By Meg Biram
One of the first blogs I followed upon moving to Washington was Starr Struck, a lifestyle blog penned by Arlington resident Mary Catherine Starr, a talented yogini and painter. While she is incredibly dedicated to her workout routine (she is a yoga instructor, after all!), she’s even more devoted to following her passions in life. Starr shares this outlook in her blog’s mission statement: “My goal is to inspire you to create a bit more space in your own life in order to make time to do whatever it is that nurtures you most. Because what’s left in life if we don’t pursue what we love?”
Along those lines, Starr’s painting, “Wheel,” inspired me to create a calm, mellow space that could be used for yoga or meditation. I was drawn to this lifelike painting not just for its monochromatic colors, but because that very yoga pose is something I’ve been working on in my own practice. I’ve gathered a fresh look below to complement Starr’s painting, and think it’s the perfect space in which to finally master that pose.
Are you an Instagram fan? The popular social app is seriously addicting—and seriously full of incredible design inspiration. Bloggers, writers, artists, photographers, and creatives are constantly snapping pics and posting lovely photos of daily life. I personally believe design inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere—I once pulled an orange color palette idea from a gorgeous (and delicious) heirloom-tomato-and-burrata salad—and these five Instagrammers are a reliable showcase for a range of style and design. Read on for tips on how to incorporate their aesthetic into your decor.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve got quite the collection of bottles and barware tucked into a cupboard, only making an appearance at the odd dinner party or cocktail hour. But after spotting these charming home bars around Pinterest lately, we’ve been inspired to dig out those St. Germain bottles, crystal decanters, and retro shakers to create a cocktail-themed collection worthy of a 1960s Manhattan penthouse. The best part? Our favorite martinis are now always at the ready—just add ice!
If your deck or patio has seen better days, an outdoor rug can be a quick, low-cost solution to hide the unsightly wear and tear. Hate the color of your rental’s blah concrete balcony? Cover it with an outdoor rug you can roll up and take with you to your next place.
Bringing the comfort of interior decor to the outdoors has been a strong trend for years, and now with a broader range of stylish and affordable options for exterior rugs, it’s even easier to bring this design element to the outdoors. Rugs can define and unify a space, adding color, texture, and interest to create a more finished look.
By Rebecca Orlov
All of us want to be able to settle into our homes, to create a comfortable refuge we can really embrace as our own. But since many of us city dwellers rent our places, we can end up thinking of an apartment as more 12-month contract than home sweet home. What’s a renter to do? Here are three simple ideas—all with a small-space spin—that any renter should consider when seeking a sense of permanence in a temporary space.
Adding personal elements will connect you with your space.
Emotionally connecting with a space is the first step in thinking of it as your home. Curate your own wall gallery with photos of family and friends. To keep things uncluttered and balanced, consider using the same color frames and photo formatting—perhaps all black and white—to create a cohesive gallery.
Remember that amazing trip you took to Europe or the beach vacation last summer? Round up your favorite mementos and create a collection on a surface or wall. To keep small objects from feeling random, arrange them together on a decorative tray.
This year was my first to experience the cherry blossoms in full bloom, and I’m still thinking about the subtle pinks of the flowers against that vibrant blue sky. Though the blooms have long since faded, I recently found inspiration in a photo I snapped while on the Mall in April. I went on the perfect Friday afternoon—the weather was unseasonably warm, the sun was shining, and the forecast was calling for rain in the coming days. I spent more than an hour getting just the perfect shot, capturing the Washington Monument surrounded by blossoms. The colors and textures in this image seemed like a great starting point for a summery outdoor meal setting, and a rustic table, pretty pinks, and modern tableware added up to just the right vibe.
Kips Bay in New York City is arguably the Olympics of show houses, and this year, its 40th anniversary, DC-based Raji Radhakrishnan joined 30 other top designers in transforming two adjacent duplexes in a West Side high-rise. Radhakrishnan termed the space she designed “Le Bureau Privé,” and imagined the room as the private home office of the head curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In keeping with the style of the apartment and the interests of her muse, Radhakrishnan deftly curated an artful mix of objects and furnishings from the secessionist, art deco, and modernist periods along with contemporary pieces. The final result is a stunning and sophisticated space.
By Kathleen Bridges
Befuddled by an ill-used space in your home but even more confused about what to do about it? Curious about hiring some help, but unsure about the ins and outs of the client/designer relationship? Inspired to perk up your pad with the latest and greatest in design trends?
Experts Barbara Hawthorn, Marika Meyer, and Skip Sroka--all interior designers based in the Washington area--will be on hand tomorrow night at the Washington Design Center to address these situations and more during the second installment of a home-design lecture series cohosted by The Washingtonian. Moderated by senior editor Sherri Dalphonse, the discussion, "Demystifying Interior Design," is a chance for folks to get the skinny on the design process, including when (and how) to hire a designer, how to negotiate fees, and how to ensure your space ends up reflecting you--and not your designer's Rolodex of clients. Hawthorn, Meyer, and Sroka will also share the websites and blogs they turn to for inspiration, as well as their picks for the best and worst current trends.
The lecture starts at 6 PM at the Washington Design Center. Admission is free, but registration is required; sign up online.
The perfect piece of art can be the item you design an entire room around. "Departures & Arrivals," a large-scale abstract
painting by Glen Allen, Virginia-based conceptual artist
Daniel Calder, would make a statement in any
space. The name alone seems fitting for many DC residents, as this is a
city full of people
frequently jetting off and coming in from all over the world.
Inspired by Calder's piece, which is currently available at
Gallery 555dc, here are five
decor elements that would make for a cozy reading nook with a
pop of color.
Inspired items (clockwise from top left): YLighting dome swing-arm floor lamp; CB2 Parlour Atomic Orange chair; The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA and Canada via Anthropologie; Madeline Weinrib black and white endless Tibetan hand-knotted wool carpet; Tucker Robbins hollow zig-zag stools via Interior Connector.
Meg Biram writes about interiors, art, and fashion on her blog, Mimi + Meg.
From a complete overhaul of a 1920s Mediterranean house in Miami for the CFO of Elizabeth Arden to designing a beautifully traditional English-manor-style home in Columbia, Maryland, Todd Davis and Rob Brown never know what their daily schedule will bring. No two projects resemble one another, as Brown and Davis eschew a signature style in favor of creating bespoke designs. On Tuesday, the duo behind the acclaimed Brown Davis Interiors gave an audience at the Corcoran an inside look at their, as they put it, "schizophrenic lives."
The evening, cosponsored by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the College of Art and Design, and the Washington Design Center, consisted of a 45-minute lecture from the pair, followed by a Q&A session. Brown and Davis, both lifelong Washingtonians, spoke to a captivated audience of about 100, which included Corcoran students and faculty, friends, designers, and decorators.