Skip to Content

Stunning Renovation: From Storefront to Homefront

This gorgeous renovation on 28th Street in Washington DC by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects combines two historic storefronts of the 150-year-old building and converts the space behind its brick facade into a single-family 3,200 square feet residence.

The design successfully blends the days of old with the style of modern day. By preserving the two front doors that once marked the division of the space inside, the designers have paid homage to the history of the building’s original design and purpose.

While outward appearances might lead a visitor to believe the doors open to different spaces, both doors provide access to the open design of the living room and dining area behind them.

Once inside, rich chocolate oak floors and cabinetry bring fluency throughout the flow of the living space into the dining space are eloquently complimented with Lagos Azul countertops in the beautiful and expansive kitchen. The balthaup kitchen was also a primary component of the renovation.

The previously existing walls that once divided these spaces were surgically removed to create a welcoming open atmosphere. Now defined by an open tread central stairwell, the two previously divided spaces are transformed. The result is a perfect gathering place for parties with family and friends, an expansive space that ensures that everyone is included.

Yet, the design has also created a unified space that effortlessly captures the everyday intimacy of home. The vast space has an inclusive quality that allows people a sense of togetherness even when occupying different rooms of the home.

A large roof mounted skylight captures natural light, allowing it to provide natural illumination for the stairwell as well as the adjacent rooms adding both warmth and depth. Two large sets windows on either side of the storefront provide additional natural lighting.

Standing outside the building, it’s not too difficult to imagine these same windows filled with the goods of the original merchants. The large windows were designed to ensure that passersby would have a clear view of the merchandise available.

While the view through the large windows can be obstructed for privacy purposes with blinds, a row of upper windows positioned above the doors and windows on the first floor provide additional natural light.

On the interior, the storefront windows provide a beautiful bay window area – wonderful for a snoozing pet to lay in the sun’s rays. This would also be a perfect place to showcase a big, bushy, brightly lit Christmas tree. In addition to the natural lighting, recessed and accent lighting has been incorporated throughout.

The rooms have been given texture with a built-in fireplace and inset bookcase as well as multi-leveled ceilings. The crisp lines of the staircase enhance the contrasts of the black and white theme throughout as it passes through the line of sight when looking into the kitchen or dining area from the living room.

The stark contrast of the tranquil and modern white interior with the structure’s rustic and weathered brick exterior only adds to the splendor of the design.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects.