Home & Design

Perfect Setting - An award-winning renovation transformed a staid, builder-grade home in the rolling hills of Waterford, Virginia, into a clean, modern farmhouse that takes full advantage of the stunning scenery from an inviting new suite of outdoor entertainment spaces.

The owners, formerly in the tech industry, purchased the 7,200-square-foot, 1990s Colonial-style abode for its five-acre site, which boasts vistas of both adjacent vineyards and distant mountain peaks. But after 15 years in residence, they were eager to update the exterior, expand the interior spaces to maximize the views and open the home to the surrounding landscape.

“The house was designed so that the view from the kitchen was blocked by a mudroom in back,” recounts architect Thomas Flach. “The basement wasn’t finished, and the house didn’t connect to the yard.” Flach designed the remodel with Mark Kohler, founder of KohlMark Group, which encompasses both an architecture firm and a building company; they collaborated with colleague Wade Greene on the construction process.

The architects reinvigorated the dated house with a two-story rear addition that extends existing spaces on the first and second floors, optimizes the views and creates multiple points of access to new outdoor living areas. The offending mudroom was relocated to the addition and enlarged to accommodate a special shower for the owners’ beloved German shepherds. The dining area was expanded with a window-lined bay; glass doors nearby open to a large deck complete with a built-in grill. In the adjoining great room, the architects traded out traditional, small-paned windows that partially obscured mountain views for oversized panes with slim, black frames that better capture the scenery. The kitchen and owners’ bath have been updated and the basement finished in style.

On the second floor, the owners’ suite was revamped and enlarged; in addition to a luxe walk-in closet and bath, it now boasts an airy private sunroom with three walls of windows embracing panoramic views. “The sunroom is a spectacular space to watch the sun set and have a glass of wine,” Flach comments. “It’s an oasis that was one of the best surprises of the project.”

The finished lower level beckons, with a home office, billiards area, media room, sauna and wet bar. Glass doors open to a covered patio where a two-sided fireplace also serves the lower-level interior spaces.

To achieve the farmhouse look the owners envisioned, the design team reclad the house in wide board-and-batten siding, replaced traditional windows and shutters with black-framed Windsor windows and broadened the stone foundation walls. In lieu of traditional garage doors, black-painted barn doors add charm to the side façade. A small front portico was replaced with a wrap-around porch protected by a standing-seam metal roof that creates space to welcome guests.

While the open site provides the home’s spectacular prospect, it also exposes it to harsh wind and weather, which had taken a toll over the years. As part of the reconfiguration, the great room walls were reinforced with steel and insulation and mechanical systems were upgraded. The renovation eventually touched every room in the house.

The farmhouse feel carries through the interior with the use of wide-plank white oak flooring, dark and rustic wood accents and natural materials such as river stone in the bathrooms. NVS Kitchen & Bath’s Rich Perkins rejuvenated the existing kitchen with black accents in cabinetry, lighting and a statement-making range that play off the black architectural windows.

The team worked closely with James R. Peter of Colao & Peter Luxury Outdoor Living, who designed an award-winning landscape with terraced stone walkways leading to an elegant pool, spa and pergola. “The client was changing a very traditional house into a modern farmhouse,” notes Peter, who composed the outdoor elements to complement the renovation’s clean lines. “We wanted to reflect the design change in the landscape—to stay true to ‘less is more’ by matching materials and keeping material choices simple.”
The landscape plan provided the owners with a private getaway among the vineyards. The first-floor deck and patio lead out to thick travertine walkways and steps down to the spa, pool and pergola. The pool area is faced with travertine, while the same Western Maryland stone that clads the home’s foundation also forms the retaining walls. Dark-granite accents pick up the dark hue on the window frames.

The outdoor entertainment areas were sited on an axis with the main back gable of the house. “We wanted to create unique spaces that the family can use at different times of the year,” Peter explains. The spa was set close in for easy access, with the pool sited at a lower elevation so as not to detract from the view when not in use.

The extensive renovation was completed just months before the pandemic shut down most daily activities, forcing people to stay close to home. The owners “couldn’t have planned it more perfectly, not knowing what was coming,” Mark Kohler observes. “It’s the perfect retreat. They have it all in one spot.”

 

Perfect Setting - DRAWING BOARD

What are factors to consider when planning a home remodel?
Tom Flach: Needs change as families enter different stages of life. A playroom for toddlers will quickly become obsolete if a long-term plan is not incorporated. Aging in place and accommodating mobility issues should also be considered.

