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Small Row House Renovation Idea: Bold Colors

With neutrals being the color schemes of choice it’s always a refreshing change to stumble across a home that features layers of colorful design features. Even so most of the more colorful home designs are reserved for large, spacious interiors. Not to be swayed by size limitations, a homeowner in Washington, DC approached KUBE Architecture to renovate her small row house with the colors of her childhood home in Puerto Rico and the final result is a home filled with colorful design features that meld softly into each zone without overpowering them.
Aside from color, KUBE architects also focused on the elements of light and materiality to create a Puerto Rican flavor within Mi Casista that is still all about the urban lifestyle within Washington, DC.

The entry to Mi Casista is kept neutral with grey walls and trim but a stark black wardrobe cabinet to the right of the door brings in a punch of vibrancy that connects to and carries through with the black beam traveling the length of the home.
A brilliant blue steel post that acts like an exclamation point defining the beginning of the stairwell supports the black beam and further into the home bright orange cabinetry mark the beginning of the kitchen zone.
The warm hues of orange and yellow are the traditional colors of Puerto Rico as is the pop of blue within the post.
The element of light was introduced by removing interior walls and double hung windows, replacing the windows with larger, more efficient casement models.
The fridge is integrated into the wall of orange cabinets, running the length of the kitchen on the east wall. The rest of the cabinetry on the two peninsulas and the west wall are a deep black for balance and the yellow bar stools on both peninsulas add that extra pop of fun.
Just past the kitchen is the dining area, which switches focus from color to light and materiality with its double height wall of windows and overlooking 2nd storey mezzanine as well as with the bamboo pendant lights that have a paper coating.
Out back the color blocking continues within the saturated blue tone of the fencing.
The fence and the blue support post are the only blue features of the home with most of the color blocking focusing on the warm shades of orange (downstairs) and yellow (upstairs).
The living room is kept neutral, allowing the vibrant colors within the homeowner’s art collection of local and Puerto Rican artists to create dramatic color moments on the west wall. Here materiality also takes a prominent roll via the white porcelain tile on the floor.
The stairwell is where all the design elements merge. Open treads create the light, the views of the upstairs and downstairs millwork layer in the color and the Wood “mampara” screen with its white washed poplar spindles set into a blackened steel frame feature the materiality.
The stairwell and the 2nd story leave the white porcelain tiles behind in favor of a dark bamboo plank.
The upstairs is where the 2 bedrooms, study and bathrooms are located.
The second or guest bedroom is also used as a lounge and features a Juliette balcony at the end of the mezzanine overlooking the dining room. The balustrade is a closed poplar design to give privacy to guests.
The ensuite off of the master suite is one of the few locations green is used as a feature color, otherwise appearing only within the living room artwork.
KUBE Architecture
The bold color choices in Mi Casista not only add personality to the row house, but also help to visually widen the narrow space. Color blocking is a great tool for adding personality and size to a small space and even a small apartment makeover can be successfully achieved with a renovation that includes colorful design choices.


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