When Courtney and Mike Green spotted a dilapidated, 1914 row house for sale in Washington D.C.’s Kalorama Triangle neighborhood back in 2017, they were fully aware of the challenges ahead if they wanted to call it home.
“Let’s just say we knew it needed some love,” says Courtney, an artist and photographer. She and her husband, a former professional hockey player who spent ten seasons with the Washington Capitals, had established deep ties to the city during Mike’s playing days. The couple knew they wanted to raise their three children in the capital city.
“We wanted to settle in D.C., and we love the challenge of a good renovation,” Courtney says. “But the place was in total disrepair so we knew from the start it would need a gut renovation.” The couple enlisted the help of Jeremiah Brent, the California interior designer and television personality who has built a career transforming high end homes, restaurants, and public spaces on both coasts. (In recent years, he has co-starred with his husband and fellow designer Nate Berkus on TLC’s Nate & Jeremiah by Design.)
Brent is known for imbuing interiors with subtle intimacy and texture, without overshadowing the integrity of any residence’s architecture. Chez Green, an impressive three-story abode, is the case in point.
Soaring ceilings, large windows, and impressive skylights all help bring an abundance of natural light into the home, which Brent says played a critical role in the opening up of the formerly dark space. Custom white oak chevron flooring with hand chiseled beveling is another notable highlight. A long kitchen island with matchbook Italian Paonazzo marble is arguably the pièce de résistance. Up on the second floor, there’s the primary bedroom suite, a bathroom, and two additional bedrooms.
“We took a lot of inspiration from Europe,” says Brent, whose love of artistry and interiors was first cultivated with furniture design. “Everything was meant to be integrated and clean, so we steered clear of any trends.”
One of the biggest transformations—and challenges—involved the home’s staircase, which was flipped from one side of the property to the other. “Moving the staircase isn’t necessarily an easy feat,” Brent says. “But it really gave us the versatility to do so much more with the interior aesthetic and utilize more of the home.”
Brent says installing the custom white oak wood-and-iron structure, which spans from the basement to the top floor, gave the designer more freedom to add an additional bedroom and bath. It also made raising the ceiling height in the basement a real possibility. The designer eventually decided to carve down an additional two feet in the basement in order to heighten that space. Today, what was once a dark, cramped basement area is now a spacious floor complete with a guest room, full bathroom, mudroom, and custom recessed unlacquered brass wet bar in the recreational room.
A number of design points were added to the home as a nod to its history and architecture. An antique French fireplace with vintage tile at the firebox adds a stately presence to the living room, just as an antique limestone fireplace does the same in the primary bedroom. Elsewhere, custom architectural moldings frame a fluted plaster vestibule, while an antique marble vessel was wall-mounted to Roman clay walls in a powder room.
“We definitely came into this project with a lot of ideas,” Courtney says. She had the attic renovated to include a working dark room for her photography practice. “Brent shared a lot of the same ideas, but he really opened up the entire house so that we were able to take advantage of the entire home in ways we hadn’t considered.”
Brent credits Courtney and Mike for bringing fresh ideas to a two-year renovation project that at times required an abundance of patience. “They cared about all the important things,” he says. “It was important for them to create a residence that could be shared as a family, but also had defining characteristics that addressed their strong sense of style.” Fait accompli, it would seem.