Design & Home  |  Real Estate

Space of the Week: A 1905 Tudor Gets a Southern California-Inspired Makeover

The homeowners wanted to bring "ease and light" into their traditional Cleveland Park abode.

Photographs by Jenn Verrier. Styling by Charlotte Safavi.

This week’s space: A six-bedroom Tudor Revival in Cleveland Park whose new owners wanted it to feel warm and livable.

The designer: Hannah Blumenthal, of New York’s Hannah Blumenthal Design.

Who lives in the home: A young family with two sons, ages two and seven. The husband, Dan Yates, is a tech entrepreneur, and the wife, Tobie Whitman, is the founder and owner of ​Little Acre Flowers​ (which supplied and arranged all the flowers in these photos).

Scope of the project: Blumenthal came up with an overall design scheme and wound up redecorating nearly every room in the three-story home. “We were able to integrate some of their existing pieces into the furniture plan, though most items were specified for this house,” she says.

What the clients wanted: To respect the integrity of the architecture and original finishes, while giving the place a fresh, comfortable, eclectic update, says Blumenthal. “They both grew up in Southern California and wanted to bring a sense of ease and light to the more traditional feel of the house.” While Whitman loves bold colors and patterns, Yates was focused on choosing sustainable, high-quality pieces.

How she did it: Blumenthal mixed modern, vintage, and hand-made pieces throughout the rooms, and strategically layered in texture and color. “Pastels, grays, and a blue ceiling were used to create a calming effect in the master bedroom. We used jewel tones in the family room, and warmer, darker colors in the formal living room,” she says. Eco-conscious pieces include a rug made from recycled Sari silk, and the stairwell light fixture, which uses LED technology that gives off the soft glow more typical of incandescent bulbs. The homeowners collected much of the house’s artwork during their international travels, though some was created by California and DC artists.

Her biggest challenge: Since Blumenthal lives in New York, she says the distance was the toughest part. “It’s much harder to design a large home when you can’t pop over regularly to look at a fabric or wallpaper sample.”

Her favorite parts: “The first is the powder room, for its unexpectedly lively wallpaper,” says Blumenthal. Other things she especially loves include the dining room, the entry hall, and the reading chair in the master bedroom.

Looking to Buy? Get Our Real Estate Newsletter

Looking to buy? Get a weekly list of the DC area’s best houses on the market.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She has recently written about the decades-old slaying of a young mother in rural Virginia, and the brazen con of a local real-estate scion. Kashino lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.