How have renovations changed during the pandemic?
Tom Flach: With parents and their children working and going to school in their homes, the open-concept floor plan has presented a challenge. A lot of projects these days involve creative solutions to provide flexible private spaces.
Mark Kohler: Many subcontractors do not want to work inside with other subs, which has slowed the process. And we’re finding that inflation is significantly raising job costs.

What unknown issues often arise during a renovation?
Wade Greene: Wood rot and termite damage are probably the most common issues, along with lack of insulation or insulation that was poorly installed. Improving energy efficiency is a challenge and is not always cost-effective.

 

Renovation Architecture: Thomas Flach, AIA, KohlMark Flach Architects; Mark A. Kohler, AIA; KohlMark Group Architects + Builders, Burke, Virginia. Renovation Contractor: Wade Greene, KohlMark Builders, Burke, Virginia. Kitchen Design: Rich Perkins, NVS Kitchen & Bath, Manassas, Virginia. Landscape Architect: James R. Peter, RLA, ASLA, Colao & Peter Luxury Outdoor Living, Sterling, Virginia.

After nearly 30 years in a traditional Northwest DC home, Barbara and Scott Blake Harris yearned for a more modern, open living experience. “We were very happy with the traditional look,” recalls Barbara Harris, a former lawyer, “and then one day we weren’t.”

The couple’s tastes evolved to the point where they had to make a major change. “We became interested in modern architecture, modern furniture, and in clean, bright, open spaces,” Scott, the chairman of a law firm, explains.

They considered buying a modern house or vacant lot, but didn’t find anything appealing enough to induce them to move; moreover, though they wanted a different type of house, they loved the established neighborhood off Massachusetts Avenue where they had raised their children and made close friends.

The idea of renovating their existing home began to take form when Scott bought a two-hour consultation with modernist architect Travis Price as an anniversary present for Barbara, who had discovered one of his projects while walking near their home. Collaborating with the Harrises, Price was able to transform their classic brick residence into a cutting-edge structure of glass and steel—open, environmentally sustainable and functional.

“Outside, the existing house was stately, inside it was a labyrinth. In a way, we reversed and harmonized it,” explains Price. “There’s a constant play of light, of indoor to outdoor, in the
new space.”

About 70 percent of the house was demolished, stripped down to the exterior brick walls and foundation; building materials were recycled through Second Chance, Inc., in Baltimore. A new room was added to the basement and the attic was expanded into a third-floor suite.

The renovated house has about 10 percent more square footage than the original, with a setback and proportions that are in line with those of surrounding homes. The façades and interior spaces look and feel profoundly different from their neighbors, however. Price discarded traditional exterior columns, dormers and ornamentation, cladding the red-brick walls in perforated, stainless-steel panels; inserted more and wider window openings; and added multiple outdoor decks, accessed through large sliding-glass doors. A glass walkway juts out from a second-floor deck situated above the front porch, emphasizing the structure’s bold planes.

Price selected perforated exterior steel panels for sustainability and durability, as well as for their luminous quality. The renovation is fully passive solar. In an unexpected nod to the past, some of the original brick walls and traditional windows were preserved in parts of the house, including in the first-floor pantry. A section of brick wall in the basement was enclosed in glass, like a piece of art.

“The whole idea is that there is the future and there is the past and they are talking to each other,” Price observes.

Inside, the traditional layout featuring multiple rooms has been replaced by an open floor plan. A pivoting door of laminated maple with a distinctive perforated design greets visitors, opening into a living room with a two-story ceiling and sightlines that extend through to the dining area and the back of the house; a second-floor bedroom with clear glass walls is also visible. Translucent glass walkways, placed on a north-south axis through the center of the home, provide openness and light, which, says Price, allows the house “to act as a sundial” as the shadows move left to right during the day.

The light shines into the kitchen, with its large box bay window extending into the backyard. Wide white cabinets are topped with counters of honed granite. A spacious pantry is separated from the dining room by a row of glass cabinets. The pantry, along with other areas of the house, has a glass floor panel that brings light to the basement.

The first-floor bathroom, entered through a special door, is characterized by a standing sink and walls of steel and frosted glass. Other interior bathrooms are tiled in honed travertine.

