Home Tour: A Designer’s Vibrant Waterfront Townhouse

Wouldn’t you love to peek inside some of Reston’s beautiful homes? We have a fascinating mix of contemporary, mid-century, traditional, and urban homes throughout town. Now is your chance to look inside some of them!

One of our favorite features here at Modern Reston will be our series of home tours. We will be showcasing some of Reston’s most intriguing home interiors. We’d like to thank Michelle for being the first to invite us into her home. As soon as she opened her doors to us, we loved what we saw.

Waterfront townhome in Waterview Cluster in Reston, Virginia

Michelle and her dog, Miles, live in a waterfront townhouse on Lake Anne. Her house is one of the first homes in Reston’s original planned community, designed by architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith. It still feels as fresh and exciting as we imagine it did in the mid-1960s.

When we stepped into her living room, we gasped at the dramatic lake views. Paddleboarders drifted past as we looked around and admired the colorful decor. Michelle has an interior design degree from the Corcoran, and her modern eclectic home definitely reflects her design talents. She has a lovely collection of mid-century vintage, contemporary, and antique furnishings.  “I have a hi-low style, where I like to mix pieces I find with new ones,” says Michelle. Her home is a skillful mix of high-end pieces from stores like Design Within Reach, vintage pieces from her travels, and inexpensive touches from Ikea. She is also a painter, and her walls are covered in her own modern art. The resulting blend is colorful, energetic, and truly her own.

Design Within Reach Theatre Sofa and Barcelona stools

Much of the living room furniture is from Design Within Reach. Her sofa is DWR’s Theatre Sofa, in cognac leather, and two Barcelona stools serve as coffee tables. The lamp is from La Difference in Richmond. Michelle made the wooden frame on the sofa armrest to hold her remote controls, using scrap wood from a flooring project. The paintings on the wall behind the sofa are Michelle’s own, but she is quick to note that they aren’t finished yet.

Brown Barcelona chairs

Michelle stained the floors a rich walnut color that adds sleek contrast agains the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Super White. “It’s the whitest white they make,” Michelle explained. Two Barcelona chairs sit next to the fireplace and face the lake views. The tall vase next to the fireplace is from Ikea, and Michelle enhanced it by painting it a variety of colors.

Here’s a crazy story about the white art above the fireplace:
When we asked Michelle for the story of this art piece, she explained that it is a grid frame that she found on a curb here in Reston, and then painted white. My Modern Reston partner, Michelle Schoening, looked shocked, and asked on which street she had found it. It turns out that by random coincidence, this piece of art used to be the ceiling fixture in Michelle Schoening’s old kitchen!  One Michelle’s trash became another Michelle’s fireplace art! All three of us got a good laugh out of that.

Mid-century sideboard with a vintage lounge chair

Michelle found this vintage Nils Jonsson sideboard on eBay. She used vintage speaker fabric to make a screen for the media components inside. She powder coated the legs of the lounge chair to change them from brass to silver. The red pouf is from CB2.

The Nani Marquina rug is from Design Within Reach, and the curtain panels are from Ikea. The view is classic Reston! “I must have taken thousands of pictures of the lake and the sunrises,” says Michelle. After seven years in this house, she is still thrilled with the views.

Saarinen Tulip table and Panton dining chairs

Michelle’s dining room features her own painting. “It’s zucchini blossoms,” she explained. We love how a meal inspired her to create abstract art. The dining table is a Saarinen round tulip table, and the chairs are Panton dining chairs. Michelle chose the planter centerpiece “to add some texture and mimic the round shape of the table.”

White kitchen with waterfall quartz counter

Michelle renovated her kitchen with a white Caesarstone quartz countertop. She chose a waterfall counter for the peninsula, to present a clean, white view of the kitchen from the dining room. The pear painting and green decorative boxes are Michelle’s own designs.

Open staircase

The open staircases are a common feature in many of Reston’s mid-century homes. Michelle updated them with a walnut stain color. Paintings fill the staircase walls, with colorful portraits of faces by Jean Griffin on the lower level, and Michelle’s own artwork on the upper level.

Art studio with vertical bookshelves

Michelle’s second bedroom is used as a painting studio and a reading room. A murphy bed enables her to convert the room into a guest bedroom when needed. She covered her sofa with Bògòlanfini cloth, which is a handmade cloth from Mali, that is traditionally dyed with mud. The vertical bookshelves are Sapien bookcases from Design Within Reach.

Four poster bed in a master bedroom with water views

The master bedroom has a wall of windows that offer a grand view of Lake Anne. Her airy light blue and white color scheme enhances the view. An antique desk serves as a nightstand, and juxtaposes nicely with a modern lamp. Her art deco armoire was a treasure she brought home from a trip to Amsterdam.

Master bedroom with water views

Mirrors reflect the lake views and natural light around the room. The blue and green paintings are Michelle’s own artwork from a trip to Italy.

Art studio with modern furniture

The ground level is a larger studio space. It’s filled with art books, painting supplies, and even more water views.

Dock in Waterview Cluster in Reston, Virginia

The lower level walks out to a deck that sits right over the water. From her Adirondack chairs, she can listen to Lake Anne Plaza’s concerts, or watch boats float past.

Waterfront home in Reston, Virginia

“I still pinch myself that I get to live here.”

We don’t blame you, Michelle! Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your gorgeous home!

Do you have an interesting home that would be a good choice for our home tours? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be as beautiful as Michelle’s! We are looking for a variety of interesting, creative homes in Reston. If you would like to submit yours for our consideration, please contact us.