Size? 2,500 square feet
Moved in? 2001
Why Dupont? "This area has the best of city living. Everything we need is within walking distance, including the Metro. We have The Phillips Collection, wonderful architecture, and a variety of shops."
Overall Look? "Gilded eclectic is the only category we can fit into; we have more gilded objects than King Tut."
Inspiration? "Bill is an artist, gilder, frame-maker, and conservator of gilded objects. This is why we have empty antique frames as artwork and other little treasures sitting around. I am a painter who has learned to use gold leaf in my work and since my studio is the top floor of our home, I use the entire house to showcase my work."
Biggest Decorating Challenge? "Incorporating all the weird things Bill brings home. Like the twisted iron railing he pulled from a demolition site, gilded, and proudly brought home one night. It ended up on our living room mantle."
Where: Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood
Size: 1,250 square feet
Type: Two-bedroom bungalow
Move in date: August 1, two weeks after returning from our honeymoon
Why Ballston? “We moved to Arlington about three years ago into a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony, pool, gym, and free street parking. It was great. But as the wedding date drew closer and wedding gifts started to arrive, space became a problem. Plus, we wanted to start our married life in a new place, preferably a house. We stumbled onto this house as they were literally hammering the “For Rent” sign in the yard. We ran home to call the Realtor and make an appointment to view it. Two weeks later, the place was ours—twice as big, twice as cute, and practically in our backyard.”
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Overall Look? “The house is fairly small and low-set, so we wanted something minimal and modern but comfortable and lived-in. Our last apartment always had a cluttered feel because of the lack of space and our large furniture—gotta love hand-me-downs. We wanted to scale things back a bit and really open the space up. We chose pieces with cleaner lines and neutral colors to give the house more versatility and flow.”
Inspiration? “I read magazines constantly, especially In Style, In Style Home, Real Simple, and Domino. I save my favorites. I’ve even decorated a little side table in the guest room with old copies of In Style. Plus, there are always Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn catalogs in my mailbox or on my coffee table. Rich can get on board with those because they’re never too flowery or overdone. Just classic and comfy—that’s us!”
Biggest decorating challenge? Making everything fit and blend together. As I said before, we have a lot of really big pieces. This house has forced us to pick and choose our favorites, which meant finally throwing some old college dorm remnants away and actually buying “grown-up” furniture. Embracing the less-is-more mentality has been a challenge, but a good one. Having a basement to hide extra pieces helps, too!
Favorite element? Our couch. We bought it from Crate & Barrel, thanks to gift certificates and store credit from returned wedding gifts. It completely transforms the room and gives it a much more sophisticated feel.