Shop Like a Pro

Where do interior designers go for furniture, rugs, lamps, antiques, and accessories? Here are more than 40 of their favorite retailers.

By: Sherri Dalphonse

Good interior designers have an eye for spotting the right chair or rug or lamp. But they also know where to look.

While designers mostly shop at places where the public can’t walk in and buy—such as the showrooms of the Washington Design Center—some of their favorite sources are stores where anyone can shop. We asked the designers listed on pages 102–110 to share some of their haunts.

These are 40 retailers where designers say they often look for furniture, accessories, antiques, and more.

There are many more good places to buy home furnishings, of course. For a list of more than 100 of our favorite stores—everything from bargain haunts to custom furniture makers—go to Washingtonian.com and click on “home & garden” to see the 2006 Great Home Design feature.

Antiques

Cherry Antiques, 1526 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-342-3600; cherryantiques.com. Designer Skip Sroka recommends this store for its great lighting fixtures.

Coté Jardin Antiques, 3218 O St., Georgetown; 202-333-3067; cotejardinantiques.com. As the name suggests, this shop specializes in French and Gustavian antiques, including garden furniture and ornaments.

Darrell Dean Antiques & Decorative Arts,
1524 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-333-6330; darrelld eanantiques.com. Dean’s quirky knack for mixing proportions, eras, and textures gives his store a grab-bag feel. One day you may find a 19th-century mannequin, the next a 1970s chrome-and-glass coffee table.

Ekster Antiques & Uniques,
105 S. King St., Leesburg; 703-771-1784; eksterantiques.com. Owners Jon-Paul and Caroline Saunier travel to Europe once a year to handpick their merchandise, which includes large display pieces and chairs upholstered in sky-blue Belgium linen.

Gore Dean,
3338 M St., Georgetown; 202-625-9199; www.goredean.com. A top favorite among designers, Gore Dean sells not only high-quality antiques but also gifts, bedding, accessories, and owner Deborah Gore Dean’s line of chairs and sofas.

Grant Antiques, 4835 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 301-215-9292; grantantiques.com. Designers from up and down the East Coast come for the high-end antiques. Ed and Jane Grant specialize in English and Continental period furniture and accessories as well as Scandinavian pieces.

John Rosselli & Associates, 1515 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-337-7676; johnrosselliantiques.com. Rosselli opened his first shop in New York 50 years ago, and the Washington branch sells the painted furniture and often-whimsical antiques he’s known for. Designer Lavinia Lemon goes not only for the one-of-a-kind pieces but for “beautiful” fabrics. Thomas Pheasant likes the “wonderful” lighting.

Marston Luce, 1651 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-333-6800. Luce’s practiced eye—owing to 30 years of experience—and a sensibility he describes as “humble elegance” have earned him a devoted clientele, some of whom have furnished their second homes in Nantucket with the French and painted Swedish furniture he sells.

Miller & Arney Antiques,
1737 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-338-2369; millerarney.com. In business since 1973, Miller & Arney has two floors filled with pristine 19th- and 18th-century sideboards, tea tables, and the kind of serious antiques that appeal to seasoned collectors.

Moss & Company, Oliver Dunn, and Catharine Roberts,
1657 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-337-0540. Comprising three names, two floors, and one amazing backyard garden, this shop has everything from topiaries right out of Edward Scissorhands to a taxidermy hawk. Co-owner Jackie Dunn jokingly refers to herself and her two cohorts as “junketeers,” but this shop contains anything but. Designer Frank Babb Randolph says that besides antiques, Moss & Company stocks “wonderful” glassware, linens, and other new items.

Susquehanna Antique Company, 3216 O St., Georgetown; 202-333-1511; susquehannaantiques.com. Founded in 1913 by his grandfather, David Friedman’s Susquehanna Antiques is a repository of 18th- and 19th-century English, American, and Continental furniture. Considered to be the dealer among dealers, Friedman is especially known for a fine collection of large dining tables. Skip Sroka also likes to look here for paintings.

