Name: Sondra and Ron Occupation: artist and writer, both work from home Location: Washington DC Size: 2200 sq ft of living space; 900 sq ft art studio; brownstone circa 1900 Years lived in: 6 years
Sondra and Ron purchased their 3-unit Dupont brownstone in 1999. They completely gutted the house (but not the historic facade) to suit their work and home needs. Both work from home - Sondra is a painter, mixed media and encaustic artist, and her studio is on the first floor; Ron is a writer and has an office on the second floor. Only 17-feet wide, the house originally had no closets or storage space (they rent out the basement). Sondra and Ron share a nautical background, so they came up with clever space-saving devices inspired by ship cabins...
The home has a ton of warm wood and hidden built-in cupboards and closets, including a special cupboard for Ron's hat collection. Sondra and Ron made the back of the house very modern, in contrast with the historic front. The renovated back is made out of perforated steel and a 3-story red pole. Inspired by a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Sondra and Ron wanted to incorporate as much natural light as possible into the house. The top floor skylight allows light throughout the floor, so no artificial lighting is needed during the daytime. Sondra and Ron keep their home very neat and organized. Sondra saves the mess for her studio, where she incorporates recycled materials, among other things, into her mixed media work. Sondra's artwork is scattered throughout their home. Works in progress are shown in the photos of her studio. You can see more of Sondra's artwork on her website or in person at the local Nevin Kelly Gallery on U Street. Sondra also opens her studio, but not her home, twice a year for the Mid City Artists Open Studio days.
RESOURCES Couches: Pottery Barn (living room), Urban Essentials (top floor study) Small Tables: Ethan Allen Leather Chairs: Cassini Desks: custom-made to fit the space Bed: Room and Board Dresser in Bedroom: custom-made to match the bed Office Furniture: IKEA Rugs: collected over the years from DC-area rug dealers Artwork: Sondra N. Arkin, drawing in bathroom by DC artist Mary Beth Ramsey, painting over stairwell by DC artist David Yerkes, office art by CA artist Daniel Phill