This Rowhouse Takes "Put a Bird on It" to the Next Level

The 17th-century prints actually conceal an unsightly flaw.

sarah bartholomew living room

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.

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sarah bartholomew
Ngoc Minh Ngo
Exterior

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.

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sarah bartholomew
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Entryway

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.

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sarah bartholomew living room
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Living Room: Walls

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.

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sarah bartholomew
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Living Room: Textiles

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.

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sarah bartholomew fireplace
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Living Room: Fireplace

A bull's ­eye mirror by Carvers' Guild surveys the living room from above a custom mantel painted in Benjamin Moore's White Dove.

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Living Room: Seating

When not in use, reproduction Regency chairs from John Rosselli Antiques can be enjoyed as art. Cullman & Kravis sheers let in maximum light.

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sarah bartholomew kitchen
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Kitchen

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.

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Back Door

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."

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Stairway

"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.

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sarah bartholomew guest bedroom
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Guest Bedroom

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.

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Master Bedroom: Chair

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.

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Master Bedroom: Bed

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.

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sarah bartholomew nightstand
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Master Bedroom: Nightstand

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.

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