‘Years before it was trendy for restaurants and coffee shops to open in the alleys of Shaw, architect Mark Lawrence made his home in one. He and his wife, Cary, bought an old stable on Naylor Court in early 2011. They transformed it into a minimalist first-floor office for Lawrence’s firm, EL Studio, with a modern apartment for them to live in above. The setup was perfect for a young couple—not so much for a family of four, which they’ve since become.’

See what happened next in this month’s Washingtonian Magazine: