Designer and homeowner Lori Rossiter knew this Georgetown rowhouse had great bones and that a previous renovation would serve as the perfect jumping-off point for taking the house up another notch. She turned to McLean-based Intellectual Homes for a renovation that opened living spaces and melded modern features with classic Georgetown elegance.
Photographs by Yerko Pallominy.
The previous owner had designed a small bump-out with skylights off the back of the house. But the space was awkwardly narrow and blocked the views out to the garden—one of the coveted features of a rowhouse. A steel beam was added, and the wall separating the bump-out was removed, seamlessly integrating the two rooms into one larger, dramatic living space with skylights. This rear renovation also included plumbing and electrical for future plans for a first-floor kitchenette to supplement the main kitchen on the basement level. Two French doors replaced the sliding door, adding charm, and the shorter windows flanking the French doors were positioned to allow for a counter to fit perfectly below the sill.
Keeping with the overall goal of improving flow, a wall designating a cramped foyer at the front was removed, providing an unobstructed view from the front door through the living space to the back terrace and garden.
Additional drama was achieved by painting the living room floors—which were not original to the house—with Farrow & Ball floor paint in Strong White. A limited color palette of white and light gray (Farrow & Ball Cornforth White), accented with touches of black, helps to visually expand the narrow space. An armchair and white tufted Luccia couch by Cisco Brothers from Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town, Alexandria, create a comfortable seating area in front of the fireplace. A white marble bust from Matthews House and Garden in Upperville, Virginia, adorns a late-1800s zinc-top iron table from France; a French caned Louis XVI settee sits by the front windows. Original oil paintings can be found throughout the house, along with objects collected during years of travel.
The upstairs bathrooms were completely redone with finishes that are both streamlined and classic.
Both bathrooms have heated floors. Rather than tile, each floor is a white marble slab, which achieves a seamless, luxe look. The tile in the master bath is floor-to-ceiling Calcutta Gold marble; the fixtures are Rohl in polished nickel; the vanity is Ronbow.
In the guest bath, the tile is white Thassos marble in the shower and cappuccino granite on the countertop; the fixtures are Kohler in polished nickel; the vanity is Ronbow. Both baths are painted in Farrow and Ball’s French Gray.
The collaboration was such a success that when Rossiter—who’s now a design associate with Intellectual Homes—recently put her home on the market, it sold within weeks.