Too Close for Comfort in D.C.

A row house gets a spiffy new front porch, kitchen and master bedroom.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThis front porch is rundown and drab — not a very welcoming first impression of the home.
Homeowners Barbara, Rubin and Rubin Jr. are quickly outgrowing their Washington D.C. row house. It was the perfect starter home for the couple, but now that they are no longer starting and they’re off and running with a young child, the family needs a bigger place. The home should easily appeal potential buyers with its historic location, four-season porch and beautiful hardwood floors.

Real estate expert Terry Haas stops by to provide her expertise on what makes a quick and profitable sale. She loves the neighborhood, the street and the home’s exterior. To enter the house, Haas has to walk through an all-season porch. She thinks it is a shame that it will be the buyer’s first impression — the clutter and lack of style is a turn off. In the kitchen, Haas jokes that 1985 called and they want their kitchen back. The dated wallpaper and rough-looking floor are in sore need of an update. The master bedroom has Haas stunned, all the walls are covered in dark fabric and the closet is barely accessible.

Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Haas’s comments and has a $2,000 design plan that will soon have the homeowners in a bigger and family-friendly home .

Step 1: Jazz up the front porch so it makes a sparkling first impression.
Step 2: Bring the kitchen into the 21st century with new floors, walls and window treatments.

Step 3: Undrape the master bedroom walls and brighten the space up.

Contractor Simon Ley and carpenter Lynn Kegan have all the right tools and talent to get the job done.