Text: Jeanne De Lathouder
Photos: Kip Dawkins

Embarking on a full-scale renovation, homeowners Dori and Peter Markakos sought to preserve the classicism of their brick Colonial in McLean, Virginia. Originally built in 1994, their traditional home sits grandly poised amidst an array of upscale luxury dwellings in one of the area’s most notable neighborhoods.

Beauty in Black & White

Beauty in Black & White

Shimmering touches of gold paired with a bold geometric fabric on the chairbacks undoubtedly create the wow factor for this elegant dining room. Overhead, dramatic pendant lights from Circa Lighting echo the glimmering gold finishes on mirrors from Chelsea House and a bar cart from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Hanging over the console table from Baker Interiors Group, a compelling artwork from Global Views brings a sculptural element to the white paneled wall.

Beauty in Black & White

Beauty in Black & White

Beauty in Black & White

Designed as the family hub of the home, the kitchen area includes a generous Bernhardt table surrounded by slipcovered chairs from Formations. A brilliant David Iatesta chandelier, pendant lights from Visual Comfort, and a fireplace screen from Ella Home continue the flow of lustrous gold accents found throughout the house. A magnificent stacked-stone fireplace adorned with a custom fireplace screen from Galiani Design Group brings an element of rustic refinement to the family room. The generous tufted sectional from Hickory Chair provides cozy seating for the family in front of the fire and a glistening tinsel tree.

With a shared love for glamorous accents and a striking scheme of black and white, Dori and her husband, Peter, a retired Marine Corps officer and founder of EDC Consulting, both pictured a bold, beautiful, and elegant outcome. To help them realize their vision, they called on the expertise of designer Maria Galiani, owner of Galiani Design Group, to guide them in creating an updated and stylish interior that also fit their family’s active lifestyle.

“We have a unique process of learning about our clients,” says Galiani. “We then take that knowledge and transform their dreams into reality by creating a well-designed, functional, and memorable space. The Markakoses have four children who are active in sports, including ice hockey, figure skating, soccer, baseball, and cheerleading. Dori loves all things fashion, and the couple loves the classic feel of black and white, so we incorporated it throughout their home.”

Splashes of the power-color duo include the marble floor of Dori’s office, the houndstooth carpet on the stair runner, and magnificent focal point modern artworks from room to room. For a vibrant variation on the monochromatic theme, Galiani decided to incorporate a bold geometric fabric on the backs of the dining room chairs. The boldness brings a rich blue to the classic black-and-white palette, and the juxtaposition of the graphic fabric against a dining table set with timeless Waterford crystal, Gorham sterling silver, and a mix of Bernardaud and Hutschenreuther china achieves the eclectic look the homeowners prefer.

“We love the style and color palette used throughout our home,” says Markakos. “It’s the perfect mixture of traditional and contemporary with some modern details. Galiani took the time to understand our vision and provided us with knowledgeable advice regarding room layout, colors, textures, and all other finishes. She understood that we wanted our home to be beautiful and functional.”

The main floor design flows seamlessly from room to room and into the kitchen, which has become the heart of the home for the couple, their four children—Mia, Max, Melina, and Mason—and the family dog, Miles. The kitchen’s soaring cathedral ceiling, painted beams, large windows, and French doors opening to the pool area and outdoor fireplace add to its allure. Dori loves to bake bread and treats with the kids in her French-door oven, and they spend much of their time doing homework, eating, and working on arts and crafts at the massive kitchen table. Peter is often found working there as well when he’s not in his office.

On the lower level, a Washington sports-themed game room allows guests to escape the hustle and bustle of the main floor. The area includes a home theater, a billiards table, a Ping-Pong table, a video gaming hub, and a kitchen space for quick snacks.

“My favorite aspect of this project was transforming a home built in 1994—with green marble accent tiles in the foyer, beige walls, and dark cherry cabinets—into a home with a bold new look,” says Galiani. “For the holidays, our inspiration was to give this glamorous home a fresh, clean, and natural décor. We wanted all the trees to be simple and elegant.”

A spectacular living room tree greets guests as they arrive and amplifies the exterior Christmas lights through the front window. Here, mercury glass ornaments with hints of blue and green pair well with the fresh eucalyptus garland on the fireplace mantle. Gifts are dressed in a mix of holiday wrapping papers—white, silver, and gray topped with glittery bows and snowflake ornaments for a touch of sparkle. Another festive tree adorns the breakfast room, and a whimsical tinsel tree shimmers with lights in the family room, where everyone will open gifts. In the foyer, fresh mini trees decorate the upper shelf above the double entry doors, and multiple layers of garland cascade down the curved staircase railing that is elegantly accented with a crystal boule d’escalier.

“We love our home, and it fits our lifestyle perfectly,” says Markakos. “It’s very functional and easy to entertain 75 guests comfortably. We love opening the French doors in the main foyer and kitchen and having the party extend to the backyard pool deck and our secret garden. Maria and her team made the entire renovation an amazing experience.”

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