Friends made this D Street remodel work
By Zack Sherzad
Tony and Teressa Estigoy live with their daughter Emery in an adorable D Street remodel. It took serendipity to turn the tiny home into a showplace.
“We really wanted that open-the-door wow factor,” Tony says. “This is a 1,000-square-foot home. How do you make it look bigger without having to blow out walls? You open it up as much as you can.”
When you walk through the extra-wide front door (complete with original brass details), your eyes are drawn past the kitchen and living areas to panoramic doors leading to the backyard.
The wall of plate glass cooperates with a skylight in the kitchen to give the house a sense of size, depth and openness. The chandelier above the dining table was chosen for its thin, practically transparent visual footprint, and doesn’t interfere with the long view from front door to backyard.
Teressa, an Air Force veteran, bought the house in 2012 so she could be near her parents, who live next door. The 1940s house stayed mostly original until Teressa met Tony in 2019.
“Teressa was a single mom, so it was a kid’s house. Bookcases everywhere, toys and stuff,” Tony says. “It was three months before she even let me in the backyard.”
“Actually, it was four,” Teressa says.
Tony, who sells real estate at Sotheby’s International Realty, started fixing up the backyard, but the couple wasn’t sure what to do with the house. Then Teressa’s longtime D Street friends Cris Weber and Mollie Lyon invited them to a Christmas party.
Weber and Lyon, of design team Flax + Stone, had remodeled their own home. Tony and Teressa were so impressed they decided to have the neighbors do their remodel too.
Some might say it’s a bad idea to do business with friends, but when it works, it really works. When Tony and Teressa felt overwhelmed, their faith in Weber and Lyon carried the day.
“We were moving through this whole process of trying to figure out what kind of flooring we want, what color scheme we want,” Tony says. “Around the third month in we said, ‘Mollie, we trust you!’”
“Which is a designer’s dream,” Lyon says. “We gave them options and they were saying, ‘We like all of them, pick your favorite.’ Really open dialogue. Where I pushed on suggestions, they took them, and when they weren’t interested we moved on. Every decision was easy and solid.”
Weber and Lyon’s biggest challenge was marrying two conflicting styles. “Teressa is farmhouse modern, and Tony is straight modern—like bachelor pad, clean lines, industrial,” Lyon says. “So how could we make this feel like a comfortable place for Tony to move into, but a family space overall? We had to find where we could do super high-end luxury things, and where we could make a cozy place for everyone to gather.”
Take the fireplace. The original was a traditional red-and-white. “It looked like Santa was going to come down,” Weber says. “But Mollie found this exquisite tile that was a compilation of stone and wood. It gives it a warm feel, but looks modern as well.”
Though Tony has sold real estate for years, he admits the remodeling process taught him to look at houses differently—as a canvas rather than a monument.
“A lot of times you’ll walk into a home and think, it doesn’t have this, it doesn’t have this, it doesn’t have this,” Tony says. “Now I say, wait—this is what it can be. Come over to my home, see what is possible. It gives my clients the visual.”
Weber and Lyon say it’s been rewarding to remodel another D Street home. “The block, we’re like family,” Lyon says. “We do pumpkin carvings, cookie decorating, Easter egg dying. We did a D Street dinner one year. Great neighborhood, great sense of community.
“A remodel is a remodel, but seeing this family come together made it all the sweeter. That’s why we call this the ‘Happily Ever After Home.’”
For information on Flax + Stone, visit flaxandstone.com.
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