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!!!!

Kips Bay

With any luck, regular posts will become a feature of my website very soon. Unfortunately, I am of an age where this computer stuff comes slowly.

In this space, I will share images and ideas that inspire me, filling it with stuff I love and I hope you will love too. A sort of inspirational sketchbook.

Kips Bay Designer Showhouse 2010

To see more inspirational photos of Kips Bay, visit  My Notting Hill.