Project Info

Architect: Mark McInturff / McInturff Architects, Bethesda, MD
Contractor: Alan Kanner / Added Dimensions, Takoma Park, MD


• Add an upper level to the existing structure for three small bedrooms • Create an open plan for a living room, dining room, and kitchen on the main level
• Update with a modern style and highly crafted design features


This diminutive, 1950's box-like home nestled into a gently sloping hill was begging for an update. In what Mark McInturff of McInturff Architects calls a “simple and economical” construction, with straightforward framing and no new footings or foundations, a one-story box on a walk-out basement became a two-story box on a walk-out lower level. What resulted from this “simple” remodel was an utterly transformed home.

Before the renovation, a low-ceilinged, carpeted basement contained the kitchen, living, and dining areas, while the main level held three small bedrooms. Now an airy, open plan for the kitchen, living and dining rooms characterizes the main level. An exposed staircase with metal detailing leads to the new second floor with three bedrooms. The client, Alan Kanner of Added Dimensions, also served as contractor for the project, which allowed the team to “selectively indulge in highly crafted elements, such as specialized cabinetry and an articulated stair,” McInturff says.

The home’s white walls sport vast picture windows that coax forest-filtered sunlight into the interior. The open spaces of the main level feel even bigger thanks to white walls, light oak floors, and modern furnishings.

Perhaps most striking is the exterior. The black metal exterior of the house is sprinkled with vibrant pops of color. On the street-facing side, a large rectangle cornered by windows includes a series of colored attachments. Here, as throughout the house, the palette is inspired by one of the paintings in Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series of work. “It’s an artful touch to a modern dwelling that might soon be one of a pair. McInturff says, “plans are in the works to build a variation on this house on the empty lot next door.”

Judges’ Comments

The judges scored the remodel very highly in all categories. They complimented this whole-house remodel on its ability to stand out while working within the constraints of the budget, calling it a simple but “fresh” project. Another element that appealed to them was the deck detail of steel beams rising at an angle. —Erin Thibeau, REMODELING editorial intern.


Bathroom plumbing fittings: Kohler
Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Kohler
Bathroom cabinets: Allegheny Woodworks
Entry doors: Pella Corp.
Hardware: Omnia
Kitchen cabinets: Allegheny Woodworks
Kitchen plumbing fittings: Kohler
Lighting fixtures: Juno Lighting Group
Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore
Refrigerator: Kenmore
Siding: ATAS Metal Siding
Skylights/roof windows: Velux
Windows: Pella Corp.

Read the Before & After story about this project.

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