An Inspiring Space
Tucked away in the basement of Ravi and Anu
Dahiya’s home in the Avenel neighborhood of
Bethesda is a home gym with a black ceiling,
black ;oor, backlit white shoji screens and a wall
of mirrors that together create an inviting space
to work out.
“This is a small space, so a black ceiling
makes it feel higher and the screens are a
calming in;uence,” with their clean lines,
frame and opaque material, says Anthony
Wilder of Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin
John, which redesigned what used to be an
un;nished storage room into a functional gym.
Ravi, who was a member of the Harvard
University rowing team, uses the rowing
machine in the gym four or ;ve times a week,
often in the afternoon. Two ceiling fans help
keep the space cool, which he says is key with
a hard workout.
“For me, the big issue is just time,” says
Ravi, a facial plastic surgeon who goes to work
early in Rockville and is busy with the activities
of his two children in the afternoons and
evenings. “I need a very time-ef;cient workout,
so to have it at home is absolutely essential,
otherwise I would never work out.”
The rubberized ;oor has some give, which is
good for Anu, an internal medicine doctor who
uses open space in the gym to exercise. She
often plays training videos and uses weights
when working out with friends.
There is an illusion of natural light in the
room thanks to the translucent shoji screens
(made of a synthetic material to look like rice
paper). The screens cover up the furnace, hot
water heater and other utilities. Track lighting is
mounted on the ceiling, which is painted black
to hide the wires and duct work above.
Ravi says he likes the bare-bones industrial
feel of the home gym, and the design elements
and lighting make it welcoming. “It’s not a room
I dread coming down to,” he says.