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Home Wall Art A crumbling house in Chevy Chase, Md., is given new life

A crumbling house in Chevy Chase, Md., is given new life

A crumbling house in Chevy Chase, Md., is given new life
    After living in Chevy Chase, Maryland for eight years, Chris and Allison Marvin embarked on a refurbishment and created space for artwork. The design team also added a loggia to the back of the house, blending into the new windows in the dining room, creating a more user-friendly outdoor space.
After living in Chevy Chase, Maryland for eight years, Chris and Allison Marvin embarked on a refurbishment and created space for artwork. The design team also added a loggia to the back of the house, blending into the new windows in the dining room, creating a more user-friendly outdoor space. (Jennifer Hughes)

The integrated design space highlights the rich art collection.


Chris and Allison Marvin owned a home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I lived there with two children and needed more space. However, expansion can overcrowd a lot.

They wanted to stay in the neighborhood, but the house there sold as fast as it was actually listed. So Marvins decided on an unconventional approach to finding a new home.

They wrote about 80 letters to their neighbors and asked if they wanted to sell them. “We said,’If you’re thinking of selling now or in the future, we want to talk to you,'” she owns Siteline, an art consultancy business that ran out of her home. Allison (50) said.

Within 15 hours, I received 6 replies.

Marvins went through this process in 2012 and paid $ 2.95 million for a 3,600-square-foot, 6-bedroom, 5-bath, 3-story colonial built in 1957.

They lived in a new home for eight years, all the while thinking of a gentle renovation. They started an interview with the architect and, through a personal introduction, planned to talk with Catherine Fowlkes, the principal of Washington-based Fowlkes Studio.

“They had very sharp design eyes,” says Fowlkes. “I came up with the idea of ​​emphasizing their art collection.”

A fully utilized townhouse prepares to minimize its impact on the environment

Fowlkes says the couple wants to raise their home while improving their primary suite. The idea of ​​a screen-in pouch was also essential. At some point, Marvins didn’t intend to refurbish the original galley-style kitchen in the house. But things started to go wrong with it.

“The kitchen was a late add-on,” says software executive Chris, 47. “The cabinet was broken and the appliances were broken.” We really got to know the appliance repairers. “

Many home renovations begin by removing all the interior walls of the home and reconstructing the space, but that didn’t happen here. “We wanted to respect what the house was,” says Chris. “We weren’t trying to make it something that wasn’t.”

In addition to updating the kitchen and primary suite, the plan required all windows to be replaced. Increase the height of the downstairs doors to make the house more open and gallery-like. It was planned to remove the crown molding and the thick baseboard trim. The bay window overlooking the backyard has been modernized and becomes a square. A new primary suite has been placed on top of the back pouch, which needs to be demolished and rebuilt.

Before the demolition began, the family had to deal with a rich art collection of paintings, pottery, photographs and more. 140 boxes are full.

“I created a spreadsheet to keep track of everything and created a special box,” says Chris. Some items were kept, but most items lived with Allison’s parents during the refurbishment.

Demolition began in October 2020 and the family returned in June 2021, but items on the punch list were still punched. The process and appearance improvements continued until autumn.

We made the biggest purchase of our life, invisible

The front of the house looks the same as it was before the hammer started shaking. The front door leads to a corridor that runs across the width of the house, with the dining room directly in front of you. Around the left corner is a cozy study, with a powder room between the study and the kitchen. The living room is on the right. Most of the original hardwood floors downstairs survived and were patched as needed.

The elegant living room, which helped sell the house to the family when they first entered, required a little tweaking. The double-hung windows were replaced with casement windows with reduced mullion, and the side windows were slightly larger. The fireplace and eggbox-style built-in bookshelf survived, but the trim was reduced.

There are two entrances to the dining room, with enough wall space to accommodate a large work of art. The room runs along the back of the house. New steel and glass doors will be installed to provide access to the screened pouch.

The study is connected to the kitchen through a pocket door. The kitchen maintained its original galley-style layout, even though it was burned down. The upper cabinet used on the side of the stove has been removed along with the upper cabinet on the side wall. They were replaced with spare shelves to open up space. A custom narrow pull-out Spice Rack is hidden next to the stove. The kitchen windows have been updated and are larger in size.

The refrigerator is a sub-zero paneled to match the off-white paint finish of the cabinet supplied by the DC-based Ferris Custom Cabinetry. The door leading to the basement was disguised as a cabinet with matching finish and hardware. Both the stove and the stove are wolves. The counter top and back splash are Caesar stones.

Disassembly management to build a dream house

Items considered non-essential to cooking were driven to the floor-to-ceiling wall of the cabinet adjacent to the eat-in breakfast corner. The walls were once occupied by a large stone fireplace that restricted the flow to the back porch. It has been removed and new double steel and glass doors are now easily accessible.

The back pouch was an emphasis during the process. It’s my favorite family hangout, but I’ve been plagued by rotten floors and crumbling ceilings. It was also a logical place to support the upstairs bumpout needed to create space for the main suite. The original pouch was demolished down to the basement along with its foundation. The only covid-related delay in the project was to secure the steel beams needed to support the weight of what is happening upstairs.

The roof of the porch also gave the design team the opportunity to add a bit of contemporary influence by using industrial cement siding with slots finished in gray. A loggia was added to the back of the house on the basement floor, surrounding the rear patio and connecting to the windows of the new dining room.

There is a laundry room on the 2nd floor. Chris’s office with full bath. One of the children’s rooms with a full bath. Rooms; and the main suite. The primary bedroom overlooks the backyard and has a fireplace on the accented walls. There is a large walk-in closet with a built-in cabinet and drawers.

“Another living space”

The main bathroom is adjacent to the main bedroom and has large windows overlooking the backyard and golf course. The windows were partially shaded by a roof-mounted planter, which proved to be one of the most distinctive features of the house.

“We wanted it to feel like another living space. Another room with furniture,” says Allison.

Privacy concerns were checked by Chris, who confirmed that the shower had no line of sight. Feliz also performed a floating vanity on the main bath topped with Caesar Stone. Shower tiles are fixed in exchange for Venetian plaster and floors are treated with hardwood. On the third floor of the house is Alison’s home office, another children’s room and a full bathroom.

The biggest challenge the family faced during the trial was their own discerning eyes.

Spring home maintenance should include energy audits

“I was worried that things would come out the way we wanted,” says Allison. “We attach great importance to detail.”

Many of the homes remained untouched during the renovation, but the overhaul involved a significant budget and the homeowner did not reveal. Even if there was a delay during the rebuilding of the pouch, we were able to stay within 5% of the planned cost.

They worked the way they wanted to get the house they wanted, and the family went one step further. Economically, they feel close to equality. “Based on the deals taking place in and around the neighborhood, what we put in, we feel we can get it back, especially because the prices have skyrocketed,” says Chris.

Allison adds: … We are investing a lot, but the idea is that we will be here for a while. The village is a special place. “


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