DC Design House 2012

Each year I anticipate the DC Design House like children look forward to Christmas. Oh the suspense! Then, in mid-April, it arrives!

Benefiting Children’s National Medical Center, the DC Design House 2012 showcases the talents of 23 area interior designers and is open April 14 through May 13. If you are in the DC area make a special effort to visit. More information about the Design House and Children’s National Medical Center can be found here.

Built in 1956 and located at 4951 Rockwood Parkway, NW in the stately DC neighborhood of Spring Valley, this year’s home is a stunner.

{photo by  Angie Seckinger}

The DARLING John Matthew Moore created this spectacular foyer. I first met him last year at the 2011 Design House where he created a breathtaking  painting for my dear friend Lauren Liess‘ room. Though we only talked a short while last year, I was so flattered he remembered me!

John Matthew Moore and his painting, Three Swans

Upon remarking on the beauty of this fabric, I learned he designed it himself! Does his talent have no end???

Next is the refined creation of Annette Hannon. Her parlor, designed as an inviting and comfortable space in which to linger, stands out as one of my faves this year.

{photos courtesy of Annette Hannon Interior Design, Ltd}

A bar is concealed behind those spectacular doors. CarrMichael Construction made Annette’s vision come to life. Wow. And the pattern on the chair (not the back of the chair, but the chair back. Follow me?) is an applique’. Wow again.

Notice how she resisted the urge to pile pillows on the sofa.

From Annette’s serene parlor you enter Kelley Proxmire’s L’Orangerie. Just feast your eyes on this treat….

In what was once a formal ballroom, Kelley created a classic take on a modern sunroom. With her signature use of color, emerged this tangerine fantasy. The orange grasscloth is inspired!

Kelley masterfully blends the traditional with the unexpected. Love it! Another fave for me.

I cannot wait to show you more so come back to visit soon.

DC Design House, The Final Chapter

The DC Design House is entering it’s final week, so those of you lucky enough to be in the Washington, DC area need to check your calendars and make time to get there by May 8.  Money raised benefits Children’s National Medical Center and tickets are available at the door.

Here now is a particular favorite of mine, The Hideaway done by Lauren Liess of The Pure Style.


Inspired by the home’s numerous rooms – perfect for a child to explore – Lauren created a relaxing space designed to inspire the imagination. It is a space to which one can retreat and read or catch up on correspondence.

I have visited the Design House several times, and every time I’ve see people drawn to this window seat and plopping right down! What bigger compliment is there than that?! Lauren refers to it as the Princess and the Pea window seat. The 3 custom mattresses, done by Paul David Johnson, are – for me – the center piece of the room.


Lauren has also created a line of custom upholstered furniture and this Mad Hatter chair is one of her favorites. The ikat fabric used for the window treatments you see in the background is also her original design.

I wish I had a better photograph of the art, but I don’t! Above you can see a partial view of renowned artist Matterw Moore’s over-sized grisaille of boxwood gardens done for this room. His work is INSPIRED! You can see more of it if at the Design House as he has a mini gallery set up there.


I attended press day at the Design House with my dear friend, Catherine Funkhouser of CWF Communications. Catherine is a very talented writer who has many published articles including numerous pieces with Capital File and Washington Spaces magazines.  She is standing with designer David Mitchell of David Mitchell Interior Design in his ‘One for the Guys’ bedroom.


David’s room is his signature combination of comfort and tradition – a mix of old and new, ordinary and luxury. He wanted to be sure that men were represented in this year’s Design House by creating a masculine space. It’s terrific, isn’t it?!


Barbara Franceski of Barbara Franceski, LLC imagined a family room where everyone can come together to talk, read, relax or socialize. Above you can see the wonderful curved sofa from William Yeoward – my favorite piece in the room.


This teen girl’s bedroom was designed by Samantha Friedmna of Samantha Friedman Interior Designs. Isn’t it charming?


Here is Samantha standing next to the swing she had installed in the dormer of this room. I truly loved the burnt orange and purple combination in this space.

I’ll leave you with some additional photos of the Design House. Pure eye candy, each one.


Love your comments!

DC Design House, Part 2

Here are a few more images of the 2011 DC Design House benefiting Children’s National Medical Center.

With so many beautiful rooms to see, you really need to make a visit. The house is open now through May 8 so you need to hurry!


The front portico was transformed by James Rill of Rill Architects, PC. The next photo is a before. Pretty amazing, huh?


Seriously! Can you imagine stepping into your home and being greeted with this? Liz Levin of Liz Levin Interiors wowed everyone with her foyer and stairs transformation.
Liz took what was previously dark and heavy and carefully chose elements that lighten and brighten. Look closely at the walls. The space was inspired by a Moorish motif in the form of hand painted graphics that span the first floor and lead up the stairs. The ikat rug and more contemporary chandelier were certainly unexpected – but brilliant!

