Faced with a lack of light and lots of architectural quirks, Sarah Bartholomew refreshed a historic Georgetown rowhouse with neutrals, fool-the-eye details and an aviary's worth of feathered friends.
The simple but gracious facade of a 1901 rowhouse is tucked into a cobblestone street in Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood. A copper lantern from Bevolo picks up on copper-flashed windows and gutters above. A custom exterior paint was color-matched to the home's previous hue.
An antique print of a great blue heron stands sentinel in the entry. Because the front door opens directly into the living room, designer Sarah Bartholomew placed a marble-topped console by Darryl Carter next to it to create a "foyer" that melds with the decor.
Installing modern conveniences like plumbing and HVAC in old homes often creates ungainly soffits and bump-outs. The designer disguised these with a series of 17th-century bird prints. A pair of Hickory Chair armchairs is covered in a Brunschwig & Fils cotton-linen blend.
Bartholomew introduced subtle patterns and textures with a Carolina Irving Textiles fabric on the Charles Stewart sofa and a Bennison Fabrics stripe on the pillows.
A bull's eye mirror by Carvers' Guild surveys the living room from above a custom mantel painted in Benjamin Moore's White Dove.
When not in use, reproduction Regency chairs from John Rosselli Antiques can be enjoyed as art. Cullman & Kravis sheers let in maximum light.
In the kitchen, a custom Holland & Company farm table doubles as a dining and work surface. Wicker chairs from Mainly Baskets (with cushions in a Cowtan & Tout fabric) help to visually connect the room to the adjacent backyard, enabling the space to feel more expansive than its square footage might suggest. For a cohesive look, appliances are paneled to match the cabinetry, which is painted in Benjamin Moore's White Dove.
Near the kitchen's back door, a nook with a mirror from John Rosselli Antiques lets the client "check her lipstick on her way out."
"Even a chair should be a beautiful moment to enjoy when you walk by," Bartholomew says. She turned this spot by the staircase into a handsome vignette with an Oly chair. Kayce Hughes painted both the landscape on the chair and the abstract work to the left, which was inspired by antique wax seals.
In the guest bedroom, an assortment of brackets unifies an uneven wall; herringbone wallpaper by Ralph Lauren Home and faux bamboo nightstands by Williams-Sonoma Home add textural depth to the cozy space; the bed is upholstered in a Carolina Irving Textiles fabric.
In the blue-and-white master bedroom, a slipper chair in an Elizabeth Eakins fabric offers a place to read a book or slip on shoes.
The bed's Colefax & Fowler print is repeated on a row of curtains, which help to disguise the mismatched openings of the window and French doors that overlook the back garden.
Gustavian-style chests by Chelsea Textiles double as nightstands. Read more about Bartholomew's inspiration for this space here.
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This story originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of CQ.