Tricia Huntley Goes Cottage-Chic in Arlington

When I’m writing about a home for a magazine, there’s never enough space in print to show all the pictures. Such was the case in a story for Arlington Magazine’s March-April issue, where I wrote about DC designer Tricia Huntley’s remake of her client’s Arlington Cape.

All “After” photos by Angie Seckinger

Beautiful, right? Look how far it came:

The owner, Laura Terrell, had bought the house when she was in her 20’s. Nearly two decades later, she finally decided that she wanted to live in an “adult house,” but she loved her neighborhood and didn’t want to move.

Tricia worked entirely within the small home’s footprint, and expanded the square footage by converting a long-neglected and unused deck into a glorious, three-season screened porch. Here’s the gist of what she did, from my story:

Huntley’s redesign respects the home’s cottage architecture, but sidesteps the genre’s less appealing stereotypes. Whereas the previous color scheme came straight from the Colonial playbook—navy blue, hunter green, maroon and yellow-beige—its new palette is built on crisp white and taupe, with subtle greens and accents of orange, purple and royal blue. “It’s taking the dowdy out and shocking it with sunshine,” Huntley says.

Now I’ll shut up and show you all the eye candy, room by room, along with the “before” pictures:

The entry comes right into the living room, so the following image is basically where the shot above was taken:

Tricia painted the banister black to add drama:



It’s incredible what just a coat of paint can do, right? Add some adorable furniture and cool artwork, and it becomes a brand new house. Through the living room is the kitchen and dining area. Here’s what it was before — with more yellow-beige paint!



Tricia sourced the cool “YES” artwork from DC artist Julie Wolfe.


You can just see through to the first-floor guest room in the picture above, where Laura wanted to keep her great-grandparents’ iron bed.

Tricia took that iron bed and raised it one—with wallpaper and fabrics that put a modern twist on a Victorian theme. “It needed to feel traditional but still kind of fun,” she told me.




The tiny first floor also had a problematic “den” off that central dining area. Hard for us mortals to know what to do with such an odd, small space:

But of course, Tricia knew what to do.

“From problems come opportunities!” She declared. “It’s like a little nesting spot. I dipped it all in chocolate.” Add a dramatic lantern and graphic rug, and you’ve got something going on there. Can you believe the chairs are the same ones as the “before” picture? It really tells you what some cool fabric can do to a tired piece of furniture. The console table was also existing —Tricia painted the brown wood orange, and voila!



Just outside the windows is the old deck. The VERY old deck. The deck that says, “You don’t REALLY want to come out here, do you?”

Out with the deck, and in with THIS:

Can you imagine having breakfast at that table with the cool breeze of the morning flowing in? Dreamy.

The horse head came from Darryl Carter’s shop in Shaw.

This view above is looking back toward the original house, which used to look like this:

Part of the new design is a fireplace, whose stone chimney you can just see in this angle:


The master bedroom and a second guest room on the second floor are tucked under the home’s sloped roof, so Tricia used wallpaper to, well, paper over all those angles and soften each space.

This is the master bedroom…

which used to look like this:

The odd, unused niche was put to work as an elegant vanity area with its own ethereal wallpaper:

Tricia said the mirror/box also came from Darryl Carter’s shop — I MUST get down there soon.

As you can see, there was quite a bit of brown wood in this room before:

Tricia dialed it all back, so the only brown wood left was truly special:



Across the way in the other guest room, Laura wanted to keep the ball-post bed, which was custom made by Samuel S. Case in Purcellville, Virginia (which I can’t find online — a notation on Yelp says, sadly, that it’s been closed, but if anyone can correct me, I would appreciate it). You can see one of the bed posts in this “before” picture:

Tricia gave the bed—and the room—new life:

The soft colors, paired with modern pieces, highlight the beautiful lines of this traditional bed.

“I can appreciate any genre as long as it’s not one-note,” Tricia told me. “Things need to be contrasted against different aesthetics to really be appreciated.” I’ll say:

I’ve done a lot of before-and-after posts in this space, but this one is especially dramatic and transformative—especially because she didn’t take down any walls, and only added on where the deck was. To better understand her work, I’ll leave you with the floor plans.


Laura has married since she embarked on this redesign. I surely hope she and her husband stay put for a long time in this dreamy cottage.

To see more of Tricia’s beautiful portfolio, go to Huntley & Co. Interior Design.


  1. What a great article Jennifer! Tricia has always had a keen eye and is an extraordinary designer. It was a treat to see the before and after of her work.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer and providing so much content. We love when people can view before-and-afters, read the backstory AND see our drawings!

    ** Michele, you are too kind ; )

  3. So beautuful!

  4. You’re right, Jennifer. Sadly, Sam Case died way too young. The family closed the shop on Kensington Antique Row (where Modern Mobler is now located) and later shuttered the Virginia plant.

    • Jennifer Sergent says:

      Margaret, how sad to hear! But what a beautiful legacy that will live on for generations through his work such as Laura’s bed. Thank you so much for letting us know.

  5. So happy to see all these extra pics. As always, I worship Tricia’s work!