design exercise, with Walker sketching something and the husband, who brings the
eye of a seasoned “serial renovator,” able to grasp the design concepts quickly and
Perhaps the most challenging space was the one that gives visitors their first impression: the foyer. To subdue it and marry it better with the rest of the house, Walker closed
the open stair risers and replaced the busy railing with one made of clear glass. He also
added windows to the front wall, resulting in a light-filled cube with a clear, solid connection to the public sections of the house.
At the top of the new foyer is the rotunda, where a disk of colorful inlaid wood in
the floor (a boisterous detail from the 1990s renovation) is lit from above by a circle of
windows. The room acts as a crossing point between public and private spaces and as a
sculpture gallery, the art beautifully displayed against neutral walls. Adjacent is an inviting lounge, a cozy grouping of round ottoman and chairs in front of a gas fireplace set
in a column that separates it from the dining room beyond. It is a natural progression
of public environment giving way to private setting, but it didn’t exist prior to Walker’s
renovation. The architect switched the original dining and sitting rooms, a change that
required moving the column several feet.
Behind the dining room door is the kitchen, a tour de force of gray-stained oak
a sleek assemblage of stainless steel, built-in appliances, and oak veneer cabinetry
(above) marks the Italian-made kitchen by Arclinea. The attached table (right) is built
from oak planks to match the cabinets. Reversing the lounge (facing page, top) with the
dining room creates a logical progression from public to private space. In the family room
(facing page, bottom), the once-white cabinetry is stained to match the dark floor.