A crumbling house in Chevy Chase, Md., is given new life

 Chris and Allison Marvin lived in their Chevy Chase, Md., home for eight years before embarking on a renovation and creating a space for their artwork. The design team also added a loggia on the rear of the house to blend in the new windows in the dining room while creating more usable outdoor space.
Chris and Allison Marvin lived in their Chevy Chase, Md., residence for eight decades just before embarking on a renovation and making a place for their artwork. The design and style staff also added a loggia on the rear of the household to blend in the new home windows in the dining room although generating more usable out of doors house. (Jennifer Hughes)

Structure-integrated areas spotlight an considerable art assortment


Chris and Allison Marvin owned a house in Chevy Chase, Md., the place they lived with their two young children and needed much more room. But an growth could have overcrowded the large amount.

They required to remain in the neighborhood, but properties there practically offered as promptly as they were being shown. So the Marvins made a decision on an unconventional solution to obtaining a new household.

They wrote about 80 letters to their neighbors and requested if they preferred to promote. “We claimed, ‘If you’re imagining about selling now or down the road, we’d enjoy to speak to you,’ ” said Allison, 50, who owns Sightline, an art consultancy business enterprise she operates out of her house.

Within 15 hours they found the dwelling they ended up purchasing and experienced six extra replies.

The Marvins came by way of the course of action in 2012 paying out a lot more than $2 million for a 3,600-square-foot, 6-bed room, five-bathtub, three-tale Colonial that was built in 1957.

They lived in their new residence for 8 a long time, all the when pondering a light renovation. They started interviewing architects, and through a personal referral scheduled a seek the advice of with Catherine and VW Fowlkes, each principals at Fowlkes Studio based in Washington.

“They had a incredibly keen style and design eye,” Fowlkes says. “The notion of highlighting their artwork collection came up.”

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Fowlkes suggests the pair wished to elevate the dwelling even though improving upon the most important suite. The idea of the screened-in porch was integral as properly. At a single stage, the Marvins weren’t going to renovate the home’s first galley-design and style kitchen. But items begun to go incorrect with it.

“The kitchen was a late insert-on,” states Chris, 47, a software package government. “A cupboard broke, and the appliances were breaking down. “We received to know the appliance fix person genuinely perfectly.”

Several home renovations start out by taking away all the home’s inside walls and reconfiguring the area, but that didn’t transpire right here. “We needed to respect the residence for what it was,” Chris states. “We weren’t hoping to make it a little something that it wasn’t.”

Besides updating the kitchen and most important suite, the designs referred to as for replacing all the home windows. Doorway heights downstairs would be lifted to give the house a a lot more open, gallery-like really feel. Crown molding and chunky baseboard trim was scheduled for removal. A bay window searching out on the backyard would grow to be modernized and squared off. A new key suite was laid out above the back again porch, which would have to be demolished and rebuilt.

In advance of demolition could start out, the spouse and children needed to offer with their in depth art collection, which includes paintings, ceramics and images. It integrated additional than 100 containers.

“I produced a spreadsheet to continue to keep keep track of of every little thing, and we experienced specialty crates developed,” Chris states. Some of the goods went into storage, but most of it lived with Allison’s mom and dad through the renovation.

The demolition commenced Oct 2020 and the loved ones moved back in June 2021, while the punch list products were being still staying punched. That process and exterior advancements held heading right until fall.

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The front of the property seems to be similar to what it did before the hammers started swinging. The front door opens into a hallway running the width of the household with the eating place straight in advance. There is a cozy den about the corner to the still left, and a powder place is tucked between the den and kitchen area. The living room is to the ideal. Most of the initial hardwood floors on the reduced stage survived and ended up patched in which essential.

The gracious dwelling home that served promote the residence to the family members the to start with time they walked in only required a couple tweaks. The double-hung windows were changed with casement units with reduced mullions, and the facet home windows bought a little bit bigger. The fire and egg crate-design and style built-in bookshelves survived, whilst the trim was scaled back.

There are two entrances to the eating area, leaving expanses of wall space huge plenty of for bigger items of artwork. The place runs along the back of the property. A new metal and glass doorway was put in and presents accessibility to the screened-in porch.

The den connects to the kitchen area by way of a pocket door. The kitchen, despite being gutted, maintained its initial galley-design and style arrangement. Higher cabinets that employed to flank the stove were being taken off, along with higher cupboards on the side wall. They were replaced by a spare amount of money of shelving to open up up the area. A customized, slim, pullout spice rack hides in basic sight upcoming to the stove. The kitchen home windows were being current and amplified in sizing.

The fridge is a Sub-Zero paneled to match the off-white painted end of the cupboards, which have been provided by D.C.-dependent Ferris Custom Cabinetry. Doors that lead to the basement were being disguised as cabinets with a matching end and components. The range and stove are both equally Wolf the countertop and backsplash are Caesarstone.

Taking care of a teardown to establish a desire household

Items deemed nonessential to cooking were being relegated to a flooring-to-ceiling wall of cupboards that borders an take in-in breakfast nook. A huge stone fireplace utilized to sit on the again wall that constricted the flow to the back again porch. It was taken off and a new double set of steel and glass doors presents easy access.

The back porch was a issue of emphasis throughout the process. It’s a preferred household hangout but was suffering from a rotting floor and crumbling ceiling. It was also the logical place to aid a next-ground bump-out that was required to develop space for the principal suite. The authentic porch was demolished along with its basis all the way down to the basement stage. The only covid-relevant hold off on the venture was securing the steel beams essential to have the weight of what was happening on the 2nd ground.

The porch roof also gave the layout workforce a possibility to add a bit of contemporary affect via the use of slotted, industrial-wanting cementitious siding concluded in grey. A loggia was extra to the back again of the property at the basement degree to aid frame the rear patio and tie in the new eating room windows.

The next floor incorporates a laundry space Chris’s office environment, with a full bath just one of the kid’s rooms with a total bath and the primary suite. The key bed room seems to be out onto the backyard and consists of a hearth established into an accent wall. There’s a large stroll-in closet with designed-in cupboards and drawers.

‘Another residing space’

The principal lavatory is adjacent to the key bed room and characteristics a massive window overlooking the yard and golfing program past. The window is partially shaded by roof-mounted planters and turned out to be one particular of the home’s most distinct capabilities.

“We needed it to really feel like one more living house. One more room with furniture,” Allison claims.

Privateness fears had been checked out by Chris, who verified there have been no sightlines into the shower. Ferris also did the floating self-importance in the key tub, which is topped with Caesarstone. Tile in the shower was nixed in exchange for Venetian plaster, and the ground is taken care of hardwood. The home’s third floor holds Allison’s household workplace, one more child’s space and a total lavatory.

The most significant challenge the family faced during the ordeal was their own discerning eyes.

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“I was fearful about producing matters appear out the way we wanted them to,” says Allison. “We’re extremely element-oriented.”

While a great deal of the dwelling remained untouched in the course of the renovation, the overhaul arrived with a sizeable budget that the home owners declined to expose. Even with the delays incurred when rebuilding the porch, they have been able to remain inside 5 per cent of their planned expenses.

To get the household they desired, working the way they needed, the loved ones went the added mile. Monetarily they come to feel like they are near to even. “Based on the community and the transactions that come about all around in this article, what we place in, we really feel like we can get it back out. Specially as the rates have jumped,” Chris states.

Allison provides, “This is the residence we want to be in for the lengthy haul. … We’re earning a large investment, but the notion is we’ll be here for a even though. The village is a distinctive put.”