The airy foyer boasts a Zentique settee upholstered in velvet.
The airy foyer boasts a Zentique settee upholstered in velvet.
The dining room serves up twin Murano glass chandeliers by Multiforme, an antique dining table and Baker chairs.
Camelback loveseats contribute to the rich gold-and-blue palette. A Rose Tarlow Branch side table echoes the garden theme.
Transitional Customs Furniture loveseats in Kravet blue velvet flank the existing stone fireplace.
Padded silk walls, upholstered in L’Escale Slate by Kravet Couture, set off an antique sideboard belonging to the owners.
Natural wood and neutral furnishings lend warm ambiance to the family room, where an ottoman/coffee table stands central before a rustic stone fireplace; a canvas by Marcel Mouly enlivens the understated color scheme.
Adjoining the family room, the breakfast room where the family gathers for meals boasts curved walls with full-length curtains that can enclose the space to make it extra cozy and inviting.
A second-floor family room is enlivened by Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue.
Custom Lindsay Cowles wall covering embellish the second-floor family room.
A light-filled study is anchored by a Transitional Customs Furniture sectional and a sculptural marble console table by Baker.
A stone game table overlooks the reflecting pool.
Tracey’s fashion-forward office is wrapped in blush-pink lacquered walls.
A gallery displaying large-scale paintings opens into a sitting area with a chair upholstered in Brentano blue velvet and a Barclay Butera loveseat.
The primary suite features a Rose Tarlow bedstead, Coraggio Allure draperies and a Stark carpet.
Near the fireplace, reupholstered seating pulls up to a Caracole coffee table.
The living room’s light, paneled walls showcase vibrant art in conversation with richly textured furnishings in sinuous shapes.
When the owners of a French château-style villa near downtown Bethesda first set eyes on the property, they were looking for inspiration for a house they planned to design nearby. It was love at first sight; soon, they had scrapped the idea of building anew in favor of purchasing this home. “The landscaping was immediately appealing,” says Tracey, the wife. “It had room enough for our big family. And we loved the original craftsmanship and attention to detail.”
The 20,000-square-foot residence is surrounded by one-and-a-half acres of manicured grounds intended to evoke the spirit of Versailles. Mature trees and plantings accentuate a reflecting pool, a swimming pool and a pool house, all easily accessible from the many floor-to-ceiling French doors on the residence’s main level. Inside, there are seven bedrooms and seven full and five half-baths. Built in 2005, the house is clad in Texas limestone with a clay roof that Jason Evans, owner of Acadia Renovations, went to great lengths to protect when a new elevator was installed. “That roof was a unique element that I didn’t want to ruin by poking a hole in it!” he recalls.
From the very beginning, the owners had a vision for the interiors. “We wanted to keep the original architectural intent but with a more modern sensibility,” Tracey explains. “And because I love fashion, we added a little bit of color, texture and ‘jewelry,’ especially in the lighting, wherever we could.” The couple also wanted to showcase their meticulously curated art collection while giving every member of their family—which includes four children aged six to 14—space to pursue their individual and collective passions.
To bring this vision to exuberant life, they selected San Francisco-based HBA, a global firm known for distinctive high-end hotel, restaurant and residential design. It was an easy decision for Tracey, a real estate developer and the project’s “visionary in chief,” who had collaborated with HBA professionally for more than 20 years.
“Tracey and I share the same design shorthand and we already had an idea of what she wanted to achieve,” reveals designer Meghann Day of HBA San Francisco. “There was nothing wrong with the house; it was just a little dated and ornate. We brought out its beautiful bones and gave it a lighter, more refined look.”
HBA’s hospitality pedigree is evident throughout the home, from the oversized sconces in the entry foyer to seating areas that invite conversation and furnishings that balance formality with family life. The drama begins in the entryway where a cool palette of limestone flooring and white walls prevails, lit by a shimmery chandelier whose design suggests fish fins (a tribute to the couple’s children, all of whom are swimmers). There are two curtained reading nooks and a sleek, gray settee offset by gold-tone sconces.
In the sumptuous living room, art takes center stage. Above the stone fireplace hangs a chromogenic piece by photographer Dave LaChapelle titled Couture Consumption. A grand piano anchors the space while curvaceous furnishings lend Art Deco volupté to the room.
An antique table with seating for 10 serves as the centerpiece of the formal dining room, where a champagne-gold colorway is enlivened by pops of blue. Jewel-like Murano glass chandeliers hang over the table, highlighting the coffered barrel ceiling. Walls upholstered in padded silk add another layer of texture and visual interest.
A caramel-hued leather bar with an onyx countertop marks the transition from the living room to husband Tim’s office, which opens into the garden. Built-in bookcases, a long, modular sofa, an antique gold-leaf chandelier and game tables create an elegant yet playful space befitting the creative tech entrepreneur.
