DC House Tour: Kevin and Julie’s Modern Victorian

DC House Tour: Kevin and Julie’s Modern Victorian

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 18, 2008

This is from our DC finalist, Valerie. Comment away!

Name: Kevin and Julie
Location: Capitol Hill, DC
Size: about 1500 sq ft.
Lived in: about 6 years


This home has a lot in common with Kevin's fab Woodley Park boutique, Carbon. Although Kevin's industrial leanings are reflected more heavily in the store, where you'll see handbags suspended from farmhouse meat hooks, each place is outfitted with unique, carefully chosen pieces; walking into both, you feel like you must be in the neighborhood's hippest spot. Kevin and his wife, Julie (who graciously shared the home with me just before jetting off to her baby shower), have done the old-new style well, updating their Victorian with modern touches, like the brick wall in their kitchen and dining room that they painted a cool, deep metallic gray...

Kevin and Julie are resourceful shoppers. Although some items in their home were local finds or pieces from furniture lines that Kevin carries in the store, many were purchased from online sources, so many that the couple have lost track of where most of their online finds came from. The two have also put serious elbow grease into making the place their own, with some help from Julie's industrious dad: DIY projects include the bathroom, kitchen, tiled fireplace, and Venetian-plaster/exposed-brick living room wall. The result is a streamlined and well thought-out living space, and it's just as warm and inviting as the couple themselves.

AT Survey


Modern design, but the kind of modern that is kind of retro. Hmmm . . . is there such a thing? I guess like Clockwork Orange or Sleeper. I exposed brick in our house like a decaying roman structure, half plaster, half brick, and have opted for modern design on the furniture. So it's kind of a mix.


Industrial; mixing new and old.


Carbon :). In the house, I like the fact that it is a 100-year-old Victorian, but it has a modern feel, so our favorite element is the overall character of the house.

What friends say:

Our friends are used to more traditional styles, so they usually comment that our place is funky and different and are impressed by the cool things we have done in the kitchen and bathroom.

Biggest challenge:

Getting ready for a baby and still maintaining a cool living space


the skylight has a sort of 1970s feel to it, so I'd like to work on that.

Proudest DIY:

The bathroom. I had never taken anything on like that before. We replumbed the back of the sink and had the sink cabinet and granite beneath the sink custom-cut. Same thing with the kitchen. There, we reconfigured the whole setup, brought in granite countertops, put in a new floor, and brought in a new gas stove.

Best advice:

People get worried about whether things fit within boundaries. I think you should make your space the way you want to live in it. It's your chance to be creative! Decorate so that you and your visitors are comfortable in your home.


The flat-screen.

Just got:

A crib for my little boy (when he shows up). My wife put these really cool bird profiles in the room.

Dream source:

Someplace like the Vatican Museum. I'm into gothic antiques and church pieces, like panel paintings, old crucifixes, pews, Our Lady of Guadalupe-type Mexican-Catholic pieces, and altar candleholders, and using them in new ways in the home.



* Dining table – online
* Dining chairs – Crate & Barrel (but soon to be replaced with leather/leatherette chairs from Zuo Modern (suede is no good when baby arrives)
* Crib – eBay
* Green chair in living room alcove – Emai
* Coffee table – Eastern Market
* Couch in den – Zuo Modern
* Couch in living room – Comfort Design (no longer in business)


* Pot rack – came with house; we took it down and repainted it black.
* Art – mostly from local artists and vendors at Eastern Market. Prints in bedroom were purchased online.
* Mantle and brass art piece above fireplace – Home Goods. We spray-painted the brass piece with texturizing paint.
* Pantry in kitchen – bookshelf from Ikea
* Decals in nursery – Blik
* Pillows on couch in den – from Kevin's sister, who bought the pillow covers when living in Malaysia.
* Shelves in bathroom – Target

- Valerie

(Thanks, Valerie!)

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