American architect Robert Gurney sought to open up views and balance old and new while renovating a four-story historic dwelling in the Georgetown area of the US capital. Alongside with interior designers Sybille Schneider, Leroy Street Studio, this has become a major design project that combines a modern interior with a historical building.
The renovation aimed to honor the past while updating the building for modern and contemporary use. It was designed for a couple with two children and for that reason, it had to be practical and clean through modern furniture and an eclectic look.
While changes to the exterior were fairly minimal, the interior has become a modern space, with minimal design and a stunning atmosphere. The windows were added or enlarged, and wooden frames were replaced with steel ones. A protruding glass skylight, which is not visible from the street, was added to the roof in order to bring natural light deep into the home.
In the original design, the front and back portions were physically and visually disconnected, and the rear rooms were dark and lacked sufficient access to the garden. With brand new windows and an open space area to connect all the divisions, the house started to appear bigger and wider.
Interior elements are a mix of old and new. Distinctive features, such as mouldings and pilasters, were preserved. New flooring was added in some areas and renovated in others. A range of contemporary decor was used throughout the home, including a number of midcentury pieces.