I Create Spaces – That Transform Your Relationship with Your Home
I’m Jackie Braitman. I specialize in remodeling and additions for older homes. Often, my projects include integrated interiors and exteriors for complete indoor-outdoor living.
I’m a problem-solver and seek to create solutions that will transform your relationship with your home. We rarely realize that our lives are constrained by our homes. We know we feel cramped or that we want more light. But many daily frustrations are encouraged by and goals frustrated by the design of our homes.
The older homes in and around Washington DC often have a lot more space than we realize. I specialize in re-making those homes to fit today’s lifestyles — instead of constraining our lives because of living and building practices from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40s and 50’s.
I offer what’s known as a design/build service – taking the project from the very beginning of design through construction. I act as architectural/landscape designer and general contractor. I’m fully licensed and insured. I have a network of trade professionals – all reliable, used to working as a team, & licensed. I retain full responsibility and accountability. I have a reputation for on-time, on budget performance and history of happy clients.
I have no particular style but instead customize my client’s home to their tastes and needs. I take a holistic approach, integrating architectural design, landscape design, interior design, and finishes, components, and furniture.
Most of my clients have talked with many design professionals and contractors before finding me. They kept looking because nothing felt quite right – the ideas were not responsive to their problems or the solutions felt too cookie-cutter. So if you’re looking for a kitchen or bath makeover – it’s probably not me you’re looking for. Come to me when it’s time to re-think your relationship with your home.
With that said, my work might include any of the following: whole house remodeling, first floor remodeling, additions, kitchen and bath remodeling, basement remodeling, master suite additions, and landscape remodeling.
I work in lower Montgomery County, Maryland and Upper Northwest DC. including Bethesda, Chevy Chase, North Bethesda, North Kensington, Rockville, Garrett Park, Silver Spring, South Kensington, Takoma Park, Upper Northwest, DC.
My design practice crosses the bounds of design, architecture, art and construction. You can think about my work as having 3 parts:
- A remodeling design/build practice — where I remodel older homes within the urban and close-in suburban areas of Washington, D.C.;
- A landscape design/build practice; and,
- A sculpture studio where I create large and small sculpture — sometimes on commission and sometimes “on spec”. Some turn into “Made to Order Products”
However, for me, they are all part of an integrated whole. My work follows certain themes:
- Daylight & Views:Our souls need daylight and beauty. We’re happier, more content and more productive when these needs are met. Some views are to outdoor garden rooms. But many views are interior views into inviting area or of art or architectural details.
- Central, Open Living Cores: Today’s families need areas to congregate together where each member can engage in separate activities while ensconced within the group. We also need private “away” places for quite activities and to re-group.
- Existing Footprint: Too often the response to today’s living requirements is to build the big “family room” addition. While leaving the original home empty of activity and living. This is incredibly wasteful in both building materials, family capital and energy costs. Instead, I focus on reconfiguring the existing footprint as well as selecting using bump-outs and small additions to enhance the living experience. Creating the central kitchen in an older home is often much more successful and comfortable than the large “great room”. This is because the spaces are often both more intimate and more flexible.
- Budget Constraints:I willingly work within the homeowner’s budget constraints knowing that we all have priorities in addition to our homes. That being said, remodeling is extraordinarily expensive these days. Here’s a link to some standard guidelines.
- Garden Rooms:Garden rooms of all types enlarge a home and increase our sense of comfort and connection.
- The Fabric of Established Neighborhoods:I strive to retain and improve the relationship of your home to it’s neighborhood – including the addition of front porches and the use of appropriate materials and architectural styles.
The various components of my work inform each other — I truly work at the intersection of art, architecture and design:
- Art– “A personal, unanalyzable creative power“;
- Architecture– “The practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones”; and,
- Design– “To devise for a specific function or end.”
[Definitions from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Online Dictionary]
I believe that magic occurs at this intersection. Magic that creates the essence of “Home.” Magic that achieves harmony in our competing needs for:
- Intimacy of enclosure counterbalanced by views into other possibilities.
- Rhythm and texture of repetition counterbalanced by the calm of solid construction.
- The stimulation of being part of the family counterbalanced by the peace of solitude.
- The inspiration of daylight and the out-of-doors counterbalanced by the comfort and protection of walls and a roof.
- Distinctive features that say this could only be my home counterbalanced by the need for the familiar profiles of “Home”.
Too often home remodeling is about limits – limits of cash, time, and imagination. Limits driven by whichever professional starts first – architect, designer, landscape architect, skilled artisan.
Instead, at Braitman Design, perceived limits of cash or space are turned to advantage. They inform the possibilities rather than constraining them. For example we are skilled at using inexpensive materials in novel ways. Of creating comfortable multi-use areas. Of using unique architectural features the solution to vexing problems.
Those who know me will find it strange to hear me speak about “essence” and “spirit” and “holistic”. I’m a pragmatist. I get things done rather than talk about them. But I think there is true magic when we achieve the harmony of “Home.”
Please see for yourself the extraordinary result when architecture, design and art are seamless parts of the whole. I invite you to meet me and to visit my studio or one of my projects.