This DC townhouse renovation features spectacular built-in shelving and a blue kitchen

Year of construction: 1927 (last updated in the 90s)

Team: Liz Marchant Ourston, interior designer; Paragon Construction, builder; Limonata Creative, styling

Chronology: Nine months (including delays related to Covid)

Mike Heenan and Charlie Kindermann initially planned to downsize. Instead, they fell in love with a Mount Pleasant townhouse almost twice the size of their old home and in need of a renovation. “The backyard is spectacular,” says Heenan, who is in the media. “We could recognize the potential. “

They looked at half a dozen contractors but found Paragon in the easiest way – they saw the company’s sign on another job site in their neighborhood. A colleague from Heenan introduced them to Liz Marchant Ourston, who designed the layout. There was very little involvement of an architect to manage structural drawings and permits. The couple say building their own team, rather than using a design / build company, has saved tens of thousands of people. “The difference [meant] we were able to add furniture, ”says Kindermann, who works for a software company.

Homeowners opted to splurge on beige quartzite countertops and appliances paneled in the same blue as the perimeter cabinets.

Last February, Heenan offered Kindermann a job in full swing. They and their new dog moved the following month. “It’s amazing,” Heenan says. “We pinch each other on a daily basis. “

The double-height living room is from an earlier renovation in the 1990s. Ourston added the floor-to-ceiling recess, which features original stained glass.
By incorporating an old linen cabinet into the bathroom layout, Ourston was able to add a larger vanity.
The formal dining room has taken the place of a living room. “While we were working on the layout it made a lot of sense because they love to entertain,” says Liz Marchant Ourston. The fireplace mantel has been redone.

This article appeared in the October 2021 issue of The Washingtonian.


Marisa M. Kashino joined the Washingtonian in 2009 as a writer and became editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design cover and writes feature articles. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award 2020 for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction resulting from a murder in rural Virginia.