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D.C.'s Oldest House Gets an Elegant But Livable Makeover

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Originally dismantled and freighted to Washington D.C. in pieces by a pair of wildly enthusiastic 17th- and early-18th-century antiques lovers back in 1934, this 1750s Georgian manse has for a long time now proudly claimed the title of D.C.'s oldest home. Referred to as the Lindens according to its recent Architectural Digest spread, the stately manor was originally fully outfitted in nothing but period decor, even keeping its strengthening steel support beams, telephones, radios, and bathrooms—even old-timey purists, it seems, have a soft spot for updated plumbing—hidden. Now, though, the home's owner, along with interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez—the mind behind Michael J. Fox's Manhattan apartment—have embraced a slightly different goal in approaching the decor. "He proudly pointed out that this is the oldest house in Washington," Himes Gomez tells AD of her client. But, she notes, "He did not want it to feel like a house museum. He wanted it to feel like home."

The solution, as is so often the case with a situation like this, was to create a space that both honors the Linden's ancient bones and the needs of the modern-day dweller. Himes, for this reason, let elements left the floors and "exquisitely detailed walls" shine, while filling the home with antiques and reproductions along with a few understated, contemporary pieces. Certain standout rooms include a dramatic entryway that's wallpapered in a French scenic wallpaper from the 1860s, a pastel dining room featuring an 1880s chandelier, and a paneled library. The overall effect? Traditional without feeling austere, and livable without trampling muddy boots over the estate's history. Architectural Digest has the full gallery, so have a look.

· Mariette Himes Gomez Decorates a Historic Washington D.C. Home [Architectural Digest]
· All Mariette Himes Gomez coverage [Curbed National]