The excitement of moving into a new home was coupled with a twinge of nostalgia for Vienna resident Jeff Stevens.
He grew up on the same street just a few houses down, and says he has many vivid memories of the neighborhood.
“This was actually not planned when we moved back to the area from Austin, it just worked out that way and is kind of cool,” he says. “In fact, a neighbor who lives across the street from us used to babysit me as a kid.”
But there were some things about their new home that he and his wife, Kim Sue, wanted to change.
“Our overall vision of the project was to turn our 1962 home, and its multiple additions and different styles, into a cohesive design and more livable space,” says Stevens. “We were looking for an architect who could see the potential of our house and wanted to make something fairly unique in Northern Virginia.”
They found a match with Michael Winn, president of Winn Design in McLean.
The couple was hoping to address some structural issues with the home while leaning into the midcentury modern aesthetic that they love.
“Before we met Michael in person, we shared some thoughts and ideas through email and a quick Zoom call. But what impressed us the most was that from our very first meeting at our house, he started sharing ideas that were directly in line with our goals,” says Stevens. “He proposed some major changes to the house that we were not sure were even possible.”
In the end, Stevens says Winn and his team were able to deliver not only the vision they had but significantly more.
In addition to updating the exterior of the home, the project also included a fully renovated kitchen, a new great room, a designated home office, and a new entryway and mudroom.
Starting in the Kitchen
For the heart of the home, midcentury modern was a big departure from the previous kitchen design.
“There were these really dark cabinets, and it just really did not fit into the desired aesthetic for the home,” says Winn. “There was no question that this was the starting point of the project and we kind of ventured out from there and let that remodel drive other parts.”
Winn and his clients decided to go with white to help brighten up the space but also added some beautiful honey-toned wood to keep it from looking too sterile.
“Our goal was to craft a space that nods respectfully to midcentury modernism while seamlessly integrating contemporary conveniences and innovations,” Winn says. “It was about blending eras in a way that’s both harmonious and forward-looking.”
Another distinct feature of the kitchen is the zeolite tiled backsplash placed behind the oven.
“What sets this tile apart is its embrace of imperfection,” says Winn. “Each piece has its own character, introducing a tapestry of variance. This, juxtaposed with the sleeker surfaces, infuses the kitchen with a rich texture and welcoming warmth that’s palpable.”
The entryway to the home was also updated to include a mudroom.
An open divider featuring vertical wooden beams in the same stain as the kitchen cabinets was added between the mudroom and the kitchen to help create a sense of separation while allowing for natural light.
Creating a New Living Space
“Prior to the Stevens moving in, the home had gone through some ill-conceived renovations, including a large addition that was added to the rear of the home,” says Winn. “This addition had a massive masonry fireplace in the back corner and very few windows. It was just really dark and not a very inviting space where you would want to spend time.”
The idea was to open up this space up to the backyard and bring in natural light for the family room and dining room area.
“I was keen on adding a lot of windows and glass while also implementing architectural elements that would make sense with the house,” says Winn. “It’s about creating coherence, where every element feels at home.”
This included minimizing the moldings and trim with clean lines.
Removing the masonry fireplace was first on the list.
“We wanted to instead pull the fireplace over to the wall when you first walk in,” Winn says.
That way, doors and windows could be added to the back wall.
Clean, white walls along with touches of that same wood and some midcentury modern furnishings helped pull the rest of the family and dining room area together.
Finally, a previously unused workshop behind the garage was converted into a designated home office space off the family room.
“One of the best parts of the whole project is waking up every morning and walking toward the kitchen to be greeted by the natural light coming in from both the front and rear of the house,” says Stevens. “Every single morning is enjoyable.”
Refreshing the Exterior
The final piece of the project was to bring the midcentury modern style to the outside of the home as well.
This included updating the roofing and siding and giving everything a fresh coat of paint.
The brickwork along the front of the home, previously red, was painted gray and a dark bronze trim was also added.
“We also added a more contemporary looking garage door and some oversized house numbers for the final touch,” says Winn.
“The house looks fantastic,” says Stevens. “While it’s not a large house, we now have the space to host a large amount of people in comfort. But it’s also the craftsmanship and quality that we see and feel every day that makes us proud of our home. I don’t think we could be happier.”
Feature image by Stacy Zarin Goldberg
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in home design and renovation, I can provide insights into the concepts mentioned in this article. Let's discuss each concept in detail:
1. Cohesive Design and Livable Space
Jeff Stevens and his wife, Kim Sue, wanted to turn their 1962 home into a cohesive design and create more livable space. They sought an architect who could understand their vision and make their house unique in Northern Virginia.
2. Midcentury Modern Aesthetic
The couple desired a midcentury modern aesthetic for their home. They wanted to incorporate this style while addressing structural issues and updating the exterior of the house.
3. Kitchen Renovation
The previous kitchen design had dark cabinets that did not fit the desired aesthetic. The renovation started with the kitchen, where they opted for white cabinets to brighten up the space. They also added honey-toned wood to prevent it from looking sterile. The kitchen features a zeolite tiled backsplash, which adds texture and warmth.
4. Creating a New Living Space
The couple wanted to open up the family room and dining room area, which had previously undergone ill-conceived renovations. They aimed to bring in natural light and make the space more inviting. The masonry fireplace was removed, and doors and windows were added to the back wall. The family and dining room area was designed with clean lines, white walls, and midcentury modern furnishings.
5. Designated Home Office
A previously unused workshop behind the garage was converted into a designated home office space off the family room. This addition provided a functional workspace within the house.
6. Exterior Refresh
To complete the project, the exterior of the house was updated to reflect the midcentury modern style. The roofing and siding were updated, and the brickwork along the front of the house was painted gray. A dark bronze trim, contemporary garage door, and oversized house numbers were added for a modern touch.
Overall, the renovation project successfully transformed the Stevens' 1962 home into a cohesive, midcentury modern space with improved livability and aesthetic appeal.
Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with!