Who We Are

About Braitman Design Studio

Jackie Braitman

I’m Jackie Braitman, the principal of Braitman Design Studio. I want to introduce myself because what I do is very personal – to me as well as to my clients.

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.

Please Contact Us For a Preliminary Consultation

11 thoughts on “Who We Are”

  1. Hi Jackie-
    Do you ever help clients in Leesburg. We have prelimary architectural drawings of changes we’d like to make preserving our very colonial Williamsburg style home without increasing its footprint. We had hoped to begin our project with a builder in Jan. But for some reason he’s dragging his feet. We are a bit stuck. This is a significant remodel involving main floor upstairs and lower level walk out. I think it would be really fun to work with someone who could help us preserve to unique architectural character of our home as well as help us make it more livable for my husband and I who are currently keeping horses and for our future lifestyle hopefully with grandchildren. If you are not able to help us might you know someone creative like you who might work in our area? Thanks so much for your kind help.
    Sincerely Krista Ritsema

  2. We have a split level home. I’d like to take 2 bedrooms and make it into a small master suite.
    How do you get paid for your help?

  3. Love your designs! I hope to add an addition to my small “raised” rambler (1040 sq ft) (Fairfax City) to make caring for my elderly mom and teenage daughter easier. Limited budget, but would love your thoughts on what I have in mind – in regards to cost, time, flow etc. May not be able to afford you, but want to inquire.
    Thank you!

  4. Marjorie — Many thanks for your kind words – while I’ll do design work around the country I only do full service design-build work in a small service area that doesn’t include Virginia. I wish you the best of luck on your project.

  5. Hi, Jackie,

    We have a house in Mslvern PA 19355. The house is very beautiful from outside. I need to do a lot inside though.

    Do you do the design from pictures or videos or you need to make a visit?

    Thank you.

  6. Hello Jackie – i work for an incredible non profit in DC (Unity Health Care). Our mission is to promote healthier communities … through a network of 25 health centers and with the commitment of over 1,000 employees (including a mobile van that canvasses our city streets providing care to the homeless on the streets of our nation’s capital) we provide health care and social services for more than 100,000 DC residents every year. Our hope is that we can share two of your pieces from the ballroom series as awards during our end of year event (December 2nd 2016). we will be awarding two individuals who have been warriors on the front lines in providing health care to the homeless and supporting community health centers in DC and across the nation. Our founder, Dr. Janelle Goetcheus has been such a tremendous caregiver of the homeless and those in need that December 30, 2014 was named Dr. Janelle Goetcheus Day in DC. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring07/articles/spring07pg18-19.html – in addition we are connected by “family”. Chuck Brown (may his soul rest in paradise) was one of our biggest volunteers! He visited Unity Health Care facilities whenever we called – providing words of hope to our men returning from incarceration as well as promoting literacy by reading to our children. He will truly be missed. Please let me know if we can discuss how to work with you to get some of your artwork which we will highlight during our end of year event (or if we can’t afford the pieces from your ballroom series, maybe we can discuss two commissioned pieces that focus on your philosophy that “our souls need daylight and beauty.”

  7. All the pieces from the ballroom series have sold. If you contact me by phone (see bottom of any page), we can talk about what pieces might be available and appropriate. Keep up the good work.

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