Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood

  • June 17th 2016

by Lori Steenhoek

Welcome to Property Week, a week-long UrbanTurf series devoted to intriguing residential properties in the DC area and beyond. From a DC version of Wrigleyville to a Trinidad apartment building that will only offer five-bedroom apartments, this week is all about cool residences both near and far. Enjoy.

As Property Week comes to an end, UrbanTurf is returning with Re-Imagined, a series where local architectural visualization firm Capital Pixel helps "re-imagine" what a DC area home in need of renovations could look like one day. This week, Capital Pixel's Lori Steenhoek goes to work on a semi-detached home in Brightwood that recently went under contract.

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 1
Currently: In Need of a Refresh

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 2
Re-imagined: Calm and Inviting

The Living Room

The living room has some great features, but it definitely needs some help, starting with a fresh coat of paint. We’d start by highlighting the gorgeous wall trim details in a glossy white, then paint the inner panels a neutral gray to create some contrast. We would refinish the existing hardwood floors to make them shine. The old stone fireplace and mirror look dated, so we would update them with a modern, glass-enclosed fireplace and a white marble hearth. Finally, we’d add a chandelier as the central fixture of the room and add modern furniture arranged about the fireplace.

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 3
Currently: An Outdated Mess

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 4
Re-imagined: Sleek and Modern with a Bright Pop of Color


The kitchen calls for a complete rehabbing of the finishes, fixtures, and appliances. We replaced the old wood cabinetry with some sleeker, slab-style panels in a dark gray color on the bottom and white on top. The backsplash is a 3-D, rectilinear-patterned tile to give some texture to the walls, and replaces the previous checkerboard look. The linoleum floors need to go — we’ve replaced them with a modern polished concrete floor in a dark color. Add some pops of yellow paint to the walls and we’ve got a much brighter and cheery space in which to prepare meals.

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 5
Currently: An Unfinished Mess

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 6
Re-imagined: Neutral and Relaxing

The Bedroom

With the exposed ceiling beams, the bedroom looks as if a renovation once began but was never completed. We’d try to keep as many of the existing details (trim, wood doors, wood floors) as possible, and simply fix and update them with a sanding and new coat of paint. We’d finish off the ceiling to hide the beams and wires above, and paint the walls a neutral gray color to create a relaxing feel in the room. The niche on the far wall is a perfect place for a dresser and funky light fixture.

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 7
Currently: Overgrown, but has Lots of Potential

Re-Imagining a Semi-Detached Home in Brightwood: Figure 8
Re-imagined: A Green Retreat with Guesthouse

The Backyard

With a little cleanup and pruning, this spacious backyard has so much potential. We’d update the brick garage structure to become a guesthouse, with a patio and seating area adjacent to it. Some hardscaped pavers and steps would create a direct path from the main house through the yard, and some built-in wood planters make a great divider to create distinct spaces in a long and narrow yard. We’d preserve the large tree in the middle of the space, and create another distinct seating area closer to the house, with some softer areas of plantings and flowers around it.

Lori Steenhoek is a Digital Artist with over eight years of experience creating architectural renderings. She is the founder of Capital Pixel, a DC-based rendering company, and has her undergraduate degree in Architecture and a Masters in Animation and Visual Effects. She can be reached at lori@capitalpixel.com.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/re-imagined_semi-detached_in_brightwood/11370.

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