Year built: 1978
Team: Jim Rill, architect; Lauren Liess, interior designer; Woodhaven Contractors, builder
Timeline: One and a half years
When empty-nesters Art and Leslie Richer bought their house on Reston’s Lake Thoreau, it almost seemed to be hiding from its waterfront location. “You had all these little rooms with no view,” says Art. That floor plan wound up undergoing a major reconfiguration; upstairs and downstairs additions totaled about 300 square feet.
The Richers chose architect Jim Rill because his portfolio included projects with the modern but warm vibe they loved. He referred them to a contractor. The couple didn’t plan on involving an interior designer, but once the drawings were done and they started considering materials, they realized they needed help. Lauren Liess developed the industrial, schoolhouse-inspired aesthetic they were envisioning but couldn’t quite articulate.
Though the Richers spent nearly twice their initial budget, it was mostly by choice—higher-end finishes, adding luxuries such as a heated bathroom floor—and not due to unforeseen problems. They say it was all worth it. “Our pet name for the house is ‘the retreat,’ ” says Art. “It is incredibly relaxing.”
This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Washingtonian.