When it came to redecorating her Bethesda home for the first time in more than 20 years, Rachelle Roth knew exactly what she needed: peace, calm and a fresh start.
Roth owns Urban Country, a home furnishings store in Bethesda that she and her late husband, Jeffrey, opened in 1991. Over the years, they filled their store with finds from wholesale markets in High Point, N.C., to flea markets in France. Meanwhile, their home remained stuck in the 1980s, awash in hunter green and peachy pink from the ghosts of Ralph Lauren's and Niermann Weeks' past.
Busy raising three daughters and running the business, the Roths learned to live with the disco-pink interiors. "It was funky. It was fun," Roth said.
But after Jeffrey died 12 years ago, Roth came to realize the interior of the house no longer worked for her. It represented the past, and she no longer wanted to be stuck there.
"My husband had passed away, and my whole world went up in flames," Roth said. "We met when we were 12. We were soul mates."
It took years before Roth emerged from the fog created by losing her partner in love, life and business. Last year, she decided it was time. She wanted a home that would reflect what she longed for in her life: serenity and renewal.
"We decided to repurpose, redo and recycle whatever we could because the bones of what we had here were good," she said.
The renewal began with the kitchen. Roth transformed plain white cabinets into elegant, old world furniture by distressing the wood and adding architectural detailing such as molding and peg legs. The kitchen island is topped with an old barn door, an example of Roth's penchant for finding new life for old items.
The kitchen opens into a casual eating area and family room filled with an eclectic mix of vintage pieces and new upholstery. An elegant sisal rug anchors the space. A pair of hickory shaker chairs with leather upholstery complement natural-fiber upholstered pieces from Lee Industries. A large industrial-style model ferris wheel provides a bit of whimsy without disturbing the room's tranquil vibe.
No room symbolizes Roth's new lease on life more than the master bedroom. Stylish and overtly feminine, the bedroom is drenched in dreamy hues, including Benjamin Moore glacier white walls and soft blue drapes.
From the bed's oversized tufted leather headboard to a small sofa upholstered in Italian velvet from Donghia, Roth's bedroom reveals the inner girlie girl of this businesswoman. Lovely Tracy Glover lamps, made from handblown glass, flank the bed; the perfect accessories for this high-fashion boudoir.
Throughout the home, Roth blends old with new, antique with modern, and woods with metal and stone. This blend of textures and textiles is held together with a cohesive palette of soothing gray paints, such as Benjamin Moore's Buckhorn and Stone Hearth and Sherwin Williams' Mega Greige.
"My house was great. It was fun and a lot of stimulation, but I didn't need a lot of stimulation. ... I needed to come home and feel like I could take a breath," said Roth.
Redoing the house was as much about reclaiming her life as it was about overhauling the space. "If I was going to stay here, I needed it to be calm."