Contemporaria

Store in Bethesda, Md. doubles its size
Posted February 20, 2003
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With just 2650 square feet of space, Deborah Kalkstein felt her two-year-old Contemporaria store in Bethesda, Md., was too cramped to adequately display its line of upscale Italian furnishings and accessories. So when the space next door opened up, Kalkstein jumped at the chance to double the size of her showroom.

The expansion involved melding two adjoining L-shaped spaces into a single, U-shaped floorplan. The original half of Kalkstein's space consists of chalk-white walls and a series of skylights, while the addition features graphite-gray walls and a heavier dose of indoor lighting. "This contrast allows clients to visualize how my lines look in two distinct environments," explains Kalkstein, an interior designer and architect.

Despite their differing color and light schemes, both sides of Contemporaria's loft-like environment have bare concrete floors and block walls that reflect an urban aesthetic of industrial space that's been transformed into living quarters. In addition, Kalkstein uses the outdoor area between the two wings of her business as a patio to display lines of outdoor chaise lounges, tables and chairs.

Client Design: Contemporaria, Bethesda, Md. - Deborah Kalkstein, owner

General Contractor: W.B. Dorman Construction, Takoma Park, Md.

Outside Consultant: Brenan and Co., Bethesda, Md. (architecture/engineering)

Suppliers: Lightolier, Fall River, Mass., Album, Milan (lighting); Dixie Sheet Metal Works, Falls Church, Va. (steel wall); Thomas Shade & Awning, Silver Spring, Md. (awnings); Metal Specialties Inc., Woodbridge, Va. (patio gate)

Timothy Bell Photography, Arlington, Va.