723 Mass Ave.
In Re-imagined this week, Lori Steenhoek helps re-envision a four-story Victorian row house at 723 Massachusetts Avenue NE on Capitol Hill (map). The property has some very cool existing features -- 10-foot ceilings, pocket doors, a turret, curved windows, and a carriage house/detached garage -- but could use a little updating to reach it’s full potential. Here are a few before-and-after images that show some of the things we’d update if we were the new owners.
Currently: Beautiful Wood Details, but Needs Focus
Re-imagined: A New Fireplace
The Living Room
In the living room, there are some great details in the built-in wooden shelves and the fireplace surround. However, it felt a little heavy, with a bit too much going on. Weʼd keep the side shelves intact, and try to make the fireplace feel a little more cohesive with a new stone veneer. Though the original wood trim was beautiful, it felt as if it was competing with the bookshelves, and the stone tiling inside it felt small and overpowered, like it was a design afterthought. Ideally, the fireplace trim could be salvaged and re-used for another project by donating it to a place like Community Forklift.
By creating a uniform center with the new fireplace, the wall feels a little more balanced and the room has a focal point. For the floors, weʼd make the two rooms flow together with the same wood flooring, and, as there are currently checkerboard floors throughout the house, weʼd opt to only keep them in one or two of the rooms to avoid overdoing it. Finally, the large space and high ceilings could benefit from more of a statement chandelier that doesnʼt feel quite as tiny in the space.
Currently: Spacious with Curved Windows
Re-imagined: A Seating Area in the Window
The bedroom is in pretty decent shape and could simply benefit from a fresh coat of paint and some refinished floors. A darker stain on the floors and a darker accent wall would help to make the space feel more intimate. We also decided to add a seating area in the curved window area to take advantage of the beautiful space.
Currently: Drab and Dated
Re-imagined: Updated With Hints of Color
The kitchen offers an opportunity to embrace the checkerboard floors, and the only thing we would do is a little bit of restoration to clean them up. Weʼd choose cabinets and countertops that are light and white tones to avoid competing with the floor, as well as new appliances. Along the right wall, weʼd add a seating area with some pops of bright color.
Currently: Small, In Need of a Facelift
Re-imagined: A Large Outdoor Living Space
The Rear Porch and Deck
The backyard is currently almost non-existent, due to the detached carriage house/garage directly behind the house that takes up much of the lot. Adding a deck on the roof of this structure would help maximize the outdoor space while providing a good place to grill and entertain. Weʼd fix up the wooden porch by adding a new canopy structure overhead, and remove the existing railings for access to the extended deck.
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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/re-imagined_a_victorian_on_the_hill/6292
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