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Renovation Project

Private Residence Renovation – Washington, DC

The 1950s ranch was converted into a two-story contemporary, overlooking Rock Creek Park on a quiet, shady street.  The addition to the house includes, on the first floor, a guest room, a fully renovated kitchen, three bathrooms, a master bedroom, and dining room, on the second floor, a library, half-bath, and art studio, and, in the basement, a playroom, garden, bath, and an office studio.  The addition’s natural cedar and stucco exterior on the first and second floors was given a lighter value in contrast with the natural forest.  The natural air from the clerestory, facing to east, creates an environmental light inside the house.

The plan left the three existing first floor-bedrooms as they were, but swept out interior partitions to open unobstructed sightlines between the kitchen and the living and dining areas.  To permit visual communication between floors, the project replaced an existing closed stairway with a wide, open-riser stair with an open steel railing for an owner with hearing impaired.

The main stairs, supported by metal channels and tubes, are placed in different directions between the three levels.  The oak handrails are placed on top of the metal pickets on side of the stairway.  A bridge with the same type of handrails and pickets as the stairway spans the two-story space between the kitchen and living areas, from the library to the art studio on the second floor.

Toward the same end, the second-floor library and a bridge from the library to the art studio enjoy complete visual access to the kitchen and living room. The art studio, through more private, has an interior window that opens – via a pivoting panel – to the kitchen below.  An abundance of windows, skylights and a wall of gleaming white ceramic tile in the kitchen all add to the wide-open effect.

Robert Nichols Design, Inc. won “2005 Watermark Awards” for Kitchen/Bath sponsored by Builder/Custom Home Magazines.