Project Info

Architects: Stephen Muse, Marc Langhammer / Muse Architects, Bethesda, MD
Contractor: George Fritz / Horizon Builders, Crofton, MD


• Add a family room, office, and guest room to the first floor and a master suite and office to the second floor • Renovate and repurpose existing rooms for improved flow between spaces


To accommodate guests at large public receptions, the owners of this 1930s brick house in Bethesda, Md., contacted Muse Architects to plan a renovation and addition. Stephen Muse and Marc Langhammer’s design included a new family room, office, and guest room on the first floor and a master suite and office on the second floor. The rest of the rooms in the house were renovated to create better circulation and give the spaces an updated look.

Most impressive about the completed project is the seamless connection between the addition and the original house. According to the architects: “Matching the existing brick and replicating the intricate belt, soldier, header, rowlock, corbel, and dogtooth coursings allows the addition to be a comfortable and natural extension of the existing structure." Using reclaimed materials, such as the existing slate from the roof and hardwood floors, was also important in melding old and new.

Many rooms were repurposed as a result of the renovation and, throughout the home, large openings connect rooms and improve circulation. To maximize space in the entry hall, the stair was relocated to the area between the existing house and the addition, making it an integral part of the old/new transition. Skylights, lay lights, and a wall of glass block bathe the stairwell in light. A new library takes the place of the dining room, which was moved to the end of the entry hall. In the living room, larger windows of leaded glass replace the existing windows.

The addition expands the home into the landscape, with brick walkways and walls integrating the building into the yard and the parkland beyond that. The new open family room has three walls of windows that provide views of the park and admit natural light. Outside, a new private dining terrace connects to the new dining room and updated kitchen.

Judges’ Comments

“Seamless additions" to a “gorgeous house," proclaimed the judges, who appreciated the special care taken to match the salvaged brick—one of the finished project’s unifying elements. They also praised the use of the leaded glass windows and the transitional stairwell with its glass-block wall. —Erin Thibeau, REMODELING editorial intern.


Bathroom plumbing fittings: Jado , Kohler
Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Bain Ultra , Kohler, Toto
Bathroom cabinets: custom Abernethy Sticks
Brick products: new and salvaged brick
Dishwasher: Bosch
Entry doors: Norwood
Interior doors: TruStile
Kitchen cabinets: custom Abernethy Sticks
Kitchen plumbing fittings: Rohl
Oven: KitchenAid
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Skylights: Velux
Windows: Norwood
Windows: Pella Corp.