Shope Reno Wharton Creates a Sophisticated New Home for a Client’s Next Chapter

After 25 years at a grand estate designed by the firm, the client returned seeking something more streamlined.
Shope Reno Wharton Creates A Sleek Streamlined Home For A Past Clients New Chapter Exterior B

Photograph by Tim Lenz Photography

When a past client called Shope Reno Wharton looking for a home reflective of new interests, a smaller scale, and a more relaxed living style, SRW was excited to accept the challenge. The client’s existing home was a magnificent and traditional estate property designed by SRW 25 years prior, and the new home was to be something else entirely. What remained constant was the desire to create a sophisticated and dramatic residence that would showcase their collections of furnishings and art.

The new home was to be located in an established suburban neighborhood with a program more akin to a large apartment than to a large estate. Shope Reno Wharton responded to the brief with a design that respects the owner’s desire for traditional forms that would be in context with the existing street, feeling at home among its neighbors.

Exterior materials were selected to feel both customary and contemporary, with an emphasis on durability and ease of maintenance. The primary materials of stucco, stone, limestone, and slate are all time-honored—but the detailing of the exterior is crisp and more minimal.

Shope Reno Wharton Creates A Sleek Streamlined Home For A Past Clients New Chapter Foyer

Photograph by Tim Lenz Photography

Stepping inside, the interiors were designed to be much more modern than the client’s prior estate, with clean lines and open relationships between spaces. While the vocabulary is dramatically different, the desire to create a beautiful architectural sequence remained a top priority.

Guests are welcomed into to a warm vestibule, flush-paneled in dark walnut with a lowered ceiling. The stair hall just beyond is a dramatic two-story space—the largest space within the home. While it provides a sculptural cantilevered stair passage to the second floor, its primary role is that of an art gallery. Every aspect of the space was carefully considered, from the decorative lighting to the furnishings, paintings, and sculptures.

The great room, kitchen, and breakfast area are open to each other but can be separated depending on the activity. The architecture is streamlined but layered and comfortable, and the owner’s love of artwork shows through in all of the spaces.

There are intimate spaces in the home as well. A softly paneled library provides a tranquil place of contemplation, and the first-floor primary bedroom suite is a peaceful refuge from the busy world. Throughout the light-filled interior, elegant detailing is balanced with a sense of graciousness and comfort.

Shope Reno Wharton Creates A Sleek Streamlined Home For A Past Clients New Chapter Sitting Room

Photograph by Tim Lenz Photography

Projects of this nature are special and require careful focus on the owner’s interests and desires. Thoughtful collaboration among a team of talented professionals is required as well. For this home, Foley & Cox worked hand-in-hand with the owners and SRW to create a modern yet warm and comfortable interior. Kochman Reidt & Haigh created a sublime modern kitchen in keeping with the spirit of the home. Thoughtforms Corporation harnessed the craftsmen required to construct and execute the refined design.

Shope Reno Wharton Creates A Sleek Streamlined Home For A Past Clients New Chapter Front Door

Photograph by Tim Lenz Photography

Shope Reno Wharton celebrates 40 years as a firm in 2021. “We are humbled and grateful to have clients who share our passion for architectural design and extraordinary homes. The building blocks of successful architecture remain the same regardless of style or location,” shares the team, who work on luxury projects nationwide.

One of their original founders, Bernard Wharton, penned the saying “Buildings must have character!” It is a mantra that remains a guiding principle of the firm today. To tour their wide-ranging portfolio or work with the accomplished architects, visit