Overmyer says the project took the concept of the family room as the traditional gathering place for parents and children and redefined it. The open first-floor layout, he says, is ideal because “parents can connect with their children more of the time when they are in the house.” The basement remodel created a kid-friendly lounge plus two additional bedrooms.
When Jack Evans and Michele Seiver got married in September 2010, they each brought three children from previous marriages into the household. Although the two eldest are away at college, there are still four high-schoolers, with all their backpacks, cellphone chargers and sneakers, living at home. Each day is crammed with after-school activities, community meetings, plumbers, back-to-school nights and shopping lists. Jack (D-Ward 2), who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1998, says he plans to run the next time there’s a mayoral election. His schedule, in addition to the kids’ activities, is jammed with council meetings and evening and weekend events.
When they’re home, the family likes to spend as much time together as it can. And everyone pitches in to keep laundry spinning and hockey bags off the floor. As Michele puts it, “Perfection is no longer the goal. Don’t sweat the petty stuff.” She keeps things moving forward by sticking up reminder Post-it notes to herself, trying to keep one step ahead of a family in constant motion. Michele is a gourmet cook, but in a time crunch she can also quickly whip up breakfast for dinner.
On a recent day Jack, 58, who has represented Ward 2 since 1991, was on a call in the front of the house discussing Metro operating hours after Nationals games. With the open plan, a visitor could imagine any of their four teens grabbing a handful of trail mix from the glass jar on the kitchen island, doing homework at the table outside or cradling a laptop on the kitchen banquette.
Because space in an 18-foot-wide house is tight, Michele, 55, keeps her papers stashed in an Elfa rolling file cart and parks it wherever she can find a sliver of space. “Step into my office,” she says, lifting up a sofa cushion and retrieving her calendar.