Home & Style

Look Inside a Virginia “Frankenhouse” That Features Organic Shapes and Mobile Art

Fine details like crocodile print in the bathroom make this home a showstopper.

Photograph by featuring Hubbardton Forge light fixtures and Designmaster counter stools in Kravet Couture fabric.

Laura Hildebrandt, the principal designer of the Vienna, Virginia-based design firm Interiors by LH, was hired to renovate a 6,000-square-foot property on five acres by homeowners who recently moved from Silicon Valley to Great Falls. As a cheeky nod to Frankenstein’s monster, the homeowners called the property “the Frankenhouse”—“because it’s been added on to so many times by all the different previous homeowners it was really a mishmash of styles,” she says. “So I really wanted to make it all cohesive and honor the new homeowner’s aesthetic.”

We asked Hildebrandt to walk us through the home:

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring a FJ Kashanian rug and Benjamin Moore paint in the shade Gray Huskie.
Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring a reupholstered Ethan Allen chair.

How did you balance masculinity and femininity in the home?

The homeowner’s art collection is massive and it’s also both feminine and masculine. She has a pink chair in her office and it was really easy to say “Okay, this is her”—she really wanted pink. And it just went with the artwork and the vase and there was pink in their home. So it was really easy to kind of pull on that thread, so to speak.

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring Onetti Verde pillows from Romo Fabric.

Did you have any design considerations for incorporating geometrical shapes into the home? There a lot of beautiful circles throughout.

That was actually intentional on my part. Because if you remove all of that it’s all very square and hard and very rectangular. The paintings are all rectangular. So I was trying to add another dimension and element to everything to keep the movement throughout the home, so your eye just naturally dances.

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring Omexco Vogue wallpaper in offset rose gold.
Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring an Actalan rose gold and white enameled sink by Thompson Traders.

What was your vision for the powder room?

From the very beginning, the discussion was “how do we make this a showstopper?” And originally we had come up with a darker alligator to put on the walls. And then as we were moving forward through this design process, both of us, Tracy and I, we got to a point where we’re like, “we don’t love that. It’s not working.” And so I found this beautiful handmade sink by Thompson Traders and I texted her and I said, “I think we should design the bathroom around the sink.” And she was fully in and so that’s where it took off from. We didn’t want it to be precious, but we wanted it to be beautiful and still have a bit of an edge to it. So we kept the crocodile. We had a custom vanity cabinet handmade with crocodile finish on it. We added accents of black in the lighting above the sink and the knobs on the vanity as well.

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring lighting from Troy Lighting Origami.

Because of the beautiful lush surroundings, as a designer, were you trying to subtly incorporate a botanical theme with textures and prints?

There was no botanical theme. [The homeowners] are massive art collectors. So I had to think about the gardens and their art collection. And I didn’t want the furnishings to really overpower any of that. I wanted to feel like it belonged and enhanced the gardens and enhanced the art. I didn’t want the furniture to be the star of the show. I wanted it to be a complement to what was already there.

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring artwork by Hiromi Ashlin.

Do you have a favorite art piece in the home?

I do. It’s the blue Hiromi over the green sofa. It’s actually origami. They’re teeny tiny origami pieces, and we found it at the Broadway Gallery when we were working on the project together.

Photograph by Christy Kosnic Photography, featuring a found object ouija board statue from Jan Quinn.

Please fill in the blank: All great fireplaces must have ___________.

Okay, all great fireplaces must have a statement about them. Their fireplaces have these great massive rocks. So that’s quite the statement. Or like, beautiful marble. Even if it just has like a big chunky wood mantle. It needs something that’s eye-catching that says, “Here I am. I am the star of the room.”