Though Harry Bertoia’s iconic 1952 wire chair may rank eternal as a midcentury design masterpiece, there’s no harm in putting a playful spin on a classic. We’re falling for these modern iterations of wire and iron designs, which fuse the industrial-rustic vibe of the metal frame with coatings in poppy brights, glossy gold, and exuberant neons. And this time, there’s room for more than just chairs. Here are nine of our favorite pieces, from oversize baskets to pendant lamps.
Above: 1) Currey & Company Parker pendant lamp, $490 at Zinc Door; 2) Yellow Carillo coffee table, $199 at World Market; 3) Assembly Home wire table, $49 at Urban Outfitters; 4) Guarav Nanda Bunny lounge chair, $416.50 at Fab.com.
Situated a few blocks from the National Cathedral, this Cleveland Park Colonial revival went through a careful overhaul just six years ago. The result: more than 7,500 square feet of luxe living, in a historic setting. The restoration left many of the original turn-of-the-century details intact, including charming features such as stained-glass windows and Victorian tile flooring in the vestibule. The home offers five bathrooms and five bedrooms, one of which is a Cathedral-view master suite offset by a dressing room and a huge bath suite featuring marble tiling, a freestanding soaking tub, and a fireplace. In the rest of the house, there are three more gas fireplaces, Lutron lighting, a built-in speaker system, and custom millwork, plus a formal double living room with an attached sunroom, a library, an office, and a study. The chef’s kitchen features marble countertops and custom cabinets, with a deck off the back. The clincher? A temperature-controlled wine cellar with space for more than 1,000 bottles. The home is listed for $5.5 million.
Head to TTR Sotheby’s for the full tour.
When Beth Stewart set out to redecorate her Logan Circle loft, she knew she needed help. She had a clear idea of the style she wanted to go for—assertive yet feminine—but the space presented some unusual challenges. The walls were white cement blocks, for one. The living room was a double-height space, but the bedrooms were much more petite. And huge, red-framed windows were the dominating feature. “They’re a great example of why I needed a designer. I see red windows, and my pedestrian instinct is to match them. I would have ended up with a nautical-themed apartment,” says Stewart. Enter designer Marika Meyer. “One of Marika’s great insights was to say, ‘No, we’ll just treat them as a neutral,’” Stewart explains.
Meyer also sourced items that would introduce additional pops of color and warm up the all-white space. She found a vintage armchair, which she had custom painted and reupholstered in a bold fuchsia velvet that reflects the hue of the window frames while neither matching nor clashing. She added a clear Lucite cocktail table to help retain a sense of space. It was important to Stewart that she keep some of her existing furniture, so the beige sectional and her ivory dining chairs stayed. Then the pair started sprinkling in some major statement pieces: Down came the boring track lighting, replaced by an oversize chandelier. A glam white lacquer table creates a dramatic moment just inside the door.
Upstairs, the bedroom offered similar challenges. “When I walked into this space, it just felt cold. And it was July,” says Meyer. “The concrete walls, all the windows—all those great interesting assets, but for the bedroom it was too severe. So it was about softening.” Panels of patterned curtains introduced texture and color to the room, and a linen-upholstered bed frame made the space feel inviting and soothing.
Click through the slideshow for a more detailed glimpse at this home.
It’s arguably the most epic before-and-after project in town. And this Saturday, the curious will get a shot at scoping the raw “before” space of the 2014 DC Design House, which will open briefly to the public for the annual Bare Bones Tour. The next time it opens, get ready for a serious reveal.
The fundraising design project—which began in 2008 to benefit the Children’s National Health System—will spotlight local designers transforming 29 spaces in this year’s nearly 8,000-square-foot home, a stone estate in Forest Hills that was built in 1929 and originally owned by the founder of the Madison Hotel, Marshall B. Coyne, who was an avid collector of artwork, French furniture, and historical documents. The home was donated by Coyne’s granddaughter Suzi Wilczynski, who currently owns the property. “This year’s house had a great history, with 60 years in the same family,” says Susan Hays Long, the chair and board member of the DC Design House. “How amazing it is to have the DC Design House at Marshall Coyne’s home, the home he lived in before he moved to his 30th Street house, which was filled with his collections. We love a home with local history, mystery, or something unique. That works for our search process.”
