Designer Liz Levin helps a large Northwest DC family transform their new home into a vibrant, kid-friendly space perfect for entertaining.
A vibrant butler’s pantry is a hub for family entertaining. PHOTOGRAPHED BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG
Designer Liz Levin created sunny, fresh spaces. PHOTOGRAPHED BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG
In Northwest DC, a family—with four children, ages preschool to high school—made the move to a larger, 6,458-square-foot forever home.
The dining room features whimsical wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries (phillipjeffries.com). PHOTOGRAPHED BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG
The couple chose designer Liz Levin (lizlevininteriors.com) to tackle the main floor of the home. Levin says her style is exuberant, happy and sophisticated. “I’m a dreamer. My design aesthetic encompasses a range of styles,” says Levin. “I love bold patterns and pops of color, but I also know where to exercise restraint. My projects vary because I truly listen to my clients to create something new each time. Variety keeps it interesting for me. I also enjoy the challenge of [tying] in some existing pieces or designing around unusual architecture. I want people to feel delighted when they enter [the] spaces [I’ve designed]. I’ve found that I can gather a lot of inspiration seeing how clients live currently—and what furnishing choices they’ve made in the past—coupled with their Pinterest boards. We start there and talk through their aspirations, lifestyle and how they want their new space to live.”
The sunroom-kids’ den is a bright example of brilliant fabrics complementing family art. PHOTOGRAPHED BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG
The family wanted a significant update to the look of a traditional home, infusing more color and patterns while also incorporating some of their existing furniture. “The clients wanted the design to feel young and fresh, but also [effective enough] that they would feel equally proud of the look for years to come,” says Levin. “They have young children but also entertain. I saw the fun energy in both of these endeavors and chose some bold pattern selections. I also made sure to use those bold moments strategically and not overwhelm with too much of a good thing.”
“The ceilings are not high in this house, so I used patterns to stretch those verticals,” says Levin. “I removed some skimpy crown molding and kept the eye moving. We went bold in the places that have greatest impact while entertaining—the dining room, powder room, foyer and butler’s pantry. I reined in the pattern movements in the rooms they would spend a lot of time in—keeping them restful—including the family room, office, living room and the sunroom-kids’ den.”
Designer Liz Levin’s style is characterized by bold patterns with pops of color that encompass a range of styles. PHOTOGRAPHED BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG
Though she didn’t have many challenges, everything in Levin’s arsenal had to be kid-friendly. In addition to ceiling height, she had to grapple with some gorgeous curved walls. “The foyer was tricky because it has so many openings—curved walls and no windows, other than the door,” says Levin. “Our vertically patterned Schumacher (fschumacher.com) wallpaper by Celerie Kemble absolutely transformed this space.”
In the family room, Levin’s aim was durability. She also incorporated the clients’ love of blue and white. Standouts in the space include sofas by Lee Industries (leeindustries.com), fabrics from Perennials (perennialsfabric.com), a coffee table from Serena & Lily (serenaandlily.com) and an indoor-outdoor rug from Stark (starkcarpet.com). In the kitchen’s breakfast area, Levin repurposed the clients’ dining set and gave it new life with fabric and drapery from Schumacher. In the butler’s pantry, the team refinished the cabinetry with high-gloss paint, marble counters, Schumacher wallpaper, a Visual Comfort (visualcomfort.com) light fixture and a Matt Camron (mattcamron.com) area rug.
The dining room, an example of Levin’s whimsical side and her clients’ willingness to take risks with color and textures, features wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries (phillipjeffries.com), a console table from Made Goods (madegoods.com) and a gorgeous mirror from Ballard (ballarddesigns.com). A main-floor bathroom—a small space with enormous flair—showcases wallpaper from Cole & Son (cole-and-son.com) and Ann Sacks (annsacks.com) tile.
“The butler’s pantry wasn’t on the original scope of work,” says Levin. “The space was dark brown and dated with granite. My clients wanted to close off the space until they renovated the kitchen in a couple of years, but I suggested a face-lift to the pantry, so it becomes a tiny jewel box where the couple could entertain guests. I think it’s one of their favorite spaces. Everybody loves to huddle there and make a cocktail. Pocket doors hide the kitchen chaos.”
“My clients absolutely love living in what we designed together,” says Levin. “The kids run wild and do their thing. They’ve had a dozen dinner parties. Pre-COVID, they were kind enough to invite me to a major birthday party, and I enjoyed having a taste of being entertained in their beautiful home. They describe the home as colorful and fun for raising kids, and, at the same time, they feel proud of the equally sophisticated elements when entertaining. They also said the home absolutely reflects and feels like them, but elevated. That’s my mission—to help clients embody their best selves at home.”
Photography by: By Stacy Zarin Goldberg