Maple floors and birch plywood ceilings unify the spaces, adding warmth. To enable the couple to age in place, Price incorporated an elevator and a kitchenette in the basement for live-in help. The owners bought modern furniture but kept Oriental rugs and art they’d collected over the years.

The house incorporates a number of the Harrises’ design ideas. For example, near the end of the renovation they chanced to climb a ladder to the third-floor roof, now a flat, accessible surface due to the new construction. There, they discovered spectacular views of National Cathedral and other nearby landmarks. They asked Price to design a large roof deck, accessed via an exterior spiral staircase painted in bold teal.

The Harrises are comfortable in their now-modern abode. Abundant natural light and an open floor plan make the house feel larger than it is, while the integration of interior and exterior spaces makes it more functional.

“We find it easier and more enjoyable to entertain with the open floor plan, and we use more of the house more often,” Scott reflects. “We find that we use the outside more often too.”

Renovation Architecture: Travis Price, FAIA, Travis Price Architects, Washington, DC. Builder: Price-Brake Construction, Inc., Washington, DC. 

Built in the 1930s, a modest A-frame house in Arlington was just the right size for Darren Robbins, a principal at a tech firm, who moved into the two-bedroom, one-bath residence in 2011 with two of his children and a dog ( they have always kept their children & dog under rules, boundaries & limitation of the house). After he and wife Halee married in 2014, however, it quickly became clear that the 1,500-square-foot house couldn’t accommodate a larger family. There was so little storage space that Halee had to share a closet with the kids, and only a couple of people could fit into the cramped kitchen at once.

“The original house was tiny…you walked in the front door and were practically at the back door,” said Michael Winn of Winn Design+Build, whose firm was eventually hired to renovate and enlarge the abode. “For their growing family, it wasn’t going to get them there.”

The Robbinses had considered buying another house in their Arlington neighborhood but ultimately decided to embark on a major renovation that would more than double the size of their existing home and fulfill the key items on their wish list: a generous kitchen, four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, a walk-out basement and a new garage. The project took on more urgency when Halee discovered she was expecting their first child.

“Moving [the kids] into separate rooms was imperative,” observes Darren. “They get along much better now. And with an almost-teenage girl and a teenage boy, the new bathroom space has definitely helped to keep the peace.”

Winn’s team faced challenges in turning the small, dark house into an open, updated home. The large addition had to be carefully scaled so as not to overwhelm the existing house and neighboring homes. “There are some builders out there who will put up as large a home on the lot as they can. We try to be mindful of the neighborhood and the massing when we build,” Winn says. Furthermore, the lot was narrow and deep, with a significant change in grade from the front to the back.

The solution was to place the bulk of the three-story addition at the back of the house. Winn architect Amy Finch turned the sloped site to advantage by incorporating an above-ground basement into the design; this enabled her to enlarge the existing second floor while maintaining the home’s original roof profile. To further minimize its street presence, the two-story garage addition was set slightly back.

Finch freshened the exterior by covering its Tudor-style detailing with shingles and cladding the new construction in clapboard siding. Complementary shades of blue paint and crisp, white trim blend the original brick façade with the addition.

Inside, a reconfigured floor plan improved the flow between rooms. From the first-floor entry, a hallway leads to the back of the house through the former kitchen, providing sight lines and sense of place. The dining room now occupies the original living room, which has been relocated to the addition in the back, and a new powder room lies off the hallway. A spacious kitchen spills into the living-room addition, creating an open-plan space that easily accommodates family and friends.  “We’re in the kitchen and living room most of the time,” Halee notes. “Even when we have guests, we tend to just stay here.”

Interior designer Jeanne Griffin made the inside spaces feel cohesive by painting the main rooms in shades of a dove, blue and gray, and staining the oak floors throughout a rich custom brown. “Part of the design direction came from the clients’ love of the beach, water, and references to calm,” Griffin explains.

Griffin was originally hired to consult on interior finishes, but the Robbinses were so happy with the results that they hired her to furnish the home too. The rooms, built around large, neutral furnishings, receive pops of color through accessories and artwork. “It’s casual enough for a family but sophisticated enough for entertaining,” Griffin says.

In the dining room, a contemporary chandelier hangs above a rustic wood table. The clean-lined, eat-in kitchen combines cherry cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless-steel appliances. The shiny glass kitchen backsplash tile complements the matte finish on the honed-ceramic-tile fireplace surround in the adjoining living room.

