Realizing an Architect Homeowner’s Vision for an Old Town Row Home

October 27, 2017 | Master Carpentry, Screen Porch

Old Town Alexandria row home was completely renovated to meet the vision of the architect homeowner and wife.

The architect and his wife who live here had a vision for revamping their Old Town row home. The whole house renovation would open up the interiors by relocating a stairwell and adding a set of rear screen porches.

At Harry Braswell, Inc, we enjoy the challenge of working around historic details in very old homes. You never know what you might find… underground ice cellars, hidden bookcases… In this particular Old Town row home, some of the sanitary lines were connected with the neighbors. Ew, right? Old homes require extra care.

Old Town Row Home Office with Wall of Built-in Shelves

Built-in cabinets and recessed lighting make this study a warm place to work. On the desk are the architect homeowner’s hand-drawn plans. It was a pleasure and privilege to work with these clients on what was truly a labor of love.

Foyer with renovated stairwell in Old Town Alexandria row home

The interior of the house was opened up by relocating the main (centered) stairwell to the right side of the house. Wood from the demolition was salvaged and used to patch the floor in the main hall. The study, hall, and living room (rear) were further connected with widened doorways. In the basement, the kitchen now looks through the family room to the dining room.

Stairwell by Don Brellentine of Staircraft

We could not resist including a detail of these seamless, elegantly carved hand rails and classic balusters. Our local artist, Don Brellentine of Staircraft, is a master at his trade.

The homeowners selected a design reminiscent of 19th century America, in keeping with the age of the house. The airy, elongated stairwell is now a visual focal point, connecting the main floor to second floor bedrooms and to the basement kitchen and dining room.

Rear view of Old Town row home with second and third floor screen porches

The homeowners’ favorite view of the home is from their rear garden at dusk. The porches (inside pictured below) not only opened up the interior of their home to more light and the outdoors, but also created a peaceful sanctuary, an oasis of calm in a busy town.

Rear screen porch

Photographs by Greg Hadley.

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