A Chevy Chase Abode With Glamorous Modern Touches

Details

Neutral Transitional Entry Hallway

Graham placed Allan Knight’s large scale Ribbon Cross table in the center of the main floor hallway for a bold silhouette. Robert Abbey ceiling fixtures add sparkle; the textured Lizard wall upholstery is from Innovations in New York.

Blue Eclectic Living Room

In the living room, Graham created a comfortable yet sophisticated seating area with two Cooper sofas—covered with Powell & Bonnell velvet and Rogers & Goffigon linen—from her LG Place line. The drapery fabric is from Great Plains and a rug in a neutral hue grounds the vignette.

Transitional White Kitchen with Gray Backsplash

Graham renovated the kitchen with clean-lined cabinetry, glass and nickel hardware from Restoration Hardware and crown molding to match the rest of the house. The backsplash tile is by Waterworks; the matching pendants are by Sandy Chapman for Visual Comfort.

Blue Contemporary Family Room with Eclectic Accent Pillows

The couple’s curved sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams anchors the family room, where Graham brought in the clients’ Hudson rocking chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco and paired Saarinen low tables with floor cushions from Design Within Reach.

Blue Eclectic Living Room Vignette

A Ralph Lauren Home chair with a turned-wood frame is upholstered in a deep red velvet as a counterpoint to the cool blue walls of the living room. The Alabaster Concentric Circles lamp is from The Thomas Pheasant Collection for Baker.

Transitional Neutral Dining Room

Draperies made with Donghia fabric and trim from Yoma Textiles in New York provide a rich backdrop in the dining room, where Graham surrounded the clients’ Ralph Lauren Home table with two styles of chairs, both from The Thomas Pheasant Collection for Baker.

Contemporary Dining Room Accents

A decorative sunburst mirror lends contemporary edge to a corner of the dining room.

Transitional White Kitchen with Gray Backsplash

Graham renovated the kitchen with clean-lined cabinetry, glass and nickel hardware from Restoration Hardware and crown molding to match the rest of the house. The backsplash tile is by Waterworks; the matching pendants are by Sandy Chapman for Visual Comfort.

Blue Contemporary Family Room with Eclectic Accent Pillows

The couple’s curved sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams anchors the family room, where Graham brought in the clients’ Hudson rocking chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco and paired Saarinen low tables with floor cushions from Design Within Reach.

Black Contemporary Family Room Oversize Chair

An oversize chair offers a cozy gathering spot in the family room. Works by Eva Zeisel and KleinReid are paired with ones inspired by shapes found in the collaborators’ work. Graham had these abstract designs laser-cut and framed to add to the vignette.

Black Transitional Bedroom Sitting Area

An Osborne & Little wallcovering encircles the master bedroom in dramatic fashion. Graham designed the draperies with fabrics from Yoma Textiles and Donghia and placed a Diamond bench from Plantation Design in San Francisco at the foot of the bed. The lacquered table in the sitting area is from Niba Home in Miami.

“We felt as if we had bitten off more than we could chew,” says a young wife and mom who recently purchased a home in Chevy Chase. “We put a contract on the house the day before I gave birth to our second son, so we were completely overwhelmed and began to feel buyer’s remorse.”

Although the owner and her husband weren’t convinced that they wanted to stay in the residence, their attraction to its simple detailing and spacious floor plan never wavered. “It was almost a blank canvas,” she says of the brand-new developer-built structure. “It had a great sense of flow and a layout that really worked for our family. But then we got in and recognized the difficult task of turning that blank canvas into something that we felt was ours.”

To help them meet that challenge, the couple turned to designer Lori Graham. “Lori had designed a friend’s house,” says the wife, “and it was modern and glamorous, but still grounded in traditional pieces. I knew she’d be able to give our space some personality.”

Graham, the creative force behind the custom furniture line LG Place and the newly opened D.C. shop Showroom 1412, describes her style as “an eclectic chic mix of old and new, masculine and feminine,” and she approached the project as she always does, by starting with the architecture.

Because the house didn’t need any significant structural changes—it featured simple Craftsman-like moldings combined with tall ceilings and large-scale rooms—she was able to focus on the finishes. “They wanted a bit more drama and contrast,” says Graham. “The house had a very monochromatic feel, and they wanted more of an urban metropolitan look.” Graham remedied the situation by putting a dark stain on the wood floors and refinishing the moldings with high-gloss paint.

As she selected furnishings, Graham kept the contrast going. In the living room, the chocolate velvet covering two sofas from her LG Place furniture line sets off walls previously coated with a light but saturated blue tone. “With the blue as pronounced as it is,” says Graham, “you need some strong warmer elements.” A chair from Ralph Lauren Home, upholstered in deep red velvet, does the trick, while a two-tiered coffee table pulls the arrangement together.

Tall, French-style pocket doors made of wood and glass slide away to connect the living room and the dining room, where Graham kept visual continuity by choosing a creamy colored rug with blue accents. Since the two adjoining spaces are used primarily for entertaining, “we were able to let things be grander in scale,” says Graham. A large drum-shade pendant designed by Michael Vanderbyl for Boyd Lighting hangs above the clients’ own dining table, which the designer encircled with an unexpected mix of wood-frame and upholstered chairs.

In the master bedroom, Graham repurposed more of the clients’ existing furniture, which they had purchased for their previous house not long before moving. She arranged their sofa, rug and coffee table to form a stylish sitting area on one side of the room and placed the bed beneath a dramatic Murano chandelier in the center. “This room feels like the presidential suite at a boutique hotel in Tribeca,” says Graham, who ramped up the glamour by wrapping the room with a boldly patterned metallic-and-flocked wallpaper from Osborne & Little.

“The whole house is a study in contrasts,” says Graham, “and the family room is the most fun and casual space. This is where we could really beef up the juxtapositions in a way that might be a bit more trendy than you’d want in the formal spaces.” To keep the room engaging for the whole family, she placed colorful graphic pillows on a curved sofa and a playful round chair. Low Saarinen tables, one for each of the boys, are paired with floor cushions, and brightly colored trunks from CB2 keep toys smartly accessible.

Although originally unsure how they felt about their new abode, the couple know now that they made the right decision. “The design completely changed our view of the house,” says the wife. “It’s warm, comfortable and stylish, and it really feels like us. Now, we enjoy living here. We’re staying.”

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