Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

A 100-Year-Old Remodeled Row House in D.C. (Dog-Friendly Details Included)

Search

A 100-Year-Old Remodeled Row House in D.C. (Dog-Friendly Details Included)

January 7, 2022

While many of us have been working away on more than a few jigsaw puzzles the past two years, Robyn Segal and her husband, Marshall Rifkin, have been puzzling over a large-scale version: their century-old row house in Washington, D.C.

“We were looking for a home that we could renovate,” says Robyn, the founder of Peltrie Place, a boutique real estate development firm. “The house had great bones, but the 100-year-old floor plan was formal and had a handful of underutilized connected rooms that blocked all of the light and were not practical for how we live today.”

Among the 21st-century upgrades needed: better use of space and much more light—all while keeping the historic elements (the stairs, doors, and molding) intact. So the couple gutted the entire space; shifted walls and rearranged rooms; and added a two-story, 15-foot addition to the back of the house, alongside architect Patrick Brian Jones and Robyn’s dad, who served as the project’s general contractor. “Given the fixed footprint of the home, it all felt like a jigsaw puzzle,” says Robyn. “Taking space from one part meant reducing space from another.”

Robyn and Marshall wanted the house to be practical, comfortable, and easily lived in—not just for them but for their pup, Markley, too. In every design decision along the way, they went for the dog-friendly option—resulting in a space that’s both well designed and worry free.

Take a look (and keep an eye out for the many canine-approved details).

Photography by Brian Wetzel, courtesy of Robyn Segal.

the row house sits on a street of similarly charming, traditional homes in d.c. 9
Above: The row house sits on a street of similarly charming, traditional homes in D.C. “Though we didn’t want to change the historic nature of the front facade, it did need some preservation and fresh paint,” says Robyn.
the front vestibule is one of the newly created spaces. &#8\2\20;we wanted  10
Above: The front vestibule is one of the newly created spaces. “We wanted the entry to contrast with the rest of the house,” says Robyn. It’s painted in Anonymous by Sherwin Williams, “which we loved because of its warmth.”

Dog-friendly tip: “Our front vestibule was definitely designed with Markley in mind, since this is the area we enter with her,” says Robyn (along with the back family room). “We added shelves in the vestibule so that we can have bins with her stuff.”

&#8\2\20;in a way, the living room feels like our take on a hotel lobby,&am 11
Above: “In a way, the living room feels like our take on a hotel lobby,” says Robyn. “We wanted it to feel warm and inviting with a few different areas to gather.”
markley makes herself at home on the sofa. the rug is from world market.  12
Above: Markley makes herself at home on the sofa. The rug is from World Market

Dog-friendly tip: “All of our couches have slipcovers so that they are machine washable,” says Robyn. This one is from Sixpenny.

in collaboration with adam bechtold of adam bechtold interiors, the couple adde 13
Above: In collaboration with Adam Bechtold of Adam Bechtold Interiors, the couple added plaster to the brick fireplace for texture. They found the twin vintage chairs on a trip to India.
most of the interiors are painted in benjamin moore&#8\2\17;s simply white, 14
Above: Most of the interiors are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, with the exception of the dining room in the center of the downstairs: “This is the part of the house with the least amount of light, so we used a warm lime wash by Portola to play off this darkness,” says Robyn. She found the ceramic shades on a trip to Brazil and commissioned an Etsy maker to turn them into a chandelier. 
&#8\2\20;we wanted the kitchen to feel warm and inviting but still very bri 15
Above: “We wanted the kitchen to feel warm and inviting but still very bright,” says Robyn. “It is centrally located intentionally, since we knew we’d spend most of our time in this space, eating, cooking, working, or just hanging out.” The range hood is done in Portola plaster. The pot filler faucet is by Pfister, and the brass-framed outlets are from CB2.
all of the millwork throughout the house—including the kitchen cabinets  16
Above: All of the millwork throughout the house—including the kitchen cabinets (paired with antique brass pulls)—is the work of Montgomery Kitchen and Bath. “I chose fluted glass cabinets because of the texture and timeless feel,” says Robyn. “On a practical level, they allow the kitchen to feel open yet uncluttered.”
&#8\2\20;it was important that the home had clear delineations between the  17
Above: “It was important that the home had clear delineations between the spaces,” says Robyn. “We intentionally used shelving to divide the living and dining room, a peninsula to divide the dining room and kitchen, and a banquette and bookshelf to divide the kitchen and family room. An added bonus: These room dividers provided us with extra storage” (including many cookbooks from Bold Fork Books in D.C.)
&#8\2\20;all of our wood chairs throughout the house are from a wonderful f 18
Above: “All of our wood chairs throughout the house are from a wonderful furniture maker we met in Jodhpur, India,” says Robyn. A paper Noguchi light hangs above the dining table.  
the dining area leads into a family room with a rug from crate & barre 19
Above: The dining area leads into a family room with a rug from Crate & Barrel