The six-bedroom home also retains many of its original features, such as crown molding, wood floors, and custom cabinetry. The age of this year’s host site makes it a more challenging project than last year’s showhouse, which was a new construction—this year, the project required renovation and earlier involvement from the designers, says DC Design House cofounder Skip Singleton.
Keep reading to get a first look at the raw space, along with some of the designer’s inspirations, renderings and proposed designs—then head to the showhouse on Saturday for a complete view of the home before its transformation is revealed April 13.
2014 DC Design House. 4600 Linnean Ave., NW. Bare Bones Tour Saturday 11 to 3. $5 or free with the purchase of a $25 ticket to be used during the complete home’s monthlong run.
Designer: Kelley Proxmire, Kelley Interior Design
The inspiration: Proxmire wanted to pay homage to the history and architecture of the house, incorporating the glamour and sophistication of the 1920s while creating a space that is also livable and inviting. Mixes of antiques and contrasting metallics keep the space unique and interesting; modern and colorful pieces give the space interest and an updated overall feel. She intends to retain the original crown molding and flooring. Planned design elements include a large sisal area rug layered with an Oriental rug, high-gloss lacquer gray paint with white trims, a soft blue ceiling, and silver metallic detail etched around the border of the room. The grating on the built-ins will be lined with a crisp white silk to complement the white woodwork. Overall, the room will be kept neutral and comfortable with whites, grays, silvers, and some hints of a warm gold. For furniture, Proxmire will blend a traditional look with a few unexpected, updated pieces, such as the white sofa with straight lines and two acrylic Chinese Chippendale chairs. The tables will incorporate wood, metal, and glass, while all the upholstered pieces will be a mixture of whites, grays, and splashes of gold.
In a neighborhood of traditional homes, this whitewashed modern design stands out. And not just for its clean-lined look and top-level finishes: Built in 2007 with planet-friendly functionality in mind, this 5,100-square-foot home in Arlington’s Virginia Square also showcases a passive solar design that involves such features as a photovoltaic solar energy system, insulated floor slabs, teak floors, and an eco-concious permeable driveway.
Here’s the rundown on the high-end interior specs: five bedrooms and six bathrooms—including a master suite decorated with grasscloth wallpaper and Kravet drapery and featuring a fireplace, two separate dressing rooms, a “luggage room,” and a master bath with both a cast-iron claw-foot soaking tub and a mahogany-paneled walk-in shower. Elsewhere, there’s an elevator, a library, a butler’s pantry, a conservatory with a heated brick floor, and a mahogany-floored screened porch. Outside? A flagstone terrace with a wood-burning fireplace overlooks a garden space. And a 500-square-foot poolhouse (complete with an exercise studio, a kitchenette, bathing facilities, and a steam room) flanks the home’s pièce de résistance—a 33,000-gallon saltwater pool heated by solar energy. The home went on the market less than two weeks ago and is listed at $2.5 million. Head to Washington Fine Properties for the full tour.
Who better to take color-pairing advice from than someone who named her design company Bossy Color? Interior designer Annie Elliott recently mentioned on her blog that one of her 2014 design goals was to get a little edgy with her pairings—so we asked her to share some of her favorite unexpectedly awesome hue duos. Read on to see what she’s loving together right now, along with her paint picks, then give these color teams a try in your own home—whether you go bold by pairing paints or start small with a contrasting decor accent is up to you.
Blush + Mustard
Elliott loves the combination of blush pink with the warmth of golden yellow. “The mustard takes the sweetness out of the pink, so you can just appreciate its glow,” she says.
Navy + Chartreuse
Love navy but want to update it? Chartreuse is a fresh contrast. “The edgy greenish yellow is such a great counterpoint to navy’s conservative vibe,” says Elliott.
