled black cords for an industrial touch.

The entertainment center welcomes guests into stylish gathering zones.

Wooden slats delineate the husband’s beloved espresso bar.

On one side, custom cabinetry is fronted by a zinc-topped bar; on the other, a custom banquette faces bistro tables and chairs.

The adjacent seating area centers on Lee Industries sofas and a bold painting by Ashley Andrews.

At the opposite end of the entertainment room, Vanguard bar stools and a high-top Fallen Lumber table with a live-edge oak top overlook the backyard through glass doors that fold back into the wall to create indoor-outdoor flow.

Hunt Slonem’s signature painted bunnies and bright-yellow Lee Industries poufs pop in the living room.

Party Time

A design team revamps a Bethesda abode with chic style and an eye on entertaining

In 2019, a couple with three children bought a dated, 1986 red-brick Colonial in Bethesda, lured by its two-acre lot and swimming pool. Their initial idea was to renovate the upstairs bathrooms and leave the main and lower levels largely intact. But as often happens, their growing wish list snowballed into a complete home renovation and expansion.

Hired for the job, architects Paul Davey and Rachel Drummond of Studio Z Design Concepts ultimately conceived an amenity-laden residential resort, complete with an outdoor tennis court and a catering kitchen. “You could comfortably entertain 100-plus people,” says Davey. “They really wanted a destination for family and friends—a great spot for a staycation.”

To accomplish their goals, the architects designed an addition on the left side of the home that nearly doubled the living space from 4,977 to 9,866 square feet—not counting a pair of new garages. Three ensuite children’s bedrooms occupy the second-floor addition, while the existing primary bedroom, also on the second floor, was upgraded with a new walk-in closet and a family lounge area; removing the original closet made a soaring, two-story foyer possible. Meanwhile, the finished basement more than doubled in size to accommodate a new wine cellar, tasting room, vintage arcade games and copious storage. An existing guest suite and gym, also on the lower level, were enlarged.

But the home’s crown jewel is the 20-by-55-foot main-level family entertainment center, which combines the original garage with the addition to create 1,100 square feet of open space. Among the highlights: a billiard lounge, an espresso bar, a media area and a high-top table with bar stools overlooking the patio.

When it came time to decorate, the wife, who left a career in fashion to raise her children, leaned toward “a transitional look with clean lines and no clutter,” she says. Her husband, a medical marketing entrepreneur, favored classic but modern design. The couple hired Erica Burns after seeing her work on Instagram.

“They had images from hotels they’d visited, so I knew they wanted a hospitality feel that leaned a bit contemporary,” Burns says. “But it was less about sleek lines and more about creating interesting, memorable spaces for family and friends.”

Against a backdrop of white walls and hardwood floors on the main level, the designer deftly layered in pale rugs, predominantly neutral furnishings and window treatments fabricated by Gretchen Everett. Punctuating these understated elements, big, bold paintings—“the jewelry of the house,” Burns declares—grace nearly every room, most of them sourced at Merritt Gallery.

Color also played a major role in the redesign. Swaths of deep blue crop up throughout, from Fromental wallpaper and Arabel draperies in the sophisticated dining room to a saturated blue hue covering nearly every surface of the husband’s library—a space he says drew high praise during covid-era meetings with Zoomers.

Pops of hot color and shiny metallics in varying scales also prevail. In the living room, three wedge-shaped Lee Industries poufs are covered in playful yellow while faux gold-leaf paint steals the show in the powder room as it seems to drip down from the ceiling to partially cover dark grass-cloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries.

The entertainment space presented its own challenge: How to make it feel cozy rather than like a massive rec room. Furthermore, the husband wanted a high-style bar, “not for drinking, but a Sunday-morning-sit-around coffee bar,” he says. “I also wanted a pool table. And I didn’t want any of this in the basement.”

Burns solved the coziness issue by creating intimate gathering areas within the space. Now brightened by large windows, the former garage shelters a custom Billiard Factory x-base pool table covered in blue felt. Burns designed a zinc-topped bar and ceiling-height cabinetry. Guests perch on leather Fabricut stools before repairing to the living room or to the patio where the husband and fellow chefs often fire up the gas grill and pizza oven.

