Restoring a House in the City

  • Dec 28th 2009

by Tim Brown

Restoring a House in the City: Figure 1
The Former Embassy of Oman

For those of you searching for a late holiday gift, Restoring a House in The City by Ingrid Abramovitch may fit the bill for someone interested in home renovation or design. The book covers twenty-one home renovations in ten different U.S. cities, including Washington, DC.

Restoring a House in The City highlights the DC home of interior designer Darryl Carter. In 1999, Carter, whose work has been featured in magazines such as Metropolitan Home and Elle Décor, won a bidding war for the former embassy of Oman. Soon thereafter, he set out to make the 9,500 square-foot property his own.

At first, Carter was disappointed by the lack of original detail offered in the interior. Original floors and mantels were gone, and records of the building’s architect could not be found. He began enhancing the layout of the five-level row house by removing walls to allow light to flood through the front and back windows. He also carved out the formal and informal spaces with accessories such as a Victorian glass chandelier that now hangs in the dining room, and he designed the study to resemble a classic Washington library, placing tufted sofas against the wainscoted walls and painting the entire room white.

Restoring a House in the City: Figure 2
Kitchen in Darryl Carter’s home. Courtesy of Elle Décor

Many of Carter’s tongue-in-cheek design elements can be seen throughout the house: a leather look-alike wing chair in his reading room (which is actually vinyl, allowing his large dogs to lounge on them), and a pair of rarely-used vintage bathtubs in his master bedroom that, reportedly, come from the former Russian embassy (Carter is admittedly a “shower” person).

In addition to highlighting Carter’s renovation stories, Restoring a House in the City is loaded with practical information for anyone interested in restoring a home — from researching real estate to hiring a contractor to detailing the best methods for reviving woodwork, windows, and other period elements.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/restoring_a_house_in_the_city/1632.

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