Blue + Black
We’re already showed you this eye-catching Elliott-designed interior from a Chevy Chase home, which pairs a vibrant cobalt blue with rich black accents. Not ready to go quite so bright? Elliot likes a darker blue with black, too.
Light Orchid + Deep Green
Here’s how Elliott recommends working in the year’s biggest hue: “If you MUST adapt the color of the year into your decor—Pantone, what did we do to deserve the curse of Radiant Orchid?—I suggest graying it down and pairing it with a green so dark it’s almost black.”
An Embassy Suites hotel in the West End and a National Academy of Sciences building are DC’s most energy-efficient privately owned buildings, according to statsitics published today by the District Department of the Environment. The data also find that the District’s building stock has one of the top energy-use ratings of any major US city, based on the federal government’s Energy Star benchmark. On average, private buildings in DC have a score of 77, meaning they use energy more efficiently than 77 percent of buildings that use the reporting standard.
The Embassy Suites, at 1250 22nd St., NW, and the National Academy of Sciences, at 2101 Constitution Ave., NW (with the Albert Einstein statue out front), both reported perfect scores of 100. Office buildings at 425 I St., NW, and 2000 M St., NW, also came in with scores of at least 98. The energy report also shows that the Embassy Suites is an industry outlier, with most hotels scoring below 50. In fact, a Courtyard hotel in NoMa and the Ritz-Carlton in West End both scored Energy Star ratings of 1.
Also reporting at the bottom are Washington Hospital Center and a medical research building at Georgetown University, with the former also earning the distinction of producing the most greenhouse gas emissions of any privately owned building in the city. The George Washington University dorm Ross Hall used the most energy per square foot.
Today’s report marks the first time DC has released energy-efficiency ratings of privately owned buildings, making it the second US city after New York to require private buildings to report their energy use.
Communications executive David Schaeffer bought a five-bedroom, five-bath home in Kalorama for $4.5 million. Originally listed for $5.4 million, the house was renovated in 2010 and has a two-car garage and a rear garden with fountain. Schaeffer is head of Cogent Communications, one of the world’s largest internet service providers.
Obama adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and her husband, neurosurgeon Jeffrey Randall, bought a Colonial in Spring Valley for $3 million. The house—which sold after six days on the market for above list price—was built in 1929 and has five bedrooms and six baths. A member of the President’s national-security staff, Sherwood-Randall is White House coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control. She worked at the Pentagon during the first term of the Clinton administration and also was chief foreign-affairs and defense-policy adviser to then-senator Joe Biden.
Education expert Margery Yeager bought an Arts and Crafts-style home on Sherier Place in the Palisades for just under $2 million. The property includes a one-bedroom carriage house. A former special assistant to DC’s public-schools chancellor, Yeager is a policy adviser on education at the law firm Nelson Mullins.
Energy expert Skila Harris sold a Federal-style rowhouse on 19th Street near Dupont Circle for $1.9 million. The house has four units, including a two-bedroom, two-bath “owners suite.” Harris, a former special assistant to Vice President Al Gore, is a senior adviser at the Department of Energy.
Real-estate bigwig James Underhill sold a seven-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in Bethesda for $3.8 million. On two acres, the home has a pool and two-level poolhouse. Underhill is CEO of the Americas at Cushman & Wakefield, a global real-estate-services firm.
Lawyers Scott and Daphna Sher bought a seven-bedroom, nine-bath Colonial on Melody Lane in Bethesda for $3.6 million. The newly built house has a loggia in the back yard and a three-car garage. Scott Sher is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he focuses on antitrust counseling and litigation.
Steven Schorer and wife Kelly sold a Colonial on Alloway Drive in Potomac for $3.1 million. The seven-bedroom house has two master-bedroom suites, a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a two-bedroom carriage house. Steven Schorer recently retired as president of DynCorp International, a private military contractor in McLean.
