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Great Room Remodel in Washington, DC: Pt 1

A Cleveland Park Townhouse Gets a Great Room Makeover

Often a “great room” is not a great room until it has been remodeled with excellent design. Such was the case for this Cleveland Park, Washington, DC 1990s townhouse. The new homeowners called in our design/build team to redesign their space, a 17 x 22 foot great room.

Great Room Remodel

Their goals were to improve the old wet bar alcove, and give the room a sophisticated design makeover. The homeowners—lovers of design, and serial remodelers—were not sure how to fix the problem but did have a few clear desires. They requested that the space have a “wow” factor and a hint of a posh hotel lobby, and wanted to replace the old tacky French doors. They also wanted to cover the towering brick fireplace with marble. With this in mind, the homeowner sought our design and construction expertise to solve the problems. As part of the overall design effort, we created furniture plans for the optimal layout.

The large scale and generous proportions of the great room required that each wall have something of aesthetic value. The four walls of the great room have a hierarchy of focal points, and all work together in their aesthetic.

Great Room Remodel: Project Details

Rear Wall Treatment

The 21 foot tall room overlooked the wooded ravine. It had three pairs of French doors, each with transoms, across the back wall of the townhouse. Higher up in the wall were three arched top windows, somewhat disassociated with the French doors and transoms. Our goal was to make sense of this combination of windows and doors so this important window wall could provide the drama and aesthetic impact it deserved.

New 8 feet tall French doors were specified to provide an elegant appearance and eliminate the transoms cluttering the room’s rear wall. The new French doors were specified with simple horizontal mullions to minimize the vertical nature of the 21 foot tall room, and provide a bit of detail without looking busy with too many window panes. Elegant dark black hardware was chosen to harmonize with a new chandelier, iron railings, and accessories in the space.

The arched-top windows looked unrelated to the French doors as they floated in the wall above. The doors were aesthetically integrated with the windows by new molding that linked the French doors and windows. After a site investigation, the design/build team determined the old arched-top windows did not perfectly align with the new French doors below. To solve this problem, we installed an unobtrusive sub-trim which allowed for a continuous primary trim and an illusion of alignment. The blank portion of wall between the top of the new French doors and the bottom of the old arched-top windows received new panel molding and was painted the trim color. The aesthetic assemblage of the three doors, panels and windows—painted the same color—gives the room a new coherence.

Stay tuned—part 2 of this award-winning great room remodel spotlight is coming next!

“ Wow! I am incredibly proud of you and the kitchen. Congratulations! Yay! ”

Nina, Southwest Washington, DC
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