By contrast, Tracey’s office is a cozy, feminine retreat attired in high-gloss blush pink and accessorized with a two-tiered gold chandelier, a bold wallpapered ceiling and a Peter Chase painting expressly commissioned for the room.
The more private side of the house—sitting rooms, breakfast area and TV room—boast beautiful garden views along with equally refined furnishings, though on a more intimate scale. Here, function informs design to encourage family activities, from secluded reading nooks and homework spaces to game tables and TV monitors hidden behind gallery walls or custom-built cabinetry. Art, too, plays a role. Over the fireplace in the main-floor family room is the work that launched the couple’s collection—a Cubist painting by Marcel Mouly.
Each bedroom on the second level reflects its inhabitant’s taste and interests. The primary suite is a study in white, light blue, celadon—and serenity. An antique sunburst mirror rises above the four-poster bed while floor-to-ceiling draperies and richly upholstered furniture envelop the room in tranquil warmth.
HBA mostly preserved the original footprint; an elevator replaced a spiral staircase in the mudroom and Tim’s bathroom became his son’s bedroom. However, the architectural details that so captivated the owners all received enhancing makeovers. Acadia Renovations painstakingly hand-sanded and repainted elaborately faux-painted walls; ditto the columns and decorative-plaster detailing. Covid added another complication, delaying delivery of certain pieces and forcing the designers and homeowners to get creative with sourcing. All told, it took about three years to transform this ornate château into a dynamic, modern-day dwelling.
“It’s a large house,” Tracey admits. “But every space was designed to have a function and purpose, so it all feels intentional. We use and enjoy every inch of our home."
Interior Design: Meghann Day, partner and principal designer; Scott Brown, associate; Mrinal Suri, senior project designer, HBA San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Renovation Contractor: Acadia Renovations, Bethesda, Maryland.
Piano: Owners’ collection. Chandelier: ilparalumemarina.com. Gold Ottoman: transitionalcf.com. Gold Ottoman Fabric: Jane Churchill for cowtan.com. Curved Sofa: thomaspheasant.com through bakerfurniture.com. Reupholstered Round Ottoman: romo.com, trim: fschumacher.com. Coffee Table: benbarberstudio.com. Art over Mantel: davidlachapelle.com through operagallery.com. Glass-Topped Occasional Tables: globalviews.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Drapery Fabric: kravet.com; coraggio.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info.
Rug: starkcarpet.com. Chandeliers: multiforme.eu. Table: rosetarlow.com through shearsandwindow.com. Chairs: bakerfurniture.com. Chair Fabric: Armani/Casa for rubelli.com./en. Occasional Table: rosetarlow.com through shearsandwindow.com. Loveseats: Custom through transitionalcf.com. Loveseat Fabric: kravet.com. Barrel Back Chair: alfonsomarina.com. Barrel Back Chair Fabric: rubelli.com. Console Lamps: gaylordslampandshade.com. Drapery Fabric & Trim: rubelli.com, colefax.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info.
Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Coffee Table & Ottoman Fabric: jimthompsonfabrics.com through shearsandwindow.com. Sofa Fabric between Windows: perennialsfabrics.com. Blue Chairs Fabric: perennialsfabrics.com. Chaise Longue Fabric: Stroheim for fabricut.com. Chairs by Table Fabric: larsenfabrics.com. Chandelier: thomaspheasant.com. Drapery Fabric & Trim: coraggio.com; rubelli.com; samuelandsons.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info. Art over Fireplace: Marcel Mouly through operagallery.com.
CASUAL DINING ROOM
Table: thomaspheasant.com. Chairs: rh.com. Chair Fabric: perennialsfabrics.com. Chandelier: bakerfurniture.com. Curtain Fabric: galbraithandpaul.com; rubelli.com. Curtain Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info.
Wallpaper: lindsaycowles.com. Paint: farrow-ball.com. Round White Table: sandlerseating.com through prouvecf.com. Banquet Cushion Fabric: kvadrat.dk/en/sahco. Chair: arudin.com. Chair Fabric: kvadrat.dk/en/sahco. Chandelier: kellywearstler.com.
Sectional: transitionalcf.com. Sectional Fabric: jamesmalonefabrics.com. Marble Console: bakerfurniture.com. Chandeliers above Pool Table: palmerhargrave.com. Chair Fabric: pierrefrey.com.
Chandelier: arteriorshome.com. Wallpaper on Ceiling: lindsaycowles.com. Rug: marcphillipsrugs.com.
Bed: rosetarlow.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Coffee Table: caracole.com. Sofa Fabric: decordeparis.com. Throw pillows Fabrics: Larsen for cowtan.com; O&A for interiors.hollandandsherry.com. Wingback Chair Fabric: rubelli.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Drapery: coraggio.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info. Blue Chair Fabric: brentanofabrics.com through desousahughes.com. Sofa Fabric: Barclay Butera for kravet.com. Round Table: rosetarlow.com.