Architect David Benton puts a fresh spin on a dated Colonial, creating chic interiors for a family of four

An older house is like a broken-in pair of boots—so comfortable that it’s easy to overlook the scuffs and worn spots until suddenly you grasp that it’s time for an upgrade.

Such an epiphany struck the owners of a center-hall Colonial in DC’s Foxhall neighborhood. “It was on Thanksgiving in 2018 that I realized for the first time there was nowhere comfortable for people to be,” the wife says, describing the home she and her husband and their two children had shared for six years. “Even though everything was ‘fine,’ the house wasn’t suiting our family dynamic. We decided to elevate it, to make the spaces warmer and more our style.”

Though endowed with high ceilings and generous proportions, the 1990s abode’s layout left much to be desired. Standard, builder-grade doors

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