Vintage, Colourful and Eclectic Pieces Bring This Historic Townhouse To Life

Designer Zoe Feldman Design helped a young couple breathe new life, soul and character back into the rooms and walls of this historic Washington D.C. townhouse...


This historic townhouse in Washington D.C. had been recently bought by developers bent on modernising the space. A young couple in their 30s came in at the eleventh hour before the demolition was complete – they had other plans for this property and wanted to bring the house back to its old glory days as well as making it work as a modern home

They brought on interior designer Zoe Feldman Design to help them breathe new life, soul and character back into the rooms and walls. The result is a stunning home that's full of colour, vintage furnishings, sculptural shapes, interesting finds, eclectic art and quirky touches.


Feldman wanted the hallway to give a powerful and memorable first impression, so she added vintage sculptural table lamps and a colourful abstract piece of artwork from Jenny Prinn to add personality.

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An antique console table with a marble top from Chairish was central to this the design scheme. The homeowners were especially intrigued by its aged look. The console's edges are a bit worn. Feldman could have restored it, but the couple liked the lived-in feel. The couple love vintage pieces that are not 100 percent perfect – even better when they have a little nick or dent in it, as the pieces become more alive, more interesting, and tell a story. This was one of their traits that Feldman says made this project so enjoyable for her and her design team, as it meant they got to hunt for some really interesting finds.

Hands acts as hooks by the door, a fun and quirky touch.

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Feldman incorporated vintage finds to honour the home's history, and then layered one-of-a-kind eclectic pieces, art and personal items to add colour against the vintage pieces.

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While neutrals ground the home, it's enlivened with colour – like this ochre velvet sofa by Kara Mann for Baker, which steals the show in the living room.

A vintage drinks cabinet was also woven into the design, and takes pride of place by the staircase – painted in the same black lacquer paint.

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Feldman also took the couple's rescue dog into account, adding practical solutions like vegan leather chairs, low-pile rugs, and performance fabrics around the house.

She also found an old Biedermeier games table for in the bay window, serving as a spot for the couple to enjoy their morning coffee, read the newspaper, or use when entertaining family and friends.


Feldman wanted there to be a clear distinction between the dining room and the living room and kitchen, so she made two bold design moves; painting the ceiling black and installing a textured neutral wallpaper in a geometric print from Pierre Frey. Feldman then punctuated the space with vintage oversized table lamps, artwork by St. Frank, and a green Roman shade.

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The dining room features Pierre Frey’s "Indus Tise" wallpaper, and an Andrew Neyer pendant. The vintage the sideboard and dining table are both from 1stdibs. Above the sideboard is a print by St. Frank.


The kitchen features more green (the wife's favourite colour), with Farrow & Ball's Card Room Green on the cabinetry, emphasising the elegant curves in the space.

Feldman also added brass fixtures, a plaster hood, and a vintage Oushak rug to pull the design together. It's a significant departure from the former bare, all-white kitchen.

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Feldman enveloped the powder room in Farrow & Ball's Bancha (did you know that it's one of the world's most popular paint colours?).

Above the loo is Pierre Frey's “Le Couple” wallpaper which features as a framed artwork – an idea that we're definitely stealing.

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Schumacher's “Leaping Leopards” wallpaper wraps around the guest bathroom. At first glance it looks neutral, then a closer look reveals the leaping leopards.

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A floral William Morris wallpaper stretches across the whole of the master bedroom. The paper feels neutral and quiet, despite the zany all-over pattern.

Built-in wardrobes were installed as well as a generous built-in window seat and day bed.

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Everything looks well thought-out, from the skirting, the cabinetry and the bespoke day bed to the brass wall lights and cleverly disguised see-through light switches (visible above, to the left of the day bed).

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The master bathroom features a striking navy herringbone patterned floor tile, which complements crisp white walls.

The taps feature oak wood lever handles.

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The shower space was an interesting challenge for Feldman as the window forced Feldman to take a risk by installing the shower's plumbing right on its glass door. She'd never done this before, but it actually ended up working out beautifully because you walk into it and see the back of the plumbing and this beautifully exposed shower.

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All photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg, @stacyzaringoldberg on Instagram

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.