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…….