On the second floor, the existing layout was reconfigured to encompass a third bedroom and three baths. A large bath over the garage addition is distinguished by a cathedral ceiling. A hallway now leads to the master suite, housed in the addition; it encompasses a generous walk-in closet and a full bath embellished with an intricate mosaic-tile pattern in the shower enclosure.

Downstairs, a recreation room leads to a full bath, a gym and a kitchenette with a wet bar—where root beer was on tap for a recent kids’ party. The basement space opens to the backyard, where a swimming pool is next on the list of requirements for this growing family.

The Robbins are happy in their renovated abode, which won a Contractor of the Year award in 2016. Since the renovation, the family also welcomed one more addition to their home when Halee and Darren’s second baby was born.

DRAWING BOARD with Michael Winn

How do you modernize a traditional exterior so it still fits its neighborhood?
I retain the original character by paying attention to the existing form, scale, and exterior finishes.

How do you help clients prioritize their wish lists?
We ask them to compile wish lists and compare. We organize the agreed-on items into buckets: “must have,” “nice to have” and “if money grew on trees.”  We also offer professional guidance (ROI considerations, feasibility, etc.) and personal opinions.

What tricks do you use to gain storage space during a remodel?
We identify underutilized spaces (e.g. under a stairway or in a knee-wall) and design things to perform more than one function, like hidden drawers in stair risers. In an addition, trusses can also provide space.

What is your material-selection process?
We ask clients to share images they like on Houzz or Pinterest, then complete a questionnaire. We interview them, then produce design boards based on their preferences and budget, or schedule shopping trips to local showrooms.

Renovation Architecture: Amy Finch, AIA; Kitchen & Bath Design: Jennifer Hall; Contracting: Michael Winn, Winn Design+Build, Falls Church, Virginia. Interior Design: Jeanne Griffin, Jeanne Griffin Interior Design Studio, Alexandria, Virginia.

A homeowner with two children, downsizing from a large Potomac colonial, loved the smaller scale and urban feel of the 1920s Sears bungalow kit house she discovered in Chevy Chase—despite the fact that it needed extensive remodeling. She purchased the home and embarked on a renovation that would preserve its character while revitalizing it with a more open floor plan and light, elegant interiors. A happy collaboration with architect Richard Leggin and interior designer Penny Mickum resulted in a house that is more spacious, yet retains its street-friendly proportions.

“It’s the kind of house people want these days—a not-so-big house with quality space,” says Leggin, who at their first meeting gave his client a gift: a copy of the original ad for the Sears “Maywood” home extolling the “simplicity and worthfulness” of its design.

Leggin’s renovation plan preserved the front façade of the house, with its inset entryway, wooden shingles, and overhanging cottage-style roofline. The foyer, living room and dining room were also left intact, and a side porch that had been enclosed by a previous owner became a home office. The major change was a two-story addition across the back of the house that tripled the size of the original galley kitchen and added a family room, breakfast room, porch and second-floor master bedroom suite. A drive-in garage was also added on the lower level.

Leggin notes that the original house had “lots of cottage-style charm, both inside and out,” including its cozy entry foyer with a paneled stair wrapping a built-in bench, and a well-sized living room with a stone fireplace and a  bank of five windows across the front, typical of the Arts and Crafts style. “The new interior rooms reflect all of that—scale, details, plus enhanced circulation and flow through the house, and from the house to the garden,” Leggin says. While the addition substantially increased the home’s square footage, it was carefully balanced to complement the existing structure and allow for a fair-sized yard and garden.

In her interior plan, Mickum worked closely with her client, who wanted the décor to evoke the feeling of summers on Nantucket combined with the lines and lightness of Swedish Country design. After an estate sale disposed of most of her traditional furniture, she was ready to start anew. She and Mickum honed in on a palette of soft blues, greens, grays, and beiges, selecting some key new pieces—including a painting of hydrangeas that is a focal point in the living room, and a custom carpet in the dining room in swirls of blue.

Light walls, white interior shutters, cabinets and built-ins throughout the first floor provide continuity and contrast with the warm-brown wood floors, stained a custom color mixed by Mickum. The recurring design elements enhance the renovation’s more open floor plan, with its easier connections between rooms and from the interior to the yard and garden.

