A Vivid New Search for a Small Home in Arlington

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After years of residing in lofts — first in New York after which in Arlington, Va. — Nicole Lanteri and Aaron Trent have been prepared for a home and all of the facilities that include it: separate rooms with partitions and doorways, outside areas, home windows with views in numerous instructions.

“However I didn’t desire a huge home, as a result of it’s simply the 2 of us,” mentioned Ms. Lanteri, 44, the founding father of the Washington inside design studio Nicole Lanteri Design. “In order that was the problem, truly: discovering a smaller home that was near town however that wasn’t a rowhouse, as a result of I needed home windows on all sides.”

It was a tall order, however after they noticed a 1,600-square-foot brick home in-built 1938, sitting between a church and a leafy cemetery within the Ashton Heights Historic District of Arlington, they knew it had potential. After touring it, they determined there was no turning again.

“We noticed it at 5:00 on a Saturday, and there was lovely gentle and a backyard,” Ms. Lanteri mentioned. “It had been very effectively cared for, and there was a shine to it from the get-go. We simply fell in love.”

The couple’s actual property agent questioned whether or not they can be comfy residing subsequent to a cemetery, however they noticed the inexperienced house as an asset. “It’s a beautiful, hundred-year-old cemetery that’s an arboretum and has a rose backyard,” mentioned Mr. Trent, 46, the chief monetary officer of Ms. Lanteri’s agency. “It turned out to be improbable.”

The couple closed on the home in July 2018, paying $920,000, with plans to place their stamp on it by way of selective renovations and décor. “Coming from a loft the place we solely had two doorways, I used to be actually enthusiastic about having extra doorways, partitions and a closed kitchen,” Ms. Lanteri mentioned. “We cook dinner lots, so it was truly very nice to not have an open flooring plan.”

She wasn’t thrilled with the present kitchen, in order that grew to become her first challenge. “Our contractor got here in and demo-ed it on the day we closed,” she mentioned.

For a brand new look, she put in a black-and-white terrazzo flooring with extra-large marble combination from Ann Sacks, lacquered lime-green cupboards and a white marble counter and backsplash lower to suit across the home windows.

That challenge took about six weeks to finish. Then the couple moved in and steadily made extra modifications. In the lounge, they saved the present structure however used paint to dramatic impact, coating the partitions in darkish grey and the hearth mantel in the identical lime inexperienced used within the kitchen. Then they stacked books to the ceiling. Above a console that serves as a house bar, they mounted a grid of framed blueprints for the home that Ms. Lanteri had found in an previous drawer. To modernize the eating room, they added Manuel Canovas wallpaper depicting Paris rooftops and a Patera pendant lamp from Louis Poulsen.

On the decrease degree, they created a media room subsequent to a rest room the place they spelled out the phrase “Ooh La La” in black-and-white hexagonal mosaic tile, simply exterior a bathe completed in pink penny tile.

“We simply needed to have enjoyable,” Ms. Lanteri mentioned.

In addition they added graphic black-and-white tile to the partitions of a stairwell main as much as the outside pea-gravel patio.

Upstairs, they tore out wall-to-wall carpet to disclose hardwood flooring, which they refinished earlier than changing one of many rooms into a house workplace with Cole & Son Woods wallpaper and gallery partitions that includes inspirational artworks and mementos. “They’re all of our favourite items,” Ms. Lanteri mentioned, “in addition to reminiscences of finding out overseas, the place we bought engaged and artwork I made as a toddler.”

Renovating the first toilet was the final huge job. There, they embraced much more coloration and sample, together with gold-and-cream ceramic tile resembling damask wallpaper, which they discovered at Neighborhood Forklift, a constructing supplies reuse middle; floral Home of Hackney wallpaper; and periwinkle paint on the door and shelving.

By the point they have been completed, Ms. Lanteri and Mr. Trent had spent about $200,000. Now, residing in a home relatively than a loft appears “even higher than we may have imagined,” she mentioned.

Though they couldn’t have predicted the pandemic, the timing of their transfer was fortuitous.

“With the way in which the world has modified with Covid, and extra distant work, with the ability to work on the porch or simply transfer by way of the home at completely different occasions of day is improbable,” Mr. Trent mentioned. “We’ve bought the porch, we now have the deck, we now have the entrance yard and the yard. It’s actually cool.”

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