Custom built home by Hanlon Design Build

Davis St., Massachusetts Avenue Heights, N.W., D.C.


This 1937 center-hall colonial had become “lost” amid its neighbors in D.C.’s Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood, so our challenge was to not only bring it back to life with a defined sense of charm and character, but also to make it functional for its 21st-century owners.

We opened up the home’s floor plan by moving the stairs and using columns and beamed ceilings to add architectural details that support the open, light-filled spaces. We added a morning room and created a space I refer to as a “pod of necessity.” The stairs, the powder room and a first-floor closet are now clustered on one side of the first floor, thus freeing up the other side of the home to support the flow of a modern lifestyle.

We added a basement entertainment center, complete with its own entrance; carved out space for a mudroom; and created drama and interest with stunning custom light fixtures and tile accents. The exterior received a bright coat of fresh creamy paint, while a rich mahogany front door, period-appropriate lighting and mullioned windows pay homage to the home’s provenance.