Originally constructed in 1900, this Washington D.C. residence had quite a history—and had the wear and tear to show for it. It had served as a versatile space for a local construction firm, housing both their office headquarters and a grow farm. A family of five—who lived next door—heard that the property would be going on sale and leapt at the chance to turn it into their dream home. They called on Sara Swabb of Storie Collective to help turn the two properties into one great house. 

“Formerly a weed farm (upstairs) and corporate office (downstairs), our goal was to create a cohesive residence with our clients’ existing contemporary home, all while striking a perfect balance in the historic neighborhood of Capitol Hill,” Sara explains. “Because we were merging two row houses, we were able to focus on main level living that most row houses do not have, including a spacious mudroom, home office, wet bar, dining room, powder room, and entertainment room.” Both lawyers, the clients needed an office with both noise cancellation and full visibility to the rest of the main level, so the Storie Collective team added iron doors. This helped the space feel open, but they can get to work when needed. And with three school-aged kids heavily involved with after-school activities, the family needed a resting zone where everything could be tucked and hidden away. As a result, the mudroom features custom cabinetry with clover brass grills. 

“The history of the neighborhood is reflected in the beautiful cabinetry and millwork designed in the Storie Collective cabinetry collection with Tanya Smith-Shiflett of Unique Kitchens & Baths,” Sara explains. The collection features door profiles grounded in traditional design, reflecting historical elements, and elevated with modern lines.

Once complete, the clients were thrilled with the contemporary elements in the otherwise historic neighborhood. “This mix resulted in a stylish and eclectic blend of contemporary and traditional,” the designer explains. “Generally, I love how easy this space is to simply live in. When our client comes back from a crazy day in the District, there is a peaceful, organized, and bright place to come home to.”