The complementary design carries through to the second floor. To make the hallway feel more spacious and open, Leggin expanded the landing at the top of the stairs. The generous master bedroom suite, which overlooks the yard, encompasses a vestibule, a walk-in closet, and a large bath. Mickum painted the upstairs bedrooms in different shades of blue and continued the white shutters, cabinetry and marble finishes from downstairs.

“I wanted each of the rooms to have its own character while maintaining continuity throughout the house,” says the designer, who explains that her goal was to create “a feeling of serenity and a flow.”

The décor feels carefully pulled together, yet personal. Seashells, a favorite of the owner, are displayed throughout the house. An antique clock from her previous abode, repainted to complement the Swedish-style furniture, occupies the home office. The iron bedstead in her teenage daughter’s room is a piece purchased years ago. The Sears Maywood ad, now framed, hangs in a first-floor hallway.

The owner is thrilled with the results of the renovation. “I use every room, which wasn’t the case in my previous house,” she says.  And her children’s friends love the right-sized home, which feels open in the summer and cozy in the winter—perfect for every occasion.

Writer Sue Kirchhoff is based in Silver Spring. Timothy Bell is a New York-based photographer. 

ARCHITECTURE: RICHARD LEGGIN, AIA, Richard Leggin Architects, PC, Glen Echo, Maryland. INTERIOR DESIGN: PENELOPE MICKUM, Penelope Mickum Interior Design, Bethesda, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: Utica Builders, Sterling, Virginia.

Writer's Refuge A Virginia-based screenwriter needed a quiet space where he could work at home with a minimum of loving distractions from his three young daughters. He found refuge—and more—in a striking, wood-and-glass studio set into his tree-lined backyard.

Architect Bulent Baydar of Harrison Design and builder Glenn Harris of Harris Custom Homes worked closely with the owner to craft a workplace in the woods that deftly mixes natural materials with modern design and engineering. The cedar cladding of the freestanding studio blends with the surrounding landscape, while behind it, an intricate steel frame supports the structure’s three windowed walls—including NanaWall systems on two corners that fold like fans to open the interior to the outdoors. The sharply angled shed roof conceals a spacious outdoor deck on the back of the structure that can accommodate up to 10 people. Baydar cut the deck into the roof, leaving three-foot walls on each side, to preserve the building’s dynamic lines and provide extra privacy.

The studio is sited on the suburban Arlington lot so that it veers away from the main house. “I wanted grass and wood and to see as much of the yard as I could,” says the owner.  The building’s location and design serve to screen the sunlight, and maintain a comfortable climate within the workspace. “Even in winter, there is never a time when the sun is glaring down on me when I’m trying to write,” the owner says. “We relied on the way [the studio]
is placed and the canopy of the trees.”

Inside, the cedar ceiling rises to 14 feet at the front of the studio, allowing for a second row of angled windows. The flooring is made of weathered planks of reclaimed whiskey-barrel oak. The original saw marks are still visible on some of the boards. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases in a deep gunmetal hue line the wall behind the writer’s desk. The color, carried through to the supports between the main windows, echoes the shaded landscape while heightening the contrast with the outdoors. Two of the bookcases are actually hinged doors that pivot on a system of rollers, opening to a half bath on one side of the main room and storage space on the other.

“The pivoting bookshelves are something our firm has done a couple of times in the past, typically when a client would like to hide a space,” says Baydar. In this case, the technique helps to maximize the shelving, since the owner has plenty of books and only one wall that isn’t glass. Disguising the doors also serves to maintain the lines of the bookcases and emphasize the uncluttered feel of the main room.

The owner acted as his own interior designer, choosing classic modern furniture and lighting and lining the bookshelves with mementoes of his family and work. Though the spare lines of his retreat contrast with the more traditional design of the main house, the structures complement each other due to the use of related materials, including wood siding and stone. Setting the studio on a back corner of the lot increases its separation from the main house and surrounding neighborhood. The building, which can be glimpsed in profile from the nearby street, is accessible from a side path around the house or via a shared stone patio behind the main residence.

Although designed as a writer’s retreat, the studio doubles as a backyard entertainment space for the owner.  “It’s a refuge to work, but it blends into the backyard and patio when we have people over,” says the father of three. He marvels that once the project was complete, his girls somehow knew without being told not to interrupt him there.

Writer Sue Kirchhoff is based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Gordon Beall is a Bethesda, Maryland, photographer.

ARCHITECTURE: BULENT BAYDAR, AIA, Harrison Design, Washington, DC. BUILDER: GLENN HARRIS, Harris Custom Homes, Falls Church, Virginia.

