A Dutch Colonial Shines in Rock Spring
Interior designer Ame Gold's Arlington home is both classic and whimsical, with plenty of party space.
It started with a swatch of Harlequin “Josefa” fabric, which interior designer Ame Gold pinned above her desk back in 2011. “I knew it would inspire my kitchen one day,” she says of the cheery textile adorned with blue and green embroidered pears. “I get my energy from color and pattern. And I love fruit in the kitchen.”
Five years later, Gold and her husband, Bryan Berezdivin, were moving with their two kids (now 10 and 12) into the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath dream home they’d built in Arlington’s Rock Spring neighborhood. The fabric, featured in a set of custom roman shades, brings a playfulness to the kitchen, complementing a sturdy pine island, deep blue cabinets and polished nickel pendant lights.
On the outside, the two-story Dutch Colonial home, created in partnership with D.C.-based architectural designer Philip Bentley and M-R Custom Homes in Arlington, has a captivating façade marked by a gambrel roof, dormer windows, a dramatic center gable and ornamental shutters. A wide front porch combines Chippendale chinoiserie balustrades, a pine ceiling and bright red Adirondack chairs. The new build replaces a small, brick rambler that previously occupied the lot.
Gold operates her interior design business from a matching carriage house at the end of the driveway, while Berezdivin, a software engineer, works from a home office that can double as a fourth bedroom.
Borrowing elements often found in historical homes, the interior has a New England coastal vibe with Southern charm and long sight lines. Paned-glass French doors channel views to the outside. Built-in cabinets, bookcases and window seats throughout were crafted by Amish woodworkers.
While high ceilings are a popular feature in many new homes, Gold and Berezdivin opted to keep theirs at 9 feet for a sense of intimacy and coziness.
A center hall staircase forms an axis point for the main floor’s communal spaces (dining room, mudroom, powder room and kitchen to the left; a bar, family room and screened-in porch to the right.)
Traffic flow was a crucial consideration for Gold, who enjoys cooking and entertaining. “I wanted all of the rooms to connect,” she explains, “because if one doesn’t, no one goes into it.”
In lieu of a formal living room, the couple designed a “tequila room” where Berezdivin mixes up craft cocktails. Lined with charcoal walls and built-in bookcases, it’s an appealing space that attracts guests and keeps them from congregating in the kitchen during parties. (To this end, Gold also put a beverage refrigerator and pantry outside the kitchen, near the dining room, along with a second trash receptacle.)
The bar adjoins the family room, where blue velvet sofas (Century Furniture), comfy armchairs, a sisal-topped coffee table and a broadloom Helios area rug form a sitting area next to a fireplace. Lime-green Thibaut drapes add citrusy pops of color, framing views of the screened porch and beyond.
In the dining room, floral-patterned Anna French Livorette wallpaper provides a vibrant backdrop for a Councill china cabinet that Gold bought 22 years ago. “It was my first nice piece of furniture,” she says. “When I select pieces for my own houses, I tend to never grow tired of them. It was important to integrate my favorite ones into my new design so the house tells a story about our family.”
The dining room’s white side chairs upholstered in blue velvet were a point of contention between Berezdivin and Gold. “He hates them because they’re too fussy,” she explains, “so I put captain’s chairs at the heads of the table.”
Trim detailing plays an important role in elements such as doorways, transoms and wall cutouts that maintain a sense of openness and flow while delineating functional areas. As an example, Gold points to the casework marking the opening between the kitchen and an adjacent breakfast room. “It’s a sub-conscious way of defining the space to maintain the functionality of a galley kitchen with the openness of today’s architecture,” she says.
Every room in the house gets used, thanks to a design that’s both practical and pretty. “The pandemic showed us the connection between wellness and interiors because we were all stuck at home,” Gold says.
“I grew up in a beautiful home and always knew and appreciated it,” she adds. “It made me happy.” Just like embroidered pear fabric.
David Hagedorn is also Arlington Magazine’s dining critic.
Neighborhood: Rock Spring
Square Footage: 3,300
Architectural Designer: Philip Bentley
Interior Designer: Ame Gold Design
Builder: M-R Custom Homes