Designing a home from the ground up is always a treat, but it’s twice as nice when it’s a return client. Such was the case for the Vienna-based Studio 320, whose principal designer Andrea Maaseide designed and furnished this custom-built house for existing clients, with assistance from designer Philippa Baker (who has since left the firm), when they returned to NoVA.
“The homeowners brought us on board because we had helped them settle into their former home in New Jersey,” says Maaseide of the family (husband, wife and two girls) who had previously lived in Northern Virginia. “They were very excited to be moving back to our area and they wanted us to help design the brand-new house they were building in McLean,” she adds.
Maaseide and her team worked on the five-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot residence from its inception, along with architect James McDonald of Artisan Builders. Once the home’s concrete foundation was poured, the customization of everything began in earnest, including the creation of a state-of-the-art navy kitchen done in collaboration with Lobkovich Kitchen Designs.
“The homeowners and Andrea shared the inspiration photos, tile samples and color palettes with us, so we were really able to unify the overall design,” says Paul Lobkovich, principal, who was thrilled to work on the transitional-style navy kitchen with dark-wood accents. “We loved that they were willing to be bold and push the traditional barriers of what constitutes a kitchen,” he adds.
The resulting kitchen, with a massive quartzite prep and eat-in island, connects to the great room’s sitting area—spatially defined by timbered ceiling beams and a chiseled stone fireplace—via a large open breakfast area, which also features a fireplace.
“The homeowner wanted a special look that integrated the kitchen and sit-down breakfast area, so we added two built-in bar niches—in the same materials as the main kitchen—on either side of the herringbone-patterned marble fireplace,” adds Lobkovich.
The built-in bar closer to the kitchen has upper cabinetry that feels more utilitarian (think coffee or breakfast bar) whereas the second one adjacent to the sitting area on the floor plan has upper open shelves, a wine fridge and serves as a beverage bar. The wood shelving also provides display space for the homeowners’ collections of glass and ceramics that are artfully arranged in different spaces in the house.
“The homeowners love color and pieces that are unique,” says Maaseide. “Our palette base is grounded in neutrals but with pops of bold, jewel-tone color, like amethyst, teal, emerald and fuchsia. Color comes mostly through in fabric choices and in paint colors, but also in wall coverings, which we used throughout the home,” she adds.
Overall, the front of the house is more formal than the rear. Built with a center hall concept, the expansive open foyer, with dining to the right and living to the left through wide openings, is grounded by a striking peacock-blue velvet tête-à-tête settee, with tufting detail.
“This piece has transitional lines, is bold, yet user-friendly and it sets the decor tone for the entire house,” says Maaseide of the custom piece.
Peacock blue is also picked up in the dining room’s grass cloth wall covering, and in a lacquered wall finish in a hall that runs perpendicular to the foyer, splitting the formal front rooms from the informal great room (kitchen, breakfast area, family room) in the back of the house.
“The homeowners had a lot of amazing furnishings from before, including many we had added to their collection when they lived in New Jersey. Our aim was to incorporate these into the new home, as well as source fresh pieces for their now-larger house,” adds Maaseide.
One such custom piece is an emerald-green velvet ottoman designed by Studio 320 and fabricated by Bjork Studio; it is surrounded by a quartet of clubby armchairs in the gray-paneled library, which also holds a wall of custom built-ins.
“Though they love to entertain and host, most importantly, the family wanted a comfortable, cozy and inviting home, with lots of spaces for the kids to spend time and for everyone to be able to put their feet up,” says Maaseide.
On the spacious upstairs landing, for example, Maaseide created a reading and game space specifically for the girls. In general, textile selections were made both for color and durability, and that is the case here, with a pair of pleather armchairs previously owned by the homeowners around a game table, and a newer daybed upholstered in a stain-resistant fabric.
“The home’s indoor-outdoor connection is most ideal,” says Maaseide, adding, “The screened-in porch right off the great room is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or a glass of wine year-round, and it also overlooks the custom koi pond and swimming pool.”
The family is now settled in their forever dream home and couldn’t be happier with their colorful and cozy home.