When designer Celia Welch first put eyes around the Old Town condo, its own walls were painted colorful yellow and trimmed broadly with ornate crown moldings. The result has been stodgy and obsolete. Welch’s mandate–awarded by her client, Denise Joseph, who had simply bought the three-bedroom townhouse–would be to “make it comfortable, elegant, chic and urban.” Says Joseph, that owns a national management consulting company, “I knew I always wanted it to be more tidy and modern, with a bucolic mixture. I simply didn’t know just how to get .”
Welch knew exactly what to do. Carefully honing spaces to achieve a level of ease and simplicity is something that she takes very seriously. It meant getting natural lighting and streamlining the interiors. To attain these aims, her first step was removing the walls that separated the kitchen by the open-plan living/dining room, as Joseph’s key priority was to have only flowing, light-filled space. “When I saw the house, I knew I’d have to have the ability to simply take down that wall or I wouldn’t wish to get it,” she recalls.
Besides removing the walls, Welch overhauled the side of this living/dining room where the stairs, using its traditional, turned-wood bannister, curved in to the room at an angle angle. Beside this, a huge fireplace stuck out, flanked by built-ins. “We all know that whole zone,” Welch says. “The stairs are directly now, using custom iron railings. The wall projects out just enough to adapt a more slick, contemporary gas fireplace. So we could reduce bulk and mass” Storage is concealed using a single side of the fireplace, whereas a open, vertical display niche fills the other.
Welch also eliminates this moldings and trimand the built-ins. “Moldings could be amazing however within this space we were trying to make it clean and fresh,” she explains. “By taking away things, we could create in a feeling of simplicity we wanted.”
A wall of Palladian windows confronts the old-town river-front, but heavy drapes that hauled together with the home obscured the view and also made exactly the tall ceilings feel more lower. Welch added drama by painting the window frames black–which draws the eye on themand replacing the curtains with white sheers that hang from ceiling height. “What’s really amazing is the fact that the perspective feels like a feature in the area,” she marvels. “And the lighting is better from lifting the drapes and opening the perspective.”
Welch and kitchen designer Sarah Kahn Turner flocked to re design kitchen. “Once we took down the wall, Denise could feel joined to the full distance,” Welch recounts. “It had been truly transformative.”
The spacious design designed room for a lengthy, quartz-topped island, through that a distinct wenge dining table hovers, with waterfall room and sides for 3 stools. “We did not want the traditional look of a two-level countertop,” Welch says. “This adds a bit extra dimension” Black-finished pendants from Circa Lighting grab additional dark design elements across the main floor. The cabinetry is gray-washed, rift-cut oak; a drink bar–from Joseph’s petition–conveys the far side of the kitchen, so guests can help themselves without being underfoot.
To bring an original note into the sleek kitchen, Welch selected gray-and-white cement SUBWAYTILE at a matte finish as the back splash. “We looked for something special and then developed a fun solution to lay out it,” she says.
With Joseph’s wish for “a bucolic combination” at heart, the designer combined textured, natural stuff all through. The niche in the fireplace wall houses a decorative display of stacked logs, as the custom table is constructed from planks salvaged from the Ocean City boardwalk and edged in alloy. The black-painted window frames and iron stair railings communicate a industrial sensibility.
In the redesigned master suite, artisan Stacey Tranter customized a design from her own background series, creating a wood-look covering which hangs behind the bedstead and matches the wall colour.
With its clean lines and also rustic/industrial border, the redesigned townhouse nails the urban-chic design and sense of relaxation the homeowner was afterwards–with all the serenity and ease that Welch strives to instill in most of her work. “My favourite thing about your home could be the way it makes me feel,” Joseph says. “Its simplicity is calming. I really couldn’t have envisioned it”
Home Planning: Celia Welch, Celia Welch Interiors, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Kitchen Design: Sarah Kahn Turner, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Contractor: Bradley Construction Company, Inc., Damascus, Maryland.