When a pair of married physicians finished their medical training and purchased their first home together, they bought a 2,000-square-foot house in Vienna built in 1969 on a roomy lot that backed onto wooded parklands. That was in 2010.
“After our fourth child was born in 2017, we realized we needed to consider the bigger picture,” recalls the wife. The family has four kids, ranging in age from 4 to 12. “We deliberated about buying a new home, renovating the existing one, or building elsewhere, but we kept coming back to our large private lot. Between the protected setting of our backyard and our desire to stay in our neighborhood, we decided to tear down the original house and rebuild our dream house on the same lot.”
After lots of research, the couple finally settled on working with builders Chris Wirth and Eric Binkowski of Reel Homes, who collaborated on the project with the architectural firm Moment Engineering and Design, as well as designer Christina Simon of C|S Design Studio. Simon and lead designer Brittany Gunst were involved with the kitchen and bathroom designs, as well as lighting and paint choices.
“The homeowners were looking for a classic, traditional, and timeless design, with a mix of modern elements,” says Simon, who later introduced the couple to Meg Poff of Meg Poff Design to help furnish the home.
The resulting six-bedroom, 5,173-square-foot home successfully blends the HOA guidelines of the surrounding traditional colonial-style homes with modern Craftsman architecture. Upon entry, the front center hall has a dining room on one side and a beautifully paneled home office—which the couple put to frequent use—on the other.
“We soundproofed the office to help us make the necessary private phone calls while being on the main floor of the house,” says the homeowner. “Meg added curtains to assist with that. Never would we have imagined seeing patients virtually there or attending virtual meetings at the time of construction, but now it serves that purpose, too.”
The main floor plan spills out in the rear of the home into one large open space (family room, eat-in kitchen) with a bank of French doors opening onto a large deck and the backyard, with the parklands beyond. The flooring is 5-inch white oak, and the wall paint is in Sherwin-Williams’s Agreeable Gray.
“The wish list was to furnish this space in a beautiful way that was also extremely functional, given the size of the family and how busy they are with two parents working as doctors,” says Poff. “They also love to entertain.” She created a sitting area around the TV and custom fireplace in the family room, which is defined by a coffered ceiling.
“We aren’t fancy, formal people,” adds the homeowner. “We decided to devote our square footage to the open-concept family room rather than a traditional living room.”
Poff made sure to add plenty of seating options for the entire family—and more—with a large sofa and two pairs of armchairs; there are also poufs and ottomans to be used for extra perches as needed. The furniture silhouettes are modern yet still work with the timeless architecture. Above all, they are comfortable and informal.
“They didn’t want to worry about mess and spills, so we went with Crypton fabrics for upholstery, a darker-colored wool rug to hide dirt, and a leather-topped ottoman for a cocktail table, where the kids could put their feet up and also set a drink on the integrated tray in the middle,” says Poff.
Working with a palette of grays, blues, and greens with wood accents, Poff carried these soft colors into the other spaces on the main level. The dining room is particularly unusual in its function.
“We doubted we’d use a traditional dining room often,” says the homeowner. “Everyone ends up in the kitchen. But we still wanted the option for more formal occasions. In the meantime, it’s really become an art room that’s frequently used by the kids for homework, projects, and crafts, without occupying the kitchen or other areas.”
Poff again selected a darker wool rug in here, as well as a large armoire to house all the craft supplies. A pair of wingback chairs covered in a durable Crypton fabric also create niches in the corners where kids can sit and read.
“We didn’t know COVID was going to hit when we were designing this, but with the closure of schools and the kids being home more, this design decision became even more important for how the family functioned during this time period,” says Poff.
Life is busy in this household, but everything from the roomy kitchen island—set up for entertaining and serving quick meals—to the stylish home office, with its architectural paneling, functions beautifully and looks great.
“Our household is busy, hectic, and messy—sometimes it runs like a well-oiled machine, sometimes it’s sheer chaos,” says the homeowner. “I’m so glad that so much of the house was designed with the need for space and functionality in mind.”