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.
Take a look at several David Mitchell-designed rooms, and you might be hard-pressed to find similarities. The spaces are all clean, comfortable, and well edited, but beyond that the styles are incredibly varied. And that's exactly what Mitchell wants to achieve.
"The days of a designer with a signature look are over," he says.
Mitchell prides himself on not inserting his own tastes into a client's home and prefers drawing on their personalities to create tailor-made spaces. He's come a long way since his days of rearranging his parents' living room furniture to his liking, which he says led eventually to his career in design.
With a degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and more than 20 years in Washington under his belt, he has become intimately familiar with the design preferences of our fair city. And he's even built an arsenal of tools he relies on in each project to achieve his signature "non-signature" style.
Tired of that blah backsplash? Builder-grade linoleum got you down? Whether you're on a Home Depot budget or can swing a high-end Ann Sacks mosaic, tile is a quick and (relatively) easy way to make a big impact in spaces large and small. That said, we've been finding inspiration aplenty while browsing on Pinterest--the bolder, the better.
Ever since we saw the breathtaking master sitting room at the DC Design House, we've been a little obsessed with the work of designer Tricia Huntley of Huntley & Co. We can't get enough of her unexpected mix of modern and classic elements, and her rooms teeming with layers of color and texture.
Though Huntley has been a Washingtonian for 15 years, she credits her time spent in Minneapolis and her Scandinavian heritage for her design style, which she describes as "laid-back glamour with unexpected details."
"With all my projects I try to create a look that's both striking and warm," she says. "My goal is always to create rooms that wow you at first and then invite you to stay."
While Huntley says she doesn't have a signature look in the conventional sense, she relies on five main tools time and time again to ensure that all her spaces exude the warmth she has become known for creating.
By Kathleen Bridges
Saturday, rain or shine, 12 of the midcentury-modern gems dotting the Alexandria enclave known as Hollin Hills will open their doors to the public as part of the neighborhood's annual House & Garden Tour.
As if you needed another excuse to don your best Betty Draper shift and shake up a fresh batch of Manhattans.
By Laura Wainman
We've said it before and we'll say it again: We were stunned by the transformation of the DC Design House, from an elegant but dated manse to a chic, modern oasis of luxury.
One of the more prominent changes came in the form of the standout light fixtures we spotted throughout the house. The home's ample natural light was one of its best qualities, but the artificial light sources needed an update. The designers agreed that the gilded crystal chandeliers that abounded in the "before" space, while refined, were too heavy for their tastes and needed to be freshened up.
We recently caught up with five of the designers behind our favorite eye-catching lighting fixtures to find out what vibe they wanted to achieve and how you can incorporate the look into your home.
Spring is a great time to overhaul your wardrobe--but your home should get a little love, too. If you're looking to revamp and redesign, the second annual Home & Design Weekend, organized by Washington Fine Properties, is a great place to start.
This Saturday and Sunday between 11 AM and 6 PM, 26 merchants along 14th Street will showcase their new designs and home furnishings. "It's an opportunity to celebrate not only design, but also the 14 Street neighborhood and its vibrancy, which has become a really exciting part of Washington," says Marc Schappell, managing partner of Washington Fine Properties.
Over the past decade, this neighborhood has transformed from relative disrepair to a hotbed of activity, with hip restaurants, stores, and entertainment lining its streets.
Most of the participating merchants are also conducting free in-store lectures and demonstrations by interior-design professionals on how to integrate spring fashion trends into your home. These include talks about fine designing with plantscaping, architectural furniture, and effective use of color. For the more avant-garde, George Hemphill will be discussing how to effectively use art to direct the look of a home at his gallery. A full schedule of the symposium is available on the website.
Sure, a can of paint or dramatic wallpaper can certainly transform a space--but some rooms, like Anne Hardock's powder room, need more intensive surgery. We chatted with the designer on what it took to get the room in show-worthy shape.