Feature in Space Magazine

Merit Award: Custom Renovation

Chevy Chase, Md., Residence
(Hoachland Davis Photography)


It's hard to see now, but this 57-year-old Ranch had many of the problems that often afflict that genre: poor circulation, a rabbit warren of chopped up rooms, insufficient storage, and poor daylight, to name a few. Architect David Jameson's renovation scheme replaced the negatives with good planning and stylish design for what the judges termed “a clever transformation of a problematic Ranch house.”

Jameson's first move was to transform the existing garage, which occupied a prime location near the pool, into a glass-walled master suite oasis. Then he rationalized circulation by moving the front door to the center of the house and forming a gallery hallway that provides balanced access into various rooms. 

Though the roof height couldn't be altered, Jameson avoided the “dastardly expanse of never-ending 8-foot ceilings” by creating “fissures of light” within the framing. Two 5-by-12-foot skylights were inserted into the ceiling to fill the open kitchen/ dining/living area with natural light. At night, glowing spots artificially brighten the recessed boxes. 


Jameson addressed another bane of Ranch houses—a lack of storage—with walls of steamed beech built-ins that line the gallery, living room, and master bedroom. He saved more space with a 5-by-8-foot custom sliding wall between the master bedroom and bath. The beech-and-sandblasted glass partitions permit the movement of light while maintaining privacy. A similar idea was applied in the kitchen where sliding opaque glass and brushed zinc panels conceal or reveal different sections of the upper cabinets at the owners' whim.


Entrant/Architect: David Jameson Architect, Alexandria, Va.

Builder: Shlomo Assaraf, As It Should Be Cabinetry and Builders LLC, Kensington, Md.
Living space: 2,400 square feet
Site: .25 acre

The Washingtonian

Beyond the brick box


Owner of As It Should Be Cabinetry & Builders LLC (formally known as Sabra Design); Shlomo Assaraf was the contractor on this amazing renovation!!

Grand Award!

Awarded by Remodeling Magazine


Owner of As It Should Be; Shlomo Assaraf and his team (Formally known as Sabra Design) were the contractors on this AMAZING renovation!!

Custom Home Design award


Awarded from Custom Home design Magazine


Feature in Home & Design Magazine


Portfolio- A Fruitful Renovation


Designer Andre Sabbagh transforms a typical suburban basement into an luxurious wine cellar and home theater
By Sharon Jaffe Dan | Photography by Bob Narod
January/February 2007

In the hallway leading to the basement space, Andre Sabbagh created a new cove ceiling covered in Venetian plaster.

It all started when a light fixture over a Rockville couple’s pool table broke. They asked their friend, interior designer Andre Sabbagh, for advice on whether to fix it or buy a new one. This launched a discussion about what they thought the lower level of their home should ultimately look like. Sabbagh had some exciting ideas. So exciting, in fact, that the homeowners decided to embark on a full-scale renovation that would create a one-of-a-kind billiard room, wine cellar and plush new home theater.
In the original space, stairs led down to the basement and into a stark hallway with an existing wine room on the left and a spare room on the right. The hall culminated at a bar overlooking the billiard room. The décor consisted of white walls and dull wall-to-wall carpeting.
Sabbagh’s goal was to create a refined, personalized space that would reflect his clients’ style. “This is a home, not a pub,” he explains. “We wanted to make it elegant. The intention was to give it the coziness of an Old World feel combined with the quality of today’s finishes.”
The wife, whose father and grandfather were both winemakers, asked Sabbagh to integrate two large wine barrels made by her father into the design. So he designed custom cabinetry that encompasses the barrels as well as additional wine storage. Then he created a cozy seating area in front of the cabinetry where the homeowners and their guests can enjoy a bottle of wine or play a game of cards.
Throughout the new space, Sabbagh incorporated rich, textural materials, such as custom wall panels made of tooled leather and cork floors that evoke the interior of an old wine cellar. Decorative painting by Christine N. Barnette creates an antique, rustic effect.
In the billiard room, Sabbagh designed a freestanding bar along one wall. Below it, a mural of wine barrels by Barnette reinforces the theme. During a game of pool, guests can rest drinks and snacks on the bars or on the two round granite stands hung on cast-iron bases that Sabbagh designed in opposite corners of the room.
Other than a custom-designed mirror, Sabbagh resisted the urge to hang other objects on the billiard room walls. “I wanted to make the space itself a focal point and the architectural element, of course, is the pool table. Each print, painting or mirror would overtake this dominant element in the room,” he explains.

One of the designer’s greatest challenges was configuring the home theater, a small space with three different entrances. To conserve space, he selected theater seating by Motion Craft Furniture that reclines in place. Top-grain leather upholstery and dramatic lighting effects create a luxurious cinema experience. Meanwhile, the home theater system installed by Graffiti Audio Video features all of the latest bells and whistles: a remote that controls all A/V equipment, the lighting and the retractable screen; surround-sound; and a platform motion shaker that kicks in during action scenes.

The homeowners are delighted with their home’s new lower level. Says Sabbagh, “The elements pull from the past and present. The beauty of the space is that it’s so personal. When friends or family come over, they have a story to tell.”

Photographer Bob Narod is based in Sterling, Virginia.
Interior Design: Andre Sabbagh, TAS Interiors, Falls Church, Virginia Home Theater Installation: Graffiti Audio Video, Washington, DC Decorative Painting: Christine N. Barnette, Christine Nicole Productions, Glen Burnie, Maryland  Cabinetry: Shlomo Assaraf, As It Should Be, Kensington, Maryland