Living space with fireplace and welcoming design

Whole House Renovation

A top to bottom renovation of a 1939 bungalow in Bethesda, MD totally transformed a dark and dated house into an open, bright and welcoming home for a growing family relocating from the West Coast in the midst of the pandemic. We focused on opening up the main living areas to improve flow and connectivity between the spaces, a must with three young children underfoot. Soothing shades of green and blue were used throughout the home along with natural wood elements creating a cohesive style that is relaxed, warm and informal – characteristics that were prioritized by our clients. In addition to the main living areas, we renovated three bathrooms, updated five bedrooms, and did a full gut remodel of the basement.

Our clients were living in the Pacific Northwest when they purchased a home, sight unseen, in Bethesda, Md. They were looking for a team that could translate their personal style and weave in their love of nature, the great outdoors, and classic/timeless design elements into a home that they could enjoy for years to come. It was June 2020, early in the Covid lockdown, and our virtual design capabilities allowed us to jump right into an aggressive design-build schedule with a goal of having the two main floors completely renovated by holidays.

The previous owner had expanded and partially updated the home, but they left the bungalow’s traditional closed layout intact with clear separation between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Removing the two main walls created open sightlines, better flow and greater flexibility with how the spaces can be used. Reclaimed beams help delineate the rooms visually and the rustic wood adds both texture and warmth. Original white oak floors were refinished with a custom stain to evoke the wood’s natural raw state.

We brought color into the space with the ‘blue spruce’ base cabinets and a custom reclaimed island top. The Calacatta gold quartz countertops, hexagon backsplash, and white upper cabinets keep the space feeling light and bright. The new kitchen layout provides more countertop space, improved storage and acts as the main a hub for a busy and growing young family.

Our next priority was renovating two existing bathrooms, a small shared guest bath on the main floor and an en suite bathroom on the upper level. By reconfiguring the upper floor layout, we were able to expand the bathroom to accommodate a double vanity and generous walk-in shower. The elongated hexagon tile in a jade green, pairs well with the natural cherry vanity, stone-look floors and modern matte black accessories. The saturated blue accent walls in the main bedroom and separate office nook add drama to the upper level suite; repeating the wood beam in the main bedroom’s vaulted ceiling brings the design full circle. The whole house got new lighting, flooring and a fresh coat of paint; we painted the existing wood doors black which pairs perfectly with the original brass door hardware and light hardwoods.

The former basement was a warren of oddly placed rooms with low bulkheads throughout that resulted in awkward, claustrophobic spaces. We completely gutted and reimagined the layout by relocating the laundry room, expanding the bathroom, removing a stair wall, replacing windows and resizing/raising the ductwork to make the space feel open and inviting. The creative under-stair storage nooks are perfect for stowing away kids’ toys and other odds and ends; the custom wood slat wall provides open sightlines while the natural wood stain mimics the oak floors above.

It was important to our clients to ‘have a house that should always feel like a place where people live’. They also wanted a home that reflected their personal timeless style, love of natural elements, and was designed with a young family in mind. With our whole house renovation, we gave them exactly that.


Bethesda, MD

Project Size

2,800 SF

Year Completed