Remodel: Modern Love

An Arlington Ridge couple goes for saturated colors, bold patterns and great art.

On Super Bowl Sunday in 2015, house hunters Heather Cutler and her husband, Eric Ettare, toured a three-story, Mission-meets modern home for sale atop a hill in Arlington Ridge. Their decision to make an offer on the place took only 10 minutes. Two months later, the couple moved in with their then 2-year-old daughter, Sloane. Originally built in 1905, the house had been mostly torn down and rebuilt in 2014 by local home builder Dan Troutman, who left enough of the original structure intact to qualify the construction as a renovation. The revamped house features large rooms, natural finishes (weathered wood, stone, iron railings, barn doors) and lots of light, thanks to multiple picture windows and sliding glass doors that offer skyline vistas, including a peek at the U.S. Capitol building from the kitchen.

Cutler describes her style as industrial and minimalist. “I like hard lines and large-format things,” she says, “like the massive island in the kitchen and the Arhaus dining room table that seats 12, and we love mixing high and low, off the-shelf [pieces] with custom. Art is very important to us, so we’ll drop a lot of money on that, but mix it with a $199 rug from”

Seeking a professional to help bring cohesion to the interiors, the couple found Arlington designer Dolly Howarth through a referral.

“Dolly was great,” says Cutler, a public affairs executive (Ettare is a sales engineer for CroppMetcalfe HVAC specialists).

“She helped us choose which artwork to buy and where to hang it, the lighting, window treatments, paint colors throughout the whole house, some furniture pieces, rugs and tchotchkes and created a mod-ern feel.” Howarth’s design strategy of-ten involved working backward from artwork purchased from the Merritt Gallery in Chevy Chase. A stunning, 89-inch-square painting by Beatriz Simon titled “Supper”—a study in tur-quoise, Cutler’s favorite color—is the dining room’s centerpiece. In the master bedroom, “Lemon Chartreuse,” an oil-and-wax ab-stract landscape by Jeff Erick-son, hangs above the bed, with a Surya flat-weave rug mirroring the painting’s bright hue.At first, Cutler says, the bold wall colors and vivid area rugs were a little out of her comfort zone, but Howarth won her over. “Those patterned rugs are great for spills and that’s important with a 5-year-old,” Cut-ler says. “We told Dolly to push the envelope and she did. We couldn’t be happier.”

Neighborhood: Arlington Ridge
Originally built: 1905
Remodeled: 2014
Previous square footage: Unknown
New square footage: 4,500
Interior designer: Dolly Howarth,
Builder: Dan Troutman,


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Categories: Home & Design