Tone on Tone,
7920 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 240-497-0800; tone-on-tone.com. At this shop, which specializes in Swedish painted furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, designers love the unfussy chests, settees, and day beds, many with distressed finishes. The shop also carries an interesting collection of garden ornaments.

Furniture and More

Adlon, 1028 33rd St., Georgetown; 202-337-0810; adlondesign.com. Designer Sophie Prévost likes Adlon’s minimalist furnishings, from such makers as B&B Italia.

Apartment Zero, 406 Seventh St., NW; 202-628-4067; apartmentzero.com. Specializing in northern European lines sets this ultrahip shop apart from many Italian-heavy contemporary stores in the area. The emphasis is on comfort and fun.

Baker, 3330 M St., Georgetown; 202-342-7080; kohlerinteriors.com. The more than 20,000 square feet of gleaming, high-quality furnishings includes a line of furniture by local design star Thomas Pheasant and Barbara Barry’s sculptural pieces.

Contemporaria,
3303 Cady’s Alley, Georgetown; 202-338-0193; contemporaria.com. The $20,000 sofas mark this as the ultimate source for fine contemporary design. The edgy concrete showroom carries the latest from Italian makers like Cappellini, Minotti, Molteni, and MDF Italia.

Daniel Donnelly Modern Design, 520 N. Fayette St., Alexandria; 703-549-4672; danieldonnelly.com. Donnelly not only sells original pieces and licensed reproductions of mid-20th-century classics, but he makes a line of furniture inspired by such masters as Eames and Mies van der Rohe.

Design Within Reach, 3307 Cady’s Alley, Georgetown, 202-339-9480; 1838 Columbia Rd., NW, 202-265-5640; 4828 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda, 301-215-7200; dwr.com. With more than 1,000 designs from a Who’s Who in contemporary furnishings like Knoll and Eames, DWR is a megastore for modernism. Quick delivery is a plus.

Knoll, 1150 18th St., NW; 202-973-0400; knoll.com. Known for its modern office furniture, Knoll also wins over designers with its fabrics, available for windows, walls, and upholstery.

M2L Collection, 3334 Cady’s Alley; 202-298-8010; m2lcollection.com. A designer favorite for its licensed reproductions of modern classics by such names as Le Corbusier, Walter Knoll, and Eero Aarnio.

Poltrona Frau, 1010 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-333-1166; frauusa.com. Buttery leather in fabulous colors is the hallmark of Italy’s leading luxury furniture maker. Star architects Frank Gehry and Richard Meier lend their brilliance—and some kitsch—to the clean-lined designs.

Random Harvest, 810 King St., Alexandria, 703-548-8820; 1313 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown, 202-333-5569; 7766 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-280-2777; randomharvesthome.com. Lavinia Lemon likes Random Harvest’s sofas and chairs; often dating from the 1920s and ’30s, the pieces are refurbished and ready for upholstery. You’ll also find iron beds, solid-wood bureaus, and interesting accents.

Roche-Bobois, 5301 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-686-5667; roche-bobois.com. Although its forte is still its large selection of leather sofas and sectionals, which can be custom made, in the past few years Roche-Bobois has added a newer line, Les Provinciales, that reinterprets 18th- and 19th-century French classics and another, Les Voyages, with pieces inspired by exotic lands.

Sixteen Fifty Nine,
1659 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-333-1480; sixteenfiftynine.com. Nestor Santa-Cruz and other designers like this shop’s stylish, well-priced selection of midcentury modern furnishings.

Theodore’s, 2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-2300; theodores.com. One of the region’s oldest contemporary-furniture stores, Theodore’s offers everything from furniture and lighting to original art.

Vastu, 1829 14th St., NW; 202-234-8344; vastudc.com. This furniture-and-accessories shop carries cutting edge with a spiritual twist. Vastu refers to the Sanskrit equivalent of Chinese feng shui—arranging furniture to promote well-being. Low-slung sofas and beds mingle with a good selection of accents and wall art.

Foreign Style

Artefacto, 3333 M St., Georgetown; 202-338-3337; artefactousa.com. The huge showroom is a spectacular place to view Brazilian furniture crafted from exotic woods, fine leather, and natural fibers. The pieces are large, too.

