Marika Meyer’s Design for an Arlington Addition

Even though I’ve been writing about design for many years, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a thrill when a story makes the magazine cover, especially in my back yard.


All interior photography by Angie Seckinger

I had the pleasure of writing about three truly impressive home additions in Arlington and McLean for this month’s Arlington Magazine. The “cover girl” here is a home in Arlington’s Country Club Hills, where designer Marika Meyer infused oceans of white with bright, graphic prints throughout a total renovation that was designed by GTM Architects. Steve Smith of the Arlington based Ventura Group handled the construction.

(This is the second story I’ve written for Arlington Magazine involving GTM and Ventura—the owners here are friends with those previous clients, which is how they got their names. Small world!)

The real estate in print magazines is always at a premium, so editors can only choose a small handful of photos for any given project. Here, I wanted to show you the rest of the house beyond what you see in the story (linked above).

The total overhaul of Donna and Jim Alpi’s home started with Jim’s need for a real home office, since he started working full time from home several years ago. Then the dominos started rolling into a new kitchen, family room, master suite and guest suite on the second floor, and a third-floor popup for their older son’s bedroom and hang-out loft. Donna also got her own office out of the deal.

The new space is to the side, over the garage, but the project involved a total gut of the interior.

The new space is to the side, over the garage, but the project involved a total gut of the interior. Exterior photography by Kevin Weber. 


This lovely breakfast area, above, looks out to a new terrace, below (note all the new windows on the rear of the new addition).

GTM Arch / Alpi House

The breakfast table is part of a larger family room, which serves as the main hangout spot for the family.


Adjacent to this area is the bright, white kitchen.



To the left of this picture are doors that lead out to another terrace (love that fire pit!) and screened porch.

GTM Arch / Alpi House

These French doors, above, lead into a wide hallway that extends through the house from the front door. And on the other side of the wall from the screened porch is Jim Alpi’s office—the inspiration for this renovation.


The quarter-sawn oak paneling is just gorgeous, don’t you think?


While Jim’s office has its domain in the rear of the house, Donna got her office at the front, just to the right of the entry.


The combination of white, blue and green is so refreshing. Donna told me she often curls up in the chair by the corner, below, with her laptop or a good book.


Just outside, the paneled entry and stairwell offers a gracious welcome to visitors (like me!).


Donna told me that the architects paneled the walls of the stairwell to add gravitas to that space, which rises up to the third floor. Mission accomplished.


On the other side of the foyer is a large dining room. The room itself wasn’t altered, but Marika asked a decorative painter to do a strie on the walls, while she added striking draperies to complement the Alpis’ existing furniture, most of which came from the late Colony House here in Arlington (RIP!)


A small family-heirloom chair is now a perfect match for this space.


Upstairs in the master suite, Donna wanted a total refuge—even from any color. Marika obliged, using their existing furniture to create a totally calming, neutral environment.


I could hang out in that window nook all day long.


I’m currently working on new stories for both Bethesda and Arlington magazines—both will feature stunning outdoor spaces for their summer issues. I’m also writing about a drop-dead coastal property for Home & Design’s new publication, Chesapeake Views. Stay tuned!