Couple turns Northwest DC house into a home full of lush colors

By Chord Bezerra
Photography by Todd Franson
Published on March 4, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

Go with the flow in 16th Street Heights in this 3 BR, 1 BA townhouse with beautiful hardwood floors, a newly remodeled and expanded kitchen and a gay couple with a strong appreciation for hearth, home and family.

Some accidents are happy things, like how mortgage consultant Scott Davis and student Erik Fonseca stumbled across their Northwest home one day. Once ensconced, their goal was to add their own personal touch with a new kitchen, some complementary colors and a couple of nostalgic benches were all it took to make their house a great place to come home to.

SCOTT: We were living on Capitol Hill and we just wanted a bigger house. We were a little disappointed on what we were seeing on the hill and I remembered being up here once years ago and thinking, "That's a nice neighborhood."

ERIK: Finding this house was a pure accident. We were just looking at houses for the fun of it.

SCOTT: It was Sunday afternoon, what else were we going to do? I think this house was open until 4:30 p.m. and all the others were only open until 4 p.m., so we said, "We have one more we can squeeze in." We drove up, we saw it and we liked it.

ERIK: What I liked most was the entrance and the hardwood floors. I immediately thought this house had a great flow to it.

SCOTT: [In the kitchen] The previous owners had redone the kitchen and it was decent. It was just very, very small. We thought it would be nice to enlarge it a little bit so we knocked out a wall. Then we had a contractor put in the cabinets and counter tops. It gave us a lot more room.

It's funny, we are from very opposite backgrounds -- I'm from New England and Erik is from Brazil -- but we find ourselves at the same place in life. I don't think we argue that much about taste.

ERIK: Actually I think we complement each other.


SCOTT: Some people like to change all the time and we are both very boring and stable people. We both like things that last.

[In the living room] A friend gave us a color palette book and most of the colors on the walls and the trim came out of that book. We sat down and looked through it and chose a selection of colors. Brazil is very lush and tropical and Vermont is very lush and wintry so we went with colors that are lush.

ERIK: [In the master bedroom] It is intentionally dark in this room. I like lighter colors for the bedroom but Scott wanted a dark color so that he felt cozy and he could sleep better.

SCOTT: I think bedrooms should be dark and warm and safe.

ERIK: This bench has to be restored. It has been in my family for several years. My father was a fine arts professor at a school in Brazil that the Portuguese Royal Family founded when they came to Brazil to flee Napoleon. This bench came with them and ended up in my family. It is made of Brazilian Rosewood. It has gone through one or two restorations and it needs another one. It is a beautiful piece.

SCOTT: [In the guest room] I bought this bench on eBay. My grandmother had several pieces of Hitchcock furniture, which is a furniture maker in New England. I saw this piece on eBay and knew I wanted it. I bought it and it came all boxed up. It looked smaller in the box than it actually was and I thought, "Damn it, I got screwed." Then I took it out and it was exactly what I wanted. There's another Hitchcock piece downstairs. They remind me very much of my childhood.

We are both very proud of our families. When Erik and I came to Washington we weren't running from anything -- we were coming to something. We are proud to be from where we were and we are also glad to be making something new.

ERIK: I have a philosophy that I think Scott shares with me -- you should have everything in your house that you need in order to make you happy when you come home. Neither of our families lives in D.C., so we find this warmth in our own home.

SCOTT: Anyone can have a house but we want to have a home.

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