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!!!!

Inspired by the 1940’s

Getting a design concept across to a client can be tricky sometimes. So lately I’ve been trying to sketch more. It is not award-winning stuff, but when I have a vision in my head for transforming a client’s space, pictures are way better than a verbal description with lots of pointing and gesturing. (And no, I cannot talk while sitting on my hands)

This sketch is for a client who would like a 1940’s inspired living room and foyer and I am showing it to her today. She and her husband love swing dancing, vintage lamps and clothing and all things 1940’s. AND, the husband is an ARTIST. Can you imagine showing a professional artist this sketch? Eeekkk!

Though I know the basic look and characteristics of Edwardian style, a refresher was in order. Taking inspiration from any bygone era can be tricky. It is important to capture the essence of the period, but then it needs to be interpreted in a contemporary way.

Here is how the foyer looks now. (I’m not sharing the ‘before’ pic of the living room because my client hated the pictures when she saw them in her file and I don’t want her hating me!)

♦ SIDE NOTE:  If you want to see your home the way others do, take a picture. It’s a whole new perspective! ♦

The family has two adorable young children and a dog, so the rooms are hard working. The foyer needs to store shoes and seasonal coats and provide a place for little ones to sit down as they put on shoes.  You can see the green front door in the picture above. When you step in, the living room is immediately on your right and even though there is a cased opening to separate the two spaces, it needs something more.

So back to the sketch….The plan addresses these needs with a built-in storage bench under the window and a shallow closet with coat hooks near the front door.  To give it a hefty dose of 1940’s style,  I want to install tall faux paneling. Above the paneling is not what you think; it is fabric! The same fabric used for the window treatments to be exact. There are companies who back fabric with paper, and voila! Fabric as wallpaper!

Moving to the adjoining living room, here is the rest of the plan:

The yummy floral is for the window treatments and 2 fab stools, or poufs as they are called by The Charles Stewart Company.  The golden chenille is going on the Sherrill sofa, and the super soft velvet on the amazing tufted Charles Stewart chairs. The puckered silk is for the soft roman shades layered under all 3 windows for privacy. The sweet stylized stripe will go on pillows.

The living room window treatments:

Floral print fabric with the solid red linen on the button detail at the top and the banding of the leading edge and bottom hem.

In the foyer, this valance will also be in the floral and the solid red linen lining will show in the folds.

Puckered ivory silk for the roman shades.

The Sherrill sofa, done in golden chenille.

Two Charles Stewart Chairs in green velvet.

Two poufs, covered in floral with solid red contrasting welts and buttons and also peeking out from the pleats.

Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses. The first pieces of furniture are due in just a couple of weeks and then we can add occasional tables, lighting, accessories……

♦ UPDATE:  My client LOVED the foyer proposal! Looks like this will be added to the job list! Sketching pays off!


If you want to see one of my brilliant (riiiight) sketches for your home, just shout!