This vignette near the stairs is centered around local artist Susan Noyes work comprised of razor blades on canvas. Cutting edge, No?


The pool kitchen (doesn’t everyone have one?) is a contemporary, sleek space. Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design transformed the seriously dated and, dare I say, UGLY (wish I had the before pic!) kitchen into what you see above. And Nadia is also a delight! See the stools on the left? She really loves those things and had a terrific time demonstrating how to adjust the height – and then she would take the free ride down.  Charming!


Here is Nadia in front of the farm sink and showing off the soapstone counter. She sought to bring the outdoors in by selecting a charcoal gray plank porcelain tile that smoothly transitions from the exterior slate patio.


Ahh! The delightful Camille Saum astride a chair in the FABULOUS dining room she created. THIS is what a show house room should be! – one part inspiration, one part astounding talent, and one part ‘Over The Top’ execution. You must visit the house for this room alone!


And apparently if you dine with Camille, you also get to enjoy the company of Matthew McConaughey. I accept!
See the center piece? It is sitting under the spectacular Palissy Lantern from Niermann Weeks and is from Pier 1. Cool.


But the part of the room that, for me anyway, put this in a category all it’s own is the moss covered mantel. Note, too, the bamboo covered radiator under the windows.


Live moss. Painted floors. Yellow patent leather chairs. Bamboo covered radiators. Taffeta.
In Camille’s words, “The room’s elegance and whimsy is punctuated by the unexpected.” I’d say.


Another favorite space is from the very talented Iantha Carley of Iantha Carley Interiors.  The master bedroom and dressing room are light, restful and inviting. Take a look….


Everything about these rooms read modern, elegant, sophistocated and whimsical.

That wallpaper (by Nina Campbell)! And note the framed print? It is from artist Anne Harwell. You need to visit her Etsy store and her blog Annechovie. Hurry, what are you waiting for?
Iantha you inspire me! (And she is really sweet too.)

In my next post on the DC Design House I am very excited to feature the wonderful, amazing, spectacular ‘Hideaway’ by my friend Lauren Liess. Boy oh boy is that girl talented!

Please visit again! And your comments are always welcome!!!!

DC Design House, Part 1

Each year I think the designers selected for the DC Design House reach new heights. And this year is no exception.

The Design House, which benefits Children’s National Medical Center, opened this weekend and remains open through May 8.

Before the frenzied design work begins, the public is invited in for a dramatic Bare Bones Tour.  If you visit the Design House website you can see a few of these ‘before’ photos, making the ‘after’ even more stunning.

Then the designers had only 30 days to transform this 1925 12,000 square foot English Country Tudor in the Forest Hills area of DC.
(In case you are in the market, it is currently for sale and listed at $4.9 million.)

Feast your eyes on the 2011 DC Design House:

Patrick Sutton of Patrick Sutton Associates had what was almost certainly one of the biggest challenges in this house – the living room.
Its dimensions are cavernous yet he did a masterful job of creating inviting conversation areas throughout. Although I genuinely loved many of the rooms, this one took my breath away. I think its transformation, and Patrick’s command of space planning, is what struck me most.

Here is Patrick standing in front of the amazing stone fireplace. Originally covered in layer after layer of paint, he and his team spent countless hours scraping away the years until finally revealing the original stone. However, what you see in the photo is not exactly what they found that day.

He told me that he was finally able to achieve the gorgeous patina you see by — wait for it —  rubbing it down with steel wool! I don’t know if this is how it went down, but in my imagination someone whipped out some steel wool and went to work after Patrick said ‘something’s not quite right.’ So the subtle gray movement and tone you can now see is a result of that mysterious steel wool process. Oh, and also a rub down with some good ol’ paste wax. Perfection!

The Pool Room, done by Erin Paige Pitts of Erin Paige Pitts Interiors is a cool and inviting space. Since the house has no porch and this space leads to the pool, Erin wanted to create the look and feel of one. She cleverly hung two love seat sized swings facing one another and then filled the room with cool airy textures and beach references.

Gary Lovejoy of Gary Lovejoy Associates, Inc created a modern and inviting sun room.

Gary cleaverly used a screen in place of more traditional window treatments. The chairs above are facing the chaise shown in the previous pic.

The library, done by Nancy Colbert of Design Partners, LLC was originally one of the darkest rooms in the house. She transformed it into this beautiful light filled space. New bookcases were added for balance and symmetry and the entire dark wood panneled room was given life with Farrow and Ball #241, Skimming Stone and a decorative paint finish.

More to come…….

Hugs,
Roxanne