All Carol and John Boochever initially wanted was a nice rec room where their kids could hang out.
But what started out as a simple renovation transformed, as these things do, into a whole house makeover. The end result was an Olvia Demetriou-designed contemporary in the Kent neighborhood of Northwest Washington.
As they were considering the rec room renovation, the Boochevers thought about how they’d also like a more welcoming outdoor space. And as long as they were at it, they might as well reconfigure the master bedroom, where the best views of Battery Kemble Park were blocked by a closet. Pretty soon, they were redesigning the entire house.
Although the footprint of the 1954 house remains, everything else has changed. Having lived mostly in traditional homes, the Boochevers wanted something more contemporary.
“The owners desired a house that would break the conventions of the traditional home — one that would embrace and become one with the surrounding forest views, and offer them a variety of outdoor living spaces,” wrote Demetriou in an email.
The Boochevers did not start off with Demetriou. They initially hired another architectural firm when they were planning only a rec room. But as the project grew, they realized that the firm didn’t share their vision for the home.
During the renovation, the family moved into a rental. Serendipitously their next-door neighbor was Demetriou, who frequently chatted with Carol as they walked their dogs. Demetriou asked if she could see the renovation.
“I didn’t want to be that ugly neighbor that was saying, ‘Oh please, come look at my house,’ ” Carol said. “She’s a rock star in her field. But she couldn’t be nicer. She came to the house and spent almost 2½ hours with me.”
After that meeting, Carol went back to her husband and said she gets it, she knows what we want, let’s hire her.
“She did things I don’t think anybody else would have thought of,” Carol said.
Demetriou designed the entry to be less formal and more engaging. A trellis covers a nontraditional porch. The mahogany front door “creates a sense of security, formality and arrival,” Demetriou wrote. “The solidity of the entry door plays off the transparency surrounding it. As the facade moves in and out, it creates shadow and light, and a choice of outdoor spaces to enjoy the views.”
Demetriou’s choice of materials — ochre-colored stucco, bronze finishes, natural wood tones and oxidized copper — come together to create a rich, warm palette that evokes the American Southwest.
The centerpiece of the home is the staircase, a visually sculptural element made of glass, wood and steel. It separates the spaces in the home without blocking the open feel. Carol called it one of her favorite parts of the home.
“You see it when you walk in the front door,” she said. “I just think it’s beautiful. I love the stairs, the feel of them on my feet, the big, hard, chunky oak.”
She also loves the master bedroom that now offers woodland views.
“There’s nothing I like more than a big lightning storm,” she said. “I feel like I’m in a treehouse. I just love being so close, seeing the weather and what’s happening outside.”
The five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 6,715-square-foot house is listed at $3.695 million.
Listing agent: Christie Weiss, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
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