Deer-filled, wooded communities exist in Silver Spring off the busy thoroughfares that take people through Montgomery County to the nation's capital. Here, on large, treed plots sit big homes that are distinguished by their architecture and landscaping.
David and Debra Goren have found such a place, and enjoy an almost country feel less than a mile from New Hampshire Avenue. Their one-level house sits atop a slight incline off a narrow street. A long driveway lined with maples, poplars and cedars passes a pond and ends at the double-door entrance of the contemporary structure they call home.
The residence was designed in 1966 by architect Edward Durell Stone, who also did the Kennedy Center in Washington. The Goren house is a large rectangle that was enlarged to 5,200 square feet in 1980.
The couple decided five years ago that they would look for a home with a more open feel, rather than adding to their multi-level home.
"This house was on the market," Debra Goren recalled of the couple's whirlwind shopping venture. "We looked on a Thursday, thought about it on Friday and looked again on Saturday."
As the real estate agent was taking them through, there was another couple interested as well.
"We knew we would make major changes, but we were pleased, and charmed the Realtor, taking the house 'as is,'" said David Goren, an immigration lawyer in private practice.
And so, in the fall of 2002, the couple settled on the brick and cedar-sided home for $675,000.
"I remember telling the kids when they came home from college for break, it would be the last Thanksgiving in our old house," said Debra Goren, owner of a own jewelry design company.
The Gorens got to work repairing and renovating a home that contained five bedrooms, a living room, a sunroom, a library, dining room, kitchen, family room, game room and a jewelry studio. An estimated $300,000 was spent renovating the kitchen and three bathrooms, and adding a new roof, four skylights (to an existing nine) and a front entrance area.
Debra Goren's keen eye for color, fabric and modern furniture is shown throughout the house. The art and fabrics collected over 30 years are everywhere.
Beyond the slate floor entrance are large rooms that are open and crayon colorful. All are splashed with natural daylight. The living room, for example, enjoys midday sunshine from a tray ceiling of oak planks rising pyramid-like to a fiberglass dome.
Shafts of light fall onto a contemporary suite of furniture that includes a sectional semi-circular sofa of purple micro-fiber with multicolored cushions and a pair of brown barrel chairs with beige piping. A large beige circular wool carpet defines an area complemented by light oak plank floors and walls painted sunflower yellow and purple.
Standing sculpture and wall hangings mark the dining room, exquisite in its elegant simplicity. Berry-red walls serve as a modern gallery-like backdrop to treasured pieces such as a numbered Alexander Calder hanging. The work is fashioned of Guatemalan hemp, its vibrant shades of red, yellow and black forming a spiral within a multipointed star against a natural beige ground.
Wooden African masks hang on an opposite wall above a side table crowned with a Zimbabwe sculpture of an embracing family made of polished stone.
The dining room's centerpiece is a table of bird's-eye maple and matching chairs that accommodate 14 for Goren family occasions.
Beyond the dining room, a modern kitchen features stainless-steel appliances, veneer cabinets painted steel gray and black granite countertops.
A game room, at the opposite end of the living area, is a warm and personal tribute to David Goren's love of sports. The 34-foot by 30-foot space contains a collection of memorabilia that includes baseball, football and basketball objects.
An entire wall of family room photographs - grandparents, parents, weddings and bar mitzvahs - chronicles joy and pride in Goren family history.
And while the couple happily concede their dream home combines a country-like setting embellished with artwork, David Goren sums up the core of that dream: "I often walk by the wall of photos and think about how far we've come."
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