We’re in the thick of summer, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” perhaps the best-known work at the Phillips Collection, seems to hit just the right note. The leisurely scene of the artist’s friends enjoying an afternoon relaxing on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine inspired this classic living room.
Ever since I moved to DC more than a year ago, I can’t help but notice all of the Federalist-style decor—it’s a popular, timeless look that mixes classic colors and patterns with items collected over the years and passed down through generations. This arrangement is a modern take on this idea. A blue couch might seem a little daring, but in this vignette it doesn’t feel out of place or overly trendy.
Do you love the neutral palette and effortless cool of Scandinavian design? This minimalist style has many components that are great for small spaces: light, versatility, brightness, and accessibility. Here’re a few ways to create the look at home.
By Natalie Grasso
“It’s such an exciting time to be in the design world,” Suzanne Kasler said, addressing a room full of design professionals as part of the spring Capital Design lecture series at the Washington Design Center. “It’s been a tough couple of years, but things are starting to open up. With all of the media and sharing, people are more interested than ever.” She added that more exposure creates more of a need for talented designers, because there is so much more out there to edit.
Kasler kicked off her talk by presenting photos of her own recently renovated home in Atlanta, Georgia, which was featured in the April 2012 issue of Architectural Digest. She confessed that during the house hunt she’d been looking for a Regency-style house and ended up with a Federal. “But that’s the great thing about being a designer,” she said. “You can change it!” Her first design move—one that has become a Kasler signature—was to paint all of the architectural elements white (Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Bone White are her go-to hues). “This creates the architectural envelope,” she said. “If you get the architecture right, the rest is so much easier.”
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.