Tour a Bold, 1900s-Era Row Home in Washington D.C.

Dramatic colors, luxe textures, striking pieces — this house from HGTV Magazine does not hold back.

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March 16, 2020

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Photo By: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

The Home

People usually don’t want drama in their lives — unless their home calls for it. That’s how Sapna Mehta and Andy Grimmig felt about the row house they bought in Washington, D.C. Built in 1911, it had glorious 10-foot-high ceilings, but a lot of the place’s ornate detail had been stripped away. Similarly sad: “Some parts were stuck in the ’70s, like wood-panel walls and linoleum countertops,” says Sapna. Guided by architect Carmel Greer, they reinvented the house, knocking down walls for a better flow and putting in high-impact elements like beaux-arts-style marble mantels, extra-thick crown molding painted glossy black and reclaimed heart pine herringbone floors.

The Family

With two kids, livability was key, which meant lots of open space and soft (stainproof!) fabrics. The result? A home that’s comfy and all sorts of chic. As Sapna says, “ ‘Family-friendly’ doesn’t have to mean ‘boring.’ ” Here, Sapna and Andy sit with Livia, 1, and Rumi, 4, in the family's living room.

Living Room

Don’t let the fanciness fool you: Kids regularly flop onto the custom navy velvet sofa and caramel-color leather chairs from DwellStudio and chill on the suzani rug by Timothy Paul. A large distressed mirror from ABC Carpet & Home rounds out the room’s mix of modern and vintage.

Living Room

Supersized built-ins are as ornamental as they are functional. “I love that our art objects and books have room to breathe,” says Sapna. A quest for a showstopping mantel for the new gas fireplace led her to this black marble one from MantelCraft. What’s missing: chairs and a coffee table — more room for the kids to cartwheel!

Breakfast Nook

Downing cereal never gets old when you’re seated in a plush velvet banquette with a back that’s nearly 3 feet tall. The color is picked up in the prints (from Minted, left, and by Karel Appel, right) and the gilded interior of the Tom Dixon pendant. Since it doubles as a spot for crafting — the banquette drawers hold supplies — “we didn’t want a precious table,” says Sapna. This find, from Rove Concepts, has a walnut veneer top. (Wall color: Steel Wool by Benjamin Moore)

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Kitchen

Black cabinets and white marble countertops bring the sleek, and they’re warmed up by rustic open shelves and chocolate leather counter stools from ABC Carpet & Home. This kitchen has lots of room for prep — that island stretches 11 feet long. “I tend to glare at the water stains on it,” says Sapna, “but then again, we really wanted a visually arresting look.”

Master Bedroom

Sapna and Andy wanted a soothing space, which explains the blue walls. But it just wouldn’t be their style if it looked tame, which explains the mahogany four-poster Noir bed. Certain elements are purposefully off-kilter, like the chandelier by Park Studio LA that hovers above the foot of the bed rather than the middle and a small rug on just one side. A pair of funky brass sconces by OneFortyThree extend from the wall.

Guest Bathroom

“It’s easier to make a daring choice when you’re not seeing it every day,” says Sapna of the energetic Moroccan-inspired pattern (Fez tiles by Granada Tile). Architect Carmel suggested taking the 8-inch-by-8-inch concrete squares all the way up to the shower ceiling.

Rumi’s Bedroom

Imaginations run wild here courtesy of a theatrical canopy (by Numero 74), quirky wallpaper by artist Florence Balducci and ample floor space for making masterpieces. Rumi requested a trundle bed (this one’s by Oeuf) for sleepovers with her little sis.

Livia’s Bedroom

It’s a space fit for a mischievous toddler. “Livia’s always playing hide-and-seek behind the glider,” says Sapna. The kid-size Panton chairs are basically indestructible. A grid of animal portraits by Sharon Montrose gives order to a room that’s often anything but; the Normann Copenhagen pendant is playful.

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