Built just over 30 years ago in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., this five-bedroom home was ready for renovation. The owners have three young children and felt it was outdated.
The kitchen was small, and the windows, fireplaces, lighting and staircase details all needed a new look. The owners were looking for a way to improve function and flow through the main level of the home.
A recent 10-month program of improvements has modernized the house, significantly improving the cohesion between spaces at the main level. With a clean, contemporary style that puts the home in between The best homes in the worldThe remodel accomplished exactly what the homeowners set out to do.
Designer Dara Beutler took charge of the home’s new look, removing walls, moving doorways, updating flooring, and renovating the kitchen, dining room, entryway, living room and powder room.
To do this, Dara explains that she took into account her clients’ feelings about colour, pattern and style. “More importantly, I had to fully understand how they worked within their homes and what their goals were to maximize functionality within and within their spaces,” she adds.
Designer Dara takes us on a tour, highlighting the techniques used to improve flow and harmony.
1. Open lines of sight between spaces
Walls were removed during the remodel in order to open up sight lines between the main spaces and increase the sense of flow throughout the entire basement.
Although the homeowners wanted to maintain some existing features in their homes during the updates, the kitchen was one area that required a more dramatic approach. “They wanted more space for cooking and entertaining,” explains designer Dara Beitler, “better flow throughout the first floor, improved storage and kid-friendly open space.”
Dara Kitchen ideas All those boxes are ticked, and then some. The open-plan space now overlooks the central axis of the kitchen into the family dining nook and the more formal dining room, creating a calmer look and an overall more relaxed atmosphere.
The round kitchen table was an existing piece, now repurposed into a bright, social space to match the designer’s family-friendly kitchen ideas, and the kitchen chairs were from West Elm.
2. Match walls and flooring throughout for consistency
The key to the calming new look is the beautiful natural oak wood flooring. In fact, designer Dara’s ideas for the kitchen flooring continued throughout the basement to improve the connections and flow between spaces. Walls throughout the lower level are painted in Pure White by Sherwin-Williams, while the windows are contrasted with black detailing in the brand’s Tricorn Black to create a sleek, contemporary new backdrop.
Anyone looking for kitchen island ideas can take inspiration from this large-scale design, with multiple drawers on one side and a breakfast bar on the other.
“I invited Häcker Kitchens, Greenwich, to join my vision for an epic new kitchen,” says Dara. “Together, we selected white and antique oak cabinetry, hardware, stone, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and functional and organizational features to create an attractive, cohesive space within the home.”
The two antique brass and black pendants above the island are by Visual Comfort.
Dara is the main and creative force behind Dara Beitler Interiors. She brings together a unique blend of design genres in each of her projects. With a keen eye and passion for all things design, Dara develops and creates beautiful and eclectic spaces, with functionality and spatial awareness in mind. Her personal style stems from her lifelong love of antique furniture and decor, while also blending modern and contemporary vibes with natural elements. For the remodel of this Maryland home, maximizing functionality and flow was key.
3. Add subtle layers of pattern to a uniform theme
White walls emphasize the fresh, open-plan flow of the family’s living space and enhance ample natural light, but it was important to add more layers and interest. Light wood floors and wood details on the cabinets complement these stunning kitchen countertop ideas. Calacatta Valentin® quartz countertops, backsplashes, and hood casing, all designed by MSI Surfaces, add a hint of style and plenty of luxury.
Key pieces in this work section of the kitchen include a freestanding oven range, the Nostalgie 48-inch from Ilve, along with other appliances from Miele. The satin brass faucet and bowl filler are from California Faucets. The cabinet hardware is Arch Pull by Hickory Hardware. The counter chairs were sourced from the material.
4. Furniture, lighting and artwork create a strong contemporary look
Dining room ideas It was put together by simply sourcing a custom oak and ash round table with a walnut base from Aronson Woodworks. A statement table anchors this space beneath a sculptural and adjustable chandelier from Regina Andrew. Black oak chairs and chairs designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu and Georgia add a touch of flair to this space. This stunning artwork is from Merritt Gallery, and its vibrant colors are the perfect complement to the architectural details and furniture in this dining room.
5. Adjust the decor and let the architecture shine
The two-story foyer was one of the problem areas facing designer Dara Beutler as she sought to make sense of the disjointed house and restore its flow. The old space was complicated by wall pieces, shelves, and a recessed floor, but Dara stripped it back to create a more harmonious entry space that sets the tone for the home. I also found a good place for the family grand piano.
Entryway ideas include an antique three-tiered brass chandelier (just seen) from Hudson Valley Lighting Group, a colorful staircase, painted rails, balustrades and columns.
6. Don’t overcomplicate
Proof that staircase ideas don’t have to be so complicated, and creating a stunning photographic moment of its own, this curved stool is perfectly placed to complement your renovated staircase (and to enjoy listening to the family pianists!). A monochromatic patterned rug and pillow enhance the stunning effect. The seat is in noir bouclé from CB2. The simple blue artwork adds all the needed color.
7. Open spaces can be divided into distinct areas
The family’s main living room is part of the dramatic double-height foyer. By eliminating shelves and wall openings, the new streamlined space has a more contemporary look, especially now that the bank of windows has been decorated with black paint. A warm white sectional sofa is a good choice for an open-plan space, as it helps divide the seating area from the music area behind.
Living room ideas They include patterned rugs from Morocco to bring warmth to the spaces along with sofas sourced from Article and Crate & Barrel. Tables from Room & Board and AllModern. Artwork from Merritt Gallery.
8. Comfort must come first
When it came to living room fireplace ideas, designer Dara Beitler had plans to improve comfort and ease of use. “In keeping with the original architecture and millwork, we enhanced the existing fireplace surround with paint and converted both wood burners with a new white birch gas fireplace from Real Fyre,” she says.
New gas fires are easier to operate and maintain than older wood stoves.
9. You can create a big impact in the smallest spaces
Designer Dara’s powder room ideas gave her a chance to add bold color and movement, beyond the white walls and dull wood treatments in the open layout elsewhere on the main floor. However, you’ll still find subtle nods here to the house’s main themes.
The wallcovering is a lake and cream color for the Kelly Wearstler collection by Lee Jova. A matte black ceramic vanity from Scarabeo Ceramiche anchors the main wall and complements the black accents elsewhere in the house. “The oversized dark and gold espresso mirror by Uttermost Design above is intended to lift the eyes, thus creating a wider vertical vision and reflection,” Dara adds.
The black plumbing and hardware fixtures are made by Delta and the lighting fixtures are by Mitzi.
Interior design: Dara Beitler Interior Design
Photography: Angela Newton Roy
Design: Lemonata Creative