Both the bar front and the niche facing it—sheltering a banquette and bistro tables—are clad in sleek, vertical wooden slats. In another seating area, a giant, wall-mounted TV is easily visible from plush gray sofas and blue chairs.

The other end of the room is anchored by a high-top table and chairs, perfect for homework, games or buffet-staging. A two-sided gas fireplace throws heat and light into the entertainment area as well as the adjoining family room, which the wife dubbed “the listening room” owing to a turntable atop a cabinet filled with vinyl discs.

Beside the family room, the once-all-white kitchen was updated by Division 12. The kitchen design firm reworked the layout, which incorporates new Brookhaven cabinets, while Burns weighed in on finishes. The Wolf range is topped by a gleaming statement piece: a custom brass hood by AK Metal Fabricators. The reimagined breakfast area, with views of the patio and gardens, now boasts a banquette clad in durable faux leather and a capacious table and chairs.

Throughout the 13-month project, Burns says, she focused on “bringing home that feeling you have when you’re on vacation.” Clearly, her efforts paid off.

Renovation Architecture: Paul Davey, AIA; Rachel Drummond, LEED GA, Studio Z Design Concepts, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland. Interior Design: Erica Burns, Erica Burns Interiors, Bethesda, Maryland. Renovation Contractor: O’Neill Development, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Kitchen Design: Division 12 Design, Glen Echo, Maryland. Landscape Design & Contractor: Chick Landscaping Inc., Burtonsville, Maryland.

 

RESOURCES

LIVING ROOM
Bench: arteriorshome.com. Art Above Bench: tombollesart.com through merrittgallery.com. Round Table: madegoods.com. Yellow Poufs: leeindustries.com. Pouf Fabric: pierrefrey.com. Rug: coecarpetandrug.com. Drapery Fabric: rogersandgoffigon.com. Drapery Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Gray Chairs: thayercoggin.com. Gray Chair Fabric: larsenfabrics.com. Art Above Sofa: huntslonem.com through merrittgallery.com. Floor Lamp: cb2.com. Sofa: arudin.com. Sofa Fabric: pierrefrey.com. Pillow Fabric: S. Harris through fabricut.com. Coffee Table: bakerfurniture.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

STAIR HALL
Art: Ashley Andrews through merrittgallery.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

LIBRARY
Millwork Design: ericaburns.com. Millwork Fabrication: division12design.com. Paint: Evening Dove by benjaminmoore.com. Desk: dwr.com. Sofa & Sofa Leather: hancockandmoore.com. Pillow Fabric: hollandandsherry.com. Coffee Table: theodorealexander.com. Rug: kaleen.com through coecarpetandrug.com. Craig Allen through merrittgallery.com. Chandelier: arteriorshome.com. Roman Shade Fabric & Fabrication: hartmannforbes.com.

DINING ROOM
Wall Covering: fromental.co.uk. Drapery Fabric: larsenfabrics.com; arabelfabrics.com. Drapery Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Chandelier: apparatusstudio.com. Table: danparishltd.com. Chairs: bakerfurniture.com. Chair Fabric: perennialsfabrics.com. Ceiling Wallpaper: kravet.com.

POWDER ROOM
Vanity: marblesystems.com. Plumbing Fixtures: waterworks.com. Wall Covering: phillipjeffries.com. Sconces: urbanelectric.com. Mirror: mirrorhome.com.

FAMILY ROOM
Chairs: kravet.com. Chair Fabric: cowtan.com. Rug: coecarpetandrug.com. Ottoman: Custom by michaeljamesfurniture.com. Ottoman Leather: hollandandsherry.com. Paint: Cornforth White by farrow-ball.com. Drapery Fabric & Trim: hollandandsherry.com. Drapery Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Chandelier: olystudio.com. Wall Sculpture: Matt Devine through merrittgallery.com. Drink Stands: madegoods.com.

BREAKFAST AREA
Banquette: Custom by stewartfurniture.com. Banquette Fabric: pindler.com. Table: rh.com. Chairs & Chair Fabric: kravet.com. Chandelier: visualcomfort.com. Wall Covering: christopherfarrcloth.com.

KITCHEN
Cabinets: division12design.com. Pendants: riloh.com. Hood: akmetalfab.com. Bar Stools: leeindustries.com. Countertops & Backsplash: fernandosmarbleshop.com. Range: subzero-wolf.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

 

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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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