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 8 many years just before embarking on a renovation and generating a space for their artwork. The design group also included a loggia on the rear of the residence to mix in the new home windows in the eating room although generating more usable outdoor house. (Jennifer Hughes)

Style-integrated areas emphasize an intensive artwork selection


Chris and Allison Marvin owned a residence in Chevy Chase, Md., the place they lived with their two kids and needed a lot more space. But an growth could have overcrowded the large amount.

They wanted to keep in the community, but homes there nearly marketed as speedily as they were stated. So the Marvins decided on an unconventional approach to finding a new residence.

They wrote about 80 letters to their neighbors and questioned if they desired to provide. “We explained, ‘If you are wondering about offering now or down the street, we’d appreciate to communicate to you,’ ” said Allison, 50, who owns Sightline, an artwork consultancy company she runs out of her household.

Within 15 several hours they found the house they finished up shopping for and experienced 6 more replies.

The Marvins arrived by means of the method in 2012 shelling out extra than $2 million for a 3,600-square-foot, six-bed room, 5-tub, three-story Colonial that was built in 1957.

They lived in their new residence for eight yrs, all the although pondering a light renovation. They began interviewing architects, and by means of a private referral scheduled a consult with Catherine and VW Fowlkes, both equally principals at Fowlkes Studio primarily based in Washington.

“They had a quite eager style and design eye,” Fowlkes states. “The thought of highlighting their artwork collection arrived up.”

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Fowlkes suggests the couple preferred to elevate the home whilst strengthening the primary suite. The concept of the screened-in porch was integral as perfectly. At a person position, the Marvins weren’t likely to renovate the home’s first galley-model kitchen. But factors begun to go improper with it.

“The kitchen was a late incorporate-on,” says Chris, 47, a software package government. “A cabinet broke, and the appliances had been breaking down. “We got to know the equipment mend person truly effectively.”

Many house renovations start by removing all the home’s inside partitions and reconfiguring the place, but that did not occur here. “We required to respect the dwelling for what it was,” Chris states. “We weren’t trying to make it a little something that it was not.”

Apart from updating the kitchen and most important suite, the designs known as for changing all the home windows. Door heights downstairs would be lifted to give the dwelling a more open, gallery-like feel. Crown molding and chunky baseboard trim was scheduled for removing. A bay window on the lookout out on the backyard would develop into modernized and squared off. A new principal suite was laid out earlier mentioned the back again porch, which would have to be demolished and rebuilt.

Prior to demolition could start out, the family required to offer with their in depth artwork assortment, which features paintings, ceramics and images. It included more than 100 bins.

“I designed a spreadsheet to continue to keep monitor of almost everything, and we had specialty crates built,” Chris suggests. Some of the merchandise went into storage, but most of it lived with Allison’s dad and mom in the course of the renovation.

The demolition commenced October 2020 and the family members moved back again in June 2021, though the punch list objects had been nonetheless staying punched. That procedure and exterior improvements retained going till drop.

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The front of the residence seems to be similar to what it did in advance of the hammers began swinging. The entrance door opens into a hallway jogging the width of the property with the eating space straight in advance. There is a cozy den all around the corner to the left, and a powder area is tucked amongst the den and kitchen. The dwelling home is to the right. Most of the first hardwood floors on the reduced amount survived and have been patched where essential.

The gracious dwelling space that aided offer the residence to the relatives the 1st time they walked in only essential a several tweaks. The double-hung windows were being changed with casement models with lowered mullions, and the facet windows bought a little bit much larger. The hearth and egg crate-design and style constructed-in bookshelves survived, although the trim was scaled back.

There are two entrances to the dining area, leaving expanses of wall house large ample for bigger parts of artwork. The home operates along the back again of the household. A new steel and glass doorway was set up and features access to the screened-in porch.

The den connects to the kitchen via a pocket doorway. The kitchen area, inspite of staying gutted, taken care of its primary galley-design and style arrangement. Upper cabinets that employed to flank the stove were removed, together with upper cupboards on the side wall. They were replaced by a spare volume of shelving to open up up the place. A personalized, narrow, pullout spice rack hides in plain sight upcoming to the stove. The kitchen home windows were updated and elevated in dimension.

The refrigerator is a Sub-Zero paneled to match the off-white painted complete of the cabinets, which ended up provided by D.C.-dependent Ferris Tailor made Cabinetry. Doorways that lead to the basement were being disguised as cabinets with a matching finish and components. The range and stove are both Wolf the countertop and backsplash are Caesarstone.

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Items deemed nonessential to cooking were relegated to a flooring-to-ceiling wall of cabinets that borders an consume-in breakfast nook. A huge stone fire made use of to sit on the back wall that constricted the move to the back porch. It was taken out and a new double set of metal and glass doors delivers simple access.

The back again porch was a place of emphasis throughout the procedure. It is a preferred family hangout but was struggling from a rotting ground and crumbling ceiling. It was also the sensible position to guidance a 2nd-flooring bump-out that was wanted to develop area for the major suite. The initial porch was demolished together with its foundation all the way down to the basement stage. The only covid-associated hold off on the project was securing the steel beams essential to have the excess weight of what was going on on the 2nd flooring.

The porch roof also gave the design workforce a prospect to insert a bit of fashionable affect through the use of slotted, industrial-on the lookout cementitious siding concluded in gray. A loggia was added to the back again of the property at the basement stage to assist body the rear patio and tie in the new dining room home windows.

The 2nd flooring consists of a laundry place Chris’s business, with a total bathtub a person of the kid’s rooms with a total bathtub and the key suite. The major bed room appears to be like out on to the backyard and incorporates a fire established into an accent wall. There is a big stroll-in closet with crafted-in cupboards and drawers.

‘Another living space’

The main toilet is adjacent to the major bed room and options a significant window overlooking the backyard and golfing system beyond. The window is partly shaded by roof-mounted planters and turned out to be one particular of the home’s most distinct capabilities.

“We wanted it to truly feel like an additional residing place. Yet another home with home furnishings,” Allison says.

Privacy issues ended up checked out by Chris, who verified there have been no sightlines into the shower. Ferris also did the floating vainness in the principal bathtub, which is topped with Caesarstone. Tile in the shower was nixed in trade for Venetian plaster, and the flooring is addressed hardwood. The home’s 3rd ground holds Allison’s household business, an additional child’s home and a comprehensive bathroom.

The most important obstacle the household faced through the ordeal was their personal discerning eyes.

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“I was worried about building factors appear out the way we wanted them to,” suggests Allison. “We’re extremely depth-oriented.”

Even though much of the residence remained untouched through the renovation, the overhaul came with a substantial spending budget that the home owners declined to expose. Even with the delays incurred when rebuilding the porch, they ended up equipped to continue to be in just 5 percent of their planned expenditures.

To get the property they required, operating the way they preferred, the family went the extra mile. Financially they truly feel like they are shut to even. “Based on the neighborhood and the transactions that happen all-around here, what we place in, we sense like we can get it back again out. Particularly as the rates have jumped,” Chris says.

Allison adds, “This is the home we want to be in for the extended haul. … We’re creating a large investment, but the strategy is we’ll be right here for a although. The village is a distinctive position.”

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