Finance exec Ian Fujiyama and wife Christine sold a six-bedroom, eight-bath Colonial on Wincrest Place in Great Falls for $2 million. The 7,000-square-foot gated house has a gym, wet bar, and billiards room. Fujiyama is a managing director at the Carlyle Group private-equity firm.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
This article appears in the March 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Renovated and expanded in 2011, this four-story brick Tudor home on Belmont Road in tony Kalorama dates to the late 1920s. Situated on a third of an acre—a double lot—the 8,200-square-foot home features nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms, plus three fireplaces, a wet bar, a lower-level au pair suite with a second kitchen and laundry room, a massive backyard garden, a two-car garage, and a gated courtyard with parking for ten. Many of the original features were restored, including the hardwood floors and original leaded-glass windows. Here are few more of the high-end highlights: a Jennifer Gilmer-designed gourmet kitchen, steel and French doors opening to the flagstone patio, custom hidden storage panels in the dining room, his-and-her master bathrooms with heated marble floors, and a windowed dressing room with a marble vanity. It’s listed at $5.995 million. Scroll down for a tour, then head to Washington Fine Properties for more.
This is a big year for furniture brand Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. It’s the company’s 25th anniversary—and to celebrate, the namesake duo have a major agenda: They’ve released their third coffee-table tome, Who We Are. They’ve created a special anniversary collection of silver-infused products for spring. They’re embarking on a yearlong tour to 19 of their signature stores for birthday parties that benefit local charities. And they’re opening another six stores throughout the country—including one due to arrive at Tysons later this year.
To kick off the year of celebration, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams stop by Washington’s 14th Street store next Wednesday to toast to their milestone. We chatted with the founders recently to get their take on stylish living; read on to see what they have to say, then swing by the party to chat with the pair in person.
What design trends are you most excited about for 2014?
We are loving the far-out elements from our favorites in 1970s film, music, and fashion: Our new collection is the love child of pop culture and iconic comfort. Within, sophisticated notes of glamour and sexiness become one with energetic glimpses of freedom and fun.
What trend are you ready to see disappear?
Honestly, we’re not big fans of the idea of a home-furnishing color of the year or season. We’ll search as long as it takes to find just the right shade of a color and take care that it works beautifully with other colors before adding it to our collection. We look for colors that will be as timeless, beautiful, and easy to live with as our furniture. Sometimes we’ll focus on a color that caught our eye in our travels, like chartreuse, which we saw accenting the outfits of fashionable men and women on the streets of Paris.
What’s your signature design style? And how can readers work it into their home?
Our signature is comfort combined with style. One of our favorite ways to incorporate it into our homes is by including upholstered furniture where others might choose wood. For instance, we love upholstered chairs for the dining room and upholstered headboards in the bedroom.
Mitchell, you have a condo in DC. Do you have any favorite local sources for design inspiration?
DC is such a beautiful city. We find it walking around our Meridian Hill neighborhood, and on 14th Street, where our store is, which we’ve watched go through a great transformation. Ideas for new styles, colors, and even ways of doing business might come from something as simple as a trip to Whole Foods, a meal out in a great modern space like the Source, or an afternoon at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery—a new exhibit just opened there called “American Cool,” which I hope to see soon.
What’s your best tip for small-space living?
Don’t be afraid to include an over-scaled piece of furniture. For instance, in our DC condo, we used one of our wood-and-polished-stainless dining tables instead of a narrower console table. It has the surface space to hold our stereo equipment and records plus books and collectibles, making it a great focal point for the room.
How has your company evolved over the past 25 years?
We are very proud of the fact that we started this company with an investment of $60,000 (in challenging economic times not dissimilar from today), and it’s now a $125-plus million brand offering not only beautiful, comfortable furnishings for the whole house, but also an equally appealing chain of retail stores that is being expanded this year. In homage to our 25th anniversary, we made silver our muse and choreographed a collection with sheen: fabrics, leathers, mohair, and even hair-on-hide in tones from graphite to ecru, pewter, zinc, and steel.
What’s next for Michell Gold + Bob Williams?
Our Tysons Corner location is the latest in a growing number of Signature Stores for the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams brand. The company plans to open a total of six new store locations over the next 12 months, with the next openings planned for Tysons Corner, Beverly Hills, Montreal, Miami, Alpharetta, and St. Louis.