Cooler Than Your Average Townhouse
Retro-industrial accents and modern furnishings give this end unit the feeling of an urban loft.
Creating a home with character was a priority for Agrillo from day one. A wanderer of cities—he cites Paris and Prague among his favorites—he has an affinity for Old World architecture and vintage contraptions. He likes to buy art locally and when traveling—like the giant, smiling pinup girl print he discovered on a sojourn to Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.
Miller took the industrial aesthetic a step further, recasting an array of old machine parts, tools and factory molds as art objects, many of them sourced from Carbon Industrial Design, a former fabricator and refurbisher in Old Town Alexandria. She remembers meeting Agrillo there on Halloween—in costume, no less—to dig around for curiosities, shortly before the warehouse closed in late 2016.
“Mike is one of my coolest clients,” says Miller, whose interior design firm, Lapis Ray, is based in Vienna. “He’s up on things and is always reading. He is the type of guy who is always excited about something. This was a long evolution of a project.”
Make that seven years. The makeover of the 1,828-square-foot residence was an unhurried process—often ebbing and flowing with the currents of Agrillo’s life. For a time, his work had him commuting between Northern Virginia and an apartment in New York City (which Miller also helped design and furnish). Along the way, his girlfriend, Radell Peischler, moved into the Arlington townhouse, adding her own tastes to the mix. In 2018 they got engaged.
They remodeled the kitchen in July of 2019. Miller had the original cabinets repainted, swapped in new appliances and countertops, and added a sumptuous Spanish-tile floor. But the stars of the space are four mismatched barstools reminiscent of the seating you’d find in a 1920s speakeasy.
It was Peischler’s idea to replace the breakfast table opposite the cooking zone with a leather couch. “We had a lot of eating areas already,” she explains. “We wanted to take the vibe down with a more loungy hangout space—a place to read the paper with coffee and relax.”