When Matt and Sara Tucker very first toured their residence, they had been mentally generating strategies for how to rip out the original tufted silk walls, patterned matching home furniture and toile wallpaper.

“It felt like décor you would see at the White House,” states Ms. Tucker, 42, a lover at a foyer business, about the Bethesda, Md., property, a lot less than a fifty percent-hour’s travel from Washington, D.C.

The home’s structure required some do the job, too.

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The earlier homeowners, who have an estate future doorway, had renovated the 6,300-square-foot dwelling in the ’90s to provide as a guesthouse for social gatherings. They taken out aspect of the second floor to accommodate a 1st-ground ballroom with 17-foot ceilings, furthermore additional an elevator that went from the basement to the 3rd ground.

The house, constructed in 1964, ended up with just one particular principal bedroom on the second ground. On the third floor, two resort-design and style suites with designed-in desks (one particular also had a minifridge) were being made in the course of the ’90s renovation in what had been an attic. Nonetheless lacking had been closets, a loved ones-welcoming kitchen and residing places.

Irrespective of its flaws, the Tuckers ended up drawn to the home’s substantial ceilings, light-loaded rooms and open ground prepare. “We were being ready to see by means of what was here to the possible,” says Mr. Tucker, 45, a actual-estate investment executive. He oversaw the renovation.

The Tuckers bought the household for $1.68 million in 2018. They put in the offer immediately immediately after dashing via the home in cocktail attire on their way to a marriage ceremony.

The new property owners turned the ballroom into a loved ones area, but insisted on trying to keep the french doors and the herringbone floor.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

They before long commenced a nine-month, $400,000 renovation, rethinking how the key floor’s expansive ballroom place could purpose as the family’s main living region.

They worked with Washington-primarily based Fowlkes Studio to turn the ballroom into a modern-day space without having sacrificing a pair of french doors that opened to the backyard. They painted the partitions gray, left off the curtains and took down the ornate lighting.

“We believed, How do you make a ballroom experience casual?” claims VW Fowlkes, who runs the architecture observe with his wife, Catherine Fowlkes.

At a person level, he claims, the family even entertained the concept of a basketball court on one facet.

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The loved ones also held the molding intended to mimic flip-of-the-century ballrooms, and the herringbone flooring. They then put Ms. Tucker’s late grandmother’s Steinway piano in the vicinity of the ballroom’s fire, earning it a centerpiece. It divides the house into a calm sitting area and a more official dining space. It also provides the kids effortless accessibility to the piano to stimulate them to follow.

Putting the heirloom in the center of the house appeared uncomfortable at initially. “We were being scratching our heads, but it’s in fact brilliant,” Ms. Tucker states.

In the course of the property, the Tuckers ended up open to quite a few of the designer’s suggestions, including changing out metal components for brass knobs that patina about time, swapping mild fixtures for much more sculptural kinds and bleaching all of the wooden floors.

“That by yourself experienced a big influence,” says Ms. Fowlkes claims of the floor function.

The Tuckers, who are serial renovators of their possess properties, ended up now performing with Fowlkes Studio on their past dwelling, a smaller Colonial in Washington’s Palisades community.

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This time, Ms. Fowlkes says she knew what her youthful relatives required. “They did not want it to be stuffy and didn’t want it to be previous-fashioned,” she says. “It desired to be evenly remodeled.”

The home’s exterior spaces contain a courtyard, a pool, a warm tub and a sound-canceling fountain.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Avenue Journal

The family has designed fantastic use of the large out of doors house through the pandemic.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Avenue Journal

In the kitchen, the household eradicated a wall separating the breakfast region to generate added room for an oversize try to eat-in kitchen. The designers produced a cohesive but not absolutely matching space of navy blue and white cabinetry, with a farmhouse sink and mismatched brass components.

“It is crucial that these spaces not come to be dated, and we really don’t get caught up with almost everything becoming tremendous uniform,” states VW Fowlkes, who is a cousin of Ms. Tucker.

The family didn’t want a big kitchen area island. Alternatively, they selected a small stone just one with an hooked up wooden eating table, leaving area for supper company to pull up a chair. “We desired that table…to be a accumulating location, so it has a lot more of a furnishings feel,” states Ms. Fowlkes.

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Upstairs, they reconfigured the hotel-fashion suites into bedrooms for their two faculty-age children. “We experienced to modify it from much more of a corporate feeling,” states Mr. Tucker, including that they held intect the shared toilet with Waterworks fixtures and Ann Sachs tiles.

The few did salvage a person décor touch from the previous operator: the painted-sky partitions that now include a serene touch to their 10-calendar year-old’s bed room. “Our daughter liked it as shortly as she noticed it,” Ms. Tucker says.

Sara and Matt Tucker with their doggy Rio.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

For by themselves, the few eked out a 2nd-floor bed room suite to the aspect of the ballroom place. A windowed walk-in closet and dressing location embellished with floral Japanese-inspired wallpaper is Ms. Tucker’s beloved. “We ended up meant to share the closet, but I promptly understood I essential all the space,” she claims.

In the basement, a nanny suite and sauna continue to be from the ’90s.

With the pandemic, the home’s expansive outside areas—including an in-floor pool, sizzling tub and ornate stone fountain—became a a lot-cherished retreat for the household, claims Ms. Tucker. They afterwards understood the fountain also experienced a realistic element: It properly masks the noise from planes traveling to and from Washington’s Reagan Airport.