House Tour: Ra'ed & David's Contemporary Surprise

House Tour: Ra'ed & David's Contemporary Surprise

Rachael Grad
May 28, 2009

Names: Ra'ed, designer at Apartment Zero, and David, lawyer
Location: Kalorama Triangle, Washington DC
Size: about 1900 sq.ft.
Type: building The Wyoming, built in 1900
Lived in: owned for 14 years; condo renovated in 2001


Ra'ed and David saved up for years before renovating their condo. Living in an historic building, The Wyoming, Ra'ed and David wanted a completely contrasting, contemporary look for their personal space. As an interior designer, Ra'ed felt it was important to invest in the right architect and then sit back and let him be creative. Ra'ed and David weighed in on the details, furnishings, and finishing touches. The result: a DC home that is so comfortable they don't leave on weekends...


The black circle on the ceiling accentuates the original ceiling height and adds a beautiful, unique architectural element. Details were built-in to suit Ra'ed and David's lifestyle, including a hallway entrance area and HVAC unit that is hidden by a wood and metal sliding door (the vent is beautifully incorporated), metal piece designed to hold the dvd player and stereo system. The kitchen has both exposed shelving and some cupboard doors like the cabinet built to enclose the Miele coffee system. Ra'ed and David splurged on the Miele system, which they claim is the best in the world, and enjoy every day.

The large, open kitchen/living/dining space is ideal for hosting parties, a favorite past-time of Ra'ed and David. As a lawyer, David knows the importance of a comfortable office chairs. Ra'ed and David decided to use high-end office chairs for their dining room, to the delight of dinner guests.


Style: Modern, Contemporary

Inspiration: the architect has a style of mixing different types of woods and materials

Favorite Element: Where the dining room was a third bedroom. We opened up the space to have parties. Everyone always congregates in the kitchen and now we have a large one.

What Friends Say: They are blown away by the contrast between the old building and the modern apartment.

Biggest Embarrassment: We wanted a wet bar but couldn't accommodate it because of space and money. The two sinks beside each other in the kitchen aren't needed. Also, the lights in the dining room. You see them everywhere.

Biggest Challenge: Choosing between architects was very difficult.

Proudest DIY: Working with the interior designer (also the architect's wife).

Biggest Indulgence: Going with a great architect. Also the Miela coffee system (which we enjoy every day) and the door handles for the built-in cabinets, which are subtle but add an interesting element.

Best Advice: When you hire a skilled creative person, sit back, enjoy the process, and let them do their job.

Dream Source/Item: a view.


Architect and Designer: Bob Gurney and Theresa Gurney
Contractor: Puskar Construction

Paint Color: Duron white, midnight blue for the ceiling accent

Furniture: B&B Italia couch, "Lazlo" living room benches by Walter Knoll; Swivel "A.MAZING" armchairs in living room by Charles McMurray Designs. M2L lliving room chair and ottomans; coffee table with leather top was custom-made (we knew we'd be mostly eating on it!); Eames Herman Miller chairs; Many Lin designed the tables for Knoll (look like her her fountains); George Nelson side table found at an antique store; "BTH100" Bathroom Stool by Heltzer Incorporated; undulating bedroom bench and "Ossip" dining table is by Brueton; "Roma" Kitchen Stools by Gordon International; Room & Board bed

Lighting: all Lutron; lamps from Apartment Zero

Accessories: vases, trays, candleholders, bedding from Apartment Zero

Window Treatments: Solar Eclipse

Art: Muji owl in bedroom; portraits in hallway by French photographer Antoine Schek; local graffiti artist Kelly Towles piece in the living room,; Daniel Mena work and Jasper Johns in the hallway; silkscreen of a classical chair in the guest room bought at Christie's; silkscreen of original DC subway map in the bathroom; Panda art in master bedroom picked up in London (Victoria & Albert Museum show on Korean artists).


Thanks, David & Ra'ed!

(Images: Rachael Grad)

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