From ‘frat house’ to family home: A major remodel in Bethesda

When a rainbow-painted gladiator statue is the housewarming gift from a builder to the home owners, you know there need to be a good story at the rear of it.

“My grandmother’s cousin sculpted this concrete gladiator statue that experienced a lamp on top and eventually it ended up in my parents’ garage,” suggests John Frye, 43, who is in professional air-conditioning income. “My pal Matt liked it and introduced it to our frat property when we went to college with each other in Cleveland. He spray-painted it silver and then … it sat in his parents’ basement for 20 yrs.”

Frye’s pal Matt Covell, also 43, launched Construction, a custom made house builder and renovation company dependent in North Bethesda, Md., in 2016. He reworked Frye’s residence in 2019-2020 and introduced the gladiator to Matt Corrado, an artist and mutual high school pal, to “paint it rainbow hues as a housewarming gift,” Covell states.

“We positioned it in a niche around the primary-degree powder space for a image shoot just for enjoyment, and it appears like they’ll maintain it there,” Covell said.

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Family members and mates are central to John and Bridget Frye’s North Bethesda house, which was renovated and expanded in 2020. The house, a 1950s-period pink brick rambler with a basement, was owned by John’s sister, who lived in it with mates for many a long time. At the time she moved out, John rented it for a several many years and finally purchased it from his sister in 2004.

Matt Covell, John and Bridget were element of the crowd that hung out at the residence just after college or university, which served as the collecting place in the early 2000s for a vast-ranging group of mates from Our Girl of Very good Counsel Large College, then found in Wheaton, Md.

“Most of our close friends have been living with their dad and mom following higher education, so this was like a frat residence exactly where Matt and I lived with other roommates,” claims John. “Matt and I have been pals considering the fact that sixth grade, and we achieved Bridget in higher college.”

Bridget, 43, is a former instructor who graduated from the College of Maryland, whilst Matt and John graduated from John Carroll University close to Cleveland. John and Bridget married in 2007 and have 3 small children, ages 9, 11 and 12.

“The 5 of us were being sharing a rest room on the primary amount, and it was having very crowded as the young children got more mature,” says Bridget. “Everything was slipping aside to the issue that we experienced pinhole leaks just about everywhere, and the appliances ended up all breaking. At one position there was drinking water just flooding like a waterfall via one of our kitchen cupboards on to the counter.”

The Fryes had been chatting around style programs with Matt for a couple of a long time and then made a decision to go out to stay with John’s parents in August 2019 so the home could be rebuilt. They hired Carib Daniel Martin, an architect based mostly in Kensington, Md., who has labored with Matt.

“This was these types of a enjoyable task mainly because we all know every single other so perfectly and I know how they dwell and entertain at dwelling,” claims Matt. “This was a considerably far more individual encounter than usual.”

The Fryes ended up able to use the fairness created from long-time period possession and a design loan to rework the home.

“We seemed at some other residences in the spot, but it built additional sense for us to remodel into what we genuinely want,” states Bridget.

Avoiding the ‘McMansion’ appear

Due to the fact the a few friends share fond memories of the dwelling and the community, it was important to them to mix with the neighborhood even though they tripled the dwelling area to about 6,000 square toes.

“We needed to preserve the scale of the neighborhood and keep away from that McMansion search, so though we extra to the facet and the again of the property and developed a second stage, we have been in a position to tuck the front of the property under the roof line,” claims Matt.

The foundation was found to be crumbling, so the rework expected a ground-up renovation, even though the unique brick facade was preserved and painted white.

“The basis challenge turned out to have a silver lining due to the fact it had to be dug out and we received added ceiling height,” states Bridget.

The foundation was produced water-resistant, so they were able to set up wood floors even in the basement.

The white exterior of the property is punctuated with a wooden front doorway that matches wood garage doorways. The pure grade of the hill driving the dwelling authorized for a relatively simple growth.

“The awareness to depth that Matt has is remarkable,” states Bridget. “His sister is a decorator, as well, so we were in a position to get her information.”

The ‘dream social gathering room’

The household has white oak flooring during, with a patterned white oak ceiling stained a darker shade in the lobby. To the left of the lobby is a massive property office environment with pocket doors. Throughout the lobby is the dining space, which the family employs every day for meals.

“Matt’s sister aided me decide on out the coral-colored textured wallpaper for the dining home and I identified the beaded chandelier,” claims Bridget. “I wanted this room to be vibrant and also much more casual than a official eating room so we would use it all the time.”

