When architect and designer Charles Almonte visited the new home of his repeat clients — a pair of professionals who are empty nesters — he quickly observed that the five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house, purchased in 2020, commanded a prime corner lot in a tony McLean neighborhood, but it had a tired and dated appearance.
“It was a typical split-level, red-brick house (circa 1966) that didn’t reflect the homeowners’ sophisticated, contemporary aesthetic at all,” he recalls of the site visit.
Almonte’s mind started spinning. One option was to tear down the house and rebuild; another was to work with the existing structure but refresh the façade and, later, the interiors.
“It would be more budget-friendly, not to mention the environmentally conscious path,” he says, adding that the materials do not end up in the landfill.
Old black shutters and a flat-topped portico were the first elements to be removed from the house. The new gabled portico, with its leaner silhouette, is mounted on Pennsylvania bluestone slate.
“We designed a portico that added instant height to the front of the house, as well as created a more interesting focal point to the overall structure,” Almonte continues. “We also increased the heights of the newly replaced windows on the upper level to follow the architectural rhythm of the new gabled portico.”
A pair of 8-foot French doors with light-diffusing frosted-glass panels and a high-contrast black-and-white color scheme complete the remodeled façade’s look. The refreshed exterior architecture showcases crisp, white-painted bricks and rich black paint for doors, windows, gutters, columns, and accent trim.
“Contemporary exterior light fixtures were also added, with wall sconces on the portico columns and a central hanging lantern fixture, drawing the eye to the front door while also providing light at night,” Almonte says of the finishing touches.
Feature photo by Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions
This story originally ran in our March issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine.