Bendik carried the home’s exterior colors inside, using stark whites in many rooms, along with black window treatments.
Interior designer Laura Bendik (laurabendik.com) equates creating a gorgeous home with baking a cake. “First, you have to bake a cake that tastes great and is stable,” she says. “This can take a lot of time and is pretty boring. Once you complete this, then you’re ready to add the decorations, the exciting part that most people want to jump to first. It’s important to always realize that if the other parts aren’t done well—with attention to all of the details—then the final product will suffer.”
It turns out Bendik helped produce a pretty amazing cake, in the form of a new 7,500-square-foot modern Tudor in Arlington’s Woodmont neighborhood.
Bendik used neutral tones in each room and allowed pillows and rugs to supply the necessary vibrancy.
Bendik’s clients tapped Ashburn-based Brush Arbor Homes (brusharborhomes.com) to build the home, which sits high on the property and is surrounded by a huddle of mature trees. Her clients, a family of four, wanted a home designed for formal and family entertaining. “The backyard lends itself well to this,” she says. “The lot is generous in size for the area, with room for a pool, seating area around a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, bar and dining area, plus a putting green.”
Brush Arbor’s team, who worked together with Bendik, was exceptional, especially project managers Brian Dzierzak and Susan Sedmak. “I was lucky enough to start the project from the beginning, being able to choose all of the finish selections along the way,” says Bendik. “It’s so important to take a team approach to a custom home build. A good foundation is critical. Interior design is a process that’s best started at the beginning. The flow of the floor plan, the interior finishes and lighting all add layers to the final product—furnishings, accessories, art and pillows are the fun parts—that’s the icing.”
A breakfast nook is adjacent to the kitchen.
When Bendik works with clients, she discusses their lifestyles, career, travel experiences and even their favorite fashions and colors. “We also discuss their plans for the future,” she says. “This is important so we can provide a vision for their interior and [ensure] we choose furnishings with their goals for the future.”
First, though, Bendik plans the foundational layer of every room. She provided the Brush Arbor trim carpenters designs and detailed drawings of the built-ins throughout the home, including the great room, dining area and even a breakfast room banquette. She selected the lighting with assistance from Erin Schwartz from Dominion Lighting (dominionlighting.com). “Erin’s niche is designing all of the lighting for custom homes, either for builders or with interior designers,” says Bendik, who also selected and created designs for the home’s tile from Mach & Rico Tile (machricotile.com). She also worked with Andrea Rexrode of Kitchen Intuition (kitchenintuition.biz) to select cabinetry in the kitchen, butler’s pantry and all bathrooms.
The master bedroom ushers in plenty of natural light and feels like a sanctuary—the Craftmade ceiling fan is from Dominion Lighting.
Open floor plans with expansive spaces for large gatherings can work only if they’re mapped out correctly. Designers have to ask the right questions about functionality. “A furniture plan creates areas for smaller, more intimate gatherings and everyday comfortable living,” says Bendik. “For example, my clients wanted to convert what was a very large dining room into a piano lounge that could be used daily. We selected four comfortable swivel chairs as the main seating, and we added two benches and a fun ottoman near the piano for larger groups. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house; it’s a sophisticated space, but feels welcoming and cozy at the same time.”
Thematically, Bendik carried the black-and-white color pattern from the home’s exterior indoors. The doors were painted black, and a crisp white kitchen followed. The showcase furniture pieces she selected were black, white and gray. “Once the foundation was laid, we punctuated it with bold blue tones,” she says. “We also added other bold colors with pillows, accessories and artwork.”
The Arlington house, built by Brush Arbor Homes, features many backyard amenities, including a pool and unique space for entertaining.
The homeowners have a collection of art by Peter Lik (lik.com). “I worked with the gallery in Las Vegas to determine the appropriate size and framing application for each area where we planned to use the images,” Bendik says. “His artwork captures the amazing colors in nature in a clear, modern way, and [his work] was a jumping-off point for each room where we used an image.”
Each room in the home showcases Bendik’s flair for choosing the right pieces, fabrics and accents. The living room features a white area rug from Chandra (shopchandra.com), a gold and glass accent table from Bernhardt (bernhardt.com), and a white and gold étagère from Worlds Away (worlds-away.com). Dining room standouts include a banquette lined with Romo fabric (romo.com) and stark white chairs from Nuevo (nuevoliving.com). A sectional from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (mgbwhome.com) sets the tone for family comfort and lounging in the great room. To accommodate guests, Bendik designed a custom console with Keystone Collections (keystonecollections.com). “The table can be converted into a full-size dining table with a few easy moves,” she says. “We ordered additional chairs that match the ones at the breakfast room banquette, which cleanly stack and are stored out of sight.”
Bendik says her clients love the house and adore sharing it with family and friends. “It’s a stately home that’s contemporary but also classic enough to fit into the well-established neighborhood,” she says. “I love to explore different styles with my clients—that keeps my job exciting.”
The kitchen’s custom cabinetry was designed by Kitchen Intuition, and the Hudson Valley pendant lights were provided by Dominion Lighting.
Art, living room
Hubbardton Forge chandelier, living room
Custom fabric on swivel chairs and ottoman, living room
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Sectional, living room
Hudson Valley pendant lights, kitchen
Room & Board
Swivel chair, master bedroom
Table, kitchen banquette
Photography by: Jenn Verrier