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McLean home makeover is national chrysalis Award winner

Michael Nash solution named nation’s “Best whole house remodel”

Master designer/remodeler Sonny Nazemian shares trade secrets

A comprehensive makeover to a Mediterranean-style home in McLean has won a national Chrysalis award for Michael Nash Kitchens and Homes. Founded in 1993, the Chrysalis has long been regarded as the remodeling industry’s most prestigious peer award; Qualified Remodeler Magazine and Kitchen and Bath Design News are among the national media sponsors.


The winning design solution– in which two levels of a 20-year old single family home were selectively reconfigured and upgraded–was executed in the residence of George and Rima Bitar. The project was named the nation’s “best whole house remodel”. Other judges include editors and writers for Southern Living Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.


The makeover had earlier won a regional (11-state) “Contractor of the Year” (COTY) award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI); previously it was judged a COTY Grand Winner (“Best Entire House Under $250,000.00”) by NARI’s metro DC chapter.


In accepting the prize, Michael Nash president and founder Sonny Nazemian acknowledged his company’s innovative design team–which contended with space planning and interior design challenges while staying entirely within envelop of the 4,800 square foot structure.

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National Chrysalis Award Winner
Michael Nash reinvigorated the interior of a circa-1990’s home in McLean starting from the front foyer. To endow the flooring with a bright, seamless look, hairline grouting was applied to 20″x20″ crystal marble tiles. A basket rope wrought iron railing replaced the builder-grade wooden original. White staircase risers contrasting with dark stained treads establish the new interior’s “transitional-style”. The suspended crystal chandelier at the top of the stairs draws the eye and in and up.

“The owners had been looking for a larger house with a pool their growing family could enjoy long into the future,” Nazemian recalls. “After searching the real estate market for several years, they found a property with many of the right components. However, the configuration of rooms on the first floor didn’t meet their needs, the kitchen was pretty dysfunctional, sight lines from family room to pool were blocked and the interior was too dark and dated for their tastes.”


As Rima Bitar saw it, the house had “lots of potential”, but much of it was unrealized. A particular problem was a sequence of rooms on the left side of the foyer.


“There was a great view of the pool from the rear of the house,” Bitar says. “But from the foyer one entered a small living room on the left– which, in turn, revealed a doorway on the back wall linked to rear office with a bay window. A powder room in between flanked right. Overall, the left side of the house was too dark from front to back. Plus, we didn’t want a first level home office, and the powder room was in the wrong place.”


Bitar talked to several contractors, but none seemed to see the home’s systemic flaws as anything more than several rooms needing a fix-up.


“They didn’t grasp the big picture,” Bitar says. “One wanted to start on the kitchen and leave the powder room for a future date. Another had ideas for the foyer. No one seemed to recognize our requirements: we were looking for someone with seasoned experience who could help us completely reinvigorate the interior.”


As such, Sonny Nazemian, chairman and founder of Michael Nash Kitchens and Homes, came as a breath of fresh air. “Sonny got our vision”, “Bitar says. “For instance– he recognized immediately that we could find a more central location for the powder room because we already had plumbing routed to an unused wet-bar situated in the central part of the house.”


Meanwhile, the entrance from the foyer has been widened, and changed to an arch which reiterates existing window shapes. Fluted mullions trimming the arch provide an elegant profile. The new flooring is wide-plank cherry wood with espresso-finish.


Throughout, Nazemian advised on interior design fundamentals.


“Sonny asked me if I wanted color undertones to be cool or warm,” Rima Bitar says. “The cooler undertone I chose allowed me to choose brighter colors as accents for some accessories, but the compositional balance is well-maintained.”

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Living Room & Music Room
Remodeler Sonny Nazemian proposed relocating a misplaced powder room, eliminating a needless back office, and forming a front-to-back great room consisting of a parlor and music room. to allow more natural light and visual continuum, a bearing wall separating living room from rear chambers was opened up by introducing a structual beam mounted vertical supports encased in period paneling. The new flooring is wide-plank espresso-finish cherry wood.

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Kitchen to Family room
Nazemian installed new structural supports that open up sight lines in two directions. The square narrower-guage columns introduced discrete design element that is developed throughout the makeover.

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Kitchen & Breakfast Area
The Michael Nash team moved the cooktop range to a backwall and installed a new hood above. The ceiling was raised to accommodate taller glass-facing cabinets. The quartz top backsplash and white marble counter surface present a balanced contrast to the black walnut counter base and espresso-finish flooring.

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Home Additions: Patricia Meder, Annandale, VA ---

“I would say, over the years we’ve hired Michael Nash anyway 15 different projects …”

Kitchen Remodeling: Jay and Gretchen MacMillan, Potomac Falls, VA ---

“… It was very scary, but overall it’s a very pleasant project for us” “I think it’s just like working with peers, they’re very nice and very open …”

Bathroom Remodeling: Cheryl Ann and John Helmick, Centerville, VA ---

“Oh they were fantastic (Michael Nash) … They came into the house and did everything …” “They were professional at all times …”

Home Additions

Patricia Meder, Annandele, VA

Kitchen Remodeling

Jay and Gretchen Mcmillan, Potomac Falls, VA

Bathroom Remodeling

Cheryl Ann and John Helmick, Centerville, VA

Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
8630A Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22031, USA

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