Home Transformation Northwest, DC | Home Design-Build
living room with lit fireplace

Smart Design Solutions Transform a DC Townhouse from Outdated to Ideal

As any house hunter has experienced, the perfect property can be an elusive thing. Such was the case for a Washington, DC couple who had recently relocated from California. Determined to find a perfect home in the Kalorama neighborhood in Northwest, they embarked on a lengthy house search and stumbled upon an outdated detached townhouse in their dream neighborhood. They saw what others had overlooked: an ugly duckling ripe for a makeover. Seeing unlimited potential in the large 1986 home, our clients readily accepted the remodeling challenge and enlisted the help of Wentworth’s design/build team to bring their new home to life.


Porcelain floor tile, custom backsplash, and granite countertops complement enameled and glazed cabinetry


Washington, DC Home Remodeling Project Details

The task of transforming an outdated home often involves a cohesive design scheme rather than a piecemeal approach. In this case, the  homeowners desired a more livable layout, one that was bright and modern.


To begin, our design team tackled the dysfunctional kitchen and adjacent formal dining room, suggesting a more open approach. Working closely with the homeowners, we created a design that transformed closed-off rooms into a seamless floor plan. It was decided to repurpose the formal dining room as an informal space for a family/breakfast room. The enormous living room now accommodates formal dining at one end overlooking a pool. By opening the wall that once divided the formal dining room from the kitchen, we allowed the kitchen to seamlessly flow into a breakfast room and family/TV room.

Kitchen and breakfast/family room are defined
by bespoke glass transom and pilasters; crown moulding
with Farrow & Ball paint highlights entire space

What was once an unlivable space is now airy, yet cozy—perfect for casual dinners and formal entertaining. Though the wall between the kitchen and breakfast room was removed, a bespoke glass transom gives each space visual definition in an inviting way.

When it came to the kitchen design, our team helped the homeowners dream big, ultimately deciding on a major overhaul. Because the house had originally been configured for a live-in staff, the layout was impractical and unnecessary for our clients’ more casual lifestyle. By rethinking the kitchen’s long, linear space, we developed a design scheme with five bays, each defined by a coffered beam ceiling. The bays are multifunctional, helping define kitchen workspaces and creating a more inviting, intimate room. We also incorporated modern necessities, such as:

  • A 36-inch wide cooktop
  • A 36-inch wide counter-depth refrigerator
  • A freestanding 8-foot island with bar sink
  • A dry bar complete with liquor storage

With these features, the new kitchen is both user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

The Perfect Space for Casual Living

Breakfast / family room accommodates table
and upholstered seating; door concealed in
paneled wall allows discreet access to powder room

To further accommodate our clients’ more casual lifestyle, our design team incorporated bar stool seating at the new kitchen island, as well as a table for four in the new breakfast room. The island, which looks furniture-like with its stained wood finish, can also be used as a wet bar and buffet for entertaining. The Wentworth team got creative with smaller design elements too. From custom appliance storage to built-in lighting, clever design features ensure maximum use of kitchen space. By salvaging one of the home’s original doors, our team relocated a double-acting door with tufted upholstery for soundproofing and safety. The new door creates an unobtrusive entry from the stair hall to the new kitchen.

From a Closet to a Bathroom

Our design team also dreamed big when it came to practical additions. Our clients felt that the home’s original dining room was a poor use of space and its large walk-in silver closet superfluous. By converting the closet into a discrete powder room with a custom walnut vanity and stone countertop vestibule off the new breakfast/family room, we were able to transform the space wisely. Hidden behind a secret door, the new powder room is a welcome addition to the home, one that manages to be both practical and glamorous.

Not all homeowners can recognize the potential in a gloomy fixer-upper. But when it came to their Washington, DC diamond in the rough, our clients saw possibility and then some. By enlisting the Wentworth design/build team and embracing thoughtful design choices, the family transformed their home from so-so to perfect. After a long house search and the resulting remodeling project, they are finally settled into the neighborhood and new home they love—and we were glad to help them in that journey.

In our online portfolio, you can see more pictures of this kitchen remodel.

Home Transformation in the DC Area

If you live in Maryland, Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia and are interested in remodeling or building an addition, Wentworth can help you achieve your dream home as well! We invite you to visit our portfolio and get in touch with us to schedule an initial consultation.

“ Wentworth Studios turned our boring box into a beautiful, functional living space. They listened to our needs and ideas and gave us graceful solutions that far exceeded our expectations. Wentworth's cost was told to me upfront and there was never a deviation from that cost. It is a joy every day to live within the practical and elegant spaces Wentworth designed and built for us. I would strongly recommend Wentworth. ”

Mary D., Alexandria, VA