Before: FoyerBefore: Foyer
When Andreas Charalambous, principal architect of Forma Design in Washington, D.C., talked to clients who wanted to re-do much of the interior of their Colonial-style builder house, he asked them if they had any special items they particularly loved. "We have a Matisse," they replied. "From the beginning, I knew we had to feature this," Charalambous says. "It was the starting point."
As a result, his firm tore out a library immediately next to the entry. "With the extra space we created a fantastic entry foyer that showcases the Matisse." The redesign of the rest of the home followed from this starting point.
Here's a close-up look of the before and after transformation.
The original foyer was very crammed. There was no space to "arrive" per se, and it gave a negative first impression as you walked in.
After: FoyerAfter: Foyer
With the once-adjacent library demolished, the space was given back to the foyer, creating a sense of arrival in the house. The Matisse is displayed in all its glory on a darker accent wall. The room now has strong clean lines — in the almost 90-degree angles of the table legs, the round curves of the two armchairs and the geometric lines of the rug — that make it both a showcase for and a complement to the art itself. The stair banister was given a makeover, too. The traditional wood picket railing was changed to a modern wood and steel design, matched to the lighter stained floors.
Before: Living RoomBefore: Living Room
Too much furniture and clutter, and a too-small opening between the living and dining areas created a very claustrophobic and uninviting space.
After: Living RoomAfter:Living Room
Although Charalambous removed all of the crown molding in the rest of the home to create a Zen feel, he left it in the formal entertaining areas of the home. A far more open feeling is created, though, with an enlarged opening to the dining room and tailored, modern furnishings and fixtures.
Before: BedroomBefore: Bedroom
A no-style fan and a funky space at the top of the left wall made this master bedroom drab and awkward.
After: BedroomAfter: Bedroom
Ambient lighting in the two niches in the wall and sconces above the night tables add interest. Modern furniture in wenge wood and a stainless-steel fan add a contemporary, timeless feel.
Before: KitchenBefore: Kitchen
The mostly white kitchen with crown molding screamed cookie cutter Colonial, right down to the standard-issue ceiling fan.
After: KitchenAfter: Kitchen
The dark custom wenge cabinets maximize the storage in this kitchen and add a contemporary feel, as do the custom olive concrete countertops, glass backsplash and stainless-steel appliances and fan. A big transformation from so-so to striking.