When designer Celia Welch first place eyes on the oldtown condo, its walls were painted vibrant yellow and trimmed extensively with elaborate crown moldings. The result has been stodgy and outdated. Welch’s mandate–given by her client, Denise Joseph, who’d just bought the three-bedroom town house–was to “make it more comfortable, elegant, chic and urban.” Says Joseph, that owns a federal management consulting company, “I knew I wanted it to be clean and modern, with a bucolic combination. I simply did not know just how to get there myself”.
Welch knew precisely what to do. Watchfully honing spaces to accomplish a degree of ease and simplicity is something that she takes very seriously. It meant getting natural lighting and streamlining the interiors. To achieve these aims, her first step was removing the walls which separated the kitchen out of the open plan living/dining room, as Joseph’s primary priority was to have one flowing, light-filled space. “When I saw the house, I knew I’d have to be able to simply take down that wall or I wouldn’t want to buy it,” she remembers.
Besides removing the wall, Welch overhauled the side of the living/dining room where the staircase, with its traditional, turned-wood bannister, curved in to the room for an obtrusive angle. Beside it, a large fireplace stuck outside, flanked by built-ins. “We all know that whole zone,” Welch says. “The stairs are right now, using custom iron railings. The wall projects out only enough to adapt a more slick, modern gas fireplace. So we were able to reduce bulk and mass” Storage is hidden using one side of the fireplace wall, whereas an open, vertical screen marketplace fills one other.
Welch also eliminates this moldings and trim –along with the built-ins. “Moldings could be amazing within this space we’re hoping to ensure it is fresh and clean,” she explains. “By taking away things, we could bring in a feeling of simplicity we wanted.”
A wall of Palladian windows confronts the old-town riverfront, but thick drapes which hauled together with the home obscured the opinion and made exactly the tall ceilings feel more lower. Welch added drama by painting the window frames black–which draws the eye on them –and replacing the drapes with white sheers that hang from ceiling elevation. “What’s really astounding is the view feels like a feature inside the space,” she marvels. “Along with the light is better from lifting the drapes and opening the view.”
Welch and kitchen designer Sarah Kahn Turner flocked to re design the outdated kitchen. “Once we took the wall down, Denise could feel connected to the full distance,” Welch recounts. “It was truly transformative.”
The open plan designed room for a lengthy, quartz-topped island, over which a distinct wenge table hovers, with waterfall sides and room for 3 stools. “We didn’t want the traditional look of a two-level countertop,” Welch says. “This adds just a small amount of additional dimension” Black-finished pendants out of Circa Lighting get additional dark design elements throughout the main floor. The cabinetry is gray-washed, rift-cut walnut; a drink bar–from Joseph’s request–occupies the far side of your kitchen so guests may help themselves without being underfoot.
To add a first note into the glossy kitchen, Welch selected gray-and-white cement SUBWAYTILE in a matte finish like the back splash. “We looked for something special and then came up with an enjoyable solution to lay out it,” she says.
Together with Joseph’s desire “a austere mix” in mind, the designer blended natural, textured substances during. The marketplace at the fireplace wall houses a decorative display of piled logs, even as the customized table is made of planks salvaged from the Ocean City boardwalk and weathered from alloy. Even the black-painted window frames and iron stair railings communicate a industrial sensibility.
In the re designed master bedroom, artisan Stacey Tranter customized a design by her background series, creating a wood-look covering that hangs behind the bedstead and matches the wall color.
With its clean lines and also rustic/industrial edge, the re designed townhouse claws the urban-chic style and sense of comfort the homeowner had been later–with all the calmness and simplicity which Welch strives to instill in all of her work. “My favorite thing about the home is the way it makes me feel” Joseph says. “Its simplicity is also relaxing. I couldn’t have imagined it”
Home Design: 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.