Banana Tree, 1223 King St., Alexandria; 703-836-4317. The place to find antique British teak chests, Asian art deco, and Colonial pieces from Europe’s Asian conquest.

East & Beyond,
6727 Curran St., McLean; 703-448-8200; eandbeyond.com. Three floors of Asian furnishings demonstrate the owners’ dedication to offering the finest antiques and traditional pieces from China, Japan, and Korea. They travel several times a year to collect them, and they refinish many themselves.

Marco Polo’s Treasures,
4263 Howard Ave., Kensington; 301-530-3420; marcopolostreasures.com. Beautiful antiques and reproductions from Asia, including Burma, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Muléh, 1831 14th St., NW; 202-667-3440; muleh.com. The furniture’s ecofriendly materials and hip designs are a perfect fit for the shop’s urban neighborhood. Contemporary lines, exotic woods, and light upholstery create a unique look.

Good Values

Crate & Barrel, crateandbarrel.com. Designer Mary Drysdale says she’s a “Crate & Barrel fan.” So are other designers—who like, among other things, that C&B will upholster a piece in any fabric, including fabric bought elsewhere. Leather seating is a good deal, too. Cheryl Ranson says Crate & Barrel’s online contemporary store, CB2 (cb2.com), is unbeatable for good modern design at low cost.

Restoration Hardware,
restorationhardware.com. Out of all the home-furnishings chains, designer Sue Burgess says, this is her favorite. The bedroom dressers are well made and curtains and lamps a good buy.

Ruff & Ready Furnishings, 1908 14th St., NW; 202-667-7833 (open Saturday and Sunday only). This store buys out estates, and the merchandise can be stacked to the ceiling. Designer Skip Sroka says that buyers willing to sift through it all can come away with some treasures.

Rugs and Flooring


Classic Floor Designs, 2120 L St., NW; 202-872-9860. This longtime favorite has just about everything you could need underfoot, including rugs, wall-to-wall carpeting, hardwood, and stone flooring.

Timothy Paul Carpets & Textiles,
1404 14th St., NW; 202-319-1100; timothypaulcarpets.com. The heirloom-grade rugs include hard-to-find imports from all over the world, with modern color and designs that blend with any style. The shop also carries unique contemporary upholstery fabrics and lamps.

Finishing Touches

A Mano, 1677 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown; 202-298-7200; amano.bz. Mary Drysdale calls this store a great source for such accents as glassware, candleholders, and throws. The owner, Adam Mahr, sells hand-painted Italian ceramics, French tablecloths, Venetian goblets, and other pieces he brings back from Europe.

Dominion Electric Supply, Arlington, 703-536-4400; Chantilly, 703-631-8300; Laurel, 301-470-2121; dominionelectric.com. Dominion is a favorite for its large selection, from modern to traditional to custom fixtures, and a staff well versed in lighting.

Exclusive Draperies & Upholstery, 14740-A Flint Lee Rd., Chantilly; 703-968-9506; exclusivedraperies.com. This workroom has been making custom drapes for 27 years; many interior designers also have bedding made to order here. The upholstery department can custom-make, re-cover, or refinish upholstered furniture.

Go Mama Go!,
1809 14th St., NW; 202-299-0850; gomamago.com. Mama’s eclectic accessories appeal to just about every taste—from folk art to Zen pottery to modern Marimekko. The colorful tableware, textiles, lamps, and wall art are largely Asian imports and thus affordable, especially the surprisingly beautiful wares made of recycled telephone wire and canned-food labels.

Home Rule, 1807 14th St., NW; 202-797-5544; homerule.com. The lime-green silicone frog potholder and Scottie dog broom sum up the whimsical spirit of this contemporary collection of kitchen, bath, and office accessories.

Illuminations, 415 Eighth St., NW, 202-783-4888; 3323 Cady’s Alley, Georgetown, 202-965-4888; illuminc.com. Cutting-edge lighting and a knowledgeable staff make this a resource for those looking to add “wow” to their homes. Cool doorbells too—illuminated, of course.