A Family Recipe

by Editorial
At the heart of the room, a seven-foot-long island with a smaller sink extends in front of a six-burner Viking range.  Leather stools are pulled up to this counter for casual meals or for getting a closer look at Chef Geoff in action.

At the heart of the room, a seven-foot-long island with a smaller sink extends in front of a six-burner Viking range. Leather stools are pulled up to this counter for casual meals or for getting a closer look at Chef Geoff in action.

In remodeling their center-hall Colonial, O’Donnell and Tracy wanted a better flow of living spaces, a larger master suite and a more spacious and up-to-date kitchen. They also sought a more subdued, sophisticated décor than their previous home with its bright mix of reds and yellows. “We both have very hectic jobs so cool, calm colors and clean, simple lines appealed to us,” says O’Donnell says. With that look in mind, she tapped Washington interior designer Frank Babb Randolph whose cool, pale-on-paler style perfectly fitted her agenda. “He is a classic designer and not into a lot of fluff.”

O’Donnell is unflappable when it comes to interviewing hard-nosed politicians, but the thought of consulting Randolph, who decorated the vice presidential mansion for the Cheneys in 2001, was “a little bit intimidating,” she admits. Jitters quickly vanished as the homeowner and designer began working to make the small house feel larger and more serene with the help of Rockville contractors Pedro and Antonio Tellez. “We gave a fresh, young, contemporary zing to it by finding space that wasn’t being utilized,” Randolph says. “You can make a house feel elegant without making it feel formal by cleaning up the space and furnishing it sparingly. Designers typical throw in too much stuff. ”

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