Beyond Beauty: Whole-House Remodel in Washington, D.C.

A 100-year-old row house gets a makeover, opening up the cramped interior to admit fresh air and light.

Stair Down Rather than using C-channels for the treads, the designers had the steel contractor bend steel into a U-shape. The stair assembly is powder coated.


The stairs lead to a tubular steel and glass bridge that spans two bedroom "cubes." The bridge opens up the view from the back bedroom window through the front bedroom bay window. The operable skylight above the bridge allows the owners to control the homes ventilation.

The contractor removed the original two-story deck and replaced the small windows with large expanses of glass. The rear opening on the main floor has doors that fold back enhancing the connection to the outdoors. Behind the orange wall to the left is a closet for outdoor-furniture storage. The operable door in the upstairs bedroom provides needed egress and ventilation. The designers chose the door because the manufacturer does not make an operable window in that size.

A small bump-out in the kitchen houses a built-in desk above a radiator. A narrow window brings light into the house while maintaining privacy.

The owners wanted to preserve the existing front faade of the Capitol Hill row house for historic considerations and to blend in with the neighborhood.

The house now has two full bathrooms upstairs. The master bathroom vanity was made by the same concrete subcontractor that provided the kitchen island.

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