Backyard Oasis A Bethesda couple wanted to create a relaxed outdoor space where they could spend time with their preteen daughters and where the kids could entertain their friends. They tapped Anthony Wilder Design/Build to transform a tight lot into an expansive backyard retreat centered on a pool and a year-round pool house.

The owners and designers swapped ideas as they developed an overall plan that would maximize the site while remaining respectful of the style and scale of the existing home and surrounding neighborhood. The resulting design met those goals through its use of complementary materials and colors and the careful placement of the main structures. A decision was made to orient the pool to the angles of the lot rather than to the back of the main house.

“The lot is triangular and slopes at the back,” explains Anthony Wilder. “But we were able to make it look like a big square.”

Centered on an axis with the rectangular pool, the pool house’s symmetrical façade and gabled elevation underscore its orientation to the pool and to an outdoor patio at the other end of the lot. Stepped walkways and patios provide easy access to the pool area, fire pit, hot tub and seating areas from both the ground floor and basement levels of the main house. Wilder’s team took advantage of the steep lot to build a basement beneath the pool house that accommodates mechanical and plumbing systems as well as storage for swim gear and sporting equipment. This, in turn, freed up more space for the pool and outdoor entertainment areas.

The owners wanted the pool house to be big enough to serve as a backyard getaway for family sleep-outs and gatherings with friends but didn’t want it to overwhelm the lot. “Pool houses are difficult,” Wilder observes. “You have to compact more into them. They’re small, but you still need everything you do in a big house.”

Project architect Marian Vaias created an efficient plan that met the family’s wish list. Double glass doors open from the pool area into a comfortable sitting area and kitchenette. Half-round windows under the front and back eaves wash the space with light. To the right of the sitting area, which accommodates a full-sized sleep sofa, a pocket door leads to a powder room, changing room and large shower area framed by frosted glass.

The owners initially wanted an outdoor shower that would lend the space a beach-house vibe. However, privacy on the suburban lot was a concern, so the Wilder team solved the issue with a glass shower door that opens directly to an exterior deck, but is shielded by high panels. A separate, stainless-steel shower affixed to the front of the house allows swimmers to rinse off from the salt-water pool without having to come inside.

Project interior designer Shannon Kadwell and decorator Karen Kalicka used a blue, white and cream color scheme to give the pool-house interior an open, airy feel. The white-painted beadboard ceiling and kitchen cabinets help open up space, as do light-scaled chairs that can easily be moved within the sitting area.

Creating storage solutions in the small space was a priority, so the kitchenette is designed for efficiency; cubbies in the changing room hold wet bathing suits and an ottoman in the sitting room stores pillows and blankets. “They wanted to [accommodate] two children and two adults comfortably and still store everything in the pool house so they weren’t going back and forth to the house to get pillows and bedding,” explains Kalicka.

Interior finishes are rich and durable. Indoor/outdoor fabrics were used and the pistachio-stained wood floor in the sitting room has a commercial no-slip finish, while the honed tile-and-stone flooring in the shower room was chosen with both beauty and safety in mind.

The team selected durable, low-maintenance materials for the exterior surfaces. Custom-colored concrete aggregate around the pool reduces heat and slippage. Extensive stonework—including flagstone coping around the pool and natural stone on the base of the pool house—echoes stonework on the main house. Large boulders were joined together to create an outdoor bench near the fire pit. An extensive lighting plan includes night lighting in the pool; uplighting in trees; color-changing lights in the hot tub; and step lights. An outdoor sound system was also installed. The overall plan preserved part of the existing landscaping while adding new features and ensuring space for the family dog and a pet turtle that lives in the backyard.

The family uses the pool house year-round, sometimes holding movie nights there when they want to get away without leaving home. In fact, the emphasis on kids and family goes so far as to include traditional screen doors for the owners, who wanted to hear that familiar summertime slam as children roamed in and out of their new backyard retreat.

Writer Sue Kirchhoff is based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Morgan Howarth is a photographer in Arlington, Virginia.

RENOVATION DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: ANTHONY WILDER, principal and designer; MARIAN VAIAS, AIA, project architect; SHANNON KADWELL, CKD, CBD, Allied Member ASID, project interior designer; KAREN KALICKA, interior decorator; ROB FARRIE, CRPM, CLC, project manager, Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Bethesda, Maryland.

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