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A butler’s pantry and total pantry are adjacent to the eating space and function darkish blue walls and a matching ceiling. Modern-day-wanting glass doorknobs are mounted during the property for a transitional seem that complements the elaborate crown moldings in several rooms.

The back of the home is an open relatives area and kitchen with a wall of home windows going through the grassy garden and trees behind the household.

“Matt talked us into this cool idea he had for the fireplace, which is a ground-to-ceiling wall of white oak items that glimpse virtually like siding,” says Bridget. “I wished a bench seat with a check out of the trees and the greenery driving the residence.”

Home windows flank the hearth, and developed-in bookshelves and cupboards flank the window seat.

When the renovation was in the framing stage, Matt understood that if he mounted a bifold NanaWall glass door in between the loved ones area and the adjacent screened porch, it would almost double the entertaining area.

“We’ve experienced as a lot of as 50 people in below with the heaters on overhead on the porch and the gasoline fireplace going in the relatives room,” says John. “We almost certainly had that quite a few or much more when we ended up in the rambler in our write-up-college or university times, but it wasn’t almost as pleasant.”

Matt describes the mixed indoor-outside area as the “dream social gathering home.”

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When the relatives lived in the unrenovated household, Bridget suggests they could genuinely only entertain in the yard.

The screened porch includes a patterned white wood ceiling and privacy screens so that men and women strolling on the close by route simply cannot see inside of. A aspect door qualified prospects to a deck with a grill and methods to the grassy backyard.

‘Wouldn’t it be neat if …’

The open up kitchen area in the loved ones home holds what Matt calls an “aircraft provider deck” marble island with 5 seats so the entire spouse and children can sit there at at the time.

“We went with cabinet-faces for the appliances for a cleaner glimpse considering the fact that the kitchen area is open,” states Bridget. “We also extended the marble from the island on the counters, backsplash and even below the cupboards above the selection.”

Bridget required to hold the window on the side of the unique part of the household to keep the kitchen bright but desired a lot more cabinet space, so Matt developed a glass-entrance cabinet with glass cabinets to permit the mild to glow by way of the window.

On the opposite side of the kitchen close to the staircase to the upper and lessen degrees are the specialized niche with the gladiator sculpture, a powder home with a pocket door and a mudroom with a hook and basket for each and every of the five loved ones users. Bridget selected the navy and white parquet tile ground for this house and an cheap basket-weave gentle fixture.

The staircase to the upper stage has two big windows and wainscoting on the walls, with an oversize round light-weight fixture with hexagonal tiles. The very first bed room on this degree has a area of interest for a desk, a stroll-in closet, a private total toilet, a toy closet and obtain to a storage closet.

Two additional bedrooms share a hall toilet with a double-sink vainness. Nearby are a laundry home and a linen closet.

The major suite incorporates a white wooden cathedral ceiling in the bedroom, which has home windows on 3 sides. The bed sits in a niche with an accent wall painted navy blue and two pendant lights in its place of sconces.

“Matt normally started his concepts with ‘wouldn’t it be great if?’ and that is how we ended up with the market and the pendant lights, which we appreciate,” states Bridget. “In our bathroom, he had the notion of matching the marble counter with the marble bench in the shower and extending the floor tiles up the wall of the shower on one facet.”

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The primary lavatory also has a free-standing tub in entrance of a window.

The reduce amount involves French doors to a included patio and has a spectacular mural painted by Matt Corrado along a person wall and a complementary painted backsplash earlier mentioned the built-in bar and shelving. This stage also has a guest area with a walk-in closet and private entire toilet. Yet another full toilet is adjacent to the work out space, which has home windows dealing with the yard.

Most of the renovation was accomplished in the course of the pandemic, but simply because the Fryes and Matt Covell begun ordering goods in late 2019 they have been ready to stay clear of the delays from source chain disruptions.

“A great deal of partners joke that they have to have relationship counseling all through a important transform like this, but for me this was an remarkable possibility to be with my most effective buddies in the course of the thick of the covid lockdown when I wasn’t seeing any individual other than my relatives,” states Matt. “It was this sort of a annoying time for all people, and it was professionally and individually worthwhile to do this alongside one another.”

The Fryes and their children did digital faculty and labored from John’s parents’ property till they moved into their remodeled home in February 2021.

“The fact that the three of us have been lifelong good friends created this total experience less complicated,” suggests John.

Matt appreciates the have faith in his good friends positioned in him to rework their property.

“They listened to my suggestions and then either they dependable me with them, or we could joke about it if they didn’t,” he says.

The final result: a new house the place buddies and relatives can assemble that is a good deal nicer than what Bridget likes to phone the “flop residence.”