This 5,200-square-foot home was originally designed in 1994 by Stephen Muse Architects, a highly regarded firm in the Washington D.C. area. “It is in a beautiful enclave of Northwest Washington D.C. called Forest Hills,” says designer Laura Hur of Lorla Studio. “Even though you are in downtown D.C., this neighborhood and home feel far removed thanks to their proximity to Rock Creek Park. The location and the large windows and doors throughout the home set the tone for us to take cues from the natural environment as we came up with the design.” 

Laura’s client is first-generation American and a partner in a leading venture capital firm, who shares the home with his family (a 13-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter), girlfriend, and the newest addition to the family, their cat. They tapped Laura for the renovation, which included updating specific rooms like the kitchen, each of the four bedrooms, and laundry room, as well as tackling cosmetic upgrades throughout—from new flooring to paint and hardware. “There was also a ground-up design of the unfinished basement (1,400-square-feet), which included a kitchenette, full bathroom and a half bathroom,” the designer tells us. “We created the interior plans, elevations, and detailed drawings, including things like designing custom millwork in several areas, providing the lighting plans throughout, finish plans and more. Finally, we sourced and provided the furniture, artwork, and decor throughout the home.” 

It’s important to note they did not change the existing exterior architecture, which boasts high ceilings and an abundance of large windows that look out onto the park below—instead highlighting the original beauty with thoughtful updates. Aesthetically, Laura pulled colors and textures directly from the landscape into the interior, letting the muted colors from the park—tans, browns, black, creams and green—inspire the color palette. “We did not want the interior to compete, or take away from, the gorgeous views of the park that are visible from almost every room in the house,” Laura shares. “To allow nature and the large windows to take center stage, we were very intentional in the colors and furniture that we introduced.” 

To achieve the clean and minimal feeling the client sought throughout his home, Laura made sure that every piece of furniture that was functional and beautiful. “In the living room, all of the furniture is low to the ground, neutral, and sculptural. This allows the furniture to not only be compelling and beautiful on its own, but also to complement the views out the windows to the back of the home without competing with the natural beauty outside,” she explains. “Despite the openness of the living room, sitting there feels intimate thanks to the soft furnishings and relatively low seating heights. We sought sculptural lines as seen on the sofa and decorative lighting, and soft, warm colors that do not compete for your attention, yet effectively keep the space from feeling cold.”

The designer was careful to consider the kids as well. “Our client’s 9-year-old daughter is a huge Taylor Swift fan, and we surprised her with a large Taylor Swift gallery wall that was a lot of fun to design and had a huge impact,” she recalls. “Small personal touches like this helped make the space immediately feel like their home.”

Laura admits that this was the best client reveal that they’d have ever had. “It was unreal! The client had no words, as he was moved to tears—it turns out that doesn’t only happen on TV! We were so honored to provide him with a new home that he felt so truly reflected his life and family and offered them a fresh start after some recent life transitions. We got lucky with this client. He was wonderful to work with throughout the entire process, which enabled things to run smoothly. We gelled from the start.”

Take a tour in the slideshow.