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Potomac Country House Tour


Potomac Contemporary

Featured in 2014

This Potomac Village modern design – one of only three in this architecturally eclectic neighborhood – has the same footprint as the original home, but homeowners Carlos Bachrach and Deborah Kalkstein swept away the avocado and rusts of the earlier period and introduced industrial-based materials, white laquered surfaces, airy rooms, and recessed lighting. Deborah Kalkstein, born and educated as an architect in Peru, is the owner of Contemporaria, a Georgetown gem showcasing contemporary design furnishings. She was thrilled to find a home with expansive walls offering backdrops for the great original art pieces they love.

The double front door of this Potomac contemporary opens to a Foyer featuring a tumbled marble floor and striking mirror framed in ornate Mexican silver. The architecture and décor suggest the homeowners’ love of contemporary industrial chic - the use of metals, cement walls, and whitewashed wood beams. In the TV Room, note the clean lines, simple yet sophisticated style of the furnishings, and the ambience of calm - a room of clear purpose and no fuss. The predominant accents of the room are opposites – the vivid graphic work on the wall over the sofa, and the soft, cool, cowhide carpet underfoot.

Up a brief flight of steps to the open Dining Room, take in the industrial elements of raw steel sheet tabletops, corner walls of cement, and distinct cutouts overlooking the lower TV Room. Enter the Kitchen – a work of art in itself – lacquered white surfaces, striking clean lines, recessed lighting, and cool grey porcelain tile. An orange file cabinet and chalkboard wall provide lighthearted accents. Furnishings in the adjoining Living Room continue the straight clean lines and ambient calm, offset by the edgy sophistication of the displayed art work and wet bar, refinished by Ms. Kalkstein in hot rolled steel.

Take in the dramatic and lovely view from the second story Deck and step directly into the Master Bedroom Suite. This quiet retreat is modern European in style with a low-slung bed, black-painted floors, and white lacquered dresser. The Master Bath, with grey porcelain tile, marble shower, concrete counters, and delightful sunken tub, is more than inviting. The children’s bedrooms and study are unique and fun, featuring a painted corkboard wall, chalkboard closet doors, and terrific toy car and professional sports collectibles.

Exiting the family’s bedroom wing, descend the stairs to the Family/Party Room, where fun rules. The bar is black concrete with six coral – colored barstools by Italian company, Kartell. Also by Kartell is The Bookworm, a flexible bookshelf, wound and hung on the wall complete with books and bookends. Like art and architecture, this “industrial chic” contemporary will prompt discussion, smiles, and response. It is a privilege to visit a home where art is so important to life that it is actively experienced every day.