Dog-friendly tip: “We selected engineered wood floors” with Markley in mind, says Robyn—no worrying about scratches.

&#8\2\20;in the back of the house, we created a family room that is also a  20
Above: “In the back of the house, we created a family room that is also a mudroom and a space for Markley,” says Robyn. Newly installed floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors let in light and open to the redone backyard.
markley atop another slipcovered sofa, this one from maiden home. the table lam 21
Above: Markley atop another slipcovered sofa, this one from Maiden Home. The table lamp was a DIY: “I got the vintage wavy base from Etsy and painted it black, and the rattan shade is vintage,” says Robyn.

Dog-friendly tip: “Everything in the family room has multiple uses,” says Robyn. For example: “Markley’s crate is also the side table next to the couch.”

built in cupboards by montgomery kitchen and bath add storage and seating. 22
Above: Built-in cupboards by Montgomery Kitchen and Bath add storage and seating.
&#8\2\20;light was a big factor when planning the renovation,&#8\2\2\1; 23
Above: “Light was a big factor when planning the renovation,” says Robyn. “We relocated the powder room and removed a handful of other walls that blocked all of the light from the back of the house.” The powder room is done in Portola Roman Clay; the globe sconce is from West Elm, and the petite sink was an Etsy find. “The actual mirror was secondhand, and I then antiqued the glass and painted the frame black,” says Robyn.
the original stairway is painted in urbane bronze by sherwin williams. 24
Above: The original stairway is painted in Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams.
upstairs. &#8\2\20;in the space that was once our primary bedroom, we creat 25
Above: Upstairs. “In the space that was once our primary bedroom, we created a guest bedroom, office, laundry room, and bathroom,” says Robyn. The office is straight ahead at the end of the hall.
the slim work from home space features side by side built in desks. creating a  26
Above: The slim work-from-home space features side-by-side built-in desks. Creating a narrow but fully functional workspace was a tricky part of the puzzle. “The other side of this wall is a guest bedroom, so we had to be very mindful about dividing the spaces,” says Robyn. “We measured the space so it would be long enough for two desks, added extra insulation for noise control, and added a skylight, which also makes the room feel bigger.” The black sconces are by CB2; bulletin boards on the opposite wall display keepsakes.

the &#8\2\20;primary suite&#8\2\2\1; was made possible by the extension 27
Above: The “primary suite” was made possible by the extension on the back of the house.
&#8\2\20;the rug in our bedroom, and most of the linens throughout the hous 28
Above: “The rug in our bedroom, and most of the linens throughout the house, are from a maker we met while in Jaipur, India,” says Robyn.
the primary bathroom has a luxurious freestanding soaking tub from eisen home. 29
Above: The primary bathroom has a luxurious freestanding soaking tub from Eisen Home.
the french doors in the family room lead to a newly designed terrace and backya 30
Above: The French doors in the family room lead to a newly designed terrace and backyard.

Dog-friendly tip: “We reconfigured the backyard to create a larger area for Markley,” says Robyn. It’s fitted with pet-friendly astroturf.

“With my dad as the general contractor, a favorite part of this special project was that we were able to spend every day together during this renovation,” says Robyn. “What Marshall and I love most is that the story goes much further than what’s in front of the walls; it’s really everything about how this home was re-built.”

For